The Tories are all excited about a new way to shred the remaining social safety net. The UK could become even more like the US! Where an illness can make you homeless in an instant!
David Cameron is prepared to look at making workers pay into flexible saving accounts to fund their own sick pay or unemployment benefits, Downing Street has confirmed.
The idea was first floated by Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, who said he was “very keen” to have a debate about encouraging people to use personal accounts to save for unemployment or illness, even though it is not official government policy.
Sure. Fuck unions, fuck collective bargaining, fuck benefits, fuck pensions and socialized health care – just have everybody fund their own, because everybody has plenty of leftover money. Life is fair! Everybody is rich! We can all kick back and relax while pouring champagne over our heads.
Asked about the idea of workers saving up for their sickness and unemployment benefits, Cameron’s official spokeswoman confirmed he was prepared to consider such a model.
“I think the PM shares the work and pensions secretary’s view that we should be doing more to encourage people to take personal responsibility for how they manage their affairs,” she said.
Because people who aren’t paid very much are so irresponsible. Take teachers for instance – they don’t make very much. It’s irresponsible of them not to be bankers instead. Everybody knows bankers make lots of money! So anyone who decides to do something that pays less than that is being irresponsible. Let’s punish them.
The proposal of fortune accounts for the UK was examined in depth in a paper by the free market libertarian Adam Smith Institute thinktank in 1995, which looked at how people could go to a single private provider for an account that gave them long-term care insurance, disability cover, health insurance, savings fund management and unemployment insurance.
This paper suggested: “Many other things that we often regard as ‘welfare’ today are also insurable and will be part of the fortune account package. Cover against incapacity to work, long-term care services, and disability, will all be in the package.”
And you know what else? These will be bank accounts, so bankers will get even more pay. And since everyone will be a banker by then, because it’s irresponsible not to be, everyone will get hugely richer. Win win!
Emma Lewell-Buck, a Labour member of the Commons work and pensions committee, said it was “the latest signal that the Tories are determined to dismantle what is left of our country’s safety net”.
She added: “People don’t choose when to fall ill, and the right to sick pay guarantees people financial security if they are unlucky enough to be too ill to work. Under the scheme the Tories are proposing, that security would disappear.
“David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith can cope just fine without sick pay but, for millions of British people, it provides essential support and peace of mind. As always, it’s the most disadvantaged who are in the firing line under the Tories.”
Only because they’re so irresponsible. Responsible people take good care not to be disadvantaged.