GOVERNMENT SAYS- DON’T GET SICK!
Don’t get nasty illnesses or have accidents – That is what the government is telling hard working couples. At the beginning of February it rejected amendments by the House of Lords and vowed to press on with its cuts to sickness benefits.
We don’t like to think about it, but long term illness or disability is always just a moment away – Some fool pulls out in front of your car, you get an unexpected diagnosis from your doctor, you fall off a ladder, you have an accident at work. It can happen to us all, and does every day.
That’s why we pay national insurance. Each week or month you will see deductions made from your wages for this. Your employer contributes too. We have all paid so much that the national insurance fund has a stonking £42 BILLION surplus (and rising). We are insuring against risks like sickness and unemployment and also a pension in our old age.
As you might expect from an insurance policy, you get paid for as long as you are ill or disabled and unable to work – at least up to now.
But now the government wants your partner to pay for you instead. Single people and the very poorest are protected because they can claim means tested benefits
Hard working couples, who have both been working and paying national insurance will now find that after a year of sickness or disability no benefit is paid for the person who cannot work. Instead the working partner will be expected to support them.
The government says that in a recession we cannot afford benefits but the latest report by the government auditor shows that the surplus national insurance fund from which these benefits are taken is set to grow to £57 BILLION by 2015
And if you do manage to claim it isn’t much fun. By now most of us have read the stories about people having to rush from their latest round of chemotherapy to “work related activity” to encourage them to chase non-existent job that they are too ill to do. It could be you this time next year.
Changes to social security are not just about other people who are poorer than you. They are about you and your future.