Budget 2016: George Osborne 'takes £4.4bn from disabled people to fund tax breaks for rich'



**Budget 2016: George Osborne ‘takes £4.4bn from disabled people to fund tax breaks for rich’

George Osborne’s proposed cuts to disability benefits could see the government claw back £4.4 billion from people who are too ill to seek full employment - much more than charities previously thought.

The figures laid out in the Budget on Wednesday suggest savings from the controversial cuts could rise to £1.28 billion a year by 2020/21.

Putting together the numbers for cuts to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for 640,000 disabled people, the Mirror calculated that the total saved would be £4.375 billion over the course of this Parliament.
In his Budget, Mr Osborne warned of tough cuts in order to weather the “storm” of global economic uncertainty in future.

But he found the money to increase the highest 40p tax band by £2,500, offering savings to anyone on a salary greater than £42,500.

He also found the money to freeze duty on beer and cider - a highly popular move among Conservative backbenchers.

In his rebuttal, Jeremy Corbyn criticised a Budget that showed the Chancellor had “failed” to balance the books of Britain’s finances.

He said: “The price of failure is being borne by some of the most vulnerable within our society - the disabled being robbed of up to £150 a week, these aren’t the actions of a responsible statesperson, they are the actions of a cruel and callous Government that sides with the wrong people and punishes the most vulnerable and poorest within our society.”

Speaking to the Mirror, Labour’s Owen Smith described Mr Osborne’s surprise sugar tax as a “dead cat” rather than a rabbit out of a hat.

“Politics is all about priorities and the Tories have nailed theirs to the doors of parliament today,” he said.


This is the very essence of an amoral, un-Christian government and society that has no conception of the “preferential option for the poor” or solidarity with the less fortunate.

No wonder Cardinal Nicholas, Archbishop of Westminster, condemned the Tories before last year’s election. Horrendous government.


Before we Yanks get our own knickers all in a twist, I would like to point out that this is a British story, as evidenced by the “£4.4bn” in the headlines. Some of us have a tendency to look right past clues like those.


Yes it’s British, to our mighty shame :frowning:


However, such a headline would fit the facts in the U.S. too, where Republican legislators at the state and national level have reduced social spending and cut taxes with predictable results.


I am disabled and have been on Income Related ESA and in the Support Group for the last 6 years. This means that I am deemed unfit for work.

I cannot work because of pain and constant fatigue. I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, Osteo-arthritis and Fibromyalgia. The last time I went for an assessment I was deemed fit for work and I went to a tribunal which I won.

Anyway, I have had to fill out yet another form and will probably have to go through it all again. They are hounding me for the form, which was sent to them last week but, on paper, doesn’t have to be with them until next week. I am distraught and very frightened because I know that they can do whatever they like.

I am nearly 60 years old. Who’s going to employ me when I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get out of bed in the morning and at my age? I haven’t been in the workplace for many years as I was carer to my sick parents and aunt.


Yes, we certainly have our own problems in this country.


So 42,000 in salary makes you rich?


Preferential option for the poor does not mean preferential option for big Govt.


Would you agree that a good start would be taxing the 48% who pay no federal income tax?


Socialism, eventually you run out of other peoples’ money.

Perhaps they would have plenty of money if they focused on cutting off welfare for those who aren’t in need and those who aren’t disabled but claim they are. If I remember correctly, a country recently required a doctor’s visit and approval for disability payments to continue, and some huge number of people (somewhere in the range of 30-40%) didn’t bother even showing up for the appointments, because they weren’t really disabled.

Here’s a good article from last year about changes being made in the UK:

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Since his party’s impressive election victory in May, Prime Minister David Cameron is moving quickly to fulfill his campaign promise to ensure welfare benefits are no longer a way of life for many of his fellow citizens.

Instead of open-ended benefits for the unemployed, the government, beginning in April 2017, will require young people between 18 and 21 who don’t have jobs, but are collecting welfare, to attend three-week “boot camps” to prepare them for work in a rapidly improving economy. If they refuse, they will be denied benefits if they are unemployed for six months.

According to the UK Daily Mail, “Six million Britons are living in homes where no one has a job and benefits are a way of life.” In 2008 the newspaper reported on families where no one has worked for three generations. Some are offended at the suggestion they should work. One family interviewed by the Mail claimed the equivalent of $50,000 a year in benefits. Jean Thompson hasn’t worked in 40 years. She and nine other members of her family live in a three-bedroom house and think the government should upgrade them to a 10-bedroom home. In Britain, such beneficiaries are called “Shameless families.” This is the bad fruit produced by welfare addiction.

The conservative government wants to end the cycle by making sure the next generation doesn’t fall into the benefits trap. In addition to boot camps, it is proposing to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, which will allow for on-the-job training.



Just how much is the federal government losing because of these scofflaws? How would you change the tax law to punish these scofflaws? Would you eliminate the mortgage interest deduction? Make municipal bond interest tax deductible? Get rid of the standard deduction?


That was my thought as well. When did $61k/yr (the equivalent in US dollars) become rich? That would barely dress the Obamas for one state dinner.


£42k isn’t ‘wealthy,’ I agree but that it is not the point of the article.

Hyperbole aside, the government is pulling £4.4 billion in funding away from people who need help to get dressed and go to the toilet, while lowering the band at which people need to pay the higher rate of income tax, such that it will rise from £42.5k to £45k.

A person earning £42k anywhere outside the City of London is on a comfortable wage relative to average living costs and certainly if they are single like I am even in London its hardly dire straits (i.e. without children or dependants to look after). If two people earning £42,000 are married and live in one house, they earn £84,000 together. Again, comfortable.

So the point is that the government taketh away from the truly needy and giveth to the perfectly economically able. The move will hand an average £400 tax cut to middle-earners. For me, thats swell. Thank you George! I have a little extra cash to spend.

In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with the policy. In an individual sense, its good for me. I am one of the middle earners he’s trying to ‘butter up’. So what’s my beef? Conscience and responsibility to the vulnerable is my BEEF.

The point remains, that the Chancellor can provide little sweeteners to middle-earners like me in the same budget in which he takes away billions from the truly needy.

As a middle-earner, I am expected to look at this budget and say, “***Oh, jolly good stuff! Why should I care about the hundreds of thousands of poor disabled people who are not well enough to work? The Chancellor is giving me a tax break! That’s all that matters! Yipee!***”

Do you really expect me to be so thoroughly heartless???


Oops dumb typo in the above post, I meant to say: “while increasing the band at which people need to pay the higher rate of income tax, such that it will rise from £42.5k to £45k.”

Look, I will soon (when I start my next job, having already signed the contract) be in the salary range of £42k-45k. I am single, still in my early-to-mid twenties and I am doing OK. I have no dependants, nobody to look after other than myself. This tax break is a sweetener. Nice but hardly life changing. It is designed to curry favour with middle-earners. I don’t need help from the government. A disabled person who cannot do the toilet without the help of another and cannot work does require financial assistance or policies from the government that will make their daily lives easier.

It is morally wrong to take essential funding away from the truly needy. A tax break for comfortable middle-earners is hardly an act of ‘redemption’. It is actually quite sickening that its in the same budget.

As I stated earlier, had this policy been agreed upon in isolation for this budget I would have nothing to say against it. Its good for me personally! Context, however, is everything.


The exchange rate makes that 60,900 USD, which is 2.5 times the median for an individual household earner.




Does that make them rich?


Well, then I expect that Cardinal Nicholas and the entire flock of the UK will happily show how Christian they are by making up the cut in funding out of their own increase in charitable contributions from their own pocket.

Or does solidarity only occur via the taxman and a bureaucracy?


Probably, like the US, it depends on where you live. Most people forget that.

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