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Rishi Sunak's excuse (benefits)

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Sunny Clouds:
I just watched a clip on Youtube of a Bloomberg Markets & Finance interview of Rishi Sunak.

Apparently he can't raise benefits because of problems with the computer system.  It was pointed out to him that they'd managed to get furlough up and running quickly.  He didn't budge on it.

That seems to me to give an additional reason for the proposed massive cuts to civil service staff numbers, i.e. another excuse then not to be able to do things the government doesn't want to do.  That being said, I bet some of the civil servants who lose their jobs will in effect be replaced by employees of private companies on lower paid insecure zero hour contracts.

Meanwhile, as I type this, I'm trying to remember whether it was Sunak that was the key promoter of 'eat out to help out' where government subsidies halved the price of your food.  If you're wealthy, that meant 'pay half as much' but if you're in need of hot, filling food, it might mean 'twice as much for your money' because, so far as I'm aware, there was no ban on buying twice as much food for one person. 

But what's this got to do with benefits?  Bear with me whilst I pursue the analogy.

This government's now supposedly pushing for a ban on two for one meal deals for junk food.  But that doesn't stop you buying two meals for one person, so that won't hurt the hospitality industry, it just looks good.

But does someone even need to have the initiative to buy two meals?  No, hang on, junk food retailers can carry on as usual.  Eh?  Instead of saying "6 inch portion of Superjunk for £x - special offer - two for one.  Take your pick, one or two 6 inch portions of Superjunk for your money", they simply post two pictures of almost identical items - 6 inch Superjunk with (optional) mozarella topping and 12 inch identical Superjunk with (optional) cheddar topping - and put the same price next to them.  Still two for one.

So we have computer system copes with claim for furlough, and copes with temporary rise in UC etc. but not with continuing with rise to benefits such as UC. Hmm.  Sounds to me suspiciously like the computer & benefits equivalent of 'Eat out to help out' vs 'Stop two for the price of one junk food'.  What is permitted or banned isn't down to what's technically possible, or down to differences in what's actually happening when you take off the veneer of how it's described, it's down to what suits the friends/sponsors/donors of cabinet members/Tory party and what doesn't.

'Starve out to help out.'

As has been pointed out on Twitter Sunak  is talking  :f_bleep:
He did push the eat out to help out fad but that’s no use to folk who can’t afford a restaurant meal

There’s going to be a lot more unrest before this shower of crooks get caught
We not have the bootstrap cook taking a Tory MP to court for libel  :f_steam:
I don’t doubt she’s right but this is the same mp who was happy to open a foodbank and stuff his face at the buffet provided by the volunteers of the foodbank  :f_doh:

Sunny Clouds:
The other 'foodbank PR exploiting' MP, Lee Anderson, that spouted in parliament about his wonderful local foodbank has had a backlash from his local people, especially at the foodbank he referred to.  He said you can only get food there if you sign up for a course in cooking and budgetting.  The management have now publicly said that's not true.

He said you can make meals for 30p/day.  That's not word for word (I'd have to go and search for the quote) but it was close enough to that, that if parsed literally, he was saying 30p for all you ate in a day, but he or someone clarified later to say 30p/meal.

Someone's researched that and said they think he got the figure from a big communal meal.  Very different from trying to do it yourself.

I think it reasonable for people hearing the MP to think he was referring to the main meal.  Hmm.  30p, including cooking fuel, and those little bits and pieces like a squirt of washing up liquid and some warm water, to include pretty much a full range of core nutrients (supposing that the other meals are less)? 

Well, people will say "Oh yes, beans on toast will give you full protein, or use some pasta and whatever veg are in the reduced bin" etc. But you need a range of food.  As a ranty leftie, I still refer to Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher.  Something as simple as a third of a pint of milk a day gave kids in this northern country essential vitamin D.  Not that we'd think of that as important these days...unless we thought we wanted to maximise their resistance to a trendy and sometimes deadly virus.


--- Quote from: Sunny Clouds on 14 May 2022 09:45PM ---  30p, including cooking fuel, and those little bits and pieces like a squirt of washing up liquid and some warm water, to include pretty much a full range of core nutrients (supposing that the other meals are less)? 

--- End quote ---

My wife at a cost just for the ingredients of £8-£10 a one plate meal for two football teams plus officials for the home games at the village football club. However that does not factor in the what you stated, or the cost of getting to and from the nearest Supermarket 13 miles away.

Sunny Clouds:
That's the difficulty, isn't it, the individual variation?

I've got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about this sort of thing.  I come from a very mixed background financially and socially and feel utter revulsion at anything I perceive as looking down on people, and in relation to people in power and making rules, inability or unwillingness to research the practicalities of things.

The cost of cooking includes so many extras that between us we'd think of, but whilst I'd know I wouldn't think of all of them (e.g.  I hadn't thought of the supermarket thing because I live in a dense urban area) I'd know there'd be things that would be different for each of us. 

As an aside, I remember a story that was in disability and poverty media outlets a few years back (not many) of a man who was on benefits, required to attend Jobcentre appointments, and living in a village with 2 or 3 (can't remember which) buses a day to the town, but was (I believe deliberately) given appointments before the earliest bus arrived, so was getting up at 3am to walk to the Jobcentre.  Again, I remember it as 25 miles, but if it was 15, it's still cruel.  I'm satisfied it's true, but even if no one here is, I am confident you'd all see it as a perfectly good illustration of the sort of assumptions and cruelties that there are in the system.


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