Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tax credits, keeping the plebs down.
I've mentioned the following subject once or twice in the past, but current 'goings on' at work has brought the subject to the top of my 'things to get pissed off about' list.
I'm talking about tax credits. Or to give it the correct NuLieBore code name, 'let's not encourage people to better themselves because they may start thinking for themselves and we wouldn't want that now because they may realise what a bunch of arses we really are'. It's closely related to the 'let's give money to the idle workshy' and 'let us, the state, take responsibility for everything in your pathetic existence'.
To my overseas reader, tax credits basically means that the government will 'top up' the wages of the low paid. They top up by using cash from taxes, which the low paid have probably paid, so if you are low paid and receive tax credits money is taken from you via taxes and put through the bureaucratic magic box, costing millions a year to administer, only for you to get it back by the wonder of tax credits.
I have a problem with tax credits. To be honest, I have more than one problem.
It's a yoke around the necks of the low paid. There is no incentive for people to 'better' themselves, to study and work hard. Why should they? The state will provide. Rather than look for a better paid job people will stagnate in the tedium they are currently in, poor wages are topped up in accordance with how many times you have impregnated your partner/how many sprogs you have dropped.
Employers don't give extra wages to those who have more children. Why should the state, (ie the taxpayer)?
On a more personal level, the reason I am incredibly pissed off with the whole shambles at the minute is that tax credits encourage the 'working idle'.
In the midst of the busy holiday season at work, one of my main guys is off sick with a broken leg. Thus, we are short staffed. I am allowed to 'cover' his hours, (shock!), but I am struggling to do this.
"But why"? I hear you ask. "Surely others would be glad of the extra hours".
Well. a few are. Unfortunately, most of them are on holiday. Those that are willing are covering as much as they can. Jolly good stuff.
The 'hard core' group of part timers will simply not do any extra hours. As I've mentioned before, the 'hard core' consist of the same type of person. They are male. They are married or live with a partner. They have children. They receive tax credits.
The state will pay them anyway, so why work any extra? One part of me can't blame them really. After all, they are only human. I would be tempted. The other part of me feels like screaming at them. Where is their dignity and self respect? Generations of men and women have worked their fingers to the bone to provide for their families, but they draw the line at sixteen or twenty hours a week.
The group of 'hard core' part timers also enjoy set shifts, (protected by employment law), which is another bug bear.
I'm sure the same scenario is repeated up and down the land. It would be interesting to see figures, if any existed.