I’m seriously beginning to lean a little to the communist side I think because the way things are going in this country have me sitting on a slow burning rage.
The cost of living has risen to ridiculous levels and the average wage just doesn’t cover enough of that; if the government REALLY want to stop the cost of benefits to the treasury then they need to address the cost of living.
Set a basic rental level for each type of property (taking into account owner mortgage payments of course; perhaps mortgage payment +3-5% to allow for repairs etc) limit the cost of house prices by type for all new builds and establish a timetable of regular property checks to ensure the slumlord mentality doesn’t take effect; if having a roof over your head is a basic human right then if people are greedy enough to buy several properties they do not want to live in they should only be able to make enough from them for the basic maintenance costs to be covered – especially while paying off a mortgage.
Yes, I can hear people screaming already about this but look at it this way; you have to be rich to own more than one property yet most folks are struggling even to rent let alone buy; the housing benefit I do get pays for someone else to own a home that they don’t even live in and yet I can’t even consider buying my own home because even though a mortgage payment would be less than my rent I can’t afford to pay it without help.
How is that fair? I can’t get a government handout to pay a mortgage but someone else can through me and my housing benefit. Change THIS system and you immediately make things fairer.
And to ensure everyone in the population has access to an affordable healthy diet perhaps the government should start a national food store chain that allows us to buy locally sourced basics at an affordable regulated price (no alcohol though, class that as a luxury item)
So, the government would now have exact knowledge of how much each person/ family needs in order to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table because those basic rates are set and immovable – the only benefits needed above that are for bill payments + travel costs which could be set depending on where a person lives and the type of energy they use.
If the food store was set up as an internet based model then they could cut costs by emailing vouchers and shopping online; if it was set up properly then each household could just have their own account and even the need for emailed vouchers is removed; the family would automatically be credited with the amount they can spend each week/ month. I realize not every household has the internet but again, here the govt. could help by ensuring it is a necessity in every new build as part of their ‘no child left behind’ mantra; in a society where toddlers are being introduced to ipads in schools the internet at home IS a necessity.
In order to staff this enterprise without further cost to the government could mean allowing anyone to work on these without it affecting their benefits for a set amount of time each week (similar to the shelf stacking initiative fiasco but without the free labour going to a company that makes millions in profit off the backs of it) you would voluntarily sign up for your hours when you go to the job centre to sign on and instead of pay choose from vouchers to gain access to participating gyms equivalent to the hours worked or having the ability to get cinema/ theater tickets or other social/ entertainment incentives; the kind of things that they’d like to spend their money on if they had it. If they fail to attend their shift without a sick note/ evidence of job interview then just like with a normal job you get your pay docked.
The upshot? More ACTUAL jobs for people as management and some full time staff will be required to keep it running efficiently. People will be less likely to fall into the depression trap of having no work or purpose if unemployed for a lengthy amount of time as they would still have some kind of structure to their days. No food price changes means allowing families to budget properly instead of having to wait for sales and offers or bulk buys, just ensure each family gets vouchers that cover the weekly basics of a healthy diet, they can be spent individually or saved up and spent on a bulk buy according to the family needs – anything above the basic staples they can get from the normal supermarkets if they have the funds for it after paying for transport and utilities.
Obviously losing the stress caused by trying to just make ends meet will cut the number of people needing medical help and if those same people eat healthily then there is even less chance of them adding strain to the medical system thereby cutting NHS costs exponentially.
Once people have the basics covered then they are happier and hope is restored, that hope allows them to get on with life; people with hope are less inclined to turn to crime and happy people are less likely to turn to anti-social behaviour which means the strain on our police force would likely be reduced.
I know this is only the barest outline of what would be required to sort out our problems and set this in motion and I know that it would not run as smoothly as I envisage at first, but it’s still the simplest option to my mind of a way out.
Sadly this will never happen because the government only care about the rich because that is the way the world works, the rich come to power and those in power look at the ways they can make life better for themselves and their immediate circle; yes we all want the power to do that but 98.5% of us will never have the chance and the hope of a better life is getting increasingly smaller for everyone else with every year that passes.