The coalition government today announced it is looking at possible ways of making the way benefits are paid fairer to all. Currently certain benefits, such as the winter fuel allowance and child benefit are paid at the same rate to all claimants, regardless of income. Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told reporters “At a time when all departments and all sectors of society are force to make efficiency savings, it simply is not sustainable for certain benefits to be paid at the same rate and in the same way to people with wildly differing needs. We are therefore blue skying a number of ways of streamlining the benefits system, with targeted delivery of certain benefits allowing us to reduce welfare dependency and the budget deficit”.
Ideas being considered include replacing child benefit for middle income earners with vouchers redeemable at Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and John Lewis, ditching the winter fuel allowance in favour of a one off “conservatory grant”, and introducing a weekly Koi Carp payment to help towards the upkeep of ornamental fish. There is also the possibility of introducing the private sector into the benefits system, with Cash Converters expressing an interest in taking over the running of all job centres.
Labours Yvette Cooper, shadow work and pensions secretary, immediately denounced the plans. She told the BBC “This simply shows the true nature of the this coalition. During the election campaign David Cameron promised to protect these payments to everyone as he was, if anything, even more scared of losing the middle class vote than we were. Now he’s got into power he’s simply showing that he doesn’t even care about who his policies affect. He is at once both terrified and disdainful of the public, and frankly it’s not on. How are we meant to come up with a coherent argument against these policies when we don’t even know if we agree with them or not? Or what they mean? They probably stole them from us anyway; this coalition has clearly got no ideas or policies of their own. Unless they do in which case we disagree with whatever they are. God I miss having a driver. How could the bloody proles let this lot in to wreck the country when we were more than capable of doing that ourselves? Ungrateful ingrates”.
Deputy Head Boy Nick Clegg later responded to these claims, saying “I don’t know, who cares? Look, Dave said its ok, and he got a hundred percent in his maths coursework. Anyway sod off, Hollyoaks is about to start”.