Gideon Osborne wants to cut back on benefits in order to do what he wants to do with the economy.
There is one really pathetic state benefit that he should tackle if he is serious about boosting the economy. The Christmas Bonus.The Christmas Bonus is £10 that is paid to all benefit recipients in late November, it was first paid in the 1970's; I can't recall if it was Mr Heath or Mr Wilson's government who introduced it, but I can remember my Grandmother being thrilled to bits because the £10 enabled her to buy a pair of socks for all of her descendants – the first time she had been able to buy all her kids and grandkids a Christmas present. The Christmas Bonus is still £10 forty years later – it probably costs more than £10 to distribute it and in this day and age ten quid is hardly a bonus of any real value to the recipient. Abolishing the Christmas Bonus would be a sensible saving if one just wants to cut the benefits bill. Let's be honest a tenner at Christmas isn't really a benefit anymore! Ditching the payment and the cost of paying it would make serious inroads into the benefits bill! On the other hand – the best way of boosting the UK economy in the run-up to the important Christmas quarter would be to update the Christmas bonus to a sum that enabled grannies to buy gifts for all their descendents again! Giving every scrounging bastard, older person, tax credit parent, disabled individual, single mum etc a £2K Christmas bonus - that will be spent rather than saved will result in a HUGE boost to the economy! And therein lies the problem of the Tory attitude to solving the economic downturn in these islands' prosperity – the idea that the economy is top down as it use to be 200 years ago, that the "poor" depend on those higher up the financial / social scale is wrong in this day and age. It isn't so now! The way that the mass economy works is that the things that sell best are the things that we ALL must have – if we are on the dole or on a £5K per week – for the economy to grow we must enable the poorest to buy! In a mass international market – the mass is the key to economic success, not the elite – The Cameron / Gideon axis doesn't get this modern truism and is, therefore, bound to fail.