Dave New World: The Greedy and Breedy

By DeusExMacintosh

The new cap on family benefits will encourage “responsibility” about the number of children people have, a cabinet minister has said.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt told BBC Two’s Newsnight that the state should not support families who get more in benefits than the average family earns. But Mr Hunt said a ceiling of about £26,000 per household in benefits was not a “penalty” on large families.

However, Labour leader Ed Miliband accused him of “lecturing” people.

Chancellor George Osborne unveiled proposals on Monday for a maximum limit on the amount of benefits a family can claim from 2013. Mr Hunt said that, with the exception of the disabled, no family would receive more in benefits than the average family got from going out to work.

“The number of children that you have is a choice and what we’re saying is that if people are living on benefits then they make choices but they also have to have responsibility for those choices,” he said.

“It’s not going to be the role of the state to finance those choices.”

Mr Hunt added: “You can have children but if you are going to ask for support that is more than the average wage that people earn then we’re saying no, the state shouldn’t support that.

“That’s not fair on working people who have to pay the taxes to pay those benefits.”

BBC News

4 Comments

  1. Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    The logic of cameron breaks down for those who had their horde of kids while having a well-above-average income stream, and then lose their jobs through corporate collapse or onset of disability. That possibility would scare many smug types currently in good employment.

    And there is the risk of having to make kids of “every sperm is sacred” types wardds of the state, which would be more expensive.

    Mind you, i /do/ agree with his basic thrust as an advocate of a shrinking population, but the problem is the unfairness to the innocent parties, the kids. Perhaps quantining the part of the benefits for stuff for the kids? Unencapsulating annelids!

  2. Patrick
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the basic thrust of restricting benefits to perhaps slightly less than the average salary, but I differ from DB in thinking that we should subsidise kids somewhat – I am an advocate of the shrinking State, not the Shrinking Future!

  3. Posted October 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Like Dave, I’m not fond of the retroactivity implicit in this policy (spot the lawyer), but I do agree that state funding of children, as opposed to family structures, has a dysgenic effect. I remember seeing a conservative tea partier in the States with a big tribe of kids pulled up by a libertarian tea partier. The former was griping about people on welfare until the libertarian asked her how much welfare she received for her eight kids.

    Cue embarrassed silence.

  4. Posted October 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    This policy must have been discussed for a little while… I wonder if they’d made a decision to /not/ announce the “choice” thing before or during the visit by the pope?

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