Nelson McCausland 'one strike and your out’ policy for anyone accused of ‘benefit fraud’

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Northern Ireland social security minister Nelson McCausland has announced further plans to reform the welfare benefits system including imposing a ‘one strike and your out’ policy for anyone accused of ‘benefit fraud’. The new penalty will cut a claimant's benefit, or stop it entirely, for four weeks following a first fraud offence.  This is part of a continuing assault on welfare claimants rights and conditions such as the ‘steps to work programmes’ where we are forced to work for slave wages in token programmes which offer little employment at the end of it.

This is the latest anti-working class measure from a right wing neo-liberal assembly penalising us for bearing the brunt of recession which we were not responsible for. Many of us are left with very little option after living on the peanuts offered by the welfare state but to work ’cash in hand’ jobs now and again to survive. Instead we should be fighting to improve our benefits, wages and conditions generally as part of a wider campaign against public sector cuts.

 The most richest in our society have billions stashed away in offshore accounts through the various tax avoidance schemes which if pursued could be used to prevent the slashing in social services and public sector cuts, but again the priority for any government is to protect the interests of the rich and its lackeys. As always one rule for them one rule for the rest of us!

We need to resist any attempts from our local politicians and media spin-machine to divide us from one another, from private to public sector workers to migrant workers and those of us who have been dumped on the dole cues, solidarity and unity is strength.

WORDS: Sean Matthews

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