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Cheers - AE

Monday, 11 October 2010

Red Ed, rich man's friend?

Is Red Ed trying to ditch the 'Red' tag by sucking up to the wealthy and suggesting that child benefit should be available to millionaires? I'm not sure.
Asked whether he would condone handing out Government cash to the super-rich, the new Labour leader said he was against any move towards underminining the universal principal.
Despite the fact that the universal principle absolutely guarantees that people who don't need it will get it. Does that make any sense? Mr and Mrs Nuclearfamily with a full time job each might be grateful for the extra help child benefit brings for their 2.4 kids, though letting them both keep more of what they earn in the first place would be more cost effective and could probably benefit them even more in cash terms. But what will probably boil their piss even more than walking baby factories with designer jeans and fake tits getting it is the fact that everyone on The Sunday Times Rich List is entitled - entitled - to it as well, despite their collective worth being estimated at £335.5 billon. But as far as Ed's concerned that's fine.
"I'm in favour of that yes, and I'm in favour of it because it's a cornerstone of our system to have universal benefits, and frankly there aren't that many millionaires in this country," he told BBC1's The Politics Show.

"Families on £45,000 need child benefit in my view and it's a way that society recognises the costs of having kids."
Kids are not compulsory. Nor are they a right. Would you introduce a BMW benefit as a way of society (by which Ed probably means the state) recognising the cost of having a luxury German saloon? Of course you fucking wouldn't. Governments, left leaning ones especially, tend to look at that decision as an excuse for you to have even more money taken away from you, not to be given piles of money taken from other people. Having children isn't quite a positive choice in the same way that buying a new car is but they don't just show up one morning. Despite the occasional confused use of the term 'accident' for 'unplanned and not properly thought through' having children is something that can almost always be avoided if you don't want them, and so there is still a very large element of personal choice involved. When so many personal choices are something that attracts more tax what makes the choice to have, or at least not avoid, children something you get paid a universal benefit for even if you lose larger sums of money down the back of the sofa?

As for Britain's supposed shortage of millionaires, well, Ed, your mob did nothing to stop the one eyed madman who used to lead your party from chasing as many of them out of the country as he could, but despite that The Sunday Times suggests otherwise. Nor is the precise number that relevant anyway. Does someone with a Roman Abramovich size bank balance need child benefit? Of course they bloody don't, and I highly doubt Red Ed believes they do. But what he undoubtably does believe is that the state should have a role in everybody's lives on a personal, family, and financial level, and that is what universal benefit does achieve.

It's been pointed out that benefits for the middle classes are something of a sweetener to make them feel a little bit better about the amount of tax they pay. That may be true but I suspect there's a little more to it than that. To Ed and his fellow travellers anything that enhances the importance of the state and reduces the relevance of the individual is A Good Thing, and if that means giving money to people who don't need it, having first taken the money off them at gunpoint, of course, then so be it. Making any sense is not the object of the exercise. Making the state the ultimate arbiter is.

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