22 October 2010

On Yer Bike

What is so wrong with the concept of 'on yer bike' (Tebbitt never actually said it)

The broad idea is that if there isn't work where you live, go and look for it - this has in IDS' terms become related to fairly simple commuting to nearby towns, not even upping sticks

Jeremy Vine is currently talking about Welsh people from Swansea or the famously deprived Methyr Tydfil getting, shock horror, a 50 minute bus ride to Cardiff

The irony strikes me that the poor must have jobs on their doorsteps, but no one bats an eyelid that the 'wealthy' in the south east have to sit on the M25 for an hour or catch a 7.05 train to London

I happen to live by the busiest commuter line in the country (Cambridge-London), it carries thousands every morning into King's Cross and Liverpool St, and if you've ever been on one of these trains you would know that you will not get a seat 9 times out of 10 - people in business suits crammed in reading their iphones while standing, some sit on the floor in their suits - it is not a pleasant experience

I admit the pay accommodates this, we're not talking min wage, but most of these people are not paid masses (check the slightly later trains for them), and train fares are thousands a year, so much that my commuter friends have loans for them - these people are getting on their bikes every day, and my other friends have either moved into London, or commute to nearby big towns - none work where they live or grew up, and nor do they all work in offices being paid well (some do), I refuse to be a commuter and in turn am paid worse - every day workers are expected to get on their metaphorical bikes, but the unemployed can't?

Job Centres even pay for travel to interviews this sort of distance - so why are they so loathe to move? They say low wages don't make up for the transport (a bus ride is probably an hour's pay of each day at most), but welcome to the real world - thousands of pounds a year to commute either by train or car will see you lose masses of your salary, let alone taxation, people don't want to pay this - but they have to!

Most people do not think it is right to claim benefit and do not weigh their benefits against employment - if I could claim more on benefit than my salary I would still work, because I had a job and that's my money, benefits are not another form of income

And what is so wrong with moving? As I've said, I have friends who moved to London for fairly humble work, I even used to have a teacher from Methyr who railed against those who refused to leave, I know fairly well to do people who became very hard up - they moved, in a period of less than five years, down to Dorset, then to Sussex and finally to Suffolk chasing whatever jobs they could find - Polish immigrants are, fairly obviously, moving from their homes in search of work, we were doing it centuries ago, as the poor rural workers headed to the cities for work, and we still do - there is simply a small group who refuse to accept this notion (I admit that local government may hinder this, and it should be reformed)

This issue about it being more profitable to not work should not even come about - it's wrong, and clearly people don't appreciate that, having grown up on it probably, so the government should cut benefit to non-workers - it should always be better to work than sit on your arse, people seem to forget that those who work are putting themselves through hardship, paying for everything themselves, waking up at 7am, maybe getting home after 6pm after spending the whole day at a desk, or whatever, and they have to pay for everything themselves, probably about a fifth of their earnings on getting there in the first place!

Meanwhile people who do nothing to get their own money whinge when it is cut - not realising that they get to stay at home all day, which workers would love to be able to do - see the kids more, do the housework, cook more etc

I don't mind state support - but it is not a lifestyle choice, so I think it is right that the government want to cap benefits, and I also agree with 'on yer bike' - we all bloody do it! Do not provide free houses to non-workers, do not give them unlimited pay cheques, but limit it to a year or two and then on reduce it to a very basic level - use the savings made for other incentives, subsidise transport, subsidise rent and pay benefits to those on minimum wage, who truly are the ones suffering - do not pay people to stay unemployed, who say it costs more to work!

*This was meant to be a short and concise rant...oops

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