Jeremy Vine was joined by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who argued the government should extend the bonus to those in financial difficulty. However, Mike Parry argued those on benefits need to start looking for work and not rely on the government to subsidise their lifestyle. He insisted tax-payers could not continue to support the 1.6 million unemployed in the UK.
“This is not a reduction in benefits prior to 2020,” Parry stated.
“£20 was added on in 2020 to help in the difficult circumstances of the pandemic.
“It’s now being stopped and it’s got to be stopped to balance up the economy.
“You can’t have the government subsiding the workforce all of the time.
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“This all comes from Universal Credit when there was so many people coming into this country the price of labour was forced so far down, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown in those days, had to start subsidising the workers because they didn’t have a living wage.
“Well you can’t keep on.”
“Well the minimum wage, that was there for that,” Vine cut in.
Parry continued: “Exactly but even the workers weren’t being paid that fruit picking and that sort of thing so he was having to give them more money because the employers weren’t paying them.
“Now, we’ve got 1.6 million people in this country unemployed so we’ve got to get rid to get rid of subsidies and entice people to work by earning a decent wage and push the cost of labour up.”
Vine asked: “What about that Yasmin, that we don’t need universal Credit because there are jobs?”
“Yes but not jobs everybody can do,” Alibhai-Brown replied. “And not jobs spread evenly around the country.
“To get a job, it takes time. I think for this interim period if we can afford to spend the money on arms that we spend as a nation, if we can afford to have royal yachts, if we can afford – and this is because the Cabinet is all filthy rich I have to say – unlike David Davis, they have never known the difficulties of an ordinary low paid person’s life.
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“It’s all very well for you Mike to say, ‘Oh yes there’s jobs going,’ there are young mums doing two to three part time jobs and they can’t make it work.
“I think we can extend this for another year,” she continued as Parry exclaimed: “No we can’t.”
“You live in a penthouse, of course you don’t,” Alibhai-Brown raged. “How ridiculously unsympathetic are you?”
“It will be another year after that and another year after that,” Parry insisted. “You have to draw the line.