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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Loaded questions to obtain the "right" responses.


Cameron says" We want to hear your views. Please take our survey to have your say" A contemptible exercise in public manipulation.





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A glaringly barefaced example of how questions can be "loaded", to ensure that only the response required by the questioner can be given.

Capping benefits to ensure that an out of work household can claim no more than an average family actually earns by working sounds attractive, but fails to address the stark reality that average earnings are being driven down by government policy, causing many working people to actually claim benefits. The government are using the decline in average earnings, caused by their own policies, to cut overall benefit levels. A vicious circle, which suits government and employers objectives.

Housing benefit payments are determined, not by those claiming the benefit, but by those setting the cost of housing. Landlords both in the private and the social housing sectors have enjoyed a steady source of income from local authorities paying housing benefit, often directly into the landlords rent account. In the case of social housing, the vast majority of such accommodation is provided by Housing Associations which have seen their incomes grow significantly over recent years.
It is the level of rents being charged in the rented sector which need to be controlled or capped, not the level of the housing benefit trying to keep pace with an increasing problem.

When workers wages and salaries are increasing by less than 1% per year, and yet inflation is running at over 3% per annum, (I use the real figure rather than the “doctored” RPI and CPI figures produced by government statistical departments), it is obscene to suggest that benefit levels are racing ahead of workers wages. For as long as earnings are held down by artificially contrived justification from public sector and private sector employers, then comparisons are malicious and produced only for mischievous and divisive purposes.

The “Help to work scheme” has been, rightly criticised, in many quarters as being nothing more that a wretched publicity stunt, produced by government to provide cheap or even free labour to employers and to allow the “unemployed and claiming benefit” figures to show a month on month fall, albeit that the reduction is marginal. Not that this would stop various government “spokespersons” to loudly herald that “our policies are working and this fall in unemployment is good news for the country”, on every television or media interview that they are invited to give. The fact that the “Help to work scheme” is underpinned by the most draconian and unfair sanctions ever devised and is administered by what in many cases has been demonstrated to be an inept and ignorant set of “assessors”, is conveniently ignored.



In this reprehensible “Survey” promoted by the Conservatives, it would be possible to respond “Strongly agree” to most questions asked as each point appeals to the emotions of the responder. That is the, not very subtle, reasoning behind the construction of the points. The government could then claim overwhelming support for their policies to “TO FIX THE WELFARE SYSTEM “, when in fact the complete opposite in the case.

A pathetic and contemptible exercise attempting to influence public responses from a pathetic and contemptible Conservative government.