10_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,489

Sunday 10 July 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I am mindful today of the last chapter of the book of proverbs in the bible. ‘The words of Lemuel, King of Massa, which his mother taught him’. Here are verses 4 – 7 of what your mum clearly left out of your instruction. “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink, lest they drink and forget the law and what it decrees, and pervert the justice due any of the afflicted. Give strong drink [as medicine] to him who is ready to pass away, and wine to him in bitter distress of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty and [seriously] remember his want and misery no more.”

I wonder what Lemuel’s mum would have thought of the bars and restaurants which we so generously subsidise for you?

Now that he’s taken over the Department for the War on the Poor (DWP), devout Christian Stephen Crabb might like to have a word with David Freud in his latest scheme to micro manage the lives of the poor.

Details are scant but it seems the DWP are trialling a mobile app for managing social security payments. According to Freud, “Claimants are using an app on their phones through which they are receiving and spending their benefit payments. With their consent, their transactions are being recorded on a distributed ledger to support their financial management.” One of the missing details is just what ‘consent’ means, previous form would suggest that it is likely to be consent under threat of sanctions.

There are some big players involved not least Barclays and RWE npower, plus GovCoin Systems, and I wonder how many millions this is costing us? According to Business Wire, “GovCoin Systems is developing a platform to reduce the $1 trillion lost annually due to friction and fraud costs in the distribution of social welfare and aid.” Of the UK’s £164 billion social security budget, approximately £1.2 billion is down to deliberate fraud, so Britain’s part of that magic trillion is 0.12%, plus whatever crazy sums are being dished out in contracts.

Micro managing the lives of the poor is something dear to Freud’s heart because, as everyone knows, the poor can’t handle money, preferring to spend all their income on drink, drugs, cigarettes, tattoos and Olympic sized plasma TV’s, not to mention the Pit Bull Terriers and probably ferrets. Freud, who I doubt has ever actually met a poor person, is clearly of the view that Big Brother state is the answer to all our needs. Personally, I think he’d be enough to drive Jesus to drink. Just reading Freud’s name is enough to set of off my gag reflex and reach for a large one. Here’s mud in your eye!

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160707005803/en/GovCoin-Systems-Implements-Social-Welfare-Payments-Distribution

http://www.fstech.co.uk/fst/GovCoin_Welfare_Payments_Trial.php

http://www.theweek.co.uk/62461/benefit-fraud-v-tax-evasion-which-costs-more

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