Thursday, January 12, 2012

In the UK, the 1 percent looks out for the poor

The government's plans to reform welfare were badly hit on Wednesday when it suffered three defeats in the House of Lords on proposed benefit cuts.

Plans to means-test employment and support allowance (ESA) payments for disabled people after only a year were rejected by peers.

The means test would have applied to cancer patients and stroke survivors, and was denounced by Lord Patel, a crossbencher and former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians, as an immoral attack on the sick, the vulnerable and the poor. "If we are going to rob the poor to pay the rich, then we enter into a different form of morality," Patel said.

I'm not familiar with the ins-and-outs of British politics, but until now I honestly thought the House of Lords just sat there and looked pretty--performing more of a ceremonial function than doing actual governance. Now I have to learn some stuff.

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