The welfare state should act as a trampoline

Because I am openly centre-right in my politics it is assumed by my critics that I somehow do not agree with the welfare state. The truth is actually quite the opposite, I believe however the current system promotes passivity that is extremely unhelpful, and it should be radically changed to enable and empower people to get back on track and be the best versions of themselves.

Everyone can have one or more episodes of difficulties in their lives for a whole range of reasons. This should be accepted as a part of life but what is important is how people respond and supported to overcome their difficulties. Money should only ever be seen as part of the solution as more direct support should be provided to remove barriers and when needed, to provide training on how to manage lifestyle issues.

I am aware that many disabled activists as rebelled against the idea of a more proactive welfare state. They regard employment and other support as an attempt to deny their impairment status and assume they are unfairly ‘fit for work’. The notion of ‘fit for work’ is an unhelpful one that assumes a 2 tier status of citizens. Instead, I regard that for those unable prepared to immediately obtain paid employment, they are somewhere on the pathway to obtain paid employment even if the goal is unlikely to be achieved, which is something no one can predict.

Impairment may indeed never be cured but it can be managed, which means people can reach a stable understanding of what they achieve including reaching an emotional acceptance and even happiness with their situation. Reaching this point is likely the hardest part of the process and something the current system does not assist with.

The decision to move away from seeing people needing welfare assistance as passive is a politic sensitive one because it is a fundamental difference between left wing and right wing politics. The left wing appears to see welfare as just a right, while the right wing also sees it as a responsibility.

The solution to the welfare state required is more advanced than this current era of politics to understand and may be hard to sell to those needing welfare support in an era of rights and identity politics. Support has to be available to meet what individuals need to fulfil their outcomes, not as compensation people ‘feel’ they deserve because someone self-defines themselves as having an impairment label despite the label having no relation to what they actually require.

The state should desire citizens to be less dependent on them as far as possible as good governance although it may hard to sell to claimants who see things differently. It may remain a system which is perceived toxic whatever happens.

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