Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

By George, he's got it! A plan to tax all those getting it too easy

George Osborne
George Osborne

At the time of writing, an online petition to get Iain Duncan Smith to live for a year on £53 a week has reached nearly half a million signatures.

People want him to put this very small amount of money where his mouth is and spend 12 months experiencing the lifestyle that his policies will be enforcing on loads of people. What we're asking for is a little empathy.

Perhaps George Osborne, stung by criticism that he is removed from the lives of ordinary people, was trying for some empathy last week when he parked (sorry, his taxpayer-funded chauffeur parked) his car in a space for disabled drivers. Maybe George wanted to experience life, albeit briefly, while nipping in for a sandwich, as a disabled person.

No doubt he thought to himself: "Hey, this is fantastic! I don't know what all those disabled oiks are whinging about! They get to park right next to the shop! If that's not a perk, I don't know what is! I wonder if I could take credit for it? Or better still, could I tax it somehow? I mean, it's kind of unfair on the rest of us, the strivers, that we should be funding these easi-parking lifestyles of the disabled. In fact, I'm sure I read about a crime recently that was committed by someone who claims disability benefits.

"That's it! I can say with authority that we need to have a debate in this country about why we are funding these cushy parking spaces that allow these disabled people to go out and commit crimes!

"See? There's a policy decision made and it's not even lunch-time. If only everyone in this country was a striver like I am then we wouldn't be in the economic mess we're in. Well, they're in.

"I'm obviously not in a mess, personally, since I'm doing alright, thank you very much. It's these whinging types that need sorted. What is it we're calling them now? The Precariat class – the precarious proletariat. Ha! I like that! The Shaky Proles. Sounds like a great name for a band.

"See? I'm not a fuddy duddy who's removed from the real world. I know about things, like bands and music and that ... in fact, I must look out those old cassettes of mine, I wonder where they are, must be in the spare room. Hmm ... but which spare room, that's the thing. I don't have time to search through dozens of rooms in my houses.

"These people complaining about the bedroom tax, they don't know they're living. If they want to lay their hand on an old cassette they simply go into the single spare room and find it. Easy peasy!

"In fact, far too bloody easy. What we need is a debate about why we're funding the lifestyle of these people who can easily find anything they've packed away in a spare room.

"They should have more rooms ... make life a bit of a challenge ... something to strive for.

"I know! I'm going to introduce a new bedroom tax on anyone who only has one spare room and force them to move hundreds of miles across the country to live in a bigger dwelling so they actually have to do a bit of exercise when they want to find something! Simples! As they say on that meerkat ad ... and people say we're out of touch!"