Slash welfare budget, pour money into security – UK

The UK has proposed slashing welfare funding to divert it to the police and armed forces in the wake of the Woolwich attacks, despite MI5 already having been informed enough to have kept tabs on the murder suspects for years.

The MP responsible for work and pensions has been in discussions
with both the defense and home secretaries to heighten security
measures on the British Isles at the expense of up to 3 billion
pounds in welfare, according to a Telegraph report published
Tuesday.

Iain Duncan Smith, from the UK’s ruling Conservative party
proposed that housing benefit for the under-25s be restricted and
state payments could only be given to families with more than two
children, reported the paper. The extra money would be poured
into the police and armed forces.


“Iain Duncan Smith has offered a deal which will protect the
country’s security.”
One senior government source confirmed
to the paper.

A governmental desire to increase security and intelligence
spending has spiked following the brutal Woolwich murder which
happened on May 22. Home Secretary Theresa May has proposed
granting the security services the capabilities to access the
communications data of British residents — a policy which Deputy
PM Nick Clegg already withdrew his support for in April.

Prime Minister David Cameron has also proposed new Tackling
Extremism and Radicalization Task Force (TERFOR) through which a
combination of UK government forces plan to “look at ways of
disrupting individuals who may be influential in fostering
extremism”

Police clash with people in Woolwich in London on May 22, 2013 after a man believed to be a serving British soldier was brutally murdered. (AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

However, great concern has been voiced by some who feel the move
may be ineffectual.

“They’ve got something like 4,000 staff, MI5, and if they
can’t keep an eye on the people who are at the very top of the
watch list, then there needs to be a real shake up and heads need
to roll,”
investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT.

The two suspected Woolwich murderers had been flagged by MI5 for
eight years, with one friend of Adebolajo claiming that MI5 had
even got to the point of attempting to recruit one of the
attackers for their own covert operations.

“MI5’s job is to stop people like this committing acts like
this and they haven’t done it, and this isn’t the first time. If
we go back to the London bombings of 2005, you might remember
that MI5 had been following these guys around as well. Now, all
fair play to them if they can stop some plots taking place, but
these guys were really at the top of the list and if they can’t
stop these people then what are they there for?”
Gosling
questioned.

Welfare expenditure has been repeatedly slashed, with rises in
benefit payments capped at 1 per cent on an annual basis. At the
beginning of April, a series of cuts began to be imposed on the
country, which critics said would strike low-income families and
the financially vulnerable.

A woman reacts as she looks at floral tributes left at the scene where Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in London on May 24, 2013. (AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

On Sunday, the UK’s Mirror reported that one woman who had her
welfare benefits halted died just nine days after she was ordered
to go back to work. She was suffering from high blood pressure,
kidney failure and blackouts, according to the paper, and had
previously required a heart and lung transplant.

However, ‘unprotected’ departments, including the Ministry of
Defence and the Home Office, have also suffered as a result of
expenditure cuts, with defense spending facing a cut of
1.6 billion pounds and the Home Office 800 million pounds.

The two cuts proposed by Duncan Smith have been proposed on a
previous occasion by the UK PM, but weren’t considered to be on
any agenda. The matter is likely to be discussed further in a
spending review next month.

Anxieties have been voiced that the move will widen a deep
existing divide within the Con-Dem coalition.

“The Liberal Democrats will block it – and it will be for them
to explain why it is more important for teenagers to be given
council flats rather than for the nation and its citizens to be
protected,”
an anonymous senior conservative source told the
Telegraph.

This article originally appeared on: RT