Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Government Wins Control of Own Money

The Court of Appeal ruled that the government was entitled to control the benefits that are paid to the families of terror suspects. The government had suspended some payments fearing that some of that money was being channelled into terrorism. They also imposed restrictions on the way the money could be used. Three wives had appealed on the grounds that the restrictions were "intrusive and inconvenient".

One question that is raised by this case is what entitlement do people have to benefits. The money, at the end of the day, does not belong to these women, it belongs to the people of Great Britain. Essentially, what these women appear to be claiming is that the government has no rights over its own money (hence the title of this post) but must pay them what they want. Extending the argument to everyone in the country and the government becomes unable to reduce/change/scrap any welfare benefits, which is ludicrous. (Report here)