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to think benefits are a safety net against poverty, not a cushion against an uncomfortable life ?

(310 Posts)
TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:02:52

Prompted by a thread where somebody said "DH has lost his job, what benefits are we entitled to?"

Sorry, but its the duty of ALL those on more than average wages (£26k per household) to put money aside for a rainy day.
No wonder the country is up to its eyes in debt if people first think about benefits rather than self reliance.

The benefit system should be to prevent true poverty, no more.

The American system has too many gaps. Most European systems, including that in the UK, provide far too comfortable a cushion, at far too high a cost to the next generation (as historically current over generous benefits have been kicked down the road to be paid for by our children who will never be entitled to such things).

Oh yeah, and we have to live here because it's the only place in the uk where dh's highly specialised job exists.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 18:39:16

Just to add I for one am certainly not happy to support people who own two homes.

Money away for a rainy day?????

So how is one supposed to put enough away for mortgage, food and basic bills as well as er... paying for mortgage, food and basic bills???

We don't live in a society anymore where people can be self reliant. Being able to survive depends on having money or help. I can't dig up the path outside to grow food, or chop down wood from our council estate bushes as fuel. I can;t just suddenly leave our house and school etc to go working somewhere else to work.

What is your situation OP? HOW have you managed to stay benefit free?

Empusa Sun 30-Sep-12 18:41:56

"I'm yet to see any constructive thoughts"

For someone who claims to want a sensible discussion you haven't engaged in one at all. You know it's 2 sided right? But you go ahead and hide the thread. We'll all carry on having a sensible discussion in your absence

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:42:22

I'm on benefits and it's not a lifestyle choice. I'm in receipt of benefits from Irish government though. I have two children, school day shorter here, my earning capability is not enough ( especially in a recession and Ireland is in the middle of an awful recession due to lack of banking regulation) to run a household on my own PLUS childcare costs. To put it simply it takes a team to raise children and I can't be in two places at once!

FEEL FREE to re-direct your judgement towards my children's father who is RESOLUTELY DETERMINED not to pay maintenance. he does however pay a LOT of tax. So maybe he sees it that some of his tax is going to his children?

We're (almost) benefit free because we earn just too much to qualify, but not quite enough to do much more than live. Lucky I'm good at finding bargains.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:42:49

Chibi
yippee a valid point at last.
You are so right, its insane that the benefits system is used to make poxy wages affordable.
It would be so, so, so much better if ERS NI was cut for small employers and the NMW was increased so that those in work did not have to go through the hoops and insults of dealing with the tax credits system - and the employers actually paid a living wage to their staff, rather than it coming from elsewhere. (Tesco and workfare being the most odious recent example)

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:43:51

So you start a shit stirring goady thread picking on another poster, and a thread about a thread, then announce no one is meeting your standard of "acceptable" answers so you're going to hide the thread? You really are some piece of work aren't you?

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 30-Sep-12 18:44:10

"I'll hide this thread soon" So start shit stirring, then leave?

Why dont you direct your anger and despair at the government who thought it would be better to cut cut cut rather than look at ways of keeping jobs in place?

Even now, when their plan hasnt worked, they are continuing to cut services and jobs, while blaming the poor for the situation.

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:44:29

We spend every penny of our wages on essentials sad food, bills, mortgage, clothing for our children. I do put £10 a month away for each of our children so maybe I could raid their piggy banks to pay for a weeks worth of shopping should we loose our job.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 30-Sep-12 18:45:12

Odious I think.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:45:17

RatherBe - great minds grin

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Sun 30-Sep-12 18:45:59

That was * believing btw doh.

If people are on low incomes and are working they will be in receipt of top up benefits vivienne

There is a benefits calculator somewhere that can tell you hw much a family with 3 kids on a low working income would be entitled to and how much a non working family would.

But I can't be arsed. The facts tend to ruin the mood.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 18:46:18

The tax credit system sadly has merely encouraged employers to pay lower and lower wages. So they can have enhanced profits. Not exactly the intention.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 18:47:49

But I agree few people can put away enough to tide them over even a very short time with no income. Even those on quite decent wages.

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 18:49:17

Your posting on here so you clearly have a computer or smart phone or something. Why don't you sell the item, put the money away for a rainy day and clear off. Much better idea than hiding the thread as it will provide income for if/when you have a predicament

expatinscotland Sun 30-Sep-12 18:49:49

You can claim contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance even with savings! Imagine that!

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:51:12

Liz been there - I'm the kid whose dad did not pay up.
And yes, if you have young kids you cannot be expected to work full time, so should get support to work when fits with you - NOT be in a trap that every pound you earn is taken £1.20 off your tax credits / HB / free prescriptions allowance.
So there has to be a better way.

Tax credits were great in theory : the state ensured that every working family earned at least £17,500 a year.
Except that it was done with borrowed money
and the big employers were encouraged to shaft employees and hire EU immigrants who were not entitled to benefits ...

and now the merry go round has stopped, the debts have to be paid, benefits are being cut
but in SUCH a grossly unfair way (ATOS tests are just offensive IMHO)
and house prices have been allowed to bubble so high that those suddenly out of work are genuinely scared about a roof over their heads while they look for a new job
(at least they still have access to hospitals while out of work, more than in the USA)

I'm gobsmacked that the brain power evident elsewhere on MN is not brought to bear on this issue ...

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:52:12

Talkingpeace2, imo, the problem is that WAGES are too low. If there are people who could work but can't because they can't afford to, then the problem is not that they're lazy scroungers, the problem is that wages for an awful lot of jobs are really really low, and working costs.

I could sell my laptop, but then, what would I do every night? I don't think i'd get much for it, and besides, my brother gave it to me. he'd be surprised if i sold it I think. I don't have loads of valuable things I can sell. I'll hang on to my tv thanks (it was 178e)

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:53:00

OMFG they should get down on their knees and thank the hard workers like you that they get access to a hospital.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:53:30

It's always raining in the uk, better start saving for a sunny day instead

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:54:43

talking peace is it tax credits you have a problem with? It seems to be the main focus of your argument.
It costs the government less to top up families with tax credits than to support them on full benefits. I don't understand your point?

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:54:46

@ talkinpeace, and another thing that drives me nuts is that although I'm in the process of taking my x to court to try and get maintenance, that costs me e1000. my 'rainy day' fund. and when he defies a court order to pay maintenance, do you know what will happen to him!!! ??? Fuck ALL sad

I am VERY sensitive about being on benefits. BUT I am glad that the system is there to protect the vulnerable. I would hate to be in my shoes in America. Although, maybe in America the maintenance would be deducted at source??

Empusa Sun 30-Sep-12 18:54:52

"I'm gobsmacked that the brain power evident elsewhere on MN is not brought to bear on this issue .."

Oh I know, you really do come to expect a higher standard of OP

I still want to know what your problem is with someone losing their job and claiming benefits is?

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