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to think that there are people who choose to live a life on benefits?

(1000 Posts)
autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 11:51:39

the recent threads about George Osbourne made me wonder..
A high number of posters say that people don't choose to live like that, they stumble into it, hate it, what a miserable existence it is, nobody would ever choose it etc..
but if you have two or three children through choice, whilst at the same time having no job to provide for them, or if you turn down the job at the local factory (as I know someone who did) because it pays £7.50 an hour and a full time job there doesn't give you the same unemployment rights and benefits, isn't that choosing to live a life on benefits? Or being trapped on benefits? I'm not talking about people who can't work, disabled people, ill people, women dumped by feckless ex and left to fend for herself etc.. of course they should be protected.
I was watching 999 What's Your Emergency and I know that area. And I know people like that exist. And it's often a second, third generation who have never worked a day in their life, even during times when work was freely available. In the town I live, we have numerous Eastern European immigrants who all seem to be working, but mostly in low paid work the locals wont do
What say you?

jam17 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:14:46

I have a friend you had a baby at 16. We're now 22 ( I have a one year old, me and DP work). She is still on benefits. Never worked a day in her life and doens't intend to.

She's claims she wouldn't be much better off,well not enough to move her arse from the sofa.
I have another friend who is now having her third child (dad of children 1&2 is in prison, child 3 is with a new partner). She's 22. If you have two children and live on benefits and didn't get any gcse's, then why have a third? It's an active choice to have that many children! She also has the cheek to moan about her house being to small (2 bed). makes me FUMING.

I had to turn that 999 programme off. DP said the woman they kept interviewing needed to be put down grin she was a vile sponger

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:15:00

no Snorbs, obviously not.
But how we do help create a culture which underlines the importance of personal responsibility? How do we get that message across?
Yes,we need to increase the minimum wage, create new jobs.. but there are things people can do to make themselves more employable: do voluntary work, move to a different area, (did this myself on a shoestring budget) do lower paid work we might be overqualified for. Yes there are fewer jobs. There are fewer opportunities. But I don't recognize the UK described on Mumsnet, the 'there are NO JOBS in the whole entire country, we're all doomed, etc.'

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:15:07

'There are entire postcodes where no one works. '

Didn't know that; examples please?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:15:35

Yes, there are. However big or small the number, it's pernicious and will grow, inevitably, through generations.

olgaga Wed 10-Oct-12 12:17:06

You have to ask yourself whether you want a society where the alcoholics, drug addicts and other people who are for whatever reason unemployable are out on the streets desperate and destitute - begging, stealing and making life rather tiresome for everyone else.

Which is what would happen if benefits were withdrawn from this relatively small number of people.

Noqontrol Wed 10-Oct-12 12:17:51

It is a lifestyle choice for some.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:18:39

I'm not going to name examples because they are places where I have family. But areas where large numbers of people don't work do exist. Where young girls nearly all have babies and next to none have jobs.

Deny it if you want to, it won't stop it being true.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:19:25

What I don't get is, you have all these stories on here, then you get people who say No! it doesn't ever happen!

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:19:37

Brycie, that's my worry. The future. People say 'oh well, it's only a small number, so it doesn't matter, we should keep paying and stop thinking about it', but I worry about the start of a new cycle of dependence which will impact on future generations and affect my childrens children.

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:20:31

Poverty costs.

Healthcare, education (which is why we have an extra payment for kids on FSM now), social services, long term employability of their children etc.... it adds up.

You would have to strip the claimant and their children of all rights to any state services to make cutting benefits from them worthwhile.

You would then start losing people to suicide, abuse and starvation rapidly.

Not OK.

Paradisefound Wed 10-Oct-12 12:20:44

Some people don't know any different their parents never worked. Whenever we have a delivery whether it be tesco food shopping or parcel from yodel it's always a polish person or more recently a spanish youngster... It amazes me that these youngsters can travel to the uk and pick up work so easily.

A major cultural change is occurring in Britain .. A lot of people won't like it.. But the next generation will be more accepting. The transition will be painful.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 12:21:30

I work in the minimum wage retail sector and unfortunately there seems to be a growing trend in the number of my female staff who aspire to become single mums in order to receive accommodation and I think it has a direct link to the price of housing in this part of the country and they think it's the only way they will ever be able to 'leave home' sad It may just be where I work though smile

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:21:58

Autumn, I think changes in education may help. I'm hoping so. Chidlren from underprivileged backgrounds have been failed for so long by sorry to use this word but soppy standards and a refusal to acknowledge failure or encourage success. Nobody wanted to oppress them with things that could help like, you know, times tables and grammar. Standards will I hope get better and that can only give hope.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:23:21

There is a lot in what Peachy says. There would be short term pain but in the end the longer term pain would be deeper. Improvements in education are the only real way to long term improvement.

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:23:35

I'm uncomfortable with the left wing view that we should just accept that it happens and not think about it because 'we will always have people like that'
How defeatist and depressing is that? That is NOT the country I want to live in.

Snorbs Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:05

Maybe we could start by having a culture where personal responsibility is seen as a positive thing from the people at the top and let that trickle down society. Eg, let's not have MPs creaming tens of thousands of pounds in dodgy expense claims, investment bankers not making huge investments in things they can't be arsed to find out if they're worth investing in and subsequently ruining the whole economy and then walking away with large bonuses, politicians blatantly lying to the electorate, convicted criminals on the House of Lords, police officers getting off scot-free for offences that would put ordinary people in jail, or members of the royal family whoring out their connections for money.

Maybe if we sort all that bullshit out, those at the bottom end of society might have some more positive role models and decide that, actually, taking personal responsibility might be a good idea.

I don't think that everyone is, but after watching 999 what's your emergency it would seem that there are some people who do.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:32

Yes me too. I don't think we have to make more "people like that"!

ladywithnomanors Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:39

YABU to think that these people exist , of course they do but like other posters point out the government can't just cut their money off as there are usually children involved.
The prime example of someone who 'works' the system is an aquaintance of mine. She is 30, has 7 children between the ages of 8 months and 10 years. Neither her nor her partner work and she has just announced she is expecting number 8. I kid you not. No doubt she will continue to have children as she sees it as her right and live off the state for the next god knows how many years.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:56

Paradise, that's another thing that people like to deny.

It is a fact that there are people from other countries that will do work that British people don't want to do. I can see where it comes from, we all think we are entitled to minimum wage and excellent working conditions, but when there are people around who will do anything, and a system that will support you if you don't want to do anything, then what do we expect?

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:25:39

Brycie I think that may be school dependent; I ahve ahd children in the state education sector now for 8 years and we have always ahd grammar and time tables to learn!

Not that poor kids ever get encouraged to study. I guess I don;t exist, what with my council house upbringing, 2 sisters with high levels quals and good careers, degree and almost complete MA.

There is no 'unemployed / poor / lower earning people do X and better off / hardworking* / other people do Y'.

*coz everyone knows that hard working and lower earning are never compatible. Honest. (That was more of a general rant than targeted at anyone here)

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:27:35

I think we need to ask WHY people from other countries can sometimes be able?

Could it be becuase they live in tiny housing 12 to a room with their families back home and don;t have to pay high childcare costs here, as an example?

Could it be that it is the employers who recruit who have the bias?
Outraged I asked you for an example postcode?

Nagoo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:27:48

The thing is, that you get out of it with a two line caveat: 'oh I don't mean old or disabled people or children or carers'.

And so we forget about them, and focus on hating Jeremy Kyle reprobates. And then when the government says 'WELFARE CUTS' we are all supposed to all think 'GOOD'.

This makes me livid.

EdgarAllanPond Wed 10-Oct-12 12:28:15

i have known people to make that choice (to some extent myself included)

but what of it? it doesn't change the total number unemployed, the company just recruited their positions

Jinsei Wed 10-Oct-12 12:28:38

Abuse of the system undoubtedly happens. The trouble is, any attempt to stamp our such abuse will inevitably impact also on innocent people who have no choice about their circumstances. Should these people be punished for the sins of a small minority?

Personally, I'd rather sub a few scroungers than deny those who are genuinely in need.

What system do you think the government should put in place to distinguish between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor?

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