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?

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:16

I thought migrant workers had a different rate of pay? I thought this was why people employed them rather than British people?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:26

"I ahve ahd children in the state education sector now for 8 years and we have always ahd grammar and time tables to learn!"

Peachy, if I may quote your post! I think this is part of the problem. You sound like a good mum and are doing the grammar and times tables with your children. That means the school is not doing enough.

There are many families without parents like you and if they aren't doing it in school then they aren't doing it. YOU shoudl not have to do the grammar and times tables with your children.

Laquitar Wed 10-Oct-12 12:30:22

I think the few that might choose to be on benefits have some help from family or do some work for ca

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:31:01

Yes, and I said no because the only examples I can honestly give are ones where I have family. Is that not a valid answer? Do you want me to out myself and publicly demean my own family members? hmm

Take it at face value or don't, but don't bang on when I've already answered you.

Yes, I think that people from other countries do get work because of the fact that they are prepared to live in conditions that Brits don't find acceptable for themselves. We do have too much of that lovely 'sense of entitlement'.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:31:12

Laquitar: if you read the thread, it doesn't sound like a few, it sounds like a lot.

Orwellian Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:20

There is an easy way to find out. Cap benefits at 2 children (the replacement rate) and then see if the birth rate falls.

WorriedBetty Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:43

No YANBU - but I often support them - it is what you expect if companies operate to cream off the levels of profit and high salaries for those at the top that they are doing.

What we really need to do is get benefits to be lucrative enough that they compete with shitty contemptuous business owners so that they are forced to spread more money downwards. Personally I would abolish working tax credits etc which are a subsidy to businesses who then take that tax money (effectively) and just pocket it.

We need to create a market where businesses pay living wages when they employ people and stop them seeing business as solely there to enrich a few at the top, but as a key societal and economic function.

The fact that people are better off on the lowest level handourts shows how much business leaders hate their staff.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:57

Brycie, why do you think that parents shouldn't have to do grammar and tables with their children? Why shouldn't parents take some responsibility for their children's education?

Laquitar Wed 10-Oct-12 12:33:08

Sorry.
for cash.

So what can we do to motivate people's and enthuse them to work?

Decent minimum wage
Flexible working options
Autonomy
Control
Aspirations
Employment rights
Employment benefits
Affordable childcare
Decent and affordable public transport
Free and timely healthcare to ensure no health barriers
Free and cheap exercise facilities to increased motivation and alleviate stress
Career progression opportunities
Quality education
Good quality support and intervention services initiated at the 'prevention' stage rather than crisis stage.

Or I suppose we could just bully them into work, remove their rights, make them angry and desperate and put the money we save into prison services and the taxes we save in to home and personal security.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:40:00

Because if parents HAVE to do it it means schools aren't. And schools MUST or we'll be left with an (even bigger) illiterate, innumerate, hopeless underclass. Anything parents do should be extra, because of the parents who won't. It's not enough to think it doesn't matter because these kids will be waxing your kids cars in twenty years while they work in the City, because actually they may be robbing your child's house or, just as bad, have a hopeless, depressing, nothing life. So that means times tables, reading, grammar, spelling, reading reading reading, MUST be done in school.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Wed 10-Oct-12 12:40:16

How can benefits be a "lifestyle" choice? No one can fund a lifestyle on benefits, merely an existence. Are we really, in 2012, going to pull the rug out from under those that are genuinely reliant on assistance for the sake of a minority?

The govt simply don't want to address the real issues so are using distraction tactics. It's abhorrent.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:41:26

Basically, if parents have to do these things at home, and pupils won't learn it without parents' help, then schools aren't doing enough.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:42:10

"How can benefits be a "lifestyle" choice? "

I don't know but they are. Did you read the thread so far.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 10-Oct-12 12:42:16

Totally agree Brycie, education fails the children who need it most with all this reliance on support at home.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:43:26

Thank you... margaret? Very long name!

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:44:06

distraction tactics, addressing a real problem which impacts not just the budget (huge welfare bill) but other issues- drug, gang culture, violence, petty crime, prostitution etc, etc. Don't pretend it's only a 'distraction'!

GossipWitch Wed 10-Oct-12 12:44:55

I think generally a single parent has to pay a 3rd of their income on childcare, the government pay 70% of that, if they have more than one child, childcare costs obviously go up and 70% is paid for, but on top of this they also have to pay rent and council tax and other household bills, most single parents on low paid jobs find it extremely difficult to make ends meet, this is how they are trapped into benefits.

Then you have your 27 year old lad who still lives at home with his parents, who have been on benefits the majority of his life, Father with a dicky heart, mother caring for him and children, chances are that 27 year old lad has probably had a handful of jobs, that have lasted him a maximum of a few weeks, but his mum and dad still provide him with all his needs so he prefers to sign on and play on the playstation. This would be someone who chooses to stay on benefits.

The thing is unless you and your partner are earning copious amounts of money you will still be receiving some amount of benefits, whether it be just child benefit, or you have to apply for tax credits to actually be able to afford your rent/mortgage. So everyone ends up relying on some form of benefit and as it is in their budget to get by, they are effectively trapped on benefits, its just that some people get more than others.

So unless the minimum wage was raised to £15 per hour and rent and housing prices dropped, and health problems no longer existed, the benefits system will still be there and unfortunately there will be a select few who will abuse the system. And there will still be people moaning about those few.

Also if this country wasn't so highly taxed people would be able to afford a lot more, and therefore more people wouldn't need to claim benefits.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:45:41

It's not that schools aren't dong enough, it really isn't. It has to be that parents aren't doing enough. Yes, there are schools that are failing, but there is only so much a school can do. Parents have always been a much bigger influence on a child's attitude to learning than a school could ever hope of being. If parents don't value education then their children's education is stuffed, for all but a small minority of very driven, able children. Even if parents don't help with homework, reading etc, they still have to value it. They spend a lot more time with their children than a teacher ever will.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:48:26

Outraged: while parents aren't doing enough schools must do more. That means if there is not enough time for reading practice or times tables, something must be dropped, and if that's rainforest projects or art, so be it. Nothing will change the parents who don't help, nothing, ever, will ever change the attitude, make them help, make them care. So if you just blame the parents, it's pointless, it doesn't change anything, helps no one. How to resolve the problem? Change the way they're educated.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:52:40

I see what you are saying, I really do. But how do you expect schools to do this? Do you know what goes on inside most schools? Blaming schools is as pointless as blaming the parents. There are teenagers that won't even turn up at school because the parents won't force it, how is the school supposed to fix that? They can't teach older children who don't turn up, or younger children who are late every day having had no breakfast.

Schools simply don't have enough hours in the day to parent whole classes of children.

Tamoo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:08

The example you quoted about a woman who turned down a £7.50 p/h job in favour of living on benefits is probably more complicated than you think.

If you are in receipt of housing benefit, for example, there are thresholds for what you are 'allowed' to earn and still receive assistance with paying your rent.

Thus if you take a job for X no of hours per week earning X per hour, it is quite possible that your entitlement to housing benefit will drop drastically or vanish completely.

Of course, you still need to pay your rent; however the potential job at X per hour does not let you earn enough to pay that rent.

What are you supposed to do? Unless you are renting a property massively overpriced or above your actual needs (which you won't be, because HB barely covers average rent prices in most areas), if you took the job you would lose your home. You would be forced to move (you probably wouldn't be able to afford to do this, because moving between rented properties usually requires upfront payment of £1,000 plus) and/or downsize, probably to a home with fewer bedrooms than would be adequate, or to a place in a rough area, or far away from the job you were going for in the first place. This of course has knock-on effects eg would your kids have to move schools? How would it affect your partner's ability to travel to work?

It's not as easy as saying "Well she should take the job because it's better to be in work, sod everything else." We all have to live, we all need a roof over our heads. Rent prices are uncontrolled and astronomical across the country: I considered moving last year and couldn't afford to, because 2 bed properties in the area I was looking at started at £900 pcm. (And out of interest, a HB calculation for someone with entitlement to the full rate for a 2-bed property - ie not me - was around £800 pcm). I personally would only have been able to afford a studio flat or bedsit in that area, and I come with a DS.

Similarly, JSA: when you find a job you're interested in your advisor does a computerised 'better off' calculation. I did a ton of these when DS was younger and I was on IS. You spot a potential job, you think "Oh yeah, I could do that," and you take it up to the desk. The advisor does the sums and it turns out that you would be £30, £40, £50 per week worse off if you take the job, because of the ensuing adjustments to HB, tax credits etc. These are massive margins to people already on low incomes, to some it represents their entire food and utilities spending p/w.

This is what the benefit trap amounts to. It's not a matter of 'choosing' a life on benefits because you're lazy and feckless. It's because there are no other feasible options available.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:35

Hmm, going from my own personal experience, I turned down work when I was on benefits because, at the end of the day, I had to pay the rent.

Any job I accepted HAD to be able to support me (single person, low rent, no kids) as all my benefits would have automatically stopped once I accepted it. So a job which couldn't pay enough would have meant I was MUCH worse off working than on benefits.

The fault is with a system which provides total help or no help. Top-up help wasn't available to me, so yes, for a while I suppose you could say I chose to live on benefits.

Such is life. Meh.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:53

Do I sound grumpy? I don't mean to. Maybe I should have put in a few exclamation marks or something smile

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 12:54:09

x post tamoo

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