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?

Haahoostory Wed 10-Oct-12 13:12:31

If you are receiving benefits and noone in the home is working and you choose to have another child you should not be given a penny more. Why should hard working families, who are funding the welfare system, have to make tough decisions on the size of their family, based on what they can and cannot afford, whilst those on benefits seem to have as many children as they like.
Do we really want the next generation to be mostly children from non working families who have no aspirations and no work ethic, whilst our children will probably have to work till they are well into their 70s, as their won't be enough money in the pot to pay for their pensions, to provide enough tax to fund the welfare for this ever increasing mass of un working class?
Is this what you all want for your kids? well? Because it is not what I want for mine.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:13:09

Children spend 6 hours a day (average, minus breaktime) with their teacher.

5 days a week = 30 hours per week

They are in school 52-15 weeks per year - 47 weeks.

47x30=1110 hours per year.

24 hours in a day, 365 days a year is 8760 hours per year.

Take off the 1110 they are in school, leaves 7650 they are at home.

So how do you work out that they spend more time in school than at home?? Are your children in borstal boarding school?

LettyAshton Wed 10-Oct-12 13:14:32

I'm not sure some people are feckless. They're just making a basic - perhaps unconscious - economic decision.

My nearest town is a national "hotspot" for teenage mothers. You see them all out and about with their dcs, going around in big gangs of friends, sitting in coffee shops. Those children have enabled them to do that. If they were working in, say, a shop (no factories here) they would be doing a dull job all day and never have a cat's chance in hell of affording their own accommodation. A girl in the hairdressers told me that she was a bit bitter because she was doing things in the "right" order - job, fiance, save for flat. Schoolfriends of hers who had had babies were living in houses.

People say, Oh, aspirations should be raised. But there aren't enough boring jobs for everyone, let alone fulfilling or exciting ones. And with the best will in the world not everyone is particularly academic. Given that they are unlikely to win the X Factor or get on TOWIE, the choice between working in Poundland or sitting in your own flat with kids is an easy one.

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 13:14:34

Cakebump, why wasn't top-up help available to you?
It is top-ups such as WTC which have meant that working does pay more than benefits.

The Tories are lying when they say their plans will ensure that no one is better off on benefits than in work.

People are better off on work right now. The Tories' plans will change that.

Some examples - from this article

"A person under 25 working for the minimum wage for 37 hours a week receives a net salary of £204.36. Jobseekers Allowance for those under 25 is £56.25. The maximum available Housing Benefit for someone under 25 in Birmingham (for example) is £55.

This means that a young person in work, in almost all areas of the UK, is almost twice as well off as someone on unemployment benefits.

The situation for working families with children is equally clear. Sadly even some workers at the lower end of the pay scale have bought into the relentless bullshit and bemoaned how they would be better off on benefits. They wouldn’t. No-one is. This is another lie and it’s time to nail it once and for all.

A single parent with two children living in Birmingham and renting in the private sector would receive maximum possible benefits of £348.14 (over a third of this would be in Housing Benefit payments which go to landlords). A single parent working on minimum wage for 37 hours a week, in otherwise the exact same circumstances, would receive a total of £445.86 in net wages and in work benefits.*

It’s important to note both these calculations are based on the minimum wage. As wages rise Housing Benefit is reduced at a tapered rate, meaning the difference between a better off earner and someone on benefits becomes even greater.

*These figures represent claimants eligible for Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, the two main out of work benefits. They include Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefits, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit (for those in work). They do not include the sickness or disability benefit Employment Support Allowance (ESA). A single parent with two kids qualifying for the support group for ESA – meaning a person assessed as being unable to ever work again or someone being treated for cancer – would receive a total of £396.99 a week in benefits compared to £445.86 total income for someone in minimum wage work"

TalkinPeace2 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:14:54

When DH was doing his PGCE it was pointed out that of waking hours, school accounts for roughly 1/4 : so unless parental issues are dealt with, you are often banging your head against a wall.

If children are coming out of Primary School unable to read or count then what was the point in them attending school in the first place?

They could have just stayed at home with their feckless parents and learned how to fiddle the benefit system.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:15:39

Don't you think that teachers incorporate literacy and numeracy as well as geography, history and science into things like Rainforest projects? They don't just sit there watching David Attenborough repeats you know.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:16:16

Ok, minus sleeping hours, 2920 hours a year at a rate of 8 hours a day, they are still at home awake for 4730 hours a year..... no comparison!

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:16:35

Outraged: you make good points but there is NOTHING that will change these parents, so there is no point in wringing hands over it.

I had an education where I learned my times tables, grammar, spelling, read fluently. My parents didn't help. I was not oppressed, I didn't feel oppressed or robotic ever. I did history, geography, drew pictures of long boats, coloured in maps of countries and counties, and PE. I never did a rainforest project. I didn't do homework. I was soundly educated at school. All this before the age of 9, when most people in the class knew their 13 x table. Breakfast was white bread toast, tea was often cauliflower cheese, we used to eat bread and dripping, I'm not joking.

It is possible. We sat at desks. We were quiet. We didn't chat. We learned so much at school we didn't need homework, we went home and played, and were ready for the next day of learning because we'd had no homework. It was a good, sound, non oppressive, fulfilling education.

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 10-Oct-12 13:16:55

There are other 'types' of people who take advantage of the system, and they aren't from the backgrounds you identify. I went to university (18 years ago) with people who took out student loans and have never paid a penny of them back, as (back then, I don't know if the rules are the same now) if you didn't go on to earn over £X p/a, you didn't have to start paying them back. They never intended working - they married soon after university, had children and have never worked outside the home or caring for children in their lives.

People who 'take' from the system come in forms.

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 13:17:27

Under the plans for UC, if you work part-time you may well be worse off working than claiming benefits, as they plan to limit UC for those working between 5 and 35 hours as an "incentive" to search for more work.

Also, the promise that UC won't leave anyone worse off is a fairly hollow one, as it only applies to current claimants, and only if their circumstances don't change. (What constitutes a "change" has not been defined).

So, many will be worse off under the new system than the old.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:17:56

Oh don't you Outraged?

In year 2 we spend the whole day painting pictures of The Gruffalo and watching the cartoon on telly. Then we call it a "forest project" smile

Waking hours Cake. Waking hours.

Or should we deprive our children of sleep to teach them what they should be learning at school?

Oh and a lot of parents have to work.

Even less time with their kids.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:18:41

Actually rainforest projects are rubbish, mine have done one each, they don't incorporate that much except copy, paste and print and they're not really marked properly. The biggest value is when the teacher insists on handwriting and they learn to copy out.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:19:18

I had an education where I learned my times tables, grammar, spelling, read fluently... I did history, geography, drew pictures of long boats, coloured in maps of countries and counties, and PE

We still do that ffs Brycie

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:19:56

I would suggest then, Brycie that you put your children in a better school.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:20:41

wannabe I've already answered your post. See upthread. Waking hours still come to 4730 per year at home, compared to 1110 at school.

bubalou Wed 10-Oct-12 13:20:53

As soon as someone dares to mention benefits it all kicks off.

People who are on benefits for whatever reason seem to get offended and start claiming ridiculous things like up-post 'It's only a very small amount of people' - referring to those who chose not to work - how do u know that?

I know off the top of my head of 10-20 people that don't work - who can. They just choose not to.

Surely if you are on benefits for genuine reasons - illness, small children etc - you would want these lazy arses to be made to work so that the benefit system wasn't seen as catering for the jobless masses and actually had the funds for what it was intended for - to help those that 'need' it and are unable to help themselves.

The benefits system should be a support net for those that need it - not a cushion for the bone idle and lazy that are too good to work at £7 an hour!

If I lost my job tomorrow and was 'able' to work I would do anything I could - Mcdonalds, cleaning etc. When I was a SAHM for 2 years me & DH didn't claim a penny for anything - why? We could have. Because we are fortunate enough to not need the money and we managed without as it felt wrong to take money that could go on those that really needed it.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 13:21:06

Autumn, being trapped on benefits, as you accurately put it, isn't the same a "choosing a life on benefits". The person you hypothesise in your OP would still get benefits if she took the job. This shows wages are too low, being subsidised by taxpayers. But she'd have to find childcare, plus the costs of working such as transport and neat clothes, shoes, etc. She may, therefore, end up providing for her children less well than she did on benefits. This also shows wages are too low.

In a later post you said "Yes,we need to increase the minimum wage, create new jobs.." We do! Feeding taxpayers' money and (taxpayer-funded) free labour to offshore corporate giants actually damages the minimum wage and situations vacant. Why isn't the £30bn recently allocated to the richest 1% being paid, instead, to startups and childcare initiatives, for example?

The idea of generations on benefits is a myth. The only such "cycle" exists - in very small numbers - in towns where the industry died in the '80s.
Only 4,220 people in the UK have been on JSA for five years or longer.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:21:14

"We still do that ffs".

This is where you would need to justify the illiteracy and innumeracy at 11. It's not being done enough, obviously, or you wouldn't have any.

OP YANBU, I see many incredulous posters on mumsnet denying that nobody can truly want to be on benefits but I know plenty.

SIL and MIL are a fine example. MIL has not worked a day in the past 30 odd years, she has mental health problems yes, but plays on them to the extreme and claims she is agorophobic, hams it up to the assessment team once a year (and she openly admits she plays it up big time) and is then signed off for the next 12 months. SIL lives at home with her still, and is her named 'carer' so 'can't' work, then had a baby so this compounds her 'I can't work' stance. She also admits she does not want to work, as she gets money on a regular basis, they have a house paid for by benefits, don't have to pay council tax or water rates and get free prescriptions and dental care, MIL also claims DLA so they have a healthy disposable income for their lifestyle.

It sickens me, yet they can't be proven to be doing anything wrong as they 'tick all the boxes'.

perceptionreality Wed 10-Oct-12 13:22:43

There are people like this, but they are not many. And actually, I don't get this idea that a life on benefits pays well. It doesn't. When my older children were little and my dh was receiving a traning wage, we relied on certain benefits until he was earning a full salary and we had just enough money to cover food, bills and rent and that was it - no luxuries.

I have a friend who has 4 children and is a single mum and I know she relies on her parents to help with money - she is certainly not living it up.

This talk from the government is propaganda as far as I'm concerned. They are merely brainwashing people to think it's ok for them to land loads of people in poverty.

The universal credit is going to make people who are working worse off, not better off. So the government is not making any sense.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:13

No Brycie, I don't have to justify anything.

Fwiw my children ARE all literate and numerate at 11 (in at least two languages, actually), because they go to a good school, with supportive parents. Not all children are that lucky.

ouryve Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:23

Brycie - I don't even think that Peachy was saying the kids weren't doing those things at school - I took it to mean that they had those things to do for homework. Feel free to continue with your "kids of today..." rhetoric, though.

Learning doesn't start at 9am and end at 3:30pm.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:36

Brycie, did your parents tell you that education was a good thing at that you had to work well and behave while you were at school' or did they tell you that they would punch the teachers lights out if they took your toy off you? Or did they call your teachers names and imply that they weren't worthy of respect. Did they support methods of discipline or let you do what you want when you wanted it?

You acknowledge that these parents won't change, and maybe you are right, but I think you are underestimating what a huge negative impact poor parenting can have on educational outcomes. And overestimating the power that teachers have to do completely override parental attitudes.

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