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to worry that some people on benefits won't manage when payments are made monthly

(362 Posts)
SuedeEffectPochette Tue 12-Feb-13 22:08:43

Of course, many people on benefits are doubtless great at managing a budget, but at the moment people are paid weekly, so if money runs out, it's only a day or so (still bad enough). But when payments are monthly, some people may have a couple of weeks of no money - what is going to happen to them? Also Housing Benefit won't be paid direct to landlords any more, which will lead to a massive increase in homelessness if that money is not passed on. If you have run out of money for food, you won't be paying any to your landlord will you? I think the government should stick to weekly payments.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 12-Feb-13 22:11:01

I don't see why monthly payments should be a problem unless you really have problems handling cash in which case you should be able to apply for some kind of special consideration depending on your circumstances.

Mosman Tue 12-Feb-13 22:12:12

I agree, it's hard enough as a family to budget monthly when you've had 20 years of it, in Australia we get paid fortnightly which firstly chips away at the interest on our mortgage as the payments are more regular and secondly you're only ever days away from being paid not weeks.

Piemother Tue 12-Feb-13 22:13:44

Yanbu. Removing landlord direct was a daft decision.

The loan sharks will make a killing u
hmm

I worked in supportive housing for a long time. If direct payments of HB to landlords stop, there will be an increase in vulnerable people on the streets. If you have addictions or MH issues of some kinds you won't always pass the money on to the LL. You just won't. I hope everyone is ready for the homelessness to be like it was in the 80s.

mumandboys123 Tue 12-Feb-13 22:15:29

yes, I agree, it's going to be a problem for a lot of people. My worry for people is the fact that at some point there will be a switch from weekly/fortnightly to monthly - which means potentially up to 4 weeks with no money at all. It will be very difficult for even the most capable money managers to manage that on such basic incomes.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 12-Feb-13 22:15:45

Housing benefit is rarely paid directly to landlords in this area anyway, except in very special circumstances. People seem to manage.

The rest of us that live on a wage can manage it, I don't see why people on benefits can't. It's not rocket science, and people on benefits won't be the only ones living on whatever's left in the cupboard or freezer at the end of the month. The idea is that they will get used to it so they can manage a monthly wage when they get one, and aren't put off looking for a job because of monthly payments, because that's what they will already have.

Seems like a good idea to me.

In theiry people should be able to budget but in practice it's harder. Dh and I are currently paid about8 days apart and it works so much better for us than when we were paid on the same day. We aren't awful with money we both have degrees and common sense grin and it is still easier. I agree OP - this change will be problematic and cause hardship.

Trills Tue 12-Feb-13 22:17:22

YABU.

You seem to think that people "on benefits" are less good at managing money than people who are "not on benefits", which I assume means "working", where being paid monthly is the norm. (many benefits are paid to people who also work)

The majority of household bills are paid on a monthly basis. If you are worried about people who are bad at managing money (on benefits or not) you could consider it easier to pay the rent/gas/electric/water/council tax at the beginning of the month and then see how much you have left for the rest of the month, rather than having to keep some of your money each week in order to pay a big lot of bills that one lot of income can't cover.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 12-Feb-13 22:18:07

At the moment, even if tenants have their money paid direct to the landlord they can reverse this anytime they want and keep the money so I don't see how it's going to make it worse. My alcoholic ex tenant did this.

Personally I would prefer it monthly right now.

But there is one person I know will not cope with it at all. He cant even make it the two weeks. I do hope there will be some support for others like him. He has mild LDs.

I also think that there are just people who wont be able to cope who dont have LDs. But hopefully they will learn to and turn it into a positive.

Not paying direct to LLs is a crazy move. It will make getting a tenancy while on HB even more difficult.

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 22:21:36

It's gang to be a disaster.

It's not about how good people are at managing money. It's potentially about people making decisions such as feeding their children or buying them waterproof shoes NOW or paying rent which they won't really get into trouble over right this minute.

If benefits were paid at reasonable levels, it wouldn't be a bad idea.

Also there are a much higher percentage of vulnerable people on benefits than in work and they will now be a target for teh exploitative, whether that be doorstep loans or just bad people they know.

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 12-Feb-13 22:21:49

Trills - I don't think people "on benefits" are less good at managing money. I think some people on benefits probably are, and that if you are not receiving much money anyway it is going to be much harder to budget for a month than for a week. It's just a cost saving exercise for the government which will affect those with lower incomes and their children.

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 22:22:21

YANBU.

When you have very very little, it's far easier to budget week by week than month by month. It's actually extremely difficult to budget monthly when you have little to play with.

Perhaps monthly cheques that can be cashed weekly would be good??? There's a choice there then, although you'll always have people who spend their 'giro' (I'm old) on the day they get it and live on nothing for 6 out of 7 days... as there always ARE these types, for a public order perspective, a monthly payment will create a lot of problems, not just for the claimant but for everyone else.

Not tarring all people on benefits with the same brush AT ALL, been on them myself and wasn't a scumbag... but anyone who's ever been on benefits knows these people exist.

MariusEarlobe Tue 12-Feb-13 22:23:23

Are you paid in arrears for benefits? If a person's being paid weekly and it switches to monthly will people get a week's payment then nothing for four weeks during the switch?

When we fled each I was on monthly benefits for a while, the last couple of weeks we lived on child benefit because I had so many bills from living with exh when I had a well paid job I had to leave when I fled.

In regards to rent not paid direct, had something essential gone such as dd s shoes, cooker, coat I would have had to use part of rent to replace until I next got money.

For those with issues it will be chaotic , people with drug, drink issues suddenly given 700 pounds or more in their bank???

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:23:33

i am on benefits and i want to receive them monthly. all my bills are monthly bills, not weekly or 4 weekly as benefits are currently paid.

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:25:19

but yes i agree that others will really struggle with it being done this way.

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 22:26:17

Maybe choice is the best way then Booyhoo?

For some, DAILY payments would be best for them?

MariusEarlobe Tue 12-Feb-13 22:26:28

"It's potentially about people making decisions such as feeding their children or buying them waterproof shoes NOW or paying rent which they won't really get into trouble over right this minute."

This.

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 22:26:35

The best thing for people who struggle for whatever reson would be to sign up to a budgeting account from a credit union.

LouMae Tue 12-Feb-13 22:27:02

YABU. People don't have a choice how often they get paid their wages, why should benefits be any difference? They should just be glad they're getting the money!

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 12-Feb-13 22:27:07

Booyhoo - yes I can see how it would be easier for you if your bills are monthly. But what about the few that just blow it all in the first week. You can starve in three weeks..........

OhTheConfusion Tue 12-Feb-13 22:29:49

What will happen to people during the transision from weekly to monthly... will they be left with nothing for upto four weeks?
It is all very well going from one month to the next with a full months wage but not four or five weeks on one weeks worth of benefit money.

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:29:53

yes the choice of weekly or monthly would be good, but those in charge wont go for that as it would cost too much to do. as usual.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:30:51

I think the problem is that a great many benefit claimants who dont work, are vuilnerable. So addictions, learning issues, mental health problems or very young with no support (such as kids coming out of the "care" system). Expecting them to manage on a monthly basis is fine, except for the fact that was mentioned above, if they make a mistake they could potentially have 4 weeks without money if it is a 5 week month. Thats going to cause immense problems.

Also, alot of unemployed claimants have pre-payment meters for their gas and electric. If the money runs out so does the gas and electric, and while one would get used to how much to put on the meter after a couple of months, what happens in the first month or 2 if they have underestimated? You could argue that monthly payments means that they can take advantage of direct debit discounts etc, but then you are back to the issues of the vulnerable maybe not being in a position to understand it or shop around effectively so they could end up paying more.

It really isnt as simple as it seems.

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