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.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 12-Feb-13 22:56:11

Yabu. They are poor, not stupid.

How much of that £1600 is rent though?

I would guess around £600 (yes really) if my memory of being a SM is correct.

So thats £250 per week to pay for food for her plus two kids, electricity, some form of heat, clothes, shoes, TV Licence, etc etc.

Doesnt be long disappearing.

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:57:01

"Friend is a single parent to two children and gets £1600 per month in benefits. No disability benefits, "just" housing benefit, council tax benefit, income support, child tax credits and child benefit."

how much is her rent and council tax?

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 22:57:16

Cross post bogey.

Also

Please remember that single people get £71 weekly and are only entitled to rent for a room in a shared house while under 25, and will have to make a contribution to cpucil tax from that.

porridgewithalmondmilk Tue 12-Feb-13 22:58:20

Bogey - yes, I completely concede your first point which is why I emphasised I wasn't benefit-bashing. However, I did take issue with benefits not paying "enough" when many pay more than enough.

As for housing costs, all I can say is that she lives in the same area as me and her benefits amount to more than I earned in my first, second, third and fourth years teaching. I had to manage housing costs and the costs certainly aren't unreasonable around here - inner London it isn't grin

All in all it amounts to (at a guess) around £280 per week which I DO think is quite generous for somebody who doesn't work, sorry.

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 22:58:42

Single person on jsa that is.

Bogey, I know someone just now, intelligent person who lost a good job because of an alcohol problem. They get benefits fortnightly just now and say its paid on a Monday, they have drunk the lot by the Wednesday. They are not physically capable of stopping drinking while they still have resources there to do so.

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 12-Feb-13 22:59:35

So anyone who has ever run out of money is stupid PropertyNight?......that's me and lots of my friends then.....

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 22:59:48

Porridge - does she rent privately?

My mortgage for a largish three/four bed with dining room is £200 per month plus less than rent for a two bedroom flat on the same estate.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:59:53

Yabu. They are poor, not stupid.

But many are vulnerable and simply not capable of budgetting that amount. Many struggle on a weekly basis, managing for a month would be almost impossible for some.

There was a thing a few years ago about the banks selling loans and credit cards to people who were not capable of understanding what they were signing up for. A young lad in my town with Downs Syndrome was signed up for a loan when he went into his bank to take some money out. He was very independent, but not that independent. He got the money, blew it and never paid a penny back. His parents only found out when the court summons turned up. Do you think he would manage a monthly budget?

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 12-Feb-13 23:00:41

It is going to be a complete disaster for the most vulnerable and the most feckless. And a bloody nightmare for social landlords!

porridgewithalmondmilk Tue 12-Feb-13 23:00:54

Rhonda - it is really rough for single people, I know that. I'm single and childless and I thought at one point I was going to be jobless and absolutely crapped myself as I knew I'd be entitled to NO support at all. However, the majority of benefit-claimants don't fall into that category.

Bogey - hope you're able to get a job soon (if you haven't already, sorry if I missed it) it must be horrible to be made redundant x

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 23:01:59

Porridge, don't you think it's enough if a percentage of people fall into that category though?

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 23:02:26

Rhonda I knew someone like that too, thats why I said what I did. He did die as a result of his alcohol abuse at only 32, and its people like him that will suffer the most with this. I agree with the PP that for some people, being paid DAILY could actually be better.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 23:03:08

Thanks Porridge both still looking.

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 23:03:40

Scarlett, I'm on the board of an ha and we are trying desperately to address this before it impacts because in Scotland at least we are about trying to keep people in houses, but it's going to be grim.

porridgewithalmondmilk Tue 12-Feb-13 23:03:51

Rhonda - no, council house smile

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 23:04:45

2 children
CB = £33.70/week
CTC= 114.60/week
income support= £70/week ( i forget what the pence is)

218.30/week = 945.96/month for everything apart from rent and council tax. it might seem like loads but really isn't when you take all the other bills out of it. never mind if she has any debt or annual bills that she has to budget for. there is also the lovely surprise costs that pop up throughout the year usually in january when i'm skint like the washing machine breaking down or all the dcs needing new coats and shoes in the same week all of a sudden.

if her total monthly income is £1600 then her rent and council tax must amount to £555 (roughly).

when you were managing on less than this were you raising 2 dcs alone?

No one is feckless. No one. Jesus.

edam Tue 12-Feb-13 23:05:57

Benefits officials make mistakes. Under the new system, if they screw up, you could be left penniless for a month at a time.

No doubt paying monthly sounds reasonable if you are a millionaire government ministers (which almost all of the cabinet are). Their obstinate refusal to even consider the fact that people on benefits might not have a handy trust fund they can dip into is rather chilling.

Benefits are paid fortnightly where i am (only child benefit/tax credits are paid weekly)- i'd prefer weekly, tbh.

i wouldn't fancy having a months money in one go, i know for a fact i'd end up forgetting a direct debit or whatever.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 12-Feb-13 23:07:16

I think people moaning about people on benefits getting too much need to get real- and I have direct experience working with these single mothers etc living it up. Yes, sometimes they do have big tvs, but to be honest that's about all they have. They are
more often than not in fuel poverty, have no money for proper food, their children are statistically more likely to under perform, their long term mental and physical health is much worse and they are completely dependant on the government. Not a great place to be.

manicinsomniac Tue 12-Feb-13 23:08:30

I think YABU to generalise, it's going to be very different for different people.

I only know 2 people on benefits but even those two are chalk and cheese in how they will cope with this. One has two degrees (but happens to be unemployed), is very worldly wise and experienced and is a fantastic budgeter. She will probably be happier this way. The other has severe diabulimia to the point where she counts as disabled and can't work at all and she already struggles not to spend everything she gets the very day she gets it on food that lasts a matter of days. Monthly will be a disaster for her.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 12-Feb-13 23:09:22

Wannabe- yes, some are feckless. I work with plenty of unemployed young men who are exactly that! There may be underlying reasons for that, but the bottom line is, for some, rent will come below partying with their mates.

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 23:09:26

or £655 even! blush

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 23:10:00

New claimants may be 34 days without a payment.

So you are usually paid weekly, then made redundant - you work say I. A kitchen and haven't been there long enough for redundancy.

You sign on.

It's a month before you are due a payment and it goes through by bacs which can take three days.

Plus that spare room you have for you kids when they stay on your access weekends, that's costing 14 percent of your total rent now.

You can get an advance of a percentage of you first payment. But the total of that comes off your first benefit payment. So you are short for teh next, and probably every following, month.

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