to think that work should be worth it financially, and if not ....

(76 Posts)
HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 18:42:41

then do what's best for you family given the perversity of the system.
Please note, not interested in benefit bashing - this is a real situation that someone I know is in. I'm much more fortunate.

We were discussing their situation yesterday. Married couple, expecting in London. She's planning on being stopping FT work, and being a SAHM, but will work freelance, he's got a full time job earning 50k.

Where they live, living on the one salary will be tight, but doable. It'll return about 35k per year after tax plus they will get Child benefit for the child of £20 per week. Rent alone will take around 40% of their annual income. They are fairly frugal people so can make it work.

However, we were discussing the entitled to site, which I suggested they had a look at. The calculator is fascinating so I thought I'd have a go. Turns out that if he reduces his hours too (to 16 hrs per week - though he would have to take a salary reduction more than pro rata to around 14k) and she works 8 (say as a cleaner earning herself a couple of grand a year) - they will be no worse off....

Huh? I couldn't believe it either.

Well, that's the way it is. They would be entitled to Working tax credit, child tax credit, Housing benefit, Council tax credit and child benefits which bring them back up exactly to the 35k income. Plus there would be all the additional benefits like free prescriptions, free school meals etc when the time came.

Their life would be an awful lot better too - as they both would dearly love to spend time with their child rather than working all the hours that the job requires, and with that work schedule it really would be a nice life.

They are not seriously considering this - but in many ways I think it would be the better life. Is that ridiculous? I'm posting this from an ivory tower, but quite a liberal one......

badguider Sat 13-Jul-13 10:50:05

I am self employed and when I go from 5days a week down to just 2.5days (and also during mat leave - 3mo of nothing, 2mo of just 0.5days a week) DH and I have agreed to keep paying the same amount into my pension as I did when fulltime. In reality that means HALF of my MA is going straight into my pension, but we can afford it if we tighten our belts so we're going to do it.

Also, as self-employed, nobody ever needs to know how many days a week I work. I have multiple clients and have never done more than 3 days a week for any one client (to spread the risk) so there will be no evidence on my cv of my new work-life balance.

[disclaimer: of course many people are not in as fortunate a position as me but again this thread started by talking about peple earning 30-50k a year rather than struggling on NMW]

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