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in thinking it is getting impossible to discuss the welfare state on here any more

(262 Posts)
size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 07:26:40

Disclaimer: I am all for the welfare state. I firmly believe in the NHS, and have no desire for a return to workhouses or other such draconian matters.

However, it seems to be that ever since the Tories started making cuts, it's impossible to even question on here the morality or the fairness of the system. I'll admit it - I don't think the system was fair, at all.

I earn a very average salary. As a result I am only slightly better off than I would be on benefits and considerably worse off when my childcare costs are deducted. It's difficult not to feel resentful when you're in that position.

- I don't believe throwing money around will mean any less children will "go to bed hungry."

- I don't believe benefits should be more lucrative than paid work. Ever. And at the moment, they are. I think the fact that they ever were is disgraceful.

- I think the welfare state is a crutch in a crisis. Disability excepted, it is not a walking stick through life.

I also know there will be hundreds of yawns, this AGAIN, do I want children to starve, I want a return to the workhouse actually no I want the poor shot actually I want them deported ha ha ha what a bitch what a cow what a horrible person. Oh and she hasn't mentioned widescreen TVs LOL.

No, actually, I'm none of the above, I'm just an ordinary person struggling to make ends meet myself. It's very easy to be lofty and high handed and sentimental when you're on board the gravy train yourself. As it is, I don't want benefits to disappear but I don't know just one piss taker, I know several, and don't believe I'm not typical in this.

Welfare - benefits - cost a FORTUNE and people are deluding themselves if they think they don't. The cost of other services doesn't mean welfare isn't a massive cut. It's like saying "that holiday is cheap, look how expensive it is to spend a fortnight in Disneyland." The fact is, it's unsustainable.

I'm happy for people to be given the support they need but at the moment I think some people do think "give people on benefits all the money they like and it will end poverty."

It won't.

MrButtercat Thu 25-Jul-13 08:22:51

Here we go.hmm

Op wasn't saying that Murder.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 25-Jul-13 08:24:58

Housing costs are indeed ridiculously high, that's a big problem. The amount now spent on housing is disproportionate.
When have housing costs ever taken up practically all your salary?

When I started out, my salary was 800 a month and my rent 50 a week.

To get the same place now, it would be about 700 a month but the salary for the same job is about a thousand.
So its gone from 500 left after rent to 300. Rough figures off the top of my head.
Food is also far more expensive.
And utilities are high
And don't get me started on fuel! That's the biggest rip off of all. There is actually no reason for it to be so high.

antsypants Thu 25-Jul-13 08:28:16

I'd be more convinced that someone wanted to have a discussion about welfare support (which is sorely needed) if, almost without fail, every post about how someone has no problem with 'genuine' benefit recipients did not end with the word but or a few words about someone they know is taking the piss.

Really MrButtercat because as far as I can tell the OP said she was doing badly financially and so people on benefits should be doing worse?

In your situation OP, its not benefits that are the issue. Infact, they are irrelevant really.

Benefits shouldn't pay more than working, that I agree on.

But benefits are already set as the minimum amount the government says you need to live on so is lowering them going to solve any problems or just create more?

Its very easy to look at your pay packet and moan about benefits, but who does that help? Its a line we are being fed that is untrue. The problem is high cost of living and low wages. Benefits are a different subject entirely.

size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 08:39:24

You read wrong, murderofgoths. I believe the system is flawed. Read my bullet points in the OP - they are my 'points.'

Funny how people rant and rave at anyone daring to criticise anyone in receipt of benefits as they all must be treated as saints and martyrs but its fine to be as personal and acerbic as you want towards anyone who makes a note of protest!

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 25-Jul-13 08:43:00

Showing there that you really want a nice neutral discussion.

Err not.

HopALongOn Thu 25-Jul-13 08:47:43

But if standard low wages are not enough for a family to live on, and we want benefits to always be lower than wages, what we are actually saying is that we want a system that acts as a safety net but doesn't provide enough for a family to survive. Not a terribly effective safety net really?

I would like more money. But taking money away front already poor people won't mean I get richer. My taxes won't go down, the government will just find more things to spend them on.

I want people to be supported to live happy, full lives. I am incredibly lucky to have had a great upbringing, to be reasonable secure financially and to be in good health at the moment. It's all just luck though, and I would be a fool to forget that.

kim147 Thu 25-Jul-13 08:52:27

Totally agree about the high cost of living and low wages. Yet there is no initiative to address such issues when it comes to housing costs, fuel costs, energy costs and even food costs.

Living / surviving is expensive - and a living wage would go a long way to addressing that as well as looking at the tax system to ensure that work does pay and people can afford to survive.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 25-Jul-13 08:58:09

So do you want to discuss the system or the people?

size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 09:04:44

I said quite clearly the system Hecsy but I ask again, why is it all right for someone to make personal digs at my character when if I was to do the same I would be accused of the things I outlined in my OP.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 25-Jul-13 09:06:35

You SAID the system..then are bashing individuals.

janey68 Thu 25-Jul-13 09:08:44

YANBU.
There are several issues here : yes, wages should be higher. Housing costs are way too high, as are utilities and food. And on top of that, the welfare system is flawed and has been long overdue for reform.

size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 09:10:56

Um - did I?

I don't think I did. I said they are not all saints and martyrs, which is true and was in response to another poster informing me I was scum of the earth (paraphrase.)

This is why it's impossible to discuss it on here, because the minute you say something remotely critical about benefits it is made personal. Saying people in receipt of benefits are not all saints and martyrs is not bashing individuals. You can try and twist it around to that if you want to, but it will remain an incorrect assumption.

kim147 Thu 25-Jul-13 09:11:17

People need to survive and the welfare system does that.

Work should pay - but it doesn't for many people - especially when you get no support for childcare and living costs are so high but the wages do not reflect these costs.

I think these are two separate issues - and I think that the second area I have mentioned is being ignored by Government.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 25-Jul-13 09:13:51

It's not, obviously, but using words like saints and martyrs betrays a view of the people. A bitterness about the people.

fwiw, I think the entire system is deeply flawed. From wages, to benefits, to the royals! to the nhs, to big business, to all the tax loopholes.

You can't pick benefits out of that and say that! that there is the problem!

It's simply too simplistic and it does come across like a judgement about people. How a certain group are seen.

If it was about the system, then it would be as part of a wider discussion about the living wage and big business and tax avoidance and national debt and faked oil prices...

It's a good debate to have. The system as a whole is not working. Or rather it is working, but it is working for a select few sitting at the top of the pile.

But when we ignore that because we are following their manipulation and looking at those at the bottom (so that we don't look at those at the top!) we are missing what's actually going on here.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Thu 25-Jul-13 09:15:30

And thats where 'equality' came into play - women out working, double salary taken into the mix for mortgages, pushing prices sky high. This is the knock on effect

I think Holly made a good point about women working. To be able to afford to live reasonably well in the uk most households need two breadwinners. One wage just isn't enough anymore (obviously some earn a lot but they are fairly rare).

There is no way dh and I could have afforded an ok property to buy on just his or my wage.

kim147 Thu 25-Jul-13 09:18:27

Maybe we should build more houses, release equity to allow councils to build more houses and provide a stimulus to the house builders.

Supply and demand.

ParsingFancy Thu 25-Jul-13 09:18:36

Hec, I may have to marry you for that.

kim147 Thu 25-Jul-13 09:20:50

There's a lot of people who are not married, are not in a relationship but still want to buy somewhere.

How do they manage?

Renting is prohibitive.

In a decent country, someone on an average wage should be able to rent somewhere or buy a property for their needs. They should not need to house share.

usualsuspect Thu 25-Jul-13 09:22:30

Work should pay, but it's not benefit claimants fault that wages are low.

Cutting the benefits bill won't make any difference to wages.

Giving someone on benefits less, won't make any difference to your life ,OP.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Thu 25-Jul-13 09:25:57

I've re-read the thread twice now and can't see anyone calling you the scum of the earth, or anything close.
If you feel someone has personally attacked you, report the post and MNHQ will delete it (if they agree with you)

size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 09:28:04

I agree with you there Hecsy.

I manage alone. Not easily, and not in a massively expensive area, but I manage. Incidentally in order to do so I did have to move away from friends & family as where I grew up was too expensive (s/e.)

I don't think some benefits do provide the minimum either. I think they provide a reasonably generous amount, fortune, no, generous considering what you'd have to earn as a gross salary comparably, yes, pretty generous.

That's not a dig at the people. It's my opinion - I think some people do very nicely out of the benefit system, thank you very much, while I am aware still others struggle hugely.

usualsuspect Thu 25-Jul-13 09:30:40

Really the debate needs to be about house prices,rent controls,zero hour contracts,low wages,lack of affordable housing.

Otherwise it just becomes another benefit bashing thtead.

size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 09:31:46

I didn't say it would usual.

But it might make a difference to the NHS.

Or education.

Or local services.

Or preserving the countryside, or crime, or disability benefits - I have a friend with cerebral palsy. She cannot work because she cannot even control the movements of her head, poor woman. Having a bath is a hugely mammoth task - will the council fund a walk in shower, which she desperately needs? No, no money.

It's not about me. It's about the world at large, there is not an infinite amount of money and the more you give to one area the less there is for another.

That's why I can't shrug it off and say 'well it's only one person claiming £500 a week' or whatever, as £500 a week wold make a huge difference to some people, areas or places and its stupid to shrug it off as if it doesn't matter, it DOES.

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