AIBU to think benefits are needed to push earners up from avg. wage to increase equivalent of 10k p.a. in salary?

(152 Posts)
williaminajetfighter Wed 25-Sep-13 13:30:22

So I'm watching very bad tv 'Rip Off Britain' and they cover someone who is having debt problems. They show him reviewing a spreadsheet about his debt and and it shows his income:

Wages - 1,600
Tax credits - 280
Housing benefit - 200
CSA - 190
Child benefit - 80
TOTAL - 2350

Assuming he works FT then his income is circa 24,600 which is pretty typical of the average wage in the country. Removing the income from CSA, his new income is 2,160 which works out to what your take home income would be FT at a salary of 34,000. So essentially benefits have given him a 10k salary increase!

I don't know a great deal about the benefits system and obviously have no idea of his personal circumstances - can glean that he has a child and is getting ex-spousal support.

But what I'm struggling to understand is that his salary is pretty much the average across the country so I wonder -- are most parents on an average wage in need of such a significant top up? I'm sort of blown away by the fact that an average wage does not provide enough to live on and that benefits can increase someone's 'salary' so significantly.

passedgo Tue 01-Oct-13 10:24:05

Mumzy I object to your notion that large families living in London shouldn't be able to live on benefits.

I grew up in a large family in London. London would be a sad childless desert if it wasn't for people having temporary respite while they bring up a future generation. Remember that we need a next generation, they are an investment, not a burden.

When the centre of London got turned into offices in the eighties it was desolate. Now there are more people living here which is great, and these people shoud be able to stay and have children. Excluding poor families is social engineering of the lowest order.

janey68 Sat 28-Sep-13 08:51:39

Ps- just to clarify: no problem at all with people choosing to work part time or in easier jobs than they have the capabilities for if they can afford it. Personally I worked part time when my kids were under 4, and I may well again in a few years time. But it's ludicrous that people can make these decisions based on govt top ups

janey68 Sat 28-Sep-13 08:38:57

Ginontwowheels- agree totally

I think the issue is not just about the differential between being unemployed or working (though the differential is not big enough, and people should always be better off by working)

But the differentials between working part time or in a lower pressure, easier job, and one which is harder, longer, maybe involves things like life or death decisions, making really tough judgements... Well, they definitely aren't great enough

I think very few people choose to be completely unemployed, because most people find it isolating and bad for self esteem. But I think there are plenty of people who would choose fewer hours or easier work if they know they'll be topped up to have almost as much in their bank account each month, as if they took on more or harder work. After all that's what matters in the short term- how much money there is in your pocket, whether it comes from HB, at credits or earnings.

We've seen loads of examples on MN of posters saying they or their partner is being really careful to not work too many hours, or not go for a promotion

I hate the short termism (is that a word?!) of all the political parties. None of this will do people any favours in the longer term, when they want or need more work, or better work, or a pension.... It's so depressing

LondonMan Sat 28-Sep-13 00:16:53

The LondonMan tax and benefits system (made up on the fly) (patent pending) ...

1. Subsidise corporations and individuals who are net contributors to the state, in proportion to their net contribution, to subsidise their wage bill for employing people. The amount and structure of subsidy to be set so as to ensure that there are always enough jobs for everyone to work 40 hours a week. The subsidy may vary with location and time to match the labour supply.
2. Set the minimum wage so that 80 hours a week is equivalent to the median household income (before benefits and subsidies) of households containing two adults and no children.
3. Top up income with child benefits, disability assistance as appropriate.
4. Abolish housing benefit. (To cope with varying housing costs across the country, the minimum wage in 2. could be local, based on local median household income.)
5. Abolish JSA. (Since subsidies ensure there are always jobs, it always takes no time to find a new one.)
6. Give people a personal tax allowance equivalent to 50 weeks x 40 hours x the minimum wage
7. Tax all earned income above the personal allowance at whatever flat rate is necessary to balance the books.

Before anyone gets too picky, picking holes, I did say I was making this up on the fly...

Mumzy Fri 27-Sep-13 18:47:19

I live in inner city London and there are lots of families with 4 or more children in 2 bed council flats. A lot of them complain about being over crowded but it never seems to have occurred to them to limit the number of children they have and when they are offered a larger place but it means moving out of the area they don't want to do that either. What they want is for someone else to give them a place with enough room for all the children they want to produce in an area they want to be in. That's when I think people are entitled.

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Sep-13 10:02:51

broken yes I mentioned hostels as you did ask the question broken glasses about where strangers would share room - and I answered in hostels.

Possibly share with me what a fort is, as I have no idea what a fort is?

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 09:57:08

But no one did suggest strangers sharing the same room Ivy, and you are the forts one to have mentioned hostels.

The vast majority of people who now claim to be overcrowded are only overcrowded because they have chosen to have more children than they have space for.

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:53:26

There is nothing wrong with siblings sharing, but that is not what was written and I am not misconstruing to an agenda.

I will write out clearly what I think

Siblings sharing is not an issue, I even have siblings sharing at home - and they have to and I don't see what is wrong with it.

Suggesting that there is nothing wrong with hostels and the like with strangers bunked down in the same room I do think is destitute and not something anyone should have to do, but they do

GinOnTwoWheels Fri 27-Sep-13 09:49:51

It’s not just the not sharing of bedrooms that people are being entitled about – there is nothing wrong with this for younger children, even teenagers of the same gender. I grew up as one of five and never had my own room. We also had a fairly basic, but perfectly acceptable standard of living (enough food/love/warmth and basic clothing, but no foreign holidays, no car, no designer clothes or endless gadgets/multiple TVs). The tax payer should not be expected to provide for people who choose to produce large families topped up by tax credits as an alternative to working more than very part time hours.
People can and do choose to work short hours in relatively low stress jobs (walk away from the job at the end of the day, fixed and regular hours, no travel away from home, not expected to be on call or take calls/emails out of hours) and it is unfair that they end up with similar amounts of money to people who work long hours in well paid professional high stress jobs that are expected to be on call out of hours or have to travel a lot (not a luxury, it really eats into your home life).
The family I refer to above with over £20k of tax credits etc for 5 DCs have a new born, which may or may not be the last, so they have another 4/5 years minimum, with the current entitlement, before one of them might be expected to work longer hours – this is not a short term situation for many people.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 09:34:25

grin got to love auto correct!

JennyPiccolo Fri 27-Sep-13 09:33:35

Interesting to see what people think an average wage is. I was reading a couple of months back that if you earn over 21k in Scotland, you're in the richest 10% of people.

One last time.

Overcrowding.

Sorry. Damn phone. Over Rowling and strangers sharing!!

Ivykate people are talking about over Rowling and not u see standing why it is such a problem that siblings are expected to share rooms. No one mentioned strangers sharing rooms. It doesn't help to misconstrue things to suit your agenda.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 09:19:10

What I meant about my extended family was one lived with Mum, Dad in one bedroom, three girls in another, and one boy in the box room until they were old enough to leave home. Or another where Mum and Dad had one bedroom and two brothers and a sister shared a room until the oldest boy was 12 and they were given a three bedroom flat instead. Or another where there were three boys all sharing one room in a two up two down terrace.

I have a lot of cousins!

I wasn't talking about hostels, I was talking about normal family council homes, in response to a previous poster who said this 'Don't you think we should have made a little progress sinve your childhooe? Four to a room should be an accepable norm?' in response to another PP who was clearly talking about siblings.

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:07:32

There are plenty of hostels around the country where strangers sleep together, I don't think though they would be referred to as homes.

There are plenty of families in bed and breakfast in cramped conditions - was this what you meant about your family, with mother, father and children all in one room, and sharing a bathroom.

Mumzy Fri 27-Sep-13 08:56:58

I grew up sharing a room with 2 sisters and it was fine most of my friends never had a room of their own before they went to university. Dcs of the same sex having their own room is a luxury rather than a necessity

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 08:56:51

I said most of my family were brought up sharing bedrooms, and oddly enough, my family are people.

Where are these homes you are thinking of where complete strangers gather to sleep?

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Sep-13 08:48:59

It is no good saying FFS you never mentioned siblings in your other post. You said people three or more in the same room and what does it matter if they all have a bed - people is certainly a different connotation to siblings

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 08:43:25

No it isn't! 20 years ago it was just normal family life for people that chose to have more than one or two children.

I'm talking about siblings in normal family homes, not being made to share a room with complete strangers FFS.

There is no good reason why people now feel entitled to have a room for each of their children, or to feel hard done by because the children they chose to have have to share a bedroom with a brother or sister. None at all.

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Sep-13 08:35:43

brokensunglass because it is demeaning to sleep and share personal space with another three or four people, I wouldn't want to be sleeping with all these people that I don't know and in cramped conditions.

Yes people may have to work out what they can and can't afford but if you are able to work out what you can and can't afford then you are not as badly of as someone that doesn't have the choice to decide what they can and can't afford as they can't afford either.

It is simply not acceptable that a large company making millions of pounds worth of profit is not paying decent wages that can be lived on and therefore those people are being supported by the government benefits whilst others are sharing the large profits in shares and dividend. The government has a choice to stop this

janey68 Fri 27-Sep-13 08:18:07

I don't get why some people assume its a black and white case of 'blame the govt' or 'blame the people'

Surely it's a little more complex than that. Yes, govt policy got us into the mess by handing out tax credits because an ordinary, average full time job is not enough to pay for the basics of living- home, heating, food etc. But the knock on of this policy is that it does affect people's attitudes. If you teach people that actually they can get almost as much money through working 3 days as working 4 or 5, then it doesn't take a huge leap of imagination to see how that influences attitudes. If people know that they cant save up for a home before having a child, or that they will never earn enough money to make the leap from 2 children to affording 3, yet they know that tax credits will get them through, then what is the obvious knock on going to be?

Govt policy is originally at fault I totally agree: the trouble is it has now facilitated attitudes where people feel entitled to have things without being able to afford them. It's a vicious circle. And the sad thing is: there will be casualties on a massive scale in years to come. Like I said before, when tax credits cease to exist which they surely will, we're already seeing the changes heading that way, and when current workers get to retirement age or their children grow up so the benefits linked to children cease, people will realise they've been utterly shafted. A hand out in the here and now in the form of tax credits to pay your heating (which I'm
Not blaming people for because they need heating!) is no help whatsoever in the longer term. It's no investment in a persons future- and that will be the next big crisis when the generation of people reliant on tax credits stop working and and face having to sell their homes or move out of private rental because they can't afford it

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 08:14:38

I don't see the huge problem with having three or more people sleep in the same room. Why does it matter as long as they all have a bed?

Many of my family were brought up like this, they all had working parents and as adults they are all successful members of society except for one, and his only problem is that he is a waster that thinks some jobs are beneath him.

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Sep-13 08:08:35

Ha ha yes that is true! Surely the people who bought their council house would still be living in it today only they would be renting it not owning it?

Do you not think dead people live in houses? How old do you think these people that brought there council houses? They died they left their properties to they children, they sold them or rented them out as they already had a home.

People just don't cut their cloth anymore. Blame the people for their own poverty - this type of remark is poverty denying. If you lose your job after you have three dc and have purchased a few things you could afford at the time. A lot of people have found that they were having a goes time and then bam it went with a crash

And as for energy, transport, housing etc well it all needs to be regulated better.

Just because people disagree with these handouts does not mean that they cannot see why they are, in some circumstances, to some degree needed. But if the economy and regulation was addressed there would be no need for so much of them and those that really needed them could be helped more.

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