to think benefits are a safety net against poverty, not a cushion against an uncomfortable life ?

(310 Posts)
TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:02:52

Prompted by a thread where somebody said "DH has lost his job, what benefits are we entitled to?"

Sorry, but its the duty of ALL those on more than average wages (£26k per household) to put money aside for a rainy day.
No wonder the country is up to its eyes in debt if people first think about benefits rather than self reliance.

The benefit system should be to prevent true poverty, no more.

The American system has too many gaps. Most European systems, including that in the UK, provide far too comfortable a cushion, at far too high a cost to the next generation (as historically current over generous benefits have been kicked down the road to be paid for by our children who will never be entitled to such things).

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:03:56

here we go. I am off for a cuppa!

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:03:58

In which case they should do away with National Insurance then.

Aboutlastnight Sun 30-Sep-12 18:04:15

Nice try.

Why don't you go and watch TV instead?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:04:51

<popcorn anyone want popcorn>

Have my first ever biscuit

yellowkite Sun 30-Sep-12 18:05:32

BORING...next

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:05:44

Maybe I should watch schindlers list on repeat? It may be a while?

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:05:58

i will have some popcorn ta. Is it toffee?

ListenToYourHeart Sun 30-Sep-12 18:06:05

YADBU too many benefit bashing threads as it is.. If the person's DH lost he's job and their going to be struggling why shouldn't they receive benefits? I'm sure they are not choosing to be on benefits they are in need of help.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 30-Sep-12 18:06:21

Well, given that the current system does not prevent "proper" poverty, I think we may have an issue..

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:06:38

National insurance covers around 25% of the social security budget. Where does the other 75% come from?

I'm quite ready for a mindless flaming - the hide thread button is easy - but I'd rather the grown ups came on with a few proper sentences

Benefits are for buying lots of biscuitbiscuitbiscuitbiscuitbiscuitbiscuitbiscuit and a widescreen goat.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Sun 30-Sep-12 18:06:50

They do put it aside for a rainy day: in the form of taxes and national insurance. What a strange and ill informed thread confused

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:06:56

Define poverty. What is someone on benefits "allowed"? Can one have a car but only if it's more than 10 years old, a tv as long as it isn't a plasma, and only mince in the week and a roast on a Sunday?

<gets wooden spoon and stirs>

yellowkite Sun 30-Sep-12 18:07:11

Don't take the bait listen

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:07:49

talkinpeace we could just let that family become homeless and starve? is that a good solution?

yellowkite Sun 30-Sep-12 18:09:21

And if benefits are such a wonderfully comfy cushion that provide x boxes, flat screen tvs and holidays abroad why don't you all bloody well get yourselves on them. You're doing the right thing? No you just know it's not true! I'm currently doing everything I can not to land my arse on the benefits cushion, it's a big drop even from my crappy wages.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:09:39

Talkin Peace you said it yourself in your first sentence. They are entitled to it so its not fraud.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:09:58

I wonder how many of those on the big huge massive salaries are actually paying tax at the same level as the rest of us or are they squirrelling money away off-shore? That might explain some of the 75% ?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:10:00

Of course it's toffee smile

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:11:12

TalkingPeace - I hope you never find yourself homeless, with children, literally in the clothes you stand up in, fleeing abuse and in need of support. Because in a situation like that what you're entitled to is actually not really very much indeed.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:11:14

Toffee Yum!

WelshMaenad Sun 30-Sep-12 18:11:36

I like salted popcorn. Please.

LynetteScavo Sun 30-Sep-12 18:11:40

We couldn't live off £26K, so there is no way if that were our household income could we put money away, in fact we would be in debt. So you are being funny there. Are you saying no one's household expenditure should exceed £20K pa, just in case?

The other 75% comes from other taxes.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:12:46

Benefits should be a stop gap.
Why are you talking about what people on benefits are "allowed"
they can spend their money as they wish - BUT it should only be to help people back into work, or to make being / caring for disabled people feasible.
"Benefits" should not be a lifestyle choice - and trust me they are.

Sammy What about those who have never paid tax or NI - 3rd generation unemployed ....

To clarify : I personally think that ERS NI for employees on under £15000 should be halved or even quartered - as it would encourage employers to hire lower skilled staff, it would dismantle the tax credits nightmare at a stroke and it would separate out the indigent from the unable ...

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:13:13

If bening on benefits or low wages is such a walk in the park then why are food banks springing up like daffodils in springtime.

UnChartered Sun 30-Sep-12 18:13:24

OP, what if you've only just been appointed to your <ahem> averagely paid job and the company goes bust/you are laid off sick as the result of an accident?

LynetteScavo Sun 30-Sep-12 18:13:47

"Define poverty. What is someone on benefits "allowed"? Can one have a car but only if it's more than 10 years old, a tv as long as it isn't a plasma, and only mince in the week and a roast on a Sunday?"

No, we have old cars, soya mince only and no plasma TV..... because it's what we can afford. Does that mean we are proper poor? grin

Feminine Sun 30-Sep-12 18:14:01

Why do you care op why?

I'm so tired with these threads...

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:14:20

Love how you say what people should be doing....almost like you are some authority to be listened to?!

Huge flaw in your theory OP.

Many people cannot afford to put a substantial amount aside for a rainy day because living costs are so high that they are struggling. Even families on over 36k.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:14:49

Emmmm have you tried to get a job recently?

Goady goady goad goad Talkin - not a nice OP not a nice attitude.

I've been on benefits. it's not a picnic and I hope never to be there again. And FWIW employers don't want lower skilled staff, even people with degrees can't get jobs.

UnChartered Sun 30-Sep-12 18:15:33

OP, i've changed my mind, please don't read and answer my question

i can't be arsed engaging with you now

LynetteScavo Sun 30-Sep-12 18:16:08

Food banks are sprining up because people have desperately tried thier best not to sink by taking out credit...and in the end what is left? Credit, no job, no food....people don't go to food banks unless they really need to. And yet, they are well used, and will continue to be so. sad

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:17:35

OP if you are so against someone claiming what they are entitled to then im assuming you dont and have never claimed your Child Benefit.
Because obviously you would never be that hypocritical!!!
Incidentally as this thread alludes to a thread started by someone else whose DH has lost his job i would have thought this was tantamount to bullying.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:17:40

Lynette - I have an old car that's falling apart , no plasma tellies here big clunky old things and we don't have meat every night. Am I proper poor too? wink grin

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 30-Sep-12 18:17:57

I'd rather see someone receive benefits because they have lost their job and have no savings than see someone receive benefits because they got themselves pregnant when they didn't have a stable home and income.

WelshMaenad Sun 30-Sep-12 18:18:48

OMG, nobody has EVER before put forward the argument that benefits shouldn't be a lifestyle choice! I do love a fresh new perspective.

Can we play Benefit Bash Bingo?

"Shouldn't be a lifestyle choice"
"52" plasma tv"
"Holiday to DisneyWorld"
"Obviously not if you're disabled"
"Bring back hanging"

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:19:01

So, the deserving poor can get benefits, and the undeserving poor must hang by their own thread and starve. Workhouse anyone?

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:19:12

I care about who gets what benefit because there are too many funds going to those who do not need
(non means tested fuel benefits being spent at Majestic)
too much persecution of those who really need - ATOS dodgy tests of the disabled
too much money siphoned out of the system in 'management fees' - do you KNOW how much Crapita get for running that blooming WTC system
and not enough going to those who really need,
and not in a way that actually helps them to break the cycle.

I could not give a shit what telly they have.
I'm more interested to know if they are motivated to watch decent stuff on it an look for ways out of their predicaments
and FFS if the Poles can take jobs, why can the English not beat them to it :
supermarket cleaning is not high skilled, but it DOES pay less than JSA +HB - = the benefit trap ...

KenLeeeeeee Sun 30-Sep-12 18:19:19

Dammit, I'm on a diet so popcorn is off the menu!

gordyslovesheep Sun 30-Sep-12 18:19:42

I have a 546546745764 inch goat ready wide screen and have 657656585 holidays a year

can NOT afford bickies though

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:21:05

Oh Racism to boot. I call bingo.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:21:53

How the fuck does watching TV help you get a job? What is "decent stuff"? Dowtown but not Jezza?

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Sun 30-Sep-12 18:22:40

Sammy What about those who have never paid tax or NI - 3rd generation unemployed ....

The point of your OP was that people earning more than average (26k) should take care of themselves. Since when have 3rd generation unemployed earnt more than 26k? Seems like you're moving the goalposts mid game because you realise your on the losing side.

OrangeKipper Sun 30-Sep-12 18:23:33

"The benefit system should be to prevent true poverty, no more."

Sez who?

The whole point of the benefits system - and the NHS and state schooling - was that almost everyone should put in and almost everyone should take out. The system acts as redistribution over people's life-times, not just between people.

Which is why we have non-means tested benefits like child benefit, state pension, etc, and progressive NI and taxes to pay for them.

Suddenly we have people like you, OP, sweepingly redefining the whole purpose of the welfare state, without any discussion.

Hence the new means testing of child benefit, incapacity benefits and they're about to go for the old age benefits. Makes it much easier to create a class of "benefits recipients" to then demonise, doesn't it, than when we're all recipients?

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:23:56

non means tested fuel benefits being spent at Majestic

How much is this benefit? Payable when and to whom??

My husband and I earn £30k between us but that will drop now I'm on maternity leave. We don't have any disposable income to set aside for savings, we're paying off debts & are trying to reduce them.

grin at "widescreen goat"

Empusa Sun 30-Sep-12 18:25:43

"I care about who gets what benefit because there are too many funds going to those who do not need"

Like people who have lost their jobs you mean? hmm

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:25:50

there are too many funds going to those who do not need

How much is going to whom? Which benefit is this?

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:26:41

talkin

Can you do the courtesy of answering some questions on your thread please?

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:27:04

Talkin Peace said If the Poles can take jobs why can the English not beat then to it.

Well Talkin the "Poles" as you so charmingly call them are having as bad a time here as the rest of the country and here comes a copy and paste to illustrate that fact.

A large crowd in the Hope Centre are from Romania, and say they are waiting for food because collecting scrap metal and washing cars isn't enough to make ends meet. A bigger number is there because of benefit delays and cuts, or simply because they are no longer able to make their low wages stretch.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:27:09

Not sure why talking about Poles makes me racist. They and I are white immigrants to the UK.

There is something wrong with a soceaty that considers it OK to have children leave school and go straight onto benefits, just because their parents have. Surely we should all support targeting of the mahoosive social security budget to turn these people into taxpayers.

I cannot see why nobody has any constructive ideas.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:28:13
Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:28:49

A large crowd in the Hope Centre are from Romania, and say they are waiting for food because collecting scrap metal and washing cars isn't enough to make ends meet. A bigger number is there because of benefit delays and cuts, or simply because they are no longer able to make their low wages stretch.

margerykemp Sun 30-Sep-12 18:28:59

"Prompted by a thread where somebody said "DH has lost his job, what benefits are we entitled to?"" It is bad MN etiquette to start a thread about a thread.

"Sorry, but its the duty of ALL those on more than average wages (£26k per household) to put money aside for a rainy day." Firstly £26k is not the average household income. Households will need different incomes according to their needs eg a single person in a shared flat will have less living expenses than a employed person with a sahp and 4 DCs. Can you see that?
"No wonder the country is up to its eyes in debt if people first think about benefits rather than self reliance." With interest rates so low now isnt a good time to save anyway. with rising living costs and stagnent wages and high housing costs most people cant afford to save. When people are working a lot of their money (NI+IT) is for the purpose of unemployment insurance. We do still have some non-means tested contribution based benefits in this country- if you want to discuss the pors and cons of this, start another thread wink

"The benefit system should be to prevent true poverty, no more." Please define 'true poverty'? there is plenty of 'absolute poverty' in the UK- look at the homelessness stats or food banks or people dying from hypothermia/malnuitrition.

"The American system has too many gaps. Most European systems, including that in the UK, provide far too comfortable a cushion, at far too high a cost to the next generation (as historically current over generous benefits have been kicked down the road to be paid for by our children who will never be entitled to such things)." Most of the social security budget is spent on pensions- do you realise that? Are you intending on NOT claiming YOUR state pension?

BTW the global financial crisis was NOT caused by social security spending.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 18:29:21

DarkesteyeswithflecksofgoldSun 30-Sep-12 18:28:49

A large crowd in the Hope Centre are from Romania, and say they are waiting for food because collecting scrap metal and washing cars isn't enough to make ends meet. A bigger number is there because of benefit delays and cuts, or simply because they are no longer able to make their low wages stretch.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:29:28

Race is not the same as colour. FYI.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 30-Sep-12 18:29:42

"Benefits" should not be a lifestyle choice - and trust me they are."

???

Here's a good idea, let's blame those who need help for the failures of government with the shit attitudes they encourage.

and this is a gem of yours too..

"I could not give a shit what telly they have.
I'm more interested to know if they are motivated to watch decent stuff on it an look for ways out of their predicaments"

Yes, of course, it is that easy

Empusa Sun 30-Sep-12 18:29:55

"There is something wrong with a soceaty that considers it OK to have children leave school and go straight onto benefits, just because their parents have."

And yet in your OP you are talking about someone who has been working and is then asking about benefits after they lost said job (and for while they are presumably job hunting).

If you problem is solely with "lifestyle" claimants, then why start off by talking about people losing jobs and claiming?

RichPetunia Sun 30-Sep-12 18:32:34

OP
I agree with ALL the points you've made. Just so you know there's someone out there on your side....

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 18:32:47

Can you tell me what channel I should be watching on my black and white telly wink so I can learn how to make sure I don't end up on a predicament?

I'm sitting waiting anxiously for you response. Every days a school day!!

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:32:51

I agree benefits should be a temporary stop gap and I am sure most people who have earned 26k & lost their job would be desperate to get back into employment. I can't see anyone wanting to stay on benefits long term. As for anyone being able to save money when earning 26k , I think that statement is a little silly given the cost of mortgages, food shopping, petrol etc etc. The cost of living is so high now & even when we had 32k to live off we struggled to have holidays or luxery's with 2 children to look after.

poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 18:33:40

I know a family of educated professionals who own two homes. Due to the housing market failing and the arrival of their children at the same time, they are on an incredibly tight budget. To the extent that the self-employed DH had to take a month off recently due to anaemia which has been attributed to their very frugal diet. The rest of the family were also affected.

Their income will greatly exceed our household income but we have a little bit of help from the tax credits and don't have anaemia.

I'm happy to pay tax to help people in their situation.

Not to mention location. 26k pa might leave you plenty left over if you live in the outer hebrides, but here in the south east we're struggling to put away savings whilst earning nearly 10k more than that - and before anyone asks about mortgage/4 bedrooms etc etc (yes I've seen threads like this before), we're in a 1 bed flat with no garden, no bath, poor access and no central heating.

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:34:19

Are you off googling op?

You speak with such authority, the details should just be tumbling out...

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Sun 30-Sep-12 18:35:06

What kipper said

I think the scariest thing right now is that so many have been sucked into living the Big Lie.

That thousands of families have never worked and never intend to.
That the global crises is down to the poor
If we make people poorer and suffer poor everything will get better.

I ran really, how stupid do you have to be to believe this crap?...

rhetorical question

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 18:36:06

Monkey, I think it's clear. Your not meant to have holidays or luxuries!!

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 18:37:35

I don't see why somebody who has lost their job is not entitled to benefit. Of course they are. But it does irk me a bit to see people on benefit getting more money than people on low wages. I don't think that's right. If this is benefit bashing then sorry.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:37:42

Whitecherry
the winter fuel allowance goes to all pensioners, regardless of income. It is currently £200 per person.

I'm yet to see any constructive thoughts, just slagging off of what I said and of the status quo / supporting the status quo in unequal measure, with no comprehension that with a greying populace, we are consigning our children to penury if we do not balance the books
(PS this dilemma predates Northern Rock etc by over 15 years if you read the relevant studies)

I'll hide this thread soon, but I'll wait to see if anybody is brave enough to come out with constructive ideas rather than biscuits.

chibi Sun 30-Sep-12 18:38:38

i don't even get angry about threads like this anymore, i just sort of feel my soul draining out through the bottoms of my feet

How long do you think money for a rainy day might last? We are on good wages, and we do put money by, but it wouldn't take long at all to run through it. How is someone who is supporting a family of 4 on £26000 meant to be able to put by the amount needed to maintain them - can you imaging how long itwould it take to save that amount? what happens if their job is lost in the meantime? or the wage-earner becomes unable to work? or something else?

however tedious it feels to keep saying it, it is worth pointing out that most people in receipt of benefits are in work - they receive housing benefit to top up crappy wages that can't cover insane rent prices, they receive WTC and CTC. it might be an idea to question instead why is it that it is increasingly difficult if not impossible to support a family on an income which falls below a certain threshold without having recourse to state support?.

It might also behoove someone to ask, if a certain wage cannot reasonably be called a living wage, why are so many people expected to live on it?

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 30-Sep-12 18:38:42

I'm going to watch the telly with fairyjen to make sure I don't have a predicament

LovelyMrsDV <passes Smirnoff ice> The answer is very bloody stupid.

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:39:03

true! we had to suffer Haven with our children this year, we are one of those riff raff families wink

Oh yeah, and we have to live here because it's the only place in the uk where dh's highly specialised job exists.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 18:39:16

Just to add I for one am certainly not happy to support people who own two homes.

Money away for a rainy day?????

So how is one supposed to put enough away for mortgage, food and basic bills as well as er... paying for mortgage, food and basic bills???

We don't live in a society anymore where people can be self reliant. Being able to survive depends on having money or help. I can't dig up the path outside to grow food, or chop down wood from our council estate bushes as fuel. I can;t just suddenly leave our house and school etc to go working somewhere else to work.

What is your situation OP? HOW have you managed to stay benefit free?

Empusa Sun 30-Sep-12 18:41:56

"I'm yet to see any constructive thoughts"

For someone who claims to want a sensible discussion you haven't engaged in one at all. You know it's 2 sided right? But you go ahead and hide the thread. We'll all carry on having a sensible discussion in your absence

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:42:22

I'm on benefits and it's not a lifestyle choice. I'm in receipt of benefits from Irish government though. I have two children, school day shorter here, my earning capability is not enough ( especially in a recession and Ireland is in the middle of an awful recession due to lack of banking regulation) to run a household on my own PLUS childcare costs. To put it simply it takes a team to raise children and I can't be in two places at once!

FEEL FREE to re-direct your judgement towards my children's father who is RESOLUTELY DETERMINED not to pay maintenance. he does however pay a LOT of tax. So maybe he sees it that some of his tax is going to his children?

We're (almost) benefit free because we earn just too much to qualify, but not quite enough to do much more than live. Lucky I'm good at finding bargains.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:42:49

Chibi
yippee a valid point at last.
You are so right, its insane that the benefits system is used to make poxy wages affordable.
It would be so, so, so much better if ERS NI was cut for small employers and the NMW was increased so that those in work did not have to go through the hoops and insults of dealing with the tax credits system - and the employers actually paid a living wage to their staff, rather than it coming from elsewhere. (Tesco and workfare being the most odious recent example)

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:43:51

So you start a shit stirring goady thread picking on another poster, and a thread about a thread, then announce no one is meeting your standard of "acceptable" answers so you're going to hide the thread? You really are some piece of work aren't you?

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 30-Sep-12 18:44:10

"I'll hide this thread soon" So start shit stirring, then leave?

Why dont you direct your anger and despair at the government who thought it would be better to cut cut cut rather than look at ways of keeping jobs in place?

Even now, when their plan hasnt worked, they are continuing to cut services and jobs, while blaming the poor for the situation.

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:44:29

We spend every penny of our wages on essentials sad food, bills, mortgage, clothing for our children. I do put £10 a month away for each of our children so maybe I could raid their piggy banks to pay for a weeks worth of shopping should we loose our job.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 30-Sep-12 18:45:12

Odious I think.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:45:17

RatherBe - great minds grin

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Sun 30-Sep-12 18:45:59

That was * believing btw doh.

If people are on low incomes and are working they will be in receipt of top up benefits vivienne

There is a benefits calculator somewhere that can tell you hw much a family with 3 kids on a low working income would be entitled to and how much a non working family would.

But I can't be arsed. The facts tend to ruin the mood.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 18:46:18

The tax credit system sadly has merely encouraged employers to pay lower and lower wages. So they can have enhanced profits. Not exactly the intention.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 18:47:49

But I agree few people can put away enough to tide them over even a very short time with no income. Even those on quite decent wages.

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 18:49:17

Your posting on here so you clearly have a computer or smart phone or something. Why don't you sell the item, put the money away for a rainy day and clear off. Much better idea than hiding the thread as it will provide income for if/when you have a predicament

expatinscotland Sun 30-Sep-12 18:49:49

You can claim contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance even with savings! Imagine that!

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:51:12

Liz been there - I'm the kid whose dad did not pay up.
And yes, if you have young kids you cannot be expected to work full time, so should get support to work when fits with you - NOT be in a trap that every pound you earn is taken £1.20 off your tax credits / HB / free prescriptions allowance.
So there has to be a better way.

Tax credits were great in theory : the state ensured that every working family earned at least £17,500 a year.
Except that it was done with borrowed money
and the big employers were encouraged to shaft employees and hire EU immigrants who were not entitled to benefits ...

and now the merry go round has stopped, the debts have to be paid, benefits are being cut
but in SUCH a grossly unfair way (ATOS tests are just offensive IMHO)
and house prices have been allowed to bubble so high that those suddenly out of work are genuinely scared about a roof over their heads while they look for a new job
(at least they still have access to hospitals while out of work, more than in the USA)

I'm gobsmacked that the brain power evident elsewhere on MN is not brought to bear on this issue ...

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:52:12

Talkingpeace2, imo, the problem is that WAGES are too low. If there are people who could work but can't because they can't afford to, then the problem is not that they're lazy scroungers, the problem is that wages for an awful lot of jobs are really really low, and working costs.

I could sell my laptop, but then, what would I do every night? I don't think i'd get much for it, and besides, my brother gave it to me. he'd be surprised if i sold it I think. I don't have loads of valuable things I can sell. I'll hang on to my tv thanks (it was 178e)

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 30-Sep-12 18:53:00

OMFG they should get down on their knees and thank the hard workers like you that they get access to a hospital.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:53:30

It's always raining in the uk, better start saving for a sunny day instead

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:54:43

talking peace is it tax credits you have a problem with? It seems to be the main focus of your argument.
It costs the government less to top up families with tax credits than to support them on full benefits. I don't understand your point?

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:54:46

@ talkinpeace, and another thing that drives me nuts is that although I'm in the process of taking my x to court to try and get maintenance, that costs me e1000. my 'rainy day' fund. and when he defies a court order to pay maintenance, do you know what will happen to him!!! ??? Fuck ALL sad

I am VERY sensitive about being on benefits. BUT I am glad that the system is there to protect the vulnerable. I would hate to be in my shoes in America. Although, maybe in America the maintenance would be deducted at source??

Empusa Sun 30-Sep-12 18:54:52

"I'm gobsmacked that the brain power evident elsewhere on MN is not brought to bear on this issue .."

Oh I know, you really do come to expect a higher standard of OP

I still want to know what your problem is with someone losing their job and claiming benefits is?

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:55:04

talkin bit the fuel allowance goes to others too.... Benefit claimants I'm talking about, it's NOT a £200 per person one.... Come on, at least know what you are talkin about come on....

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:56:02

Cold weather payments?

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:56:15

ps, and another thing, I can honestly say (with some pride actually) that for the 13 years that I earned between 13k up to 40k when I resigned to have my second dc, I never once gave a thought to what my taxes went on. I understood and supported the need for social welfare system.

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 18:56:59

Is it housing benefit you have a problem with?

Acumens100 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:57:22

But that is the situation, now. It's a safety net for the poorest and no more. The woman posting in money matters isn't entitled to benefits. She must support her husband entirely or give up her job and they both go on benefits. Which is the mad thing about the benefits system. You are punished for trying. The only way to not be hassled to death is to just go home and watch telly forever and never ever do anything again. Then you get enough to live on, for now.

I just... don't think that's a very good plan. For us, as a country, I mean. It's not brilliant.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 30-Sep-12 18:58:17

Wages are too low, but tax credits are also very generous.

I worked out what I would be entitled to as a single Mum if DH and I were to split up a few weeks ago. I put in the figures as if I received no maintenance, and based on what my own personal income is. I know it's enough to live on because I managed fine before DH and I got together, my income has only gone up by £100 per month in that time, and I'm paying off debt.

I was staggered to see that according to the entitled to website, I would get nearly £90 a week in CTC. Ridiculous.

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 18:58:21

I thought it was tax credits white cherry. I am confuzzled, maybe its all hand outs from the government

chibi Sun 30-Sep-12 18:59:26

when i first started working in my young and carefree single days I was on 21000ish, which I think was 1000ish a month after tax

where I live, a two bed flat (we are a family of 4) would run at the cheapest maybe £600. You can indeed feed a family of 4 on £50 a month, if you have the energy, creativity, and stamina to constantly be thinking how can I do this cheaper. I often do, but I am fortunate enough that when I don't, it doesn't really matter.

Anyway, let's imagine the children are continent and don't need nappies, because those suckers are expensive. I have accounted for 800 of the 1000ish pcm now, without yet having paid a bill, or council tax. Way back when I paid council tax monthly, it was 50ish pounds a month. Let's pretend gas&electric are 10 pounds a month each (weak and hollow laughter).

600 + 200 + 50 + 20 = £870

£130 left over for the month, to pay for transport, incidentals, emergencies for the kids (new uniform, shoes) and then to save. let's say I am somehow able to never ever spend any of that £130 cos I am so frugal and admirable.

I will need to save every bloody penny for half a year to cover just one month of living expenses, and all it will take is one relatively minor event (car breaks down! hours change and don't match up with school hours!) to tip the whole thing into catastrophe sad

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 18:59:42

lizlemon I meant for the op to sell computer not you. I'm in same position, how could I watch Jeremy Kyle very say if sold my tv etc!

LizLemon007 Sun 30-Sep-12 19:00:13

Tax credits are a good thing though aren't they? that way people are rewarded for working. isn't that what benefit-begrudgers want?!?

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 19:04:05

Hey, I earn 32k a year, my partner just over 20. Still can't afford to save. Can't even afford to get married or buy our own house sad. But at no point do I have problem with people getting benefits etc. if I lost my job you could bet your ass I'd claim all I could!

chibi Sun 30-Sep-12 19:05:09

i should say that that is not my reality. it doesn't take much thinking to see how it might be so for others. my stupid example didn't even take into account childcare costs, or petrol.

when i was young and single, and living in a houseshare, 21000 was great, I had money for all sorts. as a wage to support a family of 4 on, i can't imagine how to make it work without access to some kind of benefit/family support.

poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 19:07:00

Vivienne so you're not happy to support a family who are struggling to feed themselves well enough to avoid ill health, while they await a house sale? These are honest, hardworking, frugal people (much more than most - no TV, second hand or homemade everything).

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 19:07:28

I must say I don't quite understand how people can be earning £52,000 between them and not to be able to get married or buy their own house. Not saying it's not true but I don't understand it.

Tax credits arent good.

They are hiding the real problem in this country.

Wages are too low.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 19:08:47

They should get a loan against the value of their house. Sorry but benefits systems is not for two home owners. I better get off this thread quick!!

GolfOscarLimaDelta Sun 30-Sep-12 19:09:12

I read a thread yesterday where the OP's husband had lost his job but if I remember correctly they DID have savings didn't they? They had planned to look after themselves and the thread was more of a "planning for worst case scenarios" type in case her husband didn't find a job and the savings run out.

Anyway, You are asking for constructive ideas. I wonder if you have any yourself? Because you can't just come across a problem and scream and shout for others to hand out the answers to you surely.....?

Whitecherry Sun 30-Sep-12 19:10:36

Can you still claim benefits if made redundant? .... And keep the redundancy money?

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 19:10:49

when we both worked full time we had almost 60k a year and with no kids it was fab. I never complained about where my £600 a month paye was going, didn't really care to be honest. Happy to help those little old dears turn on their heating or a family to eat fresh fruit and veg.
If we start saying x y & z should get tax money we are going to become more like a communist state, everyone out for themselves and stand on the heads of the poor.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Sun 30-Sep-12 19:11:27

I must say I don't quite understand how people can be earning £52,000 between them and not to be able to get married or buy their own house. Not saying it's not true but I don't understand it.

Standard mortgage lending advice is max 3 times salary for a single person or 2.5 times salaray for a couple. So max mortgage would be 130k. In the area I come from you couldn't buy a flat for that.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Sun 30-Sep-12 19:13:11

Just looked it up on rightmove, cheapest in my home town is currently 189k.

thekidsrule Sun 30-Sep-12 19:13:39

Message poster poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 18:33:40
I know a family of educated professionals who own two homes. Due to the housing market failing and the arrival of their children at the same time, they are on an incredibly tight budget

i fail to see how a family with two homes should be seen as struggling,or is this the new middle class poverty,you couldnt make it up

poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 19:14:08

Vivienne in negative equity that's not going to happen. It's a short term issue but meanwhile they were literally ill as a result. They deserve that because they had a home each when they met? People may hate homeowners but if they were tenants they'd have housing benefit as a safety net. Who pays for that?

It is inconceivable to me that the situation could arise but it did, and probably is all over the UK just now.

googlyeyes Sun 30-Sep-12 19:14:29

How much are you supposed to be able to have saved in order to ensure that you never need to rely on benefits? Surely most people's savings can only last so long?

It's never a good idea to be smug about one's own position. You never know what hard times might befall you and your family, and your savings might all have to go in one fell swoop.

poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 19:14:59

thekids have you heard of negative equity?

nirvana1111 Sun 30-Sep-12 19:16:25

I'm clearly a horrible immoral person reading this and will probably be judged and looked down on for what im about to post but here goes..
I found myself pregnant at 17, I was using protection in the form of the pill and condoms, I didn't find out I was pregnant untill 8 weeks, I have always said I would never and could never have a termination. Does it make me a bad person that I didn't want to have a healthy baby extracted from me because I still lived at home with my mum?
I had a job, I saved and bought everything for my daughter myself. I was also at college, I went untill 39 weeks pregnant and went back when DD was 12 weeks old. My course is 4 days a week, I couldn't go back to work after maternity leave because all my wages would go on childcare and tbh how would I have time to spend time with my DD?
I live in a private rented house which i moved into when DD was 4 months old, I recieve every benefit I can and living is still very tight.
I don't have a massive tv or widescreen goat grin
I do not plan to stay on benefits as a lifestyle choice, i can't wait to finish my course, do a degree and get a job to pay back what i have recieved through paying tax in the future.
Not really sure what the point in my post is but it makes me angry that people judge me when they dont know what it's like to be in my situation.
I feel like a benefits scrounger, i feel guilty that my DD is here, but why should i when im so determined to pay it back and so grateful that the safety net is there so me and DD can get by and feed ourselves.

Sorry about spelling and punctuation, on my phone

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 19:17:09

I am not smug. But I wouldn't expect benefit if I owned two houses. I think it's the expectations that cause some of the problems. I wouldn't think I was poor as a couple if we owned two houses between us. That is not my idea of poverty. Those threads do stir up people!!

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 19:17:57

sammy thank you for responding for me! We live in London in a three bed flat my dp wage pays rent, I pay all bills, child care, food etc that's why cannot afford to buy or get married

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Sun 30-Sep-12 19:21:40

How much would you suggest people saved? We had savings before when dh lost his job. We'd managed to save £3000. When you have 5 kids, and housing costs £3000 doesn't go far.

Now we have nothing and are claiming everything we can, because dh has paid NI since he was old enough to and we'd quite like not to be homeless.

We hope not to be in this situation too long, but it's going to be a long time till we are in a position to start saving money again.

We have no car, no holiday, and our tv is flat screen but it's a few years old, the kids live in hand me downs, no designer clothes and we've just spent our last £10 till Tuesday buying crap for dinner. Yeah, living on benefits is great, we're living a life of pure luxury here.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 19:21:54

So the London house prices are just simply far far too high. I think that problem should be addressed. Quite how nobody seems to have a clue.

Acumens100 Sun 30-Sep-12 19:21:56

Er, I think roughly: If you have capital of over £16,000 you cannot claim benefits. For capital between 16k and 6k £1 for every £250 of capital is withdrawn (per week). This is called tarriff and it's taken off HB and Income Support/JSA etc. If you deprive yourself of capital (by spending all your savings frex) they still withdraw your "notional income", but if you spend it down over time you're ok. They don't publish the rules on what you're allowed to buy with your capital, but you can be punished for breaking them.

Redundancy payments may count as capital. Paying off your mortgage with your redundancy package may count as deprivation of capital and disqualify you from JSA.

poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 19:22:40

Vivienne my friends do not 'expect benefits' but when the DH was out of work for a month due to an illness caused by inadequate nutrition my point is that there is poverty all around us. Their two DC aren't eligible for free school meals, but had they been then they might have avoided the deficiencies. There's no provision for people in these situations. A second home doesn't feed a child. The inverse snobbery here is cruel and bitter.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Sun 30-Sep-12 19:23:08

Fairyjen I'm from the same neck of the woods. My husband is a higher earner but we couldn't afford to buy anything until we emigrated. My sister on the other hand, lived in Manchester in a beautiful 3 bed Victorian house which cost her and her husband 60k (about 10 years ago).

thekidsrule Sun 30-Sep-12 19:24:12

yes and im sure they never dreamed they would have negative equity

they wanted 2 houses to amass a small fortune and be greedy,but it didnt work out like that

are they not renting one of them out then and getting a good rent back

sorry my heart does not go out to people that try and play the property market for huge gain,no wonder people cant buy if so many have a few properties and push the price up for those that dont have one home of there own

usualsuspect3 Sun 30-Sep-12 19:25:07

I can't even be bothered with these threads any more.They make my heart sink,

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 19:25:09

I dont think it's just London house prices tbh my family live up north and so earn lower wages, therefore even with lower house prices you ain't actually in any better a position.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 19:27:14

I'm sorry if I upset you Fairyjen. Things in this country are very far from acceptable and times are very very tough for a lot of people. If I was younger I would certainly think about emigrating. A second home doesn't feed a child. Honestly, I cannot understand that. If you have assets you can't expect people on low wages to pay taxes to feed your children. Sorry but that is my opinion.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 30-Sep-12 19:27:23

Working tax credits are a good thing.

Child tax credits, not so much. They encourage people to have children they can't afford, and they don't support workers because you don't have to be in work to get them, which makes a mockery of the whole thing.

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 19:27:44

sammy maybe we should emigrate to.... My dp has Canadian roots... Right move.com here I come wink

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 19:29:19

I live in the north and we earn less up here and have a big ish mortgage. The only reason our mortgage isn't as big as some peoples is that we got onto the property ladder 12 years ago, pure luck that's all.

poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 19:34:12

thekids is it inconceivable to you that two people could have a house each when they meet in their early forties? One was being let but the tenant ripped them off. It's now for sale for as little as they can risk taking for it. They have also recently secured a new tenant and the DW is in the process of registering as a CM. It has been alluded to that they've run up significant debt on CCs having exhausted their savings. They could have put off having DC but it wasn't an option at her age. Not an impossible scenario IMO.

WelshMaenad Sun 30-Sep-12 19:37:03

nirvana, short term support to reap long term gain us exactly what the system should be about. In your position I would make the same choices. But I wouldn't feel guilty. You will have your chance to pay into the pot when you finish education and your dd is older.

Yeh rightconfused, 26k here pffft managers don't even get that!!!!
Try saving on £16,000 a year and then take a biscuit for when you end up in the situation of me & my dh!
We had to apply for all the benefits going with the s* redundancy pay he got.
Guess what it aint all that cushty on jobseekers as he has to look for work each & every day, in a county where there isn't a lot of jobs on offer and even those that are, are for minimum wage and still want x amount of nvqs & experiencesad
Oh and jsa is crap money too, £111 a week for both of us thats it and child tax credits which cover our food bill & some essentials for the kids.
My dh desperatley wants a job but A: There aren't many B: Low wages for high experience which my dh doesn't have.

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 19:40:49

nirvana both my dp and me went to uni after having dd1 we are saddled with debt (student loans) but it was worth it. Keep your chin up and enjoy precious time with you lo.

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 19:43:46

Anyone taking a break from posting to watch x factor? wink

MOSagain Sun 30-Sep-12 19:46:46

biscuit

Fairyjen Sun 30-Sep-12 19:48:34

wine or brew ?

crashdollGOLD Sun 30-Sep-12 19:49:41

Fuck that. If a person loses their job through no fault of their own why the hell should they not claim out of a system that they've paid into? JSA is exactly for people in the situation you describe in the OP.

Aboutlastnight Sun 30-Sep-12 19:51:01

I'm going to watch The Thick of It on iplayer. Was working last night so i missed it. Wish op was half so entertaining. Then Sopranos.

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 19:51:10

I am off to watch telly now on my crappo flat screen lol

monkeysbignuts Sun 30-Sep-12 19:51:56

we are watching "rescue me" Dennis Leary its really good smile

Tweasels Sun 30-Sep-12 19:53:12

I think OP, if you want serious debate and "intelligent" comments, you should re-phrase your post and put it elsewhere.

You know you have opened with a deliberately inflammatory post. You are goading and yet surprised when you get the reaction you've had.

I don't know anything about your posting history, I can't be arsed to search you but if you are an experienced mumsnetter, you will know tat these sorts of threads come up every couple of days and people get bored of responding to them/bored of the predictability of the responses.

If you are not a regular mumsnetter, you would have no reason to make that post unless you are a troll

Either way, you will not get what you want here, so off you pop, there's a dear.

thekidsrule Sun 30-Sep-12 19:54:21

so they are getting rent and probably having a fair wack of their morgage paid this way

so in my eyes they are buy to let lanlords

why didnt they sell one of them when they got together permanently?????

educated proffesionals possible free uni education as well,yeah sounds well spent

i will save my empathy for those living in substandard,high rent,mw jobs that didnt have the choice to futher educate themselves hmm

Aboutlastnight Sun 30-Sep-12 19:54:42

Bastard benefit scroungers with their flat screen bendy top of the range surround sound, plasma TVs it's no good, cannot bring myself to give a shit what sort of TV other people have

<pours more wine>

Well said Crashdoll -funny thing is like with everything in life, you don't no the ins and outs of everything until you have experienced it 1st hand.
I now know from personal experience jsa isn't a fun cushty 'way of life' its actually dull, depressing and quite frankly soul destroying when you see your dh looking so sad, as all his life he has worked full-time and is now sad & depressed to be stuck at home with no hope of a job anytime soon.
Not only that he also misses the social interaction & routine work gave him.

Aboutlastnight Sun 30-Sep-12 19:56:34

Pumpkin sad

thekidsrule Sun 30-Sep-12 19:56:41

im joining the rest and getting of this thread

Abitwobblynow Sun 30-Sep-12 19:58:30

'BTW the global financial crisis was NOT caused by social security spending.'

Why are people so ignorant!

DERIVATIVES are financial structures where loans are bundled up and sold on, so that the BORROWERS could keep them off balance sheet. So those wicked evil banks were in cahoots with BORROWERS to 'hide' levels of debt. [Can you think about what debt can get hidden?]

Now, WHO do you think, BORROWS SO MUCH MONEY that it crashes the whole system?

Here are a few flash cards to subliminally get those little brain cells going Gordon Brown PFI

That's right, the main borrowers are not corporates, but GOVERNMENT.

Why are right-on lefties so unreal, I wonder????? It must be why they are so easy to lie to. 'I have a nice smile, and I really care about you unlike the nasty nasy evil other people like Thatcher and Tebbit who tell you unpleasant truths' - automatic vote for life. Stupid!

And, you know the Euro bullshit crisis at the moment? The ECB injects Euros into the foundering banks of distressed countries - at .5% repayment interest, which money the banks promptly re-lend to GOVERNMENTs like Spain, Portugal, Italy etc. - at over 7%.
Have you ever thought about Quantitive Easing? Do you know what it means?

Where do you think this will end? How do you think this will end? Time to wake up everyone.

poachedeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 19:59:31

Presumably they didn't sell it because they didn't have a Crystal ball, didn't know they'd be stuck with a squatting tenant etc? So it's OK that their kids health can suffer?

This is the reality for the middle class all over the UK just now. And chastising people for not forseeing a recession of this magnitude is both unfair and unhelpful.

Exactly poached, thats the problem if some people had their way all working class & lower class would slowly be left to die in the cold with no food.

Abitwobblynow Sun 30-Sep-12 20:06:05

The entire West: USA, the whole of Europe except Germany, and unfortunately for Britain the stupidity of voters in choosing Labour, has for the last 15 years gone on a cheap credit spending splurge the like of which has never been seen before.

The global financial crisis has been caused by GOVERNMENTS which are the only entities that can absorb that amount of money on credit. Mostly, to pay for the social security promises they gave to their voters.

So you can trash her, get emotional and call her evil into question all you like, but the originator asks a very pertinent question and you are all going to have to face it one way or another, in time.

WHOEVER you vote for. I am serious. The West cannot sustain or afford the welfare system and it will be undermined/run down/done away with.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 30-Sep-12 20:06:14

so in my eyes they are buy to let landlords

Right, because all buy to let landlords are evil greedy scummy bastards out to screw people over. I also hear they love to spend their time kicking puppies.

hmm

The attitude towards BTL LLs is horrible. At least they are doing what they can to hopefully provide themselves with some financial security in the future, which is something that seems to have escaped many people in Britain today.

Dahlen Sun 30-Sep-12 20:10:12

Earlier on up the thread there was mention of third-generation benefit families, as proof that some people choose a life on benefits as a lifestyle choice. I'd like to address that.

I bet no one on here would admit to that, or think it acceptable that their DC would grow up with the ambition "to go on benefits". So it's worth asking the question why some people grow up to do just that. If we don't want that, why do they? Is it because it's the 'best' or the only realistic option available to them? If so, what can be done to change that in an age when we are cutting budgets to schools, sure start centres, social services, arts and heritage projets, community groups - all those things that can lift the aspirations of those who had little to start with and nothing to aim for.

Only when every child in the UK is given the same opportunities and chances in life can we blame them for not reaching the lofty heights of self-sufficiency.

If we cut benefits or access to them, all that will happen is that the poorly educated (in the broad sense of qualifications, life skills and aspiration) will become even more poor. It won't mean they get jobs that either don't exist or are already being chased by people with superior qualifications and skills.

gordyslovesheep Sun 30-Sep-12 20:25:18

wow - do you think some people MEAN to be so patronising AND rude?

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 20:29:41

pumpkin
and you are being penalised by the lunacy of the system.
The point of the newly out of work benefits should be to help you get back into work ASAP
BUT
Tax credits / interns and workfare have gruesomely distorted the job market so that people like your DH are trapped.

OK
I am self employed, I'd love lots of kids but I cannot afford to raise them properly.
BUT
If I was on benefits I'd get more money for the more children I had even though I did not work - why is that sane?

And Y Y Y about the debt crisis being driven by collateralised, derivative sovereign debts.
We cannot afford what is currently being paid out.
Either we change it now or we UTTERLY shaft our children.

Its depressing that only the well off can now have assurance that their children will do better than they did - the true sign of a civilised society.

Serenitysutton Sun 30-Sep-12 20:34:36

This is ridiculous. You do realise savings run out, don't you OP? When you become unemployed you use them and they diminish. Then what? If you're lucky you get another job, but you now have no savings and god knows how long it will take you to build them back up. How on earth do you expect people to get into a position where they always have savings.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 20:36:34

I don't. That would be silly and I never said that.

Serenitysutton Sun 30-Sep-12 21:06:02

So how do savings keep you safe from benefits then?

OP, sorry if I missed the answer to this, but do you know for sure that the person in your op actually earned more than 26K? As for that being the average wage, it isn't round here. It is well below. We have low wages and high housing costs here, much like a lot of tourist places.

What should we do?

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 21:17:24

£26k is the median household income (ie 50% of households earn less than that - as the median single person income is £18k)

sadly under the spend and borrow policies of Broon, "benefits" were given to far too large a proportion of the population - leaving not enough in the pot for those who genuinely need it (the short term out of work, the disabled and families with young children)
it is now being rolled back but in a really crass and management consultant driven way (by politicians who have never set foot in the real world)

theinets Sun 30-Sep-12 21:22:54

Lavish benefits should be stopped. They are breeding, have bred a huge culture of entitlement and dissatisfied, grasping cynical people. No wonder the UK is in the mess it is. We are mugs.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 30-Sep-12 21:26:25

I was going to write a long post about how companies/employers participating in workfare are the entitled bastards but i cant be arsed.

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Sun 30-Sep-12 21:29:24

Lavish benefits should be stopped.
If there were any ...

The most entitled and grasping people I have ever seen are comfortably off posters on here and other forums whinging about what they think other people have got.

The vast majority of benefit claimants I know just keep their heads down less they get accused of being entitled and grasping and not grateful enough.

perfectstorm Sun 30-Sep-12 21:30:38

Sometimes my toddler DS says something when he knows the answer perfectly well, just because he's bored and wants my attention. To seek to dissuade him from this, and to encourage him into more constructive and less bloody boring conversational ploys, I always respond, "it's a giraffe."

I want a giraffe emoticon, dammit.

thekidsrule Sun 30-Sep-12 21:31:30

The attitude towards BTL LLs is horrible. At least they are doing what they can to hopefully provide themselves with some financial security in the future, which is something that seems to have escaped many people in Britain today.

we have been on many threads together about lanlords,BTL freddo,im guessing ur one urself or am connected in some way as you always stick up for the lanlord rather than the tenanat

we will have to agree to disagree on this subject

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 30-Sep-12 21:46:13

Have we? I don't remember. On LL threads I stick up for what I think is fair, not always LLs. There have been a couple of threads in recent weeks where I have sympathised more with the tenant. I do think LLs get an undeserved hard time on here, maybe it's partly you that makes me think that if we have discussed it before.

I am a LL, but not BTL.

theinets *Lavish Benefits*confused-where abouts are these benefits you talk off?
The only time benefits become lavish is for those that get full housing benefit for million pound houses and have 10 kids-those types are much in the minority as most people in my area are lucky enough to recieve jsa & a roof over their heads if they are out of work.

Benefits are not a way of life as the money isn't substantial enough to live comfortably on.

thekidsrule Sun 30-Sep-12 21:47:11

Presumably they didn't sell it because they didn't have a Crystal ball, didn't know they'd be stuck with a squatting tenant etc? So it's OK that their kids health can suffer?

no they were greedy in thinking prices would continue rising so of course they didnt want to sell,it back-fired on them

your words "Highly educated"that dosent mean much by the sounds

the only people i know that kids have sufferred is crap parents that a guilty of neglect,are you saying their kids were on a very poor diet because with their credentials im very suprised they didnt have the sense to make sure this didnt happen,there is no need for a child to be that ill in this day and age

i no quite a few very low income familys and their children are well feed and the parents manage to provide good meals on a tight budget,it can be done

relatives,food banks,cooking from scratch,

tax credits are they recieving them????cutting everything to the bone

so their lifestyle has change,welcome to the world of many others

Orwellian Sun 30-Sep-12 22:05:04

What needs to be done;

Cut tax credits which is a subsidy to big corporations (Tesco, Sainsburys etc). If tax credits are cut, big business will have to pay a living wage, not get other low paid taxpayers to subsidise them.

Cut housing benefit which is a subsidy to rich landlords. If housing benefit is cut it will bring down rents (eventually) as there will no longer be a floor to rents which there currently is. No longer will taxpayers subsidise the investment/pension of rich landlords whilst at the same time being priced out of rental properties by those claiming housing benefit and not having to worry about the rent themselves.

Introduce a land value tax to bring down the price of land and stop people speculating on property. Make property a place to live in rather than an asset.

Close all the loopholes which allow big business and rich individuals to avoid paying tax in this country.

Cut red tape for small businesses and cut employers NI. Cut stupid punitive taxes that make having a small business not worth it.

At the same time that tax credits are consigned to oblivion raise the tax threshold so nobody in work is paying tax/NI until they earn over £12k.

Just a few things that should happen but won't.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Sep-12 22:07:49

In 1965 the "personal allowance" was equal to the average wage - ie all those earning less than the average (today's figure is £26k) did not pay tax.
And in 1965 average house prices were three times average wages
many things have changed - not all for the better.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 30-Sep-12 22:14:39

I'm no economist, but I would have thought that if they cut housing benefit then the only people that would struggle would be the claimants themselves. The people that need to be given that money on order to house themselves. You have no guarantee that LLs would automatically accept less rent if HB was cut. Especially as many LLs won't or can't rent to people that claim HB anyway. How would you go about forcing rents down between private individuals or companies?

Orwellian Sun 30-Sep-12 22:22:17

Housing benefit (local housing allowance for private rentals) means that there is a floor to any rent since any landlord knows there is a minimum they can get for any property. Housing benefit distorts the "market" with this floor. There are other factors too which are distorting this currently artificial "market" by protecting (BTL) landlords such as low interest rates, low taxes on unearned income, ability to write off a lot of taxes, beneficial laws for landlords etc. This prices out first time buyers and makes buying up properties attractive to those already asset rich. The country has regressed into a feudal system of landlords (lords) and tenants (serfs) with some inbetween (home owners). This means that all the serfs cannot save for their own pension since in order to live, they are paying sky high rents so that the landlords can have their cake and eat it.

The poster who said that the piper will need paying is absolutely right. The younger generation are screwed because the politicians do not want to disrupt the status quo because they want to be re-elected. But this means the country is going to be financially fucked very very soon.

Viviennemary Sun 30-Sep-12 22:54:13

I agree with what you say Orwellian. And I would raise tax thresholds to £15,000 per year. And I also would think about a partner being able to claim at least part of the other person's tax allowance if that person elects to stay at home and look after children.

The worst thing of all is the rent subsidies which are keeping rents artificially high. If landlords were not getting those rents then they would probably have to sell the property which would result in more properties on the market.

Viperidae Sun 30-Sep-12 23:20:58

I am fortunate to have not personally experienced the benefits system and I genuinely do not understand how there are some people on here who are clearly struggling despite being very deserving yet there are others who chose not to work and seem to have enough to live at a standard higher than some working families.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 08:42:37

Constructive ideas? We stop the pensioners heating allowance and put the same amount on pension tax credits, meaning that everyone who needs it gets it with no additional means testing.

We are benefit dependant; I am a carer (£58 pw) and we have 3 disabled children, although we only claim atm for two. But Dh works, I plan to go back next year when hopefully the youngest should be diagnosed and all the paperwork sorted, dh also studies FT and me PT, post grad. We are far from lazy but something we could not control came and bit us quite harshly.

I know ds1 will work as an adult, and the state help he gets- DLA and a place at a specialist school- will be the difference. DS3 inmo doesn;t stand a chance simply because of his autism, it will be benfits or starve for him. He does not realise this (no self awareness) and plans to work, we encourage him because we feel we should even though it's probably unrealistic. They have grown around working people, there is no culture of dependency in my family at any level, just a shitty genetic issue.

If they cut the small % of HB we rely on, we would be homeless. As the children can;t go to the homeless housing unit, we have been told they will go into foster care. We will lose the SN placements that took several years to get as we would be out of area and the waiting lists for others is 3 years plus. We would be the collaterel damage. I am not willing to accept that. I am not willing to lose my children to someone else's economic philosophy.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 08:45:19

(should also point out that when the boys were born the family income was £60k; then dh's employer decided to change direction completely and he was made redundant and the the boy's disability made the 2 hour commute I was facing impossible due to an absolute lack of childcare; dh is now self employed but the income is still far less, if rising).

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 08:47:16

(I always do this sorry- repeat post- our savings lasted a year before we started to claim, I wonder how many here could manage that?)- walking away and doing last of the 4 school runs. Then going back to bed as I had less than 4 hours sleep all weekend, and have been up since 3.15am.

x2boys Mon 01-Oct-12 08:55:43

how
do you expect people to have savings on£ 26000 i dont claim benefits [ other than chid benefit] never have done but if i suddenly lost my job i would also ask what iam entitled to

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 09:10:55

And that x2 would be why you have been paying NI for many eyars no?

If you went to claim on car insurance and they said 'are you morally entitled' you could take them to court!

NI is national INSURANCE.

If we had enough jobs I would happily say that all those healthy / NT enough and with access to childcare* should absolutely be in work. But we don;t. And no matter how many economic policies one may shout about, if you can;t work out that more unemployed people then jobs = a surplus of claimants, then it all means nothing.

Including childcare for disabled children, something I didn;t realise was as lacking as it is until I needed it! The majority of myc arer friends want to work but childcare prevents it; and as much as the DDA might help, if your child, like one of mine, is violent then childcare is not an option- especially as they hit their teens and places stop providing it anyway! We managed with childcare when he was small, but at 13 and not able to be unsupervised have hit a brick wall; the solution is that when DH finally qualifies next year he will do school runs (of which we have 4 separate ones) and I can work again; but it takes time.

**Extra time in fact as DH should have qualified last Spring but a complete lack of support and help for me from any agency led to me having a breakdown and he had to care for me for a while, luckily enabling me to avoid hospitalisation.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Oct-12 09:17:56

'I am fortunate to have not personally experienced the benefits system and I genuinely do not understand how there are some people on here who are clearly struggling despite being very deserving yet there are others who chose not to work and seem to have enough to live at a standard higher than some working families.'

Examples? Who are all these people who 'chose not to work' and what evidence is there that they live at a standard higher than some working families?

expatinscotland Mon 01-Oct-12 09:22:06

'We stop the pensioners heating allowance and put the same amount on pension tax credits, meaning that everyone who needs it gets it with no additional means testing.'

Here, here! All this, 'But they paid into the system!' And we don't?! And we'll be paying for even longer and get FA out of it. So why are they being spared any sort of cut at all? Ditto the automatic free bus passes. For over 60? That's not even old, IMO! Raise the age or means-test it, it's costing councils a fortune and those of us who use the bus have to absorb the cost no more how able we are to afford it.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 09:25:57

What's the point in giving examples Expat? I see the point you are trying to make, but I think there are a lot of us that know people whose only income is benefits who do seem to have a financially comfortable life.

I could give you names and situations I know of, but that would obviously be wrong and you would have no idea if I'm making it up or not anyway. Plus, anecdote isn't data.

But, like I said earlier on the thread. I put all my details into the entitled to website as if I were a single parent to see how much I would get, and I was stunned that I would receive so much free money based on my income. I wouldn't need it! If I split up with DH, I'd be able to save £400 a month because of CTC and council tax discount. That is a lot of money that I could spend on shoes, without my children missing out on anything that they currently do.

forevergreek Mon 01-Oct-12 09:32:51

I think a lot of people in the uk do think they 'need' certain things to live

For example on here a measure of so called poverty is a plasma tv, having a car of x years old and eating meat evey day

We are fortunate to have a decent income. We can afford holidays and nice restaurants. However, we choose to live in a one bed flat ( london) instead of scrimping and getting into debt with a 2/3 bed which is what we would get if we had a council house. We eat veggie half the week as we feel it's healthier, we don't own a car as its pointless in London, and we don't own a tv as work a ridiculous amount of hours that we barely have time to watch.

None of the able mean we are in poverty. It means if we spent £1000 a year on car insurance, a £1000 on petrol. £120 on tv license and say £300 extra a year on meat every day. Then we would be almost £2500 worse off. Upgrading to a 2 bed flat instead of one bed and using lounge with soda bed as sleeping space would easily be £3000 min a year more for our location.
That's £55000 in savings that many people could make by choosing a different lifestyle. That is why we can afford holidays/ nice clothes and meals out without worrying

That is also why many immigrants work for less and still don't moan as they don't expect everything thrown at them. They know try have x budget which may only be a two room place for 7, but don't demand a bigger place as their 7 year old has to share with 12 year old.

Im not benefit bashing. People can choose to do what they like, ( or not choose if unfortunate circumstances). But I think that saying nobody can poss save for a rainy day is a tad ott. Many could lose car, downsize dramatically until circumstances change again.

Dahlen Mon 01-Oct-12 09:47:30

Outraged, can you break down the sums please? I know many single parents, some fully on benefits, some working part-time and some working full-time. Absolutely none of them are in a position to save £400 a month.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 09:50:40

Outraged, I don;t know your finances but entitledto is well known for being frequently wrong and doesn't take many factors into account. or rather turntous as it is now known; also worth remembering that a lot of cuts do not happen until later this or next year anyway so it doesn't reflect current situation.

I shall give an example; couple I know who have a 4 bedded council house because they were allocated an extra room due to a disability one of their children has. The new LHA rent does not take that into account so they will made to pay the spare room tax, despite it being a used, needed room. They will lose half of the tax credit disability portion as that has been cut. They will lose a significant portion of the CTB as that is being done differently- overall they are going to lose hundreds a month, and that is a family theoretically exempt from the caps.

Figures right now are NOT relevant beyond the next few weeks as universal credit trials are staring shortly in selected areas.

Forever true many could make cuts but also you are availing yourself of London infrastructure too; DH needs a car to get to his office, being rural; I need a car to get to the boys' SN Schools, which are each several miles away in opposite directions. We are trying to work out atm if I can stop driving as my eyesight won;t allow me to forever and the answer has been nope, not yet. Luckily there's a plan to build a train station here, which means I can absolutely dispose of the car keys (I hope, depending on work).

It's no different for those who live here and are elderly or out of work- transport is poor and shops so limited you won't get an apple without a 45 minute uphill hike! As our population is quite elderly, not always an option.

WRT to fuel costs- there was a proposal back along to remove it from older people living in places where the mean winter temp was warm- 20 degrees IIRC. It was shouted down by the Tory failthful. I can;t for the life of me work out how that is a justified expense. It was removed from the severely disabled some time back, yet if you are a certain age and live in a hot country with your fortune (we shall paint a stereotype here and say inherited fortune) you can get it? pathetic.

I don't know that I know many who choose not to work by the way, and I grew up on a council estate classed as deprived and worked for a charity that meant I got to know a lot of the finances of young, often poor, families. I can think of 3 individuals who meet that criteria, all acquaintances socially, but two of them have a working partner; the other has a partner who is a carer, I also happen to know via means I would not dream of specifying (not illegal- small town chat) that he is impossible to actually employ and a risk to the livelihood of any business. AS small business owners ourselves (or rather DH is) we certainly wouldn't want him anywhere near us, and we are happy for our taxes to keep him far away!

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 09:55:40

LMAO at measures of poverty!

We have an ancient cathode TV gifted to us; that is fine, we will replace sometime as sound is going but will be for a cheap one. No interest in expensive ones at all. cars are old- over ten years. That is also fine. We doe at emat every day, but becuase we are dairy intol (4 of us are anyway) and well, you don;t get to choose what you feed ASD kids!

I don't know ANYONE who defines poverty like that! We are struggling, esp. as DH's student loan is late- we should be benefits free by now but an admin cock up has delayed it- but not poor. Poor was the lady I knew who was a single mum and working a 0 hour contract who had to re-enter a 3 month wait for help every time she worked less hours than she would have wanted. Dad works in a sausage factory and we ended up feeding her from his freebies at one point, poor lass. She's ended up sending her son to live with his dad abroad as she couldn't keep a roof with the unpredictability, and is heartbroken.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 09:57:26

'I think there are a lot of us that know people whose only income is benefits who do seem to have a financially comfortable life.' and that is called dignity; it's the last thing they will take from me.

And now I must sleep. G'day.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 09:59:20

I can appreciate that entitled to may be wrong, but I have seen many people mention it on here in the past, so I was just having a look to see what it would say. It asked plenty of questions that I thought were relevant, I had to get out pay slips to be able to fill it in accurately. Even if it is wrong, I doubt it would be wrong to the extent that its telling me I would get roughly £80 a week when I would get nothing. Even if I were entitled to a tenner a month it would be too generous, I don't need it!

I also realise that the figures will be changing soon, but if I'd done it two years ago, that's still a lot of extra money for nothing.

Sorry, but I'm not prepared to post my personal finances all over the Internet.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 10:00:46

Eh? Dignity?

There is only so much hiding you can do of your financial situation. You can either afford stuff or you can't, there's not really much more to it.

monkeysbignuts Mon 01-Oct-12 10:09:36

the free bus pass age to my knowledge has been raised in my area. It was 60 & i think its now 64/65. I know this because my fil turned 60 in January and he can't get it. My df is 63 & he got his at 60, so it must be a recent thing.
My dm & df need the winter fuel allowance yet my gp (who are in their 90's) don't as the fuel bill is included in their rent package (they are in sheltered accommodation) & they still automatically receive winter fuel allowance each year. due to their age its slightly more too.
It would probably cost the government more money than they would save to see who needs it and who doesn't. Same as child benefit having a top wage earner cap. It does not take into account two people earning 40k just the top earner can't earn over 44k. So in a one income household with main wage earner bringing home 46k they wouldn't get it, yet two earners of 40k would.
It seems very unfair but the logistics of sorting it by joint income would negate the savings the government are making.

margerykemp Mon 01-Oct-12 10:28:15

abitwobblynow USA barely has a social security system so how can you blame that on their financial situation? They got into debt because GWB cut taxes for the rich and spent billions on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

How do you explain that the countries that had the highest social security payments eg Scandinavia have not felt the global recession to the same extent as uk/USA/Ireland/etc

PropertyNightmare Mon 01-Oct-12 11:06:10

Yabu to kick off with the family in question. I have no problem with someone who has lost their job claiming benefits for a while whilst they get back on their feet. 26k is really not much money at all and I can quite understand why a family would not save if this was the sum total of their income. Jesus, just be wise someone isn't wealthy it does not mean that they should be condemned to a miserable, penny pinching lifestyle. The odd little treat or meal out is well deserved when you are working hard to support your family.
The benefit claimants who piss most people off are the ones who choose council housing/benefit claiming as a lifestyle with no intention of working or ever giving anything back to the system that supports them. Pretty shameful and pathetic to be in a position where you refuse to support yourself and your family when laziness is your only ailment.....

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 11:43:54

Rubbish outraged; dignity matters, dignity is accepting when you can;t afford stuff but not necessarily wanting every other bugger to know your business and therefore not letting anyone know.

So an analogy from my life- where I can rarely keep on top of the house because the boys trash it every night: I keep the front room, which can be seen from the street, tidy but you wouldn't want to see my bedroom.

And that is how many people are with finances. Plus a lot of stuff that looks expensive can come second hand as well- ds3 is having a TV for Christmas: £15 in charity shop- and as long as you are savvy how would anyone know if you are struggling?

OK for some it doesn't matter but for many of us we don;t want it known: my Mum hasn't a clue, nobody does outside these walls, and I would like it to stay that way. As long as it does, I can cope.

That £80 you are entitled to? It would not be silly to save it in case you need it. trust me from experience, life can dump on you pretty fast- it takes two things together and bang- and savings last far less time than you think, especially as the stuff that takes us by surprise is likely to come with extra costs in itself.

Abitwobblynow Mon 01-Oct-12 12:53:33

Margerykemp 'the USA barely has a social security system'... oh, dear, I see this is going to be difficult.

The reason, MK, that the Scandinavian countries don't have a problem now is when the sh*t hit the fan (around the time of the Icelandic banking crisis they CUT PUBLIC SPENDING. No, they really, really did.

I am still incensed by that sweeping statement that the global crash wasn't caused by social spending. How to get leftard heads out of their backsides?

[Iain Martin] "Evan Davis [on Radio4] tried manfully to get [Ed Balls] to admit his and Labour's role in the deterioration in the nation's finances and explosion of the national debt. Evan might as well have beaten himself over the head with a copy of Gordon Brown's "Beyond the crash: the first crisis of globalisation."
Balls will take responsibility for Labour's failure on financial regulation. And goodness, he was right at the heart of it. Here he is, as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, talking as late as April 2007. That's five minutes to midnight in terms of the financial crisis: "The Financial Services Authority is working well, and is a world leader in a number of areas – which can only be good for the competitiveness of the UK financial services sector."
The FSA has itself admitted how woefully deficient it was, with poor monitoring of firms such as RBS, Northern Rock and HBOS. Unfortunately, the Balls explanation for what happened ends with the failure of regulation and the supposedly sudden, unforeseeable accident of a banking crash. There was nothing more that he or Gordon Brown could have done.
But going into the crash the government was spending too much. Spending had risen dramatically from 2001 and the government was recklessly running deficits at the top of a boom. That doesn't mean that increased government spending caused the crash. Of course not. Instead, what should be obvious, is that it left the country poorly prepared for a downturn when it turned up.
This isn't difficult. High spending meant that the sudden collapse in tax revenues as a result of the financial crisis and ensuing recession created an enormous gap between what the government took in and what it was spending, meaning giant deficits.
If spending had been at more sensible levels before the crash, the fall off in revenues would not have had such a dramatic impact and the deficit would have been smaller, meaning that the amount being added to the national debt would have been less than it turned out to be from 2008. If government spending had been considerably lower in the boom years, both the deficit and the debt could have been lower than they are now in the bust.
Incidentally, the British experience wasn't, as Balls likes to suggest, repeated everywhere. Countries such as Canada and Australia [what have I been telling you?] were more – what's the word? – prudent. They didn't let their banks run riot and they kept spending and debt under control. Canada's national debt hovers at around 30 per cent of GDP, having been up above 60 per cent in 1997.
The shadow Chancellor cannot, or will not, face up to any of this. He will not admit that there is any connection between what he and Gordon Brown did on spending and on what happened later to the public finances.
I am no psychologist – although writing about these questions it sometimes feels as though a qualification in that department would come in handy – but at the root of it all was surely one of the maddest ideas of peacetime politics: the end of boom'n'bust. If your argument was based on the notion that you were a genius who had fixed the economic fundamentals so that good times would not end then you had no reason to worry about the unsustainability of your spending rises. There wouldn't be a downturn, or not a serious one anyway, so just carry on spending.
History demonstrates time and again that believing the good times cannot end, or be interrupted by a reverse, tends to be hubristic hokum. There always have been periodic booms, crashes and panics. There always will be. Anyone who formulates economic policy and ignores this is an egomaniac, a misguided utopian or a fool.
And Ed Balls is no fool. I can only assume that he declines to acknowledge what happened because to do so would be to admit that the project in which he believed for so long – Gordon Brown and the end of boom'n'bust – was built on his boss's self-delusion. "

TalkinPeace2 Mon 01-Oct-12 12:55:20

26k is really not much money at all
its more than half the country earns .......

Abitwobblynow Mon 01-Oct-12 12:57:20

* the combined sum of increased US, Portugese, Irish, Italian, Greek, Spanish, and UK government spending, caused the crash.

Countries such as Australia, Canada and South Africa who kept to THATCHERITE economic policy, did not have a crash.

Sorry to upset you all with dry facts.

PropertyNightmare Mon 01-Oct-12 13:00:47

It might well be more than half the country earns but it clearly is not a hugely generous sum. Hence child tax credits etc being needed to lift children out of poverty.....

Groovee Mon 01-Oct-12 13:04:44

Ah yes, we have spent all our savings trying to survive the 6 months dh was unemployed as we were entitled to nothing despite dh paying 50% tax for 15 years and national insurance for 25 years.

So yeah we should have spent it on a rainy day angry

ReallyTired Mon 01-Oct-12 13:07:26

Contributions based job seekers allowance is not a lot. Given that most average income households pay a lot of tax over a working life time, its only fair they get a little bit back when they need it.

At £71.00 per week for 18 weeks is hardly big money. To be entitlted to that amount you need to be over 25 and have worked continously for the last two years. Its hardly big money.

I think you should save your aggro for those who see benefits as a lifestyle rather than safety net/ cushion for hard times.

Flobbadobs Mon 01-Oct-12 13:26:03

Did the OP ever answer the question asked a while back about why she had a problem with someone being made redundant and claiming benefits? Might have overlooked it but I can't see the answer...
I have a question of my own for them. What happens when the rainy day has been and gone? What level of poverty has to be reached before someone can claim benefits in their eyes? How many times do the adults in the house have to go without a hot meal just so their children can eat a decent tea? Do you have to buy all clothes from the charity shop for a certain length of time before you can claim enough to buy from an actual shop? How many times can a relative casually drop a cheque in the post 'just to help out' before you can justify being poor enough to claim?
The reason people get sarcastic and pre occupied with goats on threads like this is because they have been done to death, started by people who look down on the type of people who need state help from their lofty position on the highest horse imaginable. I just hope that for your sake this particular high horse doesn't lose a leg...

Flobbadobs Mon 01-Oct-12 13:26:40

Sorry, lots of questions there written in the vain hope that the OP will read them...

TalkinPeace2 Mon 01-Oct-12 13:33:11

Flobba
I have NO PROBLEM AT ALL about those who have lost their jobs claiming short term jobseekers allowance - after their redundancy pay has run out of course.
I DO have a problem with people looking first to claiming rather than looking for work.
It takes so blinking long to get claims paid (8-10 weeks for HB for example) that often people will be better off just putting all their effort into looking for other work.

The PROBLEM with the benefits system is that far, far too many people are in it.
The whole tax credits debacle created an atmosphere of 'the government will pick up the tab for tight employers and rising house prices'

And Broon gave out that money by borrowing like fury from our children.
Our children and grandchildren will be paying the PFI bills for another 30 years
Our children and grandchildren will not get any state pension or decent benefits
unless we are willing to make the changes now.

Means testing is grossly inefficient (Crapita and Atos are the only winners there) and family benefits (single parent and CTC) have distorting effects on households.
I'm not sure which countries have it right. But the UK sure does not.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 13:49:51

RT I agree.

I am alsways interested when teh Thatcher defence is raised; the current DLA system that people hate so much was brought about by Maggie. I am no fan but that's something positive she did that CallMeDave was happy enough to call upon but is now being devastated- two new stories today: a person with no eyes asked to prove they can;t see (?! WTF) and someone with the last stages of MS who has had their DLA dropped and will lose their motorised wheelchair as they were using the disability component for mobility to pay that off.

PIP will help far less people and the more I read of the criteria, the more I learn that the people who have been defrauding teh state effectively will be those least able to lose out- you will need savvy to use the system, and any level of innocence or functional learning disability will work against people it would seem. My son with autism ahs no clue he has a disability; he would be stuffed were we not able toa ct as advocates- and who is to say how long we will bea round?

Anyways.

yes, she did that. She also decimated the lives of many working people, as I witnessed back home; and whilst there may be evidence for mining becoming economically unviable, there was nothing except bile to motivate the way that those areas (some of which are ery close to where I now live) were abndoned, the residents encouraged to claim ESA as a lifestyle.

The sort of thing people accuse Labour of.....

She did a little good, and a lot of bad. I'd rather find a party that just did a lot of good. In the emantime I will vote for the one I think comes closest, becuase we are a long way off what I'd like to see as yet.

Mosman Mon 01-Oct-12 13:52:38

Bottom line is if my kids were hungry, I would steal and perhaps mug people to feed them, I say this as a fairly mild mannered 5' nothing woman. Benefits basically keep crime down bfcause people aren't desperate and that suits me.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 13:54:31

Your logic is flawed Talkin

The sensible thing to do,, when processing times are in fact around 12 weeks in many areas, is apply as soon as then start a very definite and strong job search; thus preventing you being in a position down the line where you rack up increased costs due to having run into rent arrears and whatever.

That's just sensible, solid advice. it takes a day at most to get documents togetehr and apply for things, and a phone call is all it takes to withdraw a claim if works comes along. And of course the simple truth is that work may not, with the situation the way it is at the moment. Running into rent arrears and needing eviction or whatever will NOT help the state at all. AS indeed will cutting benefits too much not help the state; poverty causes rises in costs to health care, education, lhousing, ong term claims, disability- and I don;t think this bunch ahve got the balancing act at all correct.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 13:55:11

Good point Mosman

Add crime to the list of ways poverty costs the state please.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Oct-12 14:30:27

The job centre tries to help people who are registered unemployed. If you don't register then you don't get the help.

Job centre advisors aren't 100% evil. They are there to help people get back on their feet. Sometimes there are courses that people can do or someone can look at their CV and spot the spelling mistakes.

monkeysbignuts Mon 01-Oct-12 14:59:38

why is it in recessions everyone points the finger at people like families that need tax credits or those who have lost their job and need help.
We seem to be turning into a back stabbing cut throat nation, look out for ones self. I hate it

hoodoo12345 Mon 01-Oct-12 15:22:17

Basically everything monkeysbignuts said.

We seem to be living in a "lets stamp on everyone" society nowadays, reminds me of last time the cunts conservatives were in power.

Pendeen Mon 01-Oct-12 15:24:25

" 26k is really not much money at all "
its more than half the country earns

I did think that as well TalkinPeace2

Here (Cornwall) that is a very good wage indeed.

FrothyOM Mon 01-Oct-12 15:40:28

biscuit

FrothyOM Mon 01-Oct-12 15:41:59

Are there still people who think everyone one benefits gets 26k?!

I have 2 kids and used to get nowhere near this when I was unemployed, and that was before the benefit cap!

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Mon 01-Oct-12 16:00:58

When I was on benefits I spent the winter telling everyone that I preferred wearing flipflops because they were more comfortable. Didn't want to admit that I couldn't afford to buy myself a pair of shoes. Also had to sit in the dark at night so the electric didn't run out and the freezer defrost. Didn't have curtains, carpets, a tv, a phone or a coat either. I'm completely perplexed at the notion that living on benefits is a lifestyle choice. You don't live on benefits, you survive.

monkeysbignuts Mon 01-Oct-12 16:02:05

hoodooits crap isn't it, every man for himself society, this is not a democracy its borderline communist!

Pendeen Mon 01-Oct-12 16:36:47

I think it was PropertyNightmare wh said it isn't much...

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 01-Oct-12 16:39:59

Why shouldn't we all claim benefits and have two foreign holidays a year, a massive flat screen and goat? Is that not what benefits are for? confused

Viviennemary Mon 01-Oct-12 16:43:43

I totally agree that the trouble with the benefits system is that there are too many people in it. It needs to be sorted out.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 01-Oct-12 16:44:18

Frothy
anybody who has ever had to LIVE on benefits knows that they aim to bring the working household income up to £17000.

Only central London MN posters, politicians and media types think £26k is a low wage.
The rest of us know that it is the median household income.

PS for those happy to roast me : DH and I are self employed. No holiday pay, no sick pay, no pension, and between us we are £5 over the limit so we get no benefits other than Child benefit.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 01-Oct-12 16:53:12

I don't understand all the threads on here started by people who think they are superior to others who are having a bad run of things.

DP was made redundant from a senior position when the recession kicked off. Meanwhile, I became very poorly with a kidney problem, had a period of severe mental illness etc.

Do people like the OP think they are immune to changes in fortune. You never know what is just around the corner and anyone could have an accident, illness or they could lose their job. What happened to people valuing compassion and empathy?

Me and DP are tax payers, so what? We don't expect a fanfare and medal for it, so I don't know why anyone else does.

'I must say I don't quite understand how people can be earning £52,000 between them and not to be able to get married or buy their own house. Not saying it's not true but I don't understand it. '

Because 52K a year is not 'cleared' income, this is pre tax and NI contributions.

I earn £31,350 a year pre tax, but after tax, NI, student loan repayment, pension deduction and travel costs (work only) I take home around £1700, my DH takes home around £1200.

We live in the south east, our mortgage is £900, childcare is £800 - £1000 per month, council tax is £135, electricity is £80 (up to £120 in the coldest months), tv licence is £12, various insurances are £40, the car eats up £300 but is needed for DH to work, food shopping is £50-60 per week, debt repayments are £75, £10 per month bank account fee, £20 pet food, £30 on mine and DH's phone bills, we save £100, then there are clothes when needed, any birthdays, christmas, saving for annual holiday, haircuts, any activities for the DC, never mind if an appliance breaks and needs repairing or replacing, or a piece of furniture is needed. Car tax and MOT annually also eat into this.

It's not hard to see why a couple on that income would struggle to afford to get married, or even save up to buy their own home if they are renting at a similar price to our mortgage. We would love to move, but don't have that much left over to actually save, £100 per month is slow going.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 01-Oct-12 16:55:50

So are you happy to leave all of the decisions about benefits cuts to politicians without input from those who elect them?

CallmeDave's advisers read Mumsnet. They will take the pickiness of most of the posts on this thread as carte blanche to carry on slashing and burning the benefits system because THEY are so rich they will never need it.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Mon 01-Oct-12 17:05:22

PS for those happy to roast me : DH and I are self employed. No holiday pay, no sick pay, no pension, and between us we are £5 over the limit so we get no benefits other than Child benefit.

So your household income is well above 26k and you're claiming benefits. Your preaching about duty, self reliance and benefits only being to prevent true poverty is hypocritical. There's a surprise hmm.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 01-Oct-12 17:06:49

"claiming benefits"
have you ever tried to opt out of a non means tested one - and still get a school place?

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:12:52

i posted this 3 or 4 times earlier in the thread and now we have forever greek going on about "immigrants"
Proof that some people just see what they want to see.
So just for you forever here it is again!

Talkin Peace said If the Poles can take jobs why can the English not beat then to it.

Well Talkin the "Poles" as you so charmingly call them are having as bad a time here as the rest of the country and here comes a copy and paste to illustrate that fact.

A large crowd in the Hope Centre are from Romania, and say they are waiting for food because collecting scrap metal and washing cars isn't enough to make ends meet. A bigger number is there because of benefit delays and cuts, or simply because they are no longer able to make their low wages stretch.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Mon 01-Oct-12 17:15:35

You don't opt out of child benefit. To get it you have to fill out the application form (CH2) and sent it off along with the child's birth certificate. You opted in and claimed what you were entitled to and now you're here bitching about other people who do the same. You are a hypocrite.

Peachy Mon 01-Oct-12 17:15:56

Talkin no I am not happy about that at all, which is why I make sure I campiagn for the changes I beelive in: doubt we'd agree what they are though.

Which shows how different people can be, becuase wwe also have a self employed family member. Dh sued to be really resentful of benefits- life ahs a tendency to shite on people though, make them see the light (or rather, my version of the light) often as not- is his case it did.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 01-Oct-12 17:16:47

I am on benefits. They are a safety net, they are not a cushion against an uncomfortable life. Life on benefits is not comfortable.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 01-Oct-12 17:19:53

sammy
I do not quite see why Child Benefit makes me a hypocrite for wishing the government would sort the much bigger benefit issues out.
How many parents DO NOT claim it - especially as for those of us not rich enough to afford private school, it is essential for proving addresses for school admissions.

Darkeyes
the only person I see talking about immigrants is you.
And as I am a first generation economic migrant, its not a line of discussion I tend to pursue.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:27:22

forevergreekMon 01-Oct-12 09:32:51

I think a lot of people in the uk do think they 'need' certain things to live

For example on here a measure of so called poverty is a plasma tv, having a car of x years old and eating meat evey day

We are fortunate to have a decent income. We can afford holidays and nice restaurants. However, we choose to live in a one bed flat ( london) instead of scrimping and getting into debt with a 2/3 bed which is what we would get if we had a council house. We eat veggie half the week as we feel it's healthier, we don't own a car as its pointless in London, and we don't own a tv as work a ridiculous amount of hours that we barely have time to watch.

None of the able mean we are in poverty. It means if we spent £1000 a year on car insurance, a £1000 on petrol. £120 on tv license and say £300 extra a year on meat every day. Then we would be almost £2500 worse off. Upgrading to a 2 bed flat instead of one bed and using lounge with soda bed as sleeping space would easily be £3000 min a year more for our location.
That's £55000 in savings that many people could make by choosing a different lifestyle. That is why we can afford holidays/ nice clothes and meals out without worrying

That is also why many immigrants work for less and still don't moan as they don't expect everything thrown at them. They know try have x budget which may only be a two room place for 7, but don't demand a bigger place as their 7 year old has to share with 12 year old.

Im not benefit bashing. People can choose to do what they like, ( or not choose if unfortunate circumstances). But I think that saying nobody can poss save for a rainy day is a tad ott. Many could lose car, downsize dramatically until circumstances change again.

Fifth paragraph down Talkin Peace i am NOT the only one taliking about immigrants at all and i am NOT the one who brought it up.
You are just narked because i was able to back my argument up using the example of what is happening at the Hope Centre.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:27:32

forevergreekMon 01-Oct-12 09:32:51

I think a lot of people in the uk do think they 'need' certain things to live

For example on here a measure of so called poverty is a plasma tv, having a car of x years old and eating meat evey day

We are fortunate to have a decent income. We can afford holidays and nice restaurants. However, we choose to live in a one bed flat ( london) instead of scrimping and getting into debt with a 2/3 bed which is what we would get if we had a council house. We eat veggie half the week as we feel it's healthier, we don't own a car as its pointless in London, and we don't own a tv as work a ridiculous amount of hours that we barely have time to watch.

None of the able mean we are in poverty. It means if we spent £1000 a year on car insurance, a £1000 on petrol. £120 on tv license and say £300 extra a year on meat every day. Then we would be almost £2500 worse off. Upgrading to a 2 bed flat instead of one bed and using lounge with soda bed as sleeping space would easily be £3000 min a year more for our location.
That's £55000 in savings that many people could make by choosing a different lifestyle. That is why we can afford holidays/ nice clothes and meals out without worrying

That is also why many immigrants work for less and still don't moan as they don't expect everything thrown at them. They know try have x budget which may only be a two room place for 7, but don't demand a bigger place as their 7 year old has to share with 12 year old.

Im not benefit bashing. People can choose to do what they like, ( or not choose if unfortunate circumstances). But I think that saying nobody can poss save for a rainy day is a tad ott. Many could lose car, downsize dramatically until circumstances change again.

Fifth paragraph down Talkin Peace i am NOT the only one taliking about immigrants at all and i am NOT the one who brought it up.
You are just narked because i was able to back my argument up using the example of what is happening at the Hope Centre.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:27:32

forevergreekMon 01-Oct-12 09:32:51

I think a lot of people in the uk do think they 'need' certain things to live

For example on here a measure of so called poverty is a plasma tv, having a car of x years old and eating meat evey day

We are fortunate to have a decent income. We can afford holidays and nice restaurants. However, we choose to live in a one bed flat ( london) instead of scrimping and getting into debt with a 2/3 bed which is what we would get if we had a council house. We eat veggie half the week as we feel it's healthier, we don't own a car as its pointless in London, and we don't own a tv as work a ridiculous amount of hours that we barely have time to watch.

None of the able mean we are in poverty. It means if we spent £1000 a year on car insurance, a £1000 on petrol. £120 on tv license and say £300 extra a year on meat every day. Then we would be almost £2500 worse off. Upgrading to a 2 bed flat instead of one bed and using lounge with soda bed as sleeping space would easily be £3000 min a year more for our location.
That's £55000 in savings that many people could make by choosing a different lifestyle. That is why we can afford holidays/ nice clothes and meals out without worrying

That is also why many immigrants work for less and still don't moan as they don't expect everything thrown at them. They know try have x budget which may only be a two room place for 7, but don't demand a bigger place as their 7 year old has to share with 12 year old.

Im not benefit bashing. People can choose to do what they like, ( or not choose if unfortunate circumstances). But I think that saying nobody can poss save for a rainy day is a tad ott. Many could lose car, downsize dramatically until circumstances change again.

Fifth paragraph down Talkin Peace i am NOT the only one taliking about immigrants at all and i am NOT the one who brought it up.
You are just narked because i was able to back my argument up using the example of what is happening at the Hope Centre.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:27:33

forevergreekMon 01-Oct-12 09:32:51

I think a lot of people in the uk do think they 'need' certain things to live

For example on here a measure of so called poverty is a plasma tv, having a car of x years old and eating meat evey day

We are fortunate to have a decent income. We can afford holidays and nice restaurants. However, we choose to live in a one bed flat ( london) instead of scrimping and getting into debt with a 2/3 bed which is what we would get if we had a council house. We eat veggie half the week as we feel it's healthier, we don't own a car as its pointless in London, and we don't own a tv as work a ridiculous amount of hours that we barely have time to watch.

None of the able mean we are in poverty. It means if we spent £1000 a year on car insurance, a £1000 on petrol. £120 on tv license and say £300 extra a year on meat every day. Then we would be almost £2500 worse off. Upgrading to a 2 bed flat instead of one bed and using lounge with soda bed as sleeping space would easily be £3000 min a year more for our location.
That's £55000 in savings that many people could make by choosing a different lifestyle. That is why we can afford holidays/ nice clothes and meals out without worrying

That is also why many immigrants work for less and still don't moan as they don't expect everything thrown at them. They know try have x budget which may only be a two room place for 7, but don't demand a bigger place as their 7 year old has to share with 12 year old.

Im not benefit bashing. People can choose to do what they like, ( or not choose if unfortunate circumstances). But I think that saying nobody can poss save for a rainy day is a tad ott. Many could lose car, downsize dramatically until circumstances change again.

Fifth paragraph down Talkin Peace i am NOT the only one taliking about immigrants at all and i am NOT the one who brought it up.
You are just narked because i was able to back my argument up using the example of what is happening at the Hope Centre.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:27:33

forevergreekMon 01-Oct-12 09:32:51

I think a lot of people in the uk do think they 'need' certain things to live

For example on here a measure of so called poverty is a plasma tv, having a car of x years old and eating meat evey day

We are fortunate to have a decent income. We can afford holidays and nice restaurants. However, we choose to live in a one bed flat ( london) instead of scrimping and getting into debt with a 2/3 bed which is what we would get if we had a council house. We eat veggie half the week as we feel it's healthier, we don't own a car as its pointless in London, and we don't own a tv as work a ridiculous amount of hours that we barely have time to watch.

None of the able mean we are in poverty. It means if we spent £1000 a year on car insurance, a £1000 on petrol. £120 on tv license and say £300 extra a year on meat every day. Then we would be almost £2500 worse off. Upgrading to a 2 bed flat instead of one bed and using lounge with soda bed as sleeping space would easily be £3000 min a year more for our location.
That's £55000 in savings that many people could make by choosing a different lifestyle. That is why we can afford holidays/ nice clothes and meals out without worrying

That is also why many immigrants work for less and still don't moan as they don't expect everything thrown at them. They know try have x budget which may only be a two room place for 7, but don't demand a bigger place as their 7 year old has to share with 12 year old.

Im not benefit bashing. People can choose to do what they like, ( or not choose if unfortunate circumstances). But I think that saying nobody can poss save for a rainy day is a tad ott. Many could lose car, downsize dramatically until circumstances change again.

Fifth paragraph down Talkin Peace i am NOT the only one taliking about immigrants at all and i am NOT the one who brought it up.
You are just narked because i was able to back my argument up using the example of what is happening at the Hope Centre.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Mon 01-Oct-12 17:28:52

Because you're preaching self reliance and not wanting people with incomes over 26k to claim what they are entitled to. While doing exactly what you're judging others for doing.

Definition of hypocrite:

'The benefit system should be to prevent true poverty, no more'

Or are you saying that you only claimed child benefit prior to school applications, as it was necessary, and have now opted out once your child's place has been secured? hmm

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:29:22

Oh and before you start the reason that has posted so many times is because i am on Talk Talk.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:29:22

Oh and before you start the reason that has posted so many times is because i am on Talk Talk.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 01-Oct-12 17:29:39

sorry,
I did not read the posts that went on this morning.
and I'm not in the least bit narked about the hope centre as I have no independent information about it

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 17:33:45

It is pathetic the way that anyone who has an opinion on benefits that doesn't tally with the MN leftie socialists gets pulled up about child benefit.

There is a major difference between someone that pays income tax and NI a d then claims CB for their children, and someone who just about pays VAT and lives off of tax credits, housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support.

Are people really so stupid that they can't see that major difference?

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:35:10

Maybe you didnt read the posts which went on this morning. But in that case you had NO right to accuse me of being the only one to bring it up.
Especially as you are the one who wrote this which is why i mentioned the Hope Centre in the first place!

TalkinPeace2Sun 30-Sep-12 18:19:12

I care about who gets what benefit because there are too many funds going to those who do not need
(non means tested fuel benefits being spent at Majestic)
too much persecution of those who really need - ATOS dodgy tests of the disabled
too much money siphoned out of the system in 'management fees' - do you KNOW how much Crapita get for running that blooming WTC system
and not enough going to those who really need,
and not in a way that actually helps them to break the cycle.

I could not give a shit what telly they have.
I'm more interested to know if they are motivated to watch decent stuff on it an look for ways out of their predicaments
and FFS if the Poles can take jobs, why can the English not beat them to it :
supermarket cleaning is not high skilled, but it DOES pay less than JSA +HB - = the benefit trap ...

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Mon 01-Oct-12 17:37:09

Except that's not the group the OP was on about though was it. She's on about people earning above average salaries and being outraged at them asking what they're entitled to because it's their responsibility to be self reliant. So her claiming what she is entitled to, while being in the same wage bracket is very relevant to what the thread is about.

Empusa Mon 01-Oct-12 17:37:28

^"I DO have a problem with people looking first to claiming rather than looking for work.
It takes so blinking long to get claims paid (8-10 weeks for HB for example) that often people will be better off just putting all their effort into looking for other work."^

So rather than take into account the long waiting times you think it would be better to search for work for a while first, then when it's looking pretty hopeless apply for benefits and wait 2-3 months for the benefits to start? Surely the best solution there is to apply when you lose your job (while also searching for work, you do know you can do both simultaneously right? Hence the job seekers part of JSA) and if you get a job before the claim is processed then just cancel the claim?

FWIW I tried the first option. Bearing in mind I was anorexic at the time and only eating 1 slice of toast a day, I still ran out of money long before my claim came through. On top of that I could not afford to attend any interviews, so I actually ended up out of work for much longer.

Plus I had to get a loan in order to make it to work for the whole of my first month, due to having to use all my savings while the claim was processing.

If I'd claimed the minute I was made redundant I could have used those savings to fund my first month in a new job, afforded travel to interviews, and ate.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Mon 01-Oct-12 17:38:19

Exaactly Sammy and that is where the hypocrisy is.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 17:43:21

Yes, but I read it that she was complaining about the system rather than individuals, and that the main point was that people should make saving money more of a priority.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 17:43:51

Which, by the way, I don't really agree with.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 01-Oct-12 17:46:44

"Yes, but I read it that she was complaining about the system rather than individuals, and that the main point was that people should make saving money more of a priority. "

They should, but some people have a large mortgage and debt etc. They think that the worst won't happen to them, so they live to their means.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 17:49:57

Which IMO is up to them. If you want to live to your means then do it, as long as you are earning a wage and paying your income tax and NI.

I'd much rather see benefits go to people who genuinely tried to contribute to the system but then had to deal with life's shit than I would see them go to people who have barely worked a day as an adult and are being entirely supported by the state because they went and had children they had no way of providing for.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 01-Oct-12 17:58:06

It's common sense to save for a rainy day, but I don't think people deserve to be penalised for not doing so. Just because I am a pesimistic old git who plans for the worst, doesn't mean everyone else should be. grin

DelhiCalling Mon 01-Oct-12 17:58:20

Yanbu.unfortunately there will always be lazy people.

negativecreep Mon 01-Oct-12 17:59:13

This thread makes me sad. I think, despite what people think about people on benefits, the majority of us wish we had a high enough income NOT to have to claim benefits. I work part time, and have worked since and before my son was born but the wages are low, I use HB to pay my private rent and rely on Working tax credits to help the childcare issues as I am alone. Do i want this? No! I would love to have my own house for security for my son, I hate rented accomdation and the fact any minute I could be told my landlord wants to sell up and I have to go. I hate dealing with tax credits people, they always muck it up and even though I tell them everything every year I get them flaming letters wanting every last bit of proof of childcare and then usually say I owe them something despite me telling them every last little detail!

The problem is so many companies are not paying good enough wages, the minimum wage which is basically what I am on and I work for a very well known company is just not good enough. I do as much overtime as I can but even if I do 40 hours per week (which I have done near xmas but subsquently had to make up with rent anyway as then my HB was deducted due to me earning more that month!) I still only clear a little under 1000 a month. My rent is 650 a month, council tax 80 so if it wasn't for benefits i'd stand no chance.

I hope to god one day I get offered a promotion at work and I work damn hard all the time and hope it pays off. I hate the fact people seem to think it's so easy and it's just not true. I wish I had the financial security of my own house, a job which didn't require tax credits to survive. I dread to think what it will be like when my son grows up. sad

x2boys Mon 01-Oct-12 18:19:41

between me and dh we earn roughly £3000 /month it may sound like loads but my outgoing alone come to£1500 then there is petrol dh does a round trip everyday for work of twenty miles i have to get taxis to go to work as there are no buses where i live at 6,30 in morning , food costs a damn fortune so be honest we struggle some of this is our fault as we have loans etc but they are being paid why would i not be worthy of benefits because i have no savings would i be more worthy i had never worked and therefore not paid NI AND paye benefits should never be seen as a life choice but shoud be as they are a safety net for anybody who falls on hard times or for people who cant work due to disabilities etc

Hello all. I think I must be the person who posted that my DH was to be made redundant and had the front to ask if anyone knew what the position might be with regard to benefits. Yes, I think it really is me.

Thank you to everyone who said reasonable things they'd thought out. Unlike TP2 who doesn't want to let facts that she doesn't have get in the way of her Great Truth.

CommunistMoon Mon 01-Oct-12 23:49:11

OP is a judgmental fool talking bollocks and deserves nothing more than the goat/biscuit/52" plasma comments that she got at the start. NotonethingbutAnother I hope all works out ok for you.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Tue 02-Oct-12 00:02:30

Hi Notone. Im of the opinion that as this thread was specifically started to have a go at what you originally posted as to enquire help at a stressful time, then it is a form of bullying. The OP stooped quite low.

Thanks guys. It was a low thing to do, but the OP actually did me a favour as I was sort of cheered up ifyswim by people being generally supportive - when I posted the original question, I thought lots of people would say it was our fault for not putting money aside etc etc. Anyway. Still waiting to hear if DH is on the list and thanks again. I love a thread with a goat in it. x

MoreBeta Tue 02-Oct-12 10:30:24

We definitely should talk about reforming the benefits system but ONLY after the following has happened:

1. Banks have paid back all of the money they have had from Govt and Bank of England;

2. Bankers have paid back all their bonuses of the last 10 years to help recapitalise the banks and pay back the public money handed out to rescue the banks;

3. Everyone living in this country is paying a marginal rate of income tax of 35% on every penny they earn above a personal allowance of £10k.

Only then can we start reforming benefits. It will never happen.

<takes a handful of popcorn>

Abitwobblynow Tue 02-Oct-12 10:56:22

Reforming benefits won't happen because it is CHEAP.

Benefits is paid by:

taxing habits
taxing the low income.

Not enough people understand this point. They do not seem to see that whilst they receive credits with one hand, huge chunks are removed (invisibly). People need to wake up to this! It is monstrous that the poor pay for the welfare system (as it is currently set up)

Abitwobblynow Tue 02-Oct-12 10:57:34

Welfare is govt washing their hands of the unproductive and ghettoising them, whilst uttering caring platitudes.

And people fall for it.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 02-Oct-12 11:07:42

Thing is, LOTS of people are slogging their guts out FT for far, far less than £26k.

When I was with my ex, he worked for 37.5 hrs per week paid, and probably around 8 extra hours a week+ unpaid. For that he brought home just £16.8k. Before Tax & NI.

Where the fuck was he meant to find money to 'put away' when we have DC 's, and I can 't work due to disability?

RL isn't as cut and dried as all that. If you are in £26k in the SE, that doesn't 't even cover rent and bills and food.

And by the very definition of 'average', more than half of people in employment will be earning LESS than that £26k figure, because for every person earning £52k, there will be two earning £26k, or 4 people earning £13k. NMW is less than £12k pa BEFORE Tax & NI.

Where are all those people meant to find a rainy day fund if a 2-bed house costs 35% of their income BEFORE they have paid their utility bills and food costs and travel to work...

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 02-Oct-12 11:09:06

It's monstrous that the poor pay for the welfare system

Right, because no one that earns above NMW pays income tax and NI, do they? hmm

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 02-Oct-12 11:10:05

NotonethingbutAnother - don't worry about being judged as I think just about everyone has been in your shoes at one point. For the vast majority of people benefits are a temporary stopgap, not a gateway to life as a welfare queen!

I lost my job during the last recession and claimed benefits for a few months. I held onto my current job by a whisker earlier this year, but 50% of my colleagues got the chop. We were told the company was doing well, and riding out the recession, and then BAMM! Many have struggled to regain employment.

However well you think you are doing, however hard you work, you may only be a couple of paydays away from the dole queue.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 11:13:19

For the vast majority of people benefits are a temporary stopgap, not a gateway to life as a welfare queen!

This ^

I don't understand why some people take umbrage at this.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 02-Oct-12 11:16:26

When I was working and earning £42k, pre-disability, I managed to save a pot of £20k, whilst paying a mortgage and commuting costs.

When my disability was diagnosed and I lost my job (barred by law due to my specific disability, and no alternative posts at my workplace), I was told by the DWP to live off my savings. They lasted 8.5 months. After that, I had no choice but to claim benefits.

I HAVE worked since then, in NMW jobs, but as I had already had 3 DC's, two of whom have SN's (my oldest DC's SN's weren't diagnosed until AFTER I had had my 3rd DC...), I wouldn't survive (and I DO mean survive ) without Tax Credits and Housing Benefit and help with my childcare costs.

If anyone has ANY idea of the cost of childcare for a 14yo with SN's that isn't ready to be at home alone for 4hrs+ each night, they might have more clue just how impossible it is to do. Tax Credits don't cover 70% of MY childcare costs. They cover 45% if I'm lucky. And the remaining 55% is MORE THSN I CAN EARN!!

monkeysbignuts Tue 02-Oct-12 11:34:52

talkingpeace when I was getting full maternity pay with my first child and me and my dh were bringing home £3000 a month (or there abouts) we didn't claim child benefit. Our eldest is 5 so this is in its universal days. We only started claiming it when he was about 9 months old & my mat pay was reduced to nothing.
It seems to me that people are begruging others wanting a family or having kids. we cannot see into the future what our circumstances are going to be, had I known that we would struggle on one low wage after my dh losing his job (3 times in 6 years due to recession) & having to set up our own business to pay bills we would have done things a lot different pre children.
We had 7/8k savings that were wiped out moving to a better area with a nicer house but I wish we would have saved more when we could. Now we can't save and we get topped up with tax credits, but at least we are trying. Don't knock people who try please.
Once my children are full time at school my plan is to return to work and we will no long need tax credits etc and I will be more than happy to pay tax into the system for a family that does.

Peachy Tue 02-Oct-12 12:10:16

'vast majority of people benefits are a temporary stopgap, not a gateway to life as a welfare queen!

This ^

I don't understand why some people take umbrage at this.

Quite

And a large number of the remainder are either sick, disabled or carers. Not something anyone would deal with by choice.

And a large percent of those claiming HB / LHA are employed (I think Shelter stat was 80% of claimants are NOT unemployed- so employed low income, elderly or disabled / carer ), and after next eyar 'benefits' will equally coer working tax credits as income support under the same title of Universal Credit, so if you claim TCs be very aware that you are likely to hate yourself if you hate claimants.

I long for the day I go back to working, I hate dependence with a passion. The cuts push that furtehr away, not make it easier, as simple things like never getting a break day or night are attacking my health quite viciously atm. I;ve had to put a temp halt to driving, as I am falling voer a lot, and ofyten I am so exhausted I can't even talk; this sort of thing is recognised as being exceedingly common amongst carers. My Mum cares for Grandad and she has a bus journey to get to his palce, she has completely wrecked her back carrying his washing and shopping everywhere: if she ended up disabled from it then dad would ahve to pack in work and help her care and be cared for ...... cut back too much and you take people outside the job market.

of course it's a fine balance, there's only so much money and it hs to be spent right, but as with ATOS just becuase we know we need tests doesn;t mean the ones we have are suitable for purpose.

Same with the cuts we have right now.

DelhiCalling Tue 02-Oct-12 13:52:33

I've always worked hard and encourage ny children to do the same. I think they should cut benefits and make anyone able to work do whatever job is available. If the unemployed think they shouldnt have to take a low paid job, they should work harder to earn more then.

SerialKipper Tue 02-Oct-12 14:12:55

DelhiCalling I have wonderful news for you.

The unemployed already do have to take whatever job is available. If they refuse their benefit can be cut.

Been like that for years.

There we go, problem sorted. Apart from your embarrassing ignorance.

DelhiCalling that is a pretty simplistic and dare I say ignorant view.

It is not as simple as 'taking any job that is available' if that job then does not cover your outgoings, what is the point of working?

Fairier wages and more reasonable living costs are what is needed, a true 'living wage'. I think you will find some of the lowest paid jobs are the hardest in terms of physical labour, ask anyone working in a factory, as a labourer, road sweeper, etc, and they will tell you just how exhausted they are for what is generally a low wage.

Housing, utility and food costs are spiralling way out of control, I am on a wage that exceeds the national average but still find life a struggle.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 17:02:02

Compared with this lot I'm a right fluffy liberal!
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19792066
FFS give people HELP to not have to be on benefits, not kick them in the nadgers once they are stuck there

then again the number of families round here who eat takeaways or ready meals every night because the parents cannot / will not cook ....
and the chemist selling single nappies for £1 to disorganised families who forget to buy a pack of them ....

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Tue 02-Oct-12 17:13:54

Delhi people DO work hard in low paid jobs. My mum works in a chicken factory and her left leg is wrecked from standing in the cold.
She has tried to get an appointment to see a doctor but they keep telling her to ring back at 8 am.
She got fed up with it and gave up. Her leg is very swollen and a pale green colour The family are all incredibly worried about it.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 17:24:17

Delhi
in utter defence of the low paid, the UK jobs marked is deeply distorted.

"Internships" have made what were £25k a year graduate starter jobs worthless
and this has trickled down through the big companies.
They do not PAY people, because those with well of parents work for free
and those without well off parents are stuffed.

Housing in the UK is still in the middle of a massive bubble. House prices are at least 50% over what they should be
and private rents are around 60% over
and as freeholders are not penalised for leaving houses empty
and housebuilders are not penalised for sitting on 300,000 plots for which they have full planning permission
and the upper band for rates stops at letter H when it should go on to at least letter W

social mobility in the UK has ground to a complete halt.

HOWEVER I will still stick by my original premise that families out of work should not get more benefits the more kids they have, should not be allocated houses with one bedroom per child, and single parenthood should not have a financial benefit.
as none of those are the case for families who are working and getting by.

Well, TalkinPeace, here we are then. You are wanting grown up discussion (i.e., people who agree with you). I notice you have deftly sidestepped my appearance on the thread. You've taken my family's situation and an innocent question, and tried to turn us into money grabbers who exist only to buy takeaways and watch TV. Actually forget that, you've taken my family's situation and sat back comfortably, in an anonymous forum, and spat bile at us and any number of others. As they say on Mumsnet, did you mean to be so rude?

I think my new best friend is off line, but just in case, I haven't abandoned you, I'm just off to watch Great British Bake off, which says more about me than cash ever can eh TP2?

(New question: I am too old to conceive any more children, but that would have been a brilliant scam for me eh TP2? So, as you know so much about it, d'ya think I could borrow a baby, just while I get me benefits eh?

Or wrap the goat up in a blanket and a £1 nappy? Who'd know?)

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 21:27:30

Notonethingbutanother
if I had considered your thread (assuming it was yours I'd spotted, have not checked TBH) to be worth personal comment, I would have done so.
This thread is far more general than just you.
Somebody happened to make a post that I picked up on about the fact that the UK government of the last 15 years taught people to 'expect' from the government rather than have the resources to rely on themselves first and foremost.

I hope for your sakes that your family rapidly get back on your feet - you do not seem to be of the mindset to settle into benefit land.
Which is good for everybody.

Fairyjen Wed 03-Oct-12 07:04:11

talking you did mention it in you original post!!!!! Idiot

kilmuir Wed 03-Oct-12 07:17:03

Yanbu

80sMum Wed 03-Oct-12 07:35:31

Ok, here's what should happen. All means-tested benefits should be abolished. Every adult should receive benefits at the level considered to be the minimum gross amount needed to live on. The income tax allowance should be abolished also, as should National Insurance.
There would then be no poverty trap. Whatever people earned would be in addition to their benefits, so people would be incentivised to work. No other benefits would be available. We could call it National Living Allowance.

Abitwobblynow Wed 03-Oct-12 09:33:36

This is a bit off topic, but pertinent to the discussion.

The chap arrested in the Wales sadness (not commenting on that) is a man who has fathered 7 children with different women, none of which has been a marriage [legal and binding contract of commitment]

This is called 'moral hazard' and is a deep, deep problem of the welfare state as it is currently structured.

What moral hazard means is that people embark on a course of action (having children which cost £££££) ^ - without taking on the risk themselves. 'Someone else' takes on the risk.^ There are no painful consequences to themselves, in fact as it is currently structured they are REWARDED for doing so.

Until we ADMIT and debate this, we can never agree to what desperately needs to happen: and that is for the bureaucrats (the State) to get the hell out of welfare payments (wasteful, inefficient, untargetted despite the Good Intentions), and for benefits to NOT accompany babies.

My solution is universal benefit (ie, give the money, and leave people to choose how they spend it and what is good for them). But that would require PROPER wealth redistribution, it would be much more expensive and it would require the government (whoever) to really care instead of offering mealy mouthed platitudes.

Abitwobblynow Wed 03-Oct-12 09:52:52

Some other thoughts to consider:

One of the positive benefits is that the fertility rate of Britain is currently high, higher than, say Italy, or Japan (who will make themselves extinct in 100 years if they don't admit that Japanese women are voting with their contraceptives, and why).

However: as that poor Danish sociology professor who got sacked for telling the empirical truth about the results of his study*, the WRONG people are having babies.

A very sad and negative consequence of funding parenting in loose, chaotic family structures is that British children are the saddest. Britain tops the advanced world for depression in children.

I also read a in study this morning about emotional abuse: the severe rise of NPD and BPD (see relationships page for the problems this causes to people), is thought to be a result 'so few of us grew up in a two-parent family, to the fact that more and more single mothers are raising children whilst at the same time having to earn a living, or to the fact that all forms of child abuse have been increasing over the years. It is generally believed that these personality disorders are caused, or at least exacerbated, by inadequate parenting, parental neglect, abandonment and/or child abuse' - Beverly Engel, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship.

*In a study of IQ in Denmark, he found that the general level of Danish IQ is going down - because the highest birth rate is in socio-economic group D (unproductive) welfare dependents. He got sacked.

So: when are we going to be honest, and have an honest discussion, rather than a) assume that the welfare state (as it is currently structured) is an Inherent Good, b) getting emotional and using emotive rhetoric to 'prove a fact'?

After volunteering in a children's home, I truly believe that the welfare state (as it is currently structured) actively rewards immature irresponsible behaviour and because children bear the brunt of the suffering, and they SUFFER, is nothing short of fucking evil (I am not the first person to observe that welfare subsidises child abuse). Good Intentions are irrelevant self-indulgent and actually get in the way of the truth.

There. that is my non-emotional cards on the table smile.

MoreBeta Wed 03-Oct-12 12:36:19

80sMum - yoiur idea of a National Living Allowance is widely discussed in academic economics circles. Generally called a Universal Benefit as you say everyone rich or poor either in work or out of work woudl get paid this allowance. It would be widely accepted as everyone would get it - like NHS Healthcare and Child Benefit and State Pension and State Education.

Typically, the theory is that Universal Benefit should be paid out of the income from tax on oil, gas, coal, forest, mineral and radio spectrum rights. This would therefore be each person's rightful share of the national natural wealth.

I think it is a terrific idea and the only additional thing I would add to what you said is get rid of minimum wage. That way employers would have to pay the rate that was attractive enough to make people get off the sofa but no one would be forced to work for under Welfare to Work schemes for nothing.

The cost of administering benefits would also drop dramatically as would benefit fraud.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 03-Oct-12 13:04:26

Abitwobblynow speaks a lot of sense.

I'm open to the idea of universal benefit, but I don't really understand how it would work. It seems like a good idea, but wouldn't prices rise as companies see that people can afford to pay more for the same stuff? I'm not sure that it would raise the standard of living for most people. Plus, I would rather see the money from income tax etc go into providing higher quality healthcare and education. I'd like the personal tax allowance to be higher, and for everyone to pay a flat rate of tax after a generous personal allowance. That way, we could scrap tax credits (especially child tax credits which are in effect just free money for having children) as people could keep more of the money they earned, and it would save a huge amount of money in administering these benefits. I also think it would have the effect of reducing both tax avoidance and tax evasion, as the wealthy wouldn't feel like they were being fleeced and instead would be happy to contribute a fair share. Society would feel more equal if everyone was paying the same 30% (for example).

Outraged, you're right - giving a set amount to each individual would cause inflation which would erode any increase in the standard of living. Furthermore, inflation hits those on fixed and low incomes hardest so a universal benefit/ payment would be self-defeating in terms of limiting poverty and creating greater equality in living standards.
I'd rather see more tax allowances built into the system (for public transport to work, children and child care), higher personal allowances and the introduction of a greater number of narrower tax bands. I'd also like to see VAT reduced so as to minimise its regressive impact.
What always strikes me about threads like this is that if we assume all humans are rational egoists (^homo economicus^ if you like) and a small number of people are making the rational choice to live on benefits how shit must the alternative be?

Peachy Wed 03-Oct-12 16:25:45

Abit I will never support not tagaing benefits to babies (something that has changed under the cap to an extent) because the sort of people who would do that are not the sort of people to say 'bugger, income's cut, best give up the pub and spend a greater percentage of my income on my progeny'; the kids will be the ones who go without.

And that is not something I will ever be OK with.

Peachy Wed 03-Oct-12 16:28:55

Mamma wouldn't tax breaks for public transport penalise those who cannot use it- those whose workplaces are away from commuter routes, whose work has erratic hours (SH had a job coming home at 3am once), anyone in housing away from public routes (and the current changes mean that many can;t be choosy- either because they are so poor they have to take whoever will house them, or because they have negative equity)or indeed those who rely on their car to work- care assistants....

Tax breaks for childcare would be great- mind, so would access to SN childcare at all...

Peachy Wed 03-Oct-12 16:35:23

Well Abit I have to disagree entirely on your POV.

Non emotionally again (and emotion is NOT a bad thing, not the enemy of reason) I have seen the welfare state save people's families, make difficult situations more tenable.

I worked for a children's charity conduction home visits and assessments so am equally exposed to the truth of the situation I believe.

I know that when Dh was made redundant it was the welfare state in it's current form (certainly UC would have worked against us) that enable him to retrain: as I can't work, on UC we would financially be better off in that situation if we had split up. Not just financially either- we would get respite and other help that we do not have now.

From what I have read (everything available) the new system will work against the people who need it the most and make it easier for bludgers and the habitually lazy to get by.

Abitwobblynow Wed 03-Oct-12 17:38:13

Peachy I have been unemployed, homeless and grateful for the help, so try and hear what I am really saying.

OF COURSE there has to be help for people. We wouldn't be human otherwise. What I am saying is the welfare state as it is currently structured. And as it is currently structured, and how it is currently paid for is a cheap cop-out.

What I advocate is universal benefit where every British person over the age of 21 is automatically given around £6,000 per year, in monthly payments into a bank account. No ifs ands or buts, except for two provisos: they have to purchase health insurance, and they have to start a pension plan. They HAVE to do this (please remember the NHS is a state benefit). All other benefits are done away with.

If you are interested, Charles Murray (an economist) came up with the theory (Charles Murray: the reform of the welfare state). He agrees that it would cost more at the beginning and the rich would have to pay more than they do now, but that the cost would slide as more people got jobs (because there would be no penalty to topping up your income like there currently is), and less bureaucrats need to be employed.

I think it is a really good idea. The basic premise is: trust the people. People always do what is best for them and they really don't need state intervention to tell them how to live their lives.

Abitwobblynow Wed 03-Oct-12 17:41:51

Do you know why people on benefits don't work and don't want to work? Because the tax rate on the lowest paid people in our country, is over 90%.

Why aren't people more scandalised about this!

Interfering bureaucrats CREATE the black economy they are in such a frenzy about. When are people going to get this basic fact of human life: if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it. If you leave people alone and allow them the consequences of their good choices, you get more good choices.

It's so obvious.

Because the tax rate on the lowest paid people in our country, is over 90%.
The tax system is completely unfair to the bottom and top income deciles. From memory the bottom decile pay around 45% of gross income in all taxes. Where did you find the 90% figure?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 03-Oct-12 18:42:20

How is the tax rate unfair on the lowest paid people? They get tax credits!

freemanbatch Wed 03-Oct-12 18:58:08

the benefits system has just saved me from a life filled with marital rape and abuse.

he earned a lot of money I couldn't buy new shoes when I need them. I don't personally think that I should have to struggle to feed my kids as much as I am having to never mind even more so so that I can sleep at night and don't live in constant fear.

The benefit system is there to protect those who need it and most of those who need it aren't people in any position to have money of their own.

FrothyOM Wed 03-Oct-12 19:15:14

Single mothers on benefits cause mental illness?!

Now I have heard it all.

Because Outraged they pay a higher proportion of their income in tax from other income groups. If the poorest 10% of the population(bottom decile/ decile 1) pay 45% of their gross income in tax (direct and indirect taxes) and deciles 2-9 pay 35% the poorest 10% are paying a larger proportion of their income in taxes.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 03-Oct-12 19:18:02

I think everyone supports a benefits system that is there for when people need it. But, it should always be a temporary thing, except in cases where disability or illness is impossible or makes working detrimental to health.

There is no other excuse for people being on benefits long term, and there is no excuse for becoming pregnant while on benefits.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 03-Oct-12 19:21:10

Fair enough Mamma. But 45% (if that's accurate) of not very much is not very much. And as the poorest people are the ones that take the most out, I think it balances ok. The higher rate tax payers pay a huge amount to the treasury, and take the least out so I don't think they deserve to be hot for any more.

There is no other excuse for people being on benefits long term, and there is no excuse for becoming pregnant while on benefits.

There are no jobs in my area?
There are 473,000 job vacancies and 2.59 million people unemployed?
The condom split?
I got sacked because I'm pregnant?

Aren't they good enough reasons?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 03-Oct-12 19:29:42

Not really, no.

Someone who got sacked while they were pregnant would have not got pregnant while they were on benefits.

I realise there are contraception failures, but as contraception is well over 90% effective when used correctly, I don't believe that that can contribute to the high numbers of children who have two parents out of work. There are children in the third generation of families where no one works. That is wrong.

I also realise that unemployment is high. I don't think that is a reason to have children you can't provide for. If you haven't got a job and neither does the person you are having sex with, don't conceive a child.

I know 5 people who have been made redunadnt while preganat or on maternity leave.

Last year, while in my 'secure' job we tried to get pregant. Having been unemplyed now for 17 weeks I am relieved it failed.

Relieved to not fall pregantn with a much wanted child. THAT is the current climate.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 10-Oct-12 00:20:56

BENEFITS - For Those Who Think It's a Picnic

I a single parent on benefits. Here's the breakdown per week.
Income support = 67
CTC. = 50
CB. =20
Total. = 137

Utilities. = 30
mobile + TV lic = 08
School transport= 30

That leaves £67.00 per week for food, clothes, haircuts, extra transport (to/from supermarket, visiting friend's/family, days out) Christmas, birthdays (DS's and friends whose parties he is invited to, my family are happy with homemade), school extras (trips etc), extra curricular activities (swimming).

I am extremely fortunate. My family help out with clothes and shoes and treats for DS. If one of my appliances breaks down, I am fucked.sad

Life on benefits sucks. Why do people think it's great?

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 10-Oct-12 00:24:46

Sorry, I meant £69 per week. blush

Not that it matters but others in my position are in private lets. That have to put £100 from their benefits into rent. They are truly fucked.

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 08:50:09

I think it's a scandal that people on £12,000 a year pay tax. I'm talking about single people with no families. The tax threshold should be no lower than £15,000 per year.

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 08:51:55

There is such a discrepancy on the amount a person receives in benefit. I read that tax credits brings a single parent's income up to £446.00 a week. Can this be right.

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