to be upset and a bit shocked at best friends views on benefits??

(39 Posts)
PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:06:43

Having become a single parent for the second time (due to ex being an emotionally abusive prick) I have found myself relying on benefits whilst going to college.

My friend has also been a single mum to three children and has received benefits during some of that time, although she did work full time at one point, but did get her childcare paid through tax credits.

She is now happily married and dead against benefits - she has gone so far to suggest that I should have had to pay for college because she did! She has conveiniently forgot that her husband has a bloody good job and can support her through college, her parents give her a hell of a lot of support and she was once in my shoes and took the help available!

I want to point out that I am not work shy, I have worked since my first child was born up until now.

AIBU to be upset?

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:07:10

Oh and obviously worked before having children

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:08:20

* Oh and obviously worked before I had children.*

AThingInYourLife Tue 09-Oct-12 13:09:11


Someone who is happy to receive benefits when they need them but doesn't want anyone else to get them is obviously an asshole.

LFCisTarkaDahl Tue 09-Oct-12 13:10:36

Zero point being upset, just dump her - she isn't your friend.

I had to actually fiddle the benefits system nearly 20 years ago or we'd have starved.

impty Tue 09-Oct-12 13:14:37

So, by this she is assuming she'll never need benefits in the future? That's a risky position to take!

lovesmellingthecoffee Tue 09-Oct-12 13:15:57

I was just listening to a lot of benefit bashing on Radio 4. most of the evidence seemed to be apocryphal e.g. 'my friend lives next door to an old man who says unemployed young men are lazy arses who drink lager all day'.
When really you have to look at the bigger picture and see that work for less qualified doesn't really exist.
Traditional male jobs in manufacturing and industry have mostly disappeared. It was easier for the Government to ignore declining industries in the North and encourage the financial sector in the South. Unfortunately creating jobs which need a high degree of skill.
Instead of creating class mobility we need to make conditions and work better for the lower classes left behind in the race to the top.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:18:49

She to be fair did work full time with 3 kids most of the time she was single but she got childcare paid for and I don't see how this is different from claiming income support as it costs tax payers money.

impty my point exactly. Surely she should just be bloody grateful that she is in a loving relationship and doesn't have to be both parents to her children!

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 13:20:34

Its a weird cut throat culture at the minute! I don't know if its the recession that's caused it. so no yanbu to be upset, stuff her you will be back on form at some point with a good qualification. good luck.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:20:49

What happens if her husband leaves her? She would be forced to claim or starve. Which one will it be? Um I wonder.

geegee888 Tue 09-Oct-12 13:22:13

Slightly off-topic lovesmelling but I liked the thoughtfulness of your post. I see the over-complication of semi-skilled jobs and the correpsonding rise in prices as substituting for the former male dominated industries. eg electricians, plumbers, heating engineers, "health and safety professionals" - what they do is quite important but they now earn more than some professionals who are genuinely very clever and invested a lot in their futures, and access into these industries is difficult.

OP, if your friend isn't paying her own way but letting her DH do it, then thats a tad hypocritical.

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 13:23:39

I bet you a gold clock she would be signing on!!
No one likes signing on do they, but sometimes you have too.
also tax credits are benefits so even if she did work full time claiming tax credits ment she was reliant on benefits.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 09-Oct-12 13:29:20

Or indeed if her husband was made redundant, fell ill or had to take a low paid job. There are a million and one reasons people have to claim "benefits". I for one wholly resent the term which is used interchangeably with scrounger. Even the very rich can offsett company losses, capital gains loss etc completely legally as a tax benefit but those on the lower end of the spectrum are of course scroungers. We have child tax credit and child benefit which we could not manage without. When I was little this was known as "family allowance" and my mother would never have classed herself as a "benefit scrounger" even though she chould never manage without it. There were income tax differences also, married couples tax allowance, allowances for children. This changed when child tax credit was bought in. When I had my first child my income tax code changed so I paid less tax. We, all of us, use the system to benefit ourselves and our families because that is what the rules are there for. To help those at all ends of the spectrum. Yes there are scroungers and the feckless but they are a small percentage of those who are just trying to live their messy everyday lives.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:38:25

Well said lovelygoldboots I think she is being hypocritical as she claimed tax credits but now she is over the threshold she keeps saying "Oh I don't think people should get as much help. I don't."


I actually do think the threshold could do with being raised for working tax credits but that's another story.

lovesmellingthecoffee Tue 09-Oct-12 13:40:06

geegee888 yes sorry OP about hijack but I am so sick of the Tories going on about cutting benefits. Smug Osborne and Cameron with their vast wealth hidden in tax havens and trusts, pontificating about the feckless poor, what about the feckless rich. Who have used companies as personal banking systems.
I bet the Cabinate alone could put a billion into the welfare system if they parted with their savings.
I'd really like to see some legislation which protected what little industry we have left. And I voted Tory at the last election.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:40:38

monkeybignuts Exactly! Tax credits is money from the government / tax payers.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:41:21

loving Bet you wish you hadn't voted Tory now!

FayeKinitt Tue 09-Oct-12 13:48:46

The very sad thing is Panda she's unlikely to change her mind unless she has a disaster in life.

I'm a little ashamed to admit I was a bit hmm of people claiming benefits. It was all right for me in my middle class household, with holidays every year and a decent education. But then as an adult my mental health failed me and I couldn't work. I'm so fucking grateful the benefits system kept my head above water for a little while. And it gave me a big education on what a great country we live in (y'know, until the Tories wreck it...)

lovesmellingthecoffee Tue 09-Oct-12 13:48:56

Indeed I do OP, I really don't know who I will vote for next time. Maybe Liberal grin

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 09-Oct-12 14:01:17

Panda next time she spouts off, remind her that Child Benefit is a benefit and I bet she's received/still receives that for each of her three children. The clue's in the name - child benefit. Carry on and remind her that she's only divorce, death, redundancy, domestic violence, serious illness or adultery from being in a situation where she'll be back claiming benefits again. She'll dismiss you or sneer and say she'd still not claim, but you both know she would if she had to. Some people have very short memories.

She sounds jealous tbh. Maybe her husband is financially abusive and she has no money? Maybe she's bored of not working and wants more from life? Maybe she's just an arsehole? Good luck with your studies.

whatsoever Tue 09-Oct-12 15:08:37

I get very upset about some if my friends' attitudes to benefits too OP. I consider myself very lucky - my DH & I both have well paid jobs but more than that have 2 sets of supportive parents who would do anything for us if unfortunate or tragic things happened to us. I have no idea why people can't see that any of us are only one step away from needing benefits e.g. One partner gets cancer & other partner becomes full time carer; relationship breakdown, redundancy etc.

And don't get me started on how the government are trying to stir up non-benefit recipients against benefit recipients. It's inhuman.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:42:25

I have tried to softkitty.

I have said what happens if her husbands loses her job and they had to manage on one wage. She dismissed it as "Oh we would cope, we had to do without working tax before he got this job".

confused She would have got child tax though. I am sure she wouldn't say no to it, if they did find themselves in that situation.

To make things worse, it seems its ok to claim tax credits as a family but single mums who work "get too much" angry

Well actually if you think about it a single person still has to pay the same rent as what a couple would do, electric isn't any cheaper nor is gas or water rates. It costs roughly the same to run a house as a couple as it does with only adult there so why shouldn't a single mum or father get a little extra help?

I for one didn't choose to be single!

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:43:10

* only one adult

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:46:18

whatsoever I totally agree. Having been part of a couple not entitled to wtc and also a single mum needing benefits to survive, I can see both sides of the argument but the way the Government is stirring things is horrible.

usualsuspect3 Tue 09-Oct-12 17:47:59

And shes your best friend, why?

TheCraicDealer Tue 09-Oct-12 17:49:44

Even if something does happen to her or her nearest and dearest which necessitates asking for help from the states, it'll always be "different" for them. Always is.....

SofaKing Tue 09-Oct-12 17:56:04

Just start saying that you are glad you are not a kept woman. That'll shut her up grin

My sister threw that one at me recently as she is an LP to a 16 yr old and I am a sahm. She conveniently forgot that she and her partner lived off benefits for years and he worked for several years while she was a sahm. She is a world class goalpost mover, sounds like she and your friend would get along!

MerylStrop Tue 09-Oct-12 17:56:14

She sounds a bit thick.

Have you challenged her on it?

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:56:17

usual We have known each other since nursery and she is a wonderful person who will go out of her way to help others. Just lately I am seeing another side of her and it really saddens me. I hope to god nothing bad ever does happen but a tiny part of me can't wait to say 'told you so!' God I sound like a right bitch now!

usualsuspect3 Tue 09-Oct-12 17:58:02

I'd dump her, a wonderful person wouldn't hold her views.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:58:38

She isn't thick, far from it and she works as does her husband. I think she just needs to get her head out of the clouds (or her arse) on this issue and come back to reality.

SofaKing Tue 09-Oct-12 18:05:09

Even though she works, you have said that without her dh's income she would probably need tax credits. Therefore for every nasty remark I would hit back with how glad you are that you are not reliant on a partner's income. If you do it tit for tat, and she isn't stupid, she should stop. And if she doesn't, she is getting at you and you should stop seeing her.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 18:12:51

sofaking Good plan. Yes she is reliant on is income to keep off tax credits so I will point that out to her.

marjproops Tue 09-Oct-12 18:39:36

I HAVE to live on benefits cos Im a fulltime carer for a disabled child, there are a few MNs who are the same, Im sure Ive seen that elsewhere. before DC I was also working fulltime, paying my taxes/NI etc etc. I wanted to work when I became a mum and DC was at school, in a school, (Im a senco, very useful with my DC!!) in school hours,but DC has so many hozzy/docs/support agency visits/special needs and requirements, theres no way I can. I dont like getting money this way, but Im a carer for the rest of my life now and just have to have the mindset that this is my job so Im working for the money. Its the workshy benefit cheats that bug everyone, not the ones who are genuinly entitled to help. but OP as others say, this is not a friend, and she should know better having been in that situation.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 18:54:00

marjproops You have every right to claim and I think my friend wouldn't have a bad word to say to you. If she did I would tell her where to go.

I am going to stand up to her and challenge her views. I guess the reason I haven't is that I do rely on benefits and it embarrasses me. Never for a moment did I want or think I would become a single mum scrapping about on minimum wage. I so wish I had gone to college and uni at 16 -18 but for various reasons I didn't and now I am paying the price by struggling through college with two young children to care for.

marjproops Tue 09-Oct-12 18:59:25

PandaSpaniel, bless you, thank you for that. you can have me for a friend instead!!!

and you're right too, I find it embarrasing to say I live on bens just cause I get that 'single mum on bens' judgement. This isnt in our lifes plan but its the way things have turned out. Not our fault is it?

Thanx again, let me encourage you too. x

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 19:13:17

Thank You marjproops I find it hard with two perfectly healthy children, so I can imagine its so much harder with a disabled child. My baby is ill at the mo, nothing major but I haven't managed to get out of the house all day. So hats off to you x

marjproops Tue 09-Oct-12 19:27:53

Same here, Ive busted my knee so thats why we're sitting here MN-tting!! No seriously, knee, yes its true, DC's in bed now, gets very tired. Hope your baby gets better. x

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 09-Oct-12 20:51:49

Panda I'm a single parent, I work part time and due to my low income, also claim WTCs and TCs. I also get a small amount of housing benefit. She'd love me grin. Until a few years ago I worked full time but guess what? I was still entitled to WTCs and TCs because of my low income. So what would she'd have suggested I do then? Refuse the benefits? Not likely, because they helped keep a roof over me and my DSs head, put food on the table and helped towards nursery fees so I could work.

I know what you mean about bring embarrassed about claiming benefits. I find it shameful, even though I work. I don't like admitting to receiving them but I need them to survive, so there we are. I, too, have got friends who say things about benefits, slate kids going to nursery etc but when I challenge it and point out that they are effectively slating my life, I get 'oh, but it's different for you'. FFS angry

At least you're at college, striving to better yourself and unlike her, you're not relying on a man to keep you off benefits. Try to remember: what other people think, say and do, is always about them and never about you.

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