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to think that there are people who choose to live a life on benefits?

(1000 Posts)
autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 11:51:39

the recent threads about George Osbourne made me wonder..
A high number of posters say that people don't choose to live like that, they stumble into it, hate it, what a miserable existence it is, nobody would ever choose it etc..
but if you have two or three children through choice, whilst at the same time having no job to provide for them, or if you turn down the job at the local factory (as I know someone who did) because it pays £7.50 an hour and a full time job there doesn't give you the same unemployment rights and benefits, isn't that choosing to live a life on benefits? Or being trapped on benefits? I'm not talking about people who can't work, disabled people, ill people, women dumped by feckless ex and left to fend for herself etc.. of course they should be protected.
I was watching 999 What's Your Emergency and I know that area. And I know people like that exist. And it's often a second, third generation who have never worked a day in their life, even during times when work was freely available. In the town I live, we have numerous Eastern European immigrants who all seem to be working, but mostly in low paid work the locals wont do
What say you?

I say ugh

That's it.

But other people will no doubt have much more to say.

ginslinger Wed 10-Oct-12 11:54:37

I say that you should have a cup of tea, a piece of cake and relax.

kilmuir Wed 10-Oct-12 11:55:35

YANBU

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 11:55:53

I'm sure there are people trapped on benefits. I was raised by a single Mother who had no choice but to go to work because there was no cushion of welfare back in those days.

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 10-Oct-12 11:57:40

Of course there are people like that - the problem is that it's a very small amount of people and the actual cost of it is nowhere near the amount of tax lost due to avoidance.

So Osborne protects his cronies from 'suffering' during recessions and instead seeks to quell the poor by whittering on about all the 'feckless scroungers'.

If I told you it represented less than a sixth of one per cent of the total bill would you then have it in context?

The Tories deliberately don't provide a context, they'd rather capitalise on class hatred and scare monger.

SoleSource England Wed 10-Oct-12 11:57:49

I am a Carer on benefits. I got a job recently. I am English, not Polish, sorry to disappoint you there.

irishchic Wed 10-Oct-12 11:57:52

YANBU but you'll prepare for the flaming that usually falls upon anyone who dares to make this sort of point on MN!

Ephiny Wed 10-Oct-12 11:58:06

Yes I think some people choose to, it's an almost unavoidable consequence of providing a social safety-net tbh. I'm sure most don't though.

HecateLarpo Wed 10-Oct-12 11:58:40

I know that there are. I know several. And there can be a culture of benefits, a generational one. It was like that on the estate I grew up on. People are very naive if they claim that is never the case, with anyone.

however, as a percentage of the total number of people on benefits - it is very small. Very, very small. But it is convenient for the politicians to pretend that everyone on benefits is sitting back, laughing. It's not the case.

Hullygully Wed 10-Oct-12 11:59:00

or if you turn down the job at the local factory (as I know someone who did) because it pays £7.50 an hour and a full time job there doesn't give you the same unemployment rights and benefits, isn't that choosing to live a life on benefits? Or being trapped on benefits?

I think you answered your own question here, dear.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:01:12

Tell you what OP - why don't you worry about YOUR life and YOUR choices and keep your views on everybody else's choices to yourself. You don't know why people live as they do. You don't know what influences them or has confined them to a certain path.

The concept of the deserving versus the undeserving poor went out about 150 years ago btw.

trixie123 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:01:31

I say duck and cover! The problem with threads like this is that people ignore the caveats that you have added to say there are many people who DO justifiably need to rely on the benefit system and will jump straight into telling you you are a bigot, a Tory etc. You are not wrong, there are people who choose to rely on the state and it is a shame but if they CAN be better off that way than taking low paid work that won't pay childcare costs then I can see how people decide to do it. Perhaps the problem is more that it currently does work out better to stay off work if you have childcare issues. Despite the fact that per hour, childcare providers are also low paid, it is still a HUGE cost for most families.

Snorbs Wed 10-Oct-12 12:01:35

I think there are, but I think people like that are a very small percentage of the overall number of people who claim benefits. Don't forget that there are more people claiming housing benefit who work than those who don't.

My (admittedly anecdotal and non-professional) experience suggests that many of the people who are resigned to a life on benefits have drug/alcohol issues that make then nigh-on unemployable anyway. There may very well be mental health problems underlying those drug/alcohol issues as well.

What do you suggest happens to such people? Just stop the money and watch them die on the streets?

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:03:43

I don't care how small or high the percentage is though, it's still a vast vast sum of money. It needs to be addressed instead of avoided because it's politically incorrect to notice that the sky is blue.

OneHandFlapping Wed 10-Oct-12 12:08:52

YANBU!

Snorbs Wed 10-Oct-12 12:09:22

So I ask again. What do you suggest happens to such people? Just stop the money and watch them die on the streets?

nemno England Wed 10-Oct-12 12:10:10

My, admittedly limited, experience of families who rely on benefits and have no intention of doing anything else suggests that the benefit part is the least of the costs. Way more is spent on them because of frequent police and SS involvement. Targeting these few families in each community for extra help will work out much cheaper in the long run if the children can be weaned out of the vicious cycle.

HecateLarpo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:10:58

It matters a lot that it is a small percentage because that should change how it is dealt with. The majority should not pay for the actions of the minority.

Instead of taking a hammer to an entire system and act like everyone's sitting back with no desire to have a different lifestyle on the grounds that some people somewhere have the attitude that they are just going to claim and never work, they should look at the small (statistically) number of people who have this life and this feeling, really look at why they do and identify how best to change that. How best to break the cycle.

olgaga Wed 10-Oct-12 12:12:23

42% of welfare spending goes on pensioners: £77bn in total. And more than 15% - £31bn - goes on children, via child benefit and the child tax credit. That’s almost £6 out of every £10 of welfare spending accounted for and, so far, not a “scrounger” in sight.

Then we’ve got another 10% going on support for disabled people – and this should not be confused with incapacity benefit, now called employment and support allowance, or ESA. A further 5% goes to carers and boosting the incomes of the working poor.

Only a shade over a 10th of the benefits bill – and a far smaller share of total public spending – is actually spent on directly replacing the incomes of those not in work, through jobseeker’s allowance, income support and ESA (£21bn in total). The remaining large items of spending are council tax benefit (£5bn) and housing benefit (£20bn).

Source: IPPR
m.ippr.org/articles/56/8893/budget-2012-breaking-down-the-benefits-bill

MumsGoToReykjavik Wed 10-Oct-12 12:12:34

I know of several families (my sister and her own family included) who make a deliberate choice to not work and to live off benefits. Lots and lots of people like to try and pretend it isn't going on but it most certainly is.

Bubblemoon Wed 10-Oct-12 12:13:20

It clearly is a lifestyle choice for some who should know better and could make better choices for themselves. But what an unfulfilling life. Shame on us all for making it possible.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:14:14

YANBU.

Too many people deny that others like that exist, and they are wrong. These people do exist, and not in small numbers. There are entire postcodes where no one works.

I think most of us could name at least one family who chooses to be on benefits, so while it may be a small percentage of all people, it's not a small number. In the same way that some of the socialist lefties on here talk about every landlord being greedy or every higher rate taxpayer being guilty of avoidance, we should take steps to prevent people making choices that are detrimental to society, at other ends of the scale.

Ofcourse there are. I know people who choose to live for brew days and get pissed all week and go down to the JCP as a social outing to apply for another crisis loan.

I know a girl who had another child to get more money even though she cant cope with her first.

The problem is, these people are in the minority. But the government would like everyone to believe that anyone who is on benefits chooses to live like this. Its simply not true.

People have lost jobs everywhere. People are now having to claim the benefits they paid tax and NI for and are being demonised for it.

I said it on another thread, I will say it here again, 999 Whats your emergency? feels very much like another form of government propaganda to reinforce their message that benefits is a choice.

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:14:32

What hecate says.

I am trapped on benefits (tax credits, DH works but low paid) because there infrastructure in disability services that would allow me to work is non existent- I am a Carer. i did work, iI now do not.

I used to work in a parenting charity in a town notorious for unemployment and trouble: yet to meet a family for whom I cannot see any reasons as to why they ended up thee, from abuse through to whatever. It's help they need, which costs, so they just get insults from the state instead.

jam17 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:14:46

I have a friend you had a baby at 16. We're now 22 ( I have a one year old, me and DP work). She is still on benefits. Never worked a day in her life and doens't intend to.

She's claims she wouldn't be much better off,well not enough to move her arse from the sofa.
I have another friend who is now having her third child (dad of children 1&2 is in prison, child 3 is with a new partner). She's 22. If you have two children and live on benefits and didn't get any gcse's, then why have a third? It's an active choice to have that many children! She also has the cheek to moan about her house being to small (2 bed). makes me FUMING.

I had to turn that 999 programme off. DP said the woman they kept interviewing needed to be put down grin she was a vile sponger

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:15:00

no Snorbs, obviously not.
But how we do help create a culture which underlines the importance of personal responsibility? How do we get that message across?
Yes,we need to increase the minimum wage, create new jobs.. but there are things people can do to make themselves more employable: do voluntary work, move to a different area, (did this myself on a shoestring budget) do lower paid work we might be overqualified for. Yes there are fewer jobs. There are fewer opportunities. But I don't recognize the UK described on Mumsnet, the 'there are NO JOBS in the whole entire country, we're all doomed, etc.'

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:15:07

'There are entire postcodes where no one works. '

Didn't know that; examples please?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:15:35

Yes, there are. However big or small the number, it's pernicious and will grow, inevitably, through generations.

olgaga Wed 10-Oct-12 12:17:06

You have to ask yourself whether you want a society where the alcoholics, drug addicts and other people who are for whatever reason unemployable are out on the streets desperate and destitute - begging, stealing and making life rather tiresome for everyone else.

Which is what would happen if benefits were withdrawn from this relatively small number of people.

Noqontrol Wed 10-Oct-12 12:17:51

It is a lifestyle choice for some.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:18:39

I'm not going to name examples because they are places where I have family. But areas where large numbers of people don't work do exist. Where young girls nearly all have babies and next to none have jobs.

Deny it if you want to, it won't stop it being true.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:19:25

What I don't get is, you have all these stories on here, then you get people who say No! it doesn't ever happen!

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:19:37

Brycie, that's my worry. The future. People say 'oh well, it's only a small number, so it doesn't matter, we should keep paying and stop thinking about it', but I worry about the start of a new cycle of dependence which will impact on future generations and affect my childrens children.

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:20:31

Poverty costs.

Healthcare, education (which is why we have an extra payment for kids on FSM now), social services, long term employability of their children etc.... it adds up.

You would have to strip the claimant and their children of all rights to any state services to make cutting benefits from them worthwhile.

You would then start losing people to suicide, abuse and starvation rapidly.

Not OK.

Paradisefound Wed 10-Oct-12 12:20:44

Some people don't know any different their parents never worked. Whenever we have a delivery whether it be tesco food shopping or parcel from yodel it's always a polish person or more recently a spanish youngster... It amazes me that these youngsters can travel to the uk and pick up work so easily.

A major cultural change is occurring in Britain .. A lot of people won't like it.. But the next generation will be more accepting. The transition will be painful.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 12:21:30

I work in the minimum wage retail sector and unfortunately there seems to be a growing trend in the number of my female staff who aspire to become single mums in order to receive accommodation and I think it has a direct link to the price of housing in this part of the country and they think it's the only way they will ever be able to 'leave home' sad It may just be where I work though smile

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:21:58

Autumn, I think changes in education may help. I'm hoping so. Chidlren from underprivileged backgrounds have been failed for so long by sorry to use this word but soppy standards and a refusal to acknowledge failure or encourage success. Nobody wanted to oppress them with things that could help like, you know, times tables and grammar. Standards will I hope get better and that can only give hope.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:23:21

There is a lot in what Peachy says. There would be short term pain but in the end the longer term pain would be deeper. Improvements in education are the only real way to long term improvement.

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:23:35

I'm uncomfortable with the left wing view that we should just accept that it happens and not think about it because 'we will always have people like that'
How defeatist and depressing is that? That is NOT the country I want to live in.

Snorbs Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:05

Maybe we could start by having a culture where personal responsibility is seen as a positive thing from the people at the top and let that trickle down society. Eg, let's not have MPs creaming tens of thousands of pounds in dodgy expense claims, investment bankers not making huge investments in things they can't be arsed to find out if they're worth investing in and subsequently ruining the whole economy and then walking away with large bonuses, politicians blatantly lying to the electorate, convicted criminals on the House of Lords, police officers getting off scot-free for offences that would put ordinary people in jail, or members of the royal family whoring out their connections for money.

Maybe if we sort all that bullshit out, those at the bottom end of society might have some more positive role models and decide that, actually, taking personal responsibility might be a good idea.

I don't think that everyone is, but after watching 999 what's your emergency it would seem that there are some people who do.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:32

Yes me too. I don't think we have to make more "people like that"!

ladywithnomanors Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:39

YABU to think that these people exist , of course they do but like other posters point out the government can't just cut their money off as there are usually children involved.
The prime example of someone who 'works' the system is an aquaintance of mine. She is 30, has 7 children between the ages of 8 months and 10 years. Neither her nor her partner work and she has just announced she is expecting number 8. I kid you not. No doubt she will continue to have children as she sees it as her right and live off the state for the next god knows how many years.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:24:56

Paradise, that's another thing that people like to deny.

It is a fact that there are people from other countries that will do work that British people don't want to do. I can see where it comes from, we all think we are entitled to minimum wage and excellent working conditions, but when there are people around who will do anything, and a system that will support you if you don't want to do anything, then what do we expect?

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:25:39

Brycie I think that may be school dependent; I ahve ahd children in the state education sector now for 8 years and we have always ahd grammar and time tables to learn!

Not that poor kids ever get encouraged to study. I guess I don;t exist, what with my council house upbringing, 2 sisters with high levels quals and good careers, degree and almost complete MA.

There is no 'unemployed / poor / lower earning people do X and better off / hardworking* / other people do Y'.

*coz everyone knows that hard working and lower earning are never compatible. Honest. (That was more of a general rant than targeted at anyone here)

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 12:27:35

I think we need to ask WHY people from other countries can sometimes be able?

Could it be becuase they live in tiny housing 12 to a room with their families back home and don;t have to pay high childcare costs here, as an example?

Could it be that it is the employers who recruit who have the bias?
Outraged I asked you for an example postcode?

Nagoo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:27:48

The thing is, that you get out of it with a two line caveat: 'oh I don't mean old or disabled people or children or carers'.

And so we forget about them, and focus on hating Jeremy Kyle reprobates. And then when the government says 'WELFARE CUTS' we are all supposed to all think 'GOOD'.

This makes me livid.

EdgarAllanPond Wed 10-Oct-12 12:28:15

i have known people to make that choice (to some extent myself included)

but what of it? it doesn't change the total number unemployed, the company just recruited their positions

Jinsei Wed 10-Oct-12 12:28:38

Abuse of the system undoubtedly happens. The trouble is, any attempt to stamp our such abuse will inevitably impact also on innocent people who have no choice about their circumstances. Should these people be punished for the sins of a small minority?

Personally, I'd rather sub a few scroungers than deny those who are genuinely in need.

What system do you think the government should put in place to distinguish between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor?

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:16

I thought migrant workers had a different rate of pay? I thought this was why people employed them rather than British people?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:26

"I ahve ahd children in the state education sector now for 8 years and we have always ahd grammar and time tables to learn!"

Peachy, if I may quote your post! I think this is part of the problem. You sound like a good mum and are doing the grammar and times tables with your children. That means the school is not doing enough.

There are many families without parents like you and if they aren't doing it in school then they aren't doing it. YOU shoudl not have to do the grammar and times tables with your children.

Laquitar Wed 10-Oct-12 12:30:22

I think the few that might choose to be on benefits have some help from family or do some work for ca

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:31:01

Yes, and I said no because the only examples I can honestly give are ones where I have family. Is that not a valid answer? Do you want me to out myself and publicly demean my own family members? hmm

Take it at face value or don't, but don't bang on when I've already answered you.

Yes, I think that people from other countries do get work because of the fact that they are prepared to live in conditions that Brits don't find acceptable for themselves. We do have too much of that lovely 'sense of entitlement'.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:31:12

Laquitar: if you read the thread, it doesn't sound like a few, it sounds like a lot.

Orwellian Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:20

There is an easy way to find out. Cap benefits at 2 children (the replacement rate) and then see if the birth rate falls.

WorriedBetty Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:43

No YANBU - but I often support them - it is what you expect if companies operate to cream off the levels of profit and high salaries for those at the top that they are doing.

What we really need to do is get benefits to be lucrative enough that they compete with shitty contemptuous business owners so that they are forced to spread more money downwards. Personally I would abolish working tax credits etc which are a subsidy to businesses who then take that tax money (effectively) and just pocket it.

We need to create a market where businesses pay living wages when they employ people and stop them seeing business as solely there to enrich a few at the top, but as a key societal and economic function.

The fact that people are better off on the lowest level handourts shows how much business leaders hate their staff.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:57

Brycie, why do you think that parents shouldn't have to do grammar and tables with their children? Why shouldn't parents take some responsibility for their children's education?

Laquitar Wed 10-Oct-12 12:33:08

Sorry.
for cash.

So what can we do to motivate people's and enthuse them to work?

Decent minimum wage
Flexible working options
Autonomy
Control
Aspirations
Employment rights
Employment benefits
Affordable childcare
Decent and affordable public transport
Free and timely healthcare to ensure no health barriers
Free and cheap exercise facilities to increased motivation and alleviate stress
Career progression opportunities
Quality education
Good quality support and intervention services initiated at the 'prevention' stage rather than crisis stage.

Or I suppose we could just bully them into work, remove their rights, make them angry and desperate and put the money we save into prison services and the taxes we save in to home and personal security.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:40:00

Because if parents HAVE to do it it means schools aren't. And schools MUST or we'll be left with an (even bigger) illiterate, innumerate, hopeless underclass. Anything parents do should be extra, because of the parents who won't. It's not enough to think it doesn't matter because these kids will be waxing your kids cars in twenty years while they work in the City, because actually they may be robbing your child's house or, just as bad, have a hopeless, depressing, nothing life. So that means times tables, reading, grammar, spelling, reading reading reading, MUST be done in school.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Wed 10-Oct-12 12:40:16

How can benefits be a "lifestyle" choice? No one can fund a lifestyle on benefits, merely an existence. Are we really, in 2012, going to pull the rug out from under those that are genuinely reliant on assistance for the sake of a minority?

The govt simply don't want to address the real issues so are using distraction tactics. It's abhorrent.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:41:26

Basically, if parents have to do these things at home, and pupils won't learn it without parents' help, then schools aren't doing enough.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:42:10

"How can benefits be a "lifestyle" choice? "

I don't know but they are. Did you read the thread so far.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 10-Oct-12 12:42:16

Totally agree Brycie, education fails the children who need it most with all this reliance on support at home.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:43:26

Thank you... margaret? Very long name!

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:44:06

distraction tactics, addressing a real problem which impacts not just the budget (huge welfare bill) but other issues- drug, gang culture, violence, petty crime, prostitution etc, etc. Don't pretend it's only a 'distraction'!

GossipWitch Wed 10-Oct-12 12:44:55

I think generally a single parent has to pay a 3rd of their income on childcare, the government pay 70% of that, if they have more than one child, childcare costs obviously go up and 70% is paid for, but on top of this they also have to pay rent and council tax and other household bills, most single parents on low paid jobs find it extremely difficult to make ends meet, this is how they are trapped into benefits.

Then you have your 27 year old lad who still lives at home with his parents, who have been on benefits the majority of his life, Father with a dicky heart, mother caring for him and children, chances are that 27 year old lad has probably had a handful of jobs, that have lasted him a maximum of a few weeks, but his mum and dad still provide him with all his needs so he prefers to sign on and play on the playstation. This would be someone who chooses to stay on benefits.

The thing is unless you and your partner are earning copious amounts of money you will still be receiving some amount of benefits, whether it be just child benefit, or you have to apply for tax credits to actually be able to afford your rent/mortgage. So everyone ends up relying on some form of benefit and as it is in their budget to get by, they are effectively trapped on benefits, its just that some people get more than others.

So unless the minimum wage was raised to £15 per hour and rent and housing prices dropped, and health problems no longer existed, the benefits system will still be there and unfortunately there will be a select few who will abuse the system. And there will still be people moaning about those few.

Also if this country wasn't so highly taxed people would be able to afford a lot more, and therefore more people wouldn't need to claim benefits.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:45:41

It's not that schools aren't dong enough, it really isn't. It has to be that parents aren't doing enough. Yes, there are schools that are failing, but there is only so much a school can do. Parents have always been a much bigger influence on a child's attitude to learning than a school could ever hope of being. If parents don't value education then their children's education is stuffed, for all but a small minority of very driven, able children. Even if parents don't help with homework, reading etc, they still have to value it. They spend a lot more time with their children than a teacher ever will.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:48:26

Outraged: while parents aren't doing enough schools must do more. That means if there is not enough time for reading practice or times tables, something must be dropped, and if that's rainforest projects or art, so be it. Nothing will change the parents who don't help, nothing, ever, will ever change the attitude, make them help, make them care. So if you just blame the parents, it's pointless, it doesn't change anything, helps no one. How to resolve the problem? Change the way they're educated.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 12:52:40

I see what you are saying, I really do. But how do you expect schools to do this? Do you know what goes on inside most schools? Blaming schools is as pointless as blaming the parents. There are teenagers that won't even turn up at school because the parents won't force it, how is the school supposed to fix that? They can't teach older children who don't turn up, or younger children who are late every day having had no breakfast.

Schools simply don't have enough hours in the day to parent whole classes of children.

Tamoo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:08

The example you quoted about a woman who turned down a £7.50 p/h job in favour of living on benefits is probably more complicated than you think.

If you are in receipt of housing benefit, for example, there are thresholds for what you are 'allowed' to earn and still receive assistance with paying your rent.

Thus if you take a job for X no of hours per week earning X per hour, it is quite possible that your entitlement to housing benefit will drop drastically or vanish completely.

Of course, you still need to pay your rent; however the potential job at X per hour does not let you earn enough to pay that rent.

What are you supposed to do? Unless you are renting a property massively overpriced or above your actual needs (which you won't be, because HB barely covers average rent prices in most areas), if you took the job you would lose your home. You would be forced to move (you probably wouldn't be able to afford to do this, because moving between rented properties usually requires upfront payment of £1,000 plus) and/or downsize, probably to a home with fewer bedrooms than would be adequate, or to a place in a rough area, or far away from the job you were going for in the first place. This of course has knock-on effects eg would your kids have to move schools? How would it affect your partner's ability to travel to work?

It's not as easy as saying "Well she should take the job because it's better to be in work, sod everything else." We all have to live, we all need a roof over our heads. Rent prices are uncontrolled and astronomical across the country: I considered moving last year and couldn't afford to, because 2 bed properties in the area I was looking at started at £900 pcm. (And out of interest, a HB calculation for someone with entitlement to the full rate for a 2-bed property - ie not me - was around £800 pcm). I personally would only have been able to afford a studio flat or bedsit in that area, and I come with a DS.

Similarly, JSA: when you find a job you're interested in your advisor does a computerised 'better off' calculation. I did a ton of these when DS was younger and I was on IS. You spot a potential job, you think "Oh yeah, I could do that," and you take it up to the desk. The advisor does the sums and it turns out that you would be £30, £40, £50 per week worse off if you take the job, because of the ensuing adjustments to HB, tax credits etc. These are massive margins to people already on low incomes, to some it represents their entire food and utilities spending p/w.

This is what the benefit trap amounts to. It's not a matter of 'choosing' a life on benefits because you're lazy and feckless. It's because there are no other feasible options available.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:35

Hmm, going from my own personal experience, I turned down work when I was on benefits because, at the end of the day, I had to pay the rent.

Any job I accepted HAD to be able to support me (single person, low rent, no kids) as all my benefits would have automatically stopped once I accepted it. So a job which couldn't pay enough would have meant I was MUCH worse off working than on benefits.

The fault is with a system which provides total help or no help. Top-up help wasn't available to me, so yes, for a while I suppose you could say I chose to live on benefits.

Such is life. Meh.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:53

Do I sound grumpy? I don't mean to. Maybe I should have put in a few exclamation marks or something smile

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 12:54:09

x post tamoo

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:56:52

Outraged: I accept what you say and yes, it's hard with teenagers. But at primary, mainly, children are let down and if they're educated differently they would be more likely to stick with it. I've had three children go through primary and I know how much goes on that is dispensable in favour of reading, typing, writing, grammar and times tables.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 12:57:36

Sorry Brycie, but as a teacher that is a total load of bollocks.

The schools see the children for a minimal amount of time and have minimal influence compared to the influence of the parents. The sad fact is that where the parental influence is so malignant, the schools are largely powerless.

Schools have enough to do with educating the children. Raising them is a parent's job.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 12:59:28

Brycie, unfortunately education doesn't help, neither does regeneration. Many governments have tried these approaches and long term they don't make a jot of difference.
Whether people like it or not there will always be a " feckless" few, and they are a few of the population. Now the problem is that everyone on benefit is considered as such due to spin from government.

Jinsei, people like you are the true spirit of what this country needs. thanks
I'm not feckless but do really rely and need tc, which we will lose with uc.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 12:59:33

No Brycie, rainforest projects etc are NOT dispensible. They bring together ALL the other skills that a child has learned, maths, literacy, reading, whatever.

Would you prefer schools to be full of rote learning robots like 100 years ago? How would that help the welfare system?

Why don't you let the teachers teach and stick to your own job?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:00:41

Why am I not suprised that a teacher disagrees with me. Integrated learning anyone?

Yes I would prefer that children learn to read, write, use grammar and know their times tables than do a rainforest project. Any time.

Laquitar Wed 10-Oct-12 13:00:51

Yes, i ve read the thread and i don't see any evidence. Only 'i know someone who..' hmm

As for hard working people from abroad, well yes some of them will accept any conditions rather than going back to their countries where there are no employment rights, or they could be killed for their political views or women will be lashed for not covering up etc. Is this something to envy?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:02:10

Minimal amount of time my foot. You have them for six and a half hours a day, when they're at their brightest, not tired, as after school, in an environment conducive to learning. If they don't know their times tables after six years of that you have failed.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:02:54

Laquitar: yes I suppose they could all be lying, but it's a bit odd to imply that.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:03:02

Brycie they do that AS WELL AS and WHILE they are doing "projects", or are you being deliberately obtuse?

If any two people wish to give up their jobs and come and meet my three disabled kids' care needs then I can work.

Anyone?

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:04:02

And no, you shouldn't be surprised Brycie that an experienced and trained professional knows more than you...

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:04:35

Really - that's why they're all so literate and numerate when they leave primary then.

Oh wait - they're not.

It's dispensable by the way.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:05:31

Ok, I have better things to do than this. Brycie you are coming across very ignorantly.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:05:44

You don't know more than me. Although you do know how to put in italics, but then, I know how to spell dispensable. It's a toss up.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:06:03

Oh now pointing out typos??

You're so clever!!!

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:06:42

You have better things to do as a teacher than justify the levels of illiteracy and innumeracy at 11? Or is it just too difficult?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:07:33

I'm just waiting for you to blame the parents Cake. I feel that train coming up over the hill.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:08:15

Yes, funnily enough it's not up to me to justify levels of illiteracy at 11.

I teach.

The government can justify itself to you all it wants to.

Really never thought I would find myself saying this, but I agree with Brycie on this.

Children of school age spend more waking hours with their teacher than they do with their parents.

Rainforest projects might well be important teaching tools. But nothing should come infront of teaching children the basics.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:08:50

My former cleaner. Four kids, four dads. No qualifications. Two of the dads brothers. Two in prison (overlap). Her Mum in and out of prison. Her one of multiple children of a prostitute. Oldest child permanently excluded from school no qualifications. Nice Sky dish and DFS furniture in her front room.
Not my choices, but no real hope for her now - just have to work on the younger kids ....

Laquitar Wed 10-Oct-12 13:08:57

fgs i don't imply that they all lie but 4 people don't represent the country.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:09:51

"I teach. It's not up to me to justify levels of illiteracy."

Because of course they're totally unconnected. (I'm being sarcastic.)

Thank you wannabedomesticgoddess.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:10:03

They are not at their brightest if they haven't been given breakfast and they refuse school dinners so instead have a packed lunch of crips and mini rolls. That does happen, all too frequently ime.

I would suggest a teacher had failed if the only things they had learned at school was how to recite time tables and read. Education is about so much more than that, and parents have to be responsible for that.

Teachers could spend all day every day making children repeat tables and going through letter sounds/reading/etc, but if a child is told at home that the teachers are bitches that just want to control people, then they are simply not going to be in the frame of mind to learn.

Do you think things like PE should be dropped? I've seen children start school at reception age that have never even played with a ball, have no idea even how to kick or catch, let alone those who have never seen a book or a jigsaw puzzle.

I agree that something needs to be done, but the responsibility belongs to parents not teachers.

ouryve Wed 10-Oct-12 13:10:55

Whenever an system is put in place to provide a cushion for people in need, there will be a minority of people who take the piss. Yes, it does happen with benefits. There's business laws which, quite rightly, protect the liability of business owners who go bust because this can happen thought no fault of their own, sometimes - which is abused by people who run serial businesses into the ground with no real effort to make the business work, or pay its bills (including to HMRC). There's various tax avoidance schemes, which people with the means use to avoid paying their share of tax. Then there's the whole idea of parliamentary expenses....

People are on the make in all walks of life. It's just that this government are rather selective about which ones they will make a noise about tackling, all the while pretending that they're doing everyone else who will suffer from the reforms a favour. Meantime, those who expect something for nothing will keep on finding a way to get it.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:11:18

"Rainforest projects etc are NOT dispensible!"

This is actually quite a funny thing to say, or would be if it wasn't for the crisis of low standards.

Haahoostory Wed 10-Oct-12 13:12:31

If you are receiving benefits and noone in the home is working and you choose to have another child you should not be given a penny more. Why should hard working families, who are funding the welfare system, have to make tough decisions on the size of their family, based on what they can and cannot afford, whilst those on benefits seem to have as many children as they like.
Do we really want the next generation to be mostly children from non working families who have no aspirations and no work ethic, whilst our children will probably have to work till they are well into their 70s, as their won't be enough money in the pot to pay for their pensions, to provide enough tax to fund the welfare for this ever increasing mass of un working class?
Is this what you all want for your kids? well? Because it is not what I want for mine.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:13:09

Children spend 6 hours a day (average, minus breaktime) with their teacher.

5 days a week = 30 hours per week

They are in school 52-15 weeks per year - 47 weeks.

47x30=1110 hours per year.

24 hours in a day, 365 days a year is 8760 hours per year.

Take off the 1110 they are in school, leaves 7650 they are at home.

So how do you work out that they spend more time in school than at home?? Are your children in borstal boarding school?

LettyAshton Wed 10-Oct-12 13:14:32

I'm not sure some people are feckless. They're just making a basic - perhaps unconscious - economic decision.

My nearest town is a national "hotspot" for teenage mothers. You see them all out and about with their dcs, going around in big gangs of friends, sitting in coffee shops. Those children have enabled them to do that. If they were working in, say, a shop (no factories here) they would be doing a dull job all day and never have a cat's chance in hell of affording their own accommodation. A girl in the hairdressers told me that she was a bit bitter because she was doing things in the "right" order - job, fiance, save for flat. Schoolfriends of hers who had had babies were living in houses.

People say, Oh, aspirations should be raised. But there aren't enough boring jobs for everyone, let alone fulfilling or exciting ones. And with the best will in the world not everyone is particularly academic. Given that they are unlikely to win the X Factor or get on TOWIE, the choice between working in Poundland or sitting in your own flat with kids is an easy one.

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 13:14:34

Cakebump, why wasn't top-up help available to you?
It is top-ups such as WTC which have meant that working does pay more than benefits.

The Tories are lying when they say their plans will ensure that no one is better off on benefits than in work.

People are better off on work right now. The Tories' plans will change that.

Some examples - from this article

"A person under 25 working for the minimum wage for 37 hours a week receives a net salary of £204.36. Jobseekers Allowance for those under 25 is £56.25. The maximum available Housing Benefit for someone under 25 in Birmingham (for example) is £55.

This means that a young person in work, in almost all areas of the UK, is almost twice as well off as someone on unemployment benefits.

The situation for working families with children is equally clear. Sadly even some workers at the lower end of the pay scale have bought into the relentless bullshit and bemoaned how they would be better off on benefits. They wouldn’t. No-one is. This is another lie and it’s time to nail it once and for all.

A single parent with two children living in Birmingham and renting in the private sector would receive maximum possible benefits of £348.14 (over a third of this would be in Housing Benefit payments which go to landlords). A single parent working on minimum wage for 37 hours a week, in otherwise the exact same circumstances, would receive a total of £445.86 in net wages and in work benefits.*

It’s important to note both these calculations are based on the minimum wage. As wages rise Housing Benefit is reduced at a tapered rate, meaning the difference between a better off earner and someone on benefits becomes even greater.

*These figures represent claimants eligible for Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, the two main out of work benefits. They include Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefits, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit (for those in work). They do not include the sickness or disability benefit Employment Support Allowance (ESA). A single parent with two kids qualifying for the support group for ESA – meaning a person assessed as being unable to ever work again or someone being treated for cancer – would receive a total of £396.99 a week in benefits compared to £445.86 total income for someone in minimum wage work"

TalkinPeace2 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:14:54

When DH was doing his PGCE it was pointed out that of waking hours, school accounts for roughly 1/4 : so unless parental issues are dealt with, you are often banging your head against a wall.

If children are coming out of Primary School unable to read or count then what was the point in them attending school in the first place?

They could have just stayed at home with their feckless parents and learned how to fiddle the benefit system.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:15:39

Don't you think that teachers incorporate literacy and numeracy as well as geography, history and science into things like Rainforest projects? They don't just sit there watching David Attenborough repeats you know.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:16:16

Ok, minus sleeping hours, 2920 hours a year at a rate of 8 hours a day, they are still at home awake for 4730 hours a year..... no comparison!

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:16:35

Outraged: you make good points but there is NOTHING that will change these parents, so there is no point in wringing hands over it.

I had an education where I learned my times tables, grammar, spelling, read fluently. My parents didn't help. I was not oppressed, I didn't feel oppressed or robotic ever. I did history, geography, drew pictures of long boats, coloured in maps of countries and counties, and PE. I never did a rainforest project. I didn't do homework. I was soundly educated at school. All this before the age of 9, when most people in the class knew their 13 x table. Breakfast was white bread toast, tea was often cauliflower cheese, we used to eat bread and dripping, I'm not joking.

It is possible. We sat at desks. We were quiet. We didn't chat. We learned so much at school we didn't need homework, we went home and played, and were ready for the next day of learning because we'd had no homework. It was a good, sound, non oppressive, fulfilling education.

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 10-Oct-12 13:16:55

There are other 'types' of people who take advantage of the system, and they aren't from the backgrounds you identify. I went to university (18 years ago) with people who took out student loans and have never paid a penny of them back, as (back then, I don't know if the rules are the same now) if you didn't go on to earn over £X p/a, you didn't have to start paying them back. They never intended working - they married soon after university, had children and have never worked outside the home or caring for children in their lives.

People who 'take' from the system come in forms.

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 13:17:27

Under the plans for UC, if you work part-time you may well be worse off working than claiming benefits, as they plan to limit UC for those working between 5 and 35 hours as an "incentive" to search for more work.

Also, the promise that UC won't leave anyone worse off is a fairly hollow one, as it only applies to current claimants, and only if their circumstances don't change. (What constitutes a "change" has not been defined).

So, many will be worse off under the new system than the old.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:17:56

Oh don't you Outraged?

In year 2 we spend the whole day painting pictures of The Gruffalo and watching the cartoon on telly. Then we call it a "forest project" smile

Waking hours Cake. Waking hours.

Or should we deprive our children of sleep to teach them what they should be learning at school?

Oh and a lot of parents have to work.

Even less time with their kids.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:18:41

Actually rainforest projects are rubbish, mine have done one each, they don't incorporate that much except copy, paste and print and they're not really marked properly. The biggest value is when the teacher insists on handwriting and they learn to copy out.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:19:18

I had an education where I learned my times tables, grammar, spelling, read fluently... I did history, geography, drew pictures of long boats, coloured in maps of countries and counties, and PE

We still do that ffs Brycie

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:19:56

I would suggest then, Brycie that you put your children in a better school.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:20:41

wannabe I've already answered your post. See upthread. Waking hours still come to 4730 per year at home, compared to 1110 at school.

bubalou Wed 10-Oct-12 13:20:53

As soon as someone dares to mention benefits it all kicks off.

People who are on benefits for whatever reason seem to get offended and start claiming ridiculous things like up-post 'It's only a very small amount of people' - referring to those who chose not to work - how do u know that?

I know off the top of my head of 10-20 people that don't work - who can. They just choose not to.

Surely if you are on benefits for genuine reasons - illness, small children etc - you would want these lazy arses to be made to work so that the benefit system wasn't seen as catering for the jobless masses and actually had the funds for what it was intended for - to help those that 'need' it and are unable to help themselves.

The benefits system should be a support net for those that need it - not a cushion for the bone idle and lazy that are too good to work at £7 an hour!

If I lost my job tomorrow and was 'able' to work I would do anything I could - Mcdonalds, cleaning etc. When I was a SAHM for 2 years me & DH didn't claim a penny for anything - why? We could have. Because we are fortunate enough to not need the money and we managed without as it felt wrong to take money that could go on those that really needed it.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 13:21:06

Autumn, being trapped on benefits, as you accurately put it, isn't the same a "choosing a life on benefits". The person you hypothesise in your OP would still get benefits if she took the job. This shows wages are too low, being subsidised by taxpayers. But she'd have to find childcare, plus the costs of working such as transport and neat clothes, shoes, etc. She may, therefore, end up providing for her children less well than she did on benefits. This also shows wages are too low.

In a later post you said "Yes,we need to increase the minimum wage, create new jobs.." We do! Feeding taxpayers' money and (taxpayer-funded) free labour to offshore corporate giants actually damages the minimum wage and situations vacant. Why isn't the £30bn recently allocated to the richest 1% being paid, instead, to startups and childcare initiatives, for example?

The idea of generations on benefits is a myth. The only such "cycle" exists - in very small numbers - in towns where the industry died in the '80s.
Only 4,220 people in the UK have been on JSA for five years or longer.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:21:14

"We still do that ffs".

This is where you would need to justify the illiteracy and innumeracy at 11. It's not being done enough, obviously, or you wouldn't have any.

OP YANBU, I see many incredulous posters on mumsnet denying that nobody can truly want to be on benefits but I know plenty.

SIL and MIL are a fine example. MIL has not worked a day in the past 30 odd years, she has mental health problems yes, but plays on them to the extreme and claims she is agorophobic, hams it up to the assessment team once a year (and she openly admits she plays it up big time) and is then signed off for the next 12 months. SIL lives at home with her still, and is her named 'carer' so 'can't' work, then had a baby so this compounds her 'I can't work' stance. She also admits she does not want to work, as she gets money on a regular basis, they have a house paid for by benefits, don't have to pay council tax or water rates and get free prescriptions and dental care, MIL also claims DLA so they have a healthy disposable income for their lifestyle.

It sickens me, yet they can't be proven to be doing anything wrong as they 'tick all the boxes'.

perceptionreality Wed 10-Oct-12 13:22:43

There are people like this, but they are not many. And actually, I don't get this idea that a life on benefits pays well. It doesn't. When my older children were little and my dh was receiving a traning wage, we relied on certain benefits until he was earning a full salary and we had just enough money to cover food, bills and rent and that was it - no luxuries.

I have a friend who has 4 children and is a single mum and I know she relies on her parents to help with money - she is certainly not living it up.

This talk from the government is propaganda as far as I'm concerned. They are merely brainwashing people to think it's ok for them to land loads of people in poverty.

The universal credit is going to make people who are working worse off, not better off. So the government is not making any sense.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:13

No Brycie, I don't have to justify anything.

Fwiw my children ARE all literate and numerate at 11 (in at least two languages, actually), because they go to a good school, with supportive parents. Not all children are that lucky.

ouryve Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:23

Brycie - I don't even think that Peachy was saying the kids weren't doing those things at school - I took it to mean that they had those things to do for homework. Feel free to continue with your "kids of today..." rhetoric, though.

Learning doesn't start at 9am and end at 3:30pm.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:36

Brycie, did your parents tell you that education was a good thing at that you had to work well and behave while you were at school' or did they tell you that they would punch the teachers lights out if they took your toy off you? Or did they call your teachers names and imply that they weren't worthy of respect. Did they support methods of discipline or let you do what you want when you wanted it?

You acknowledge that these parents won't change, and maybe you are right, but I think you are underestimating what a huge negative impact poor parenting can have on educational outcomes. And overestimating the power that teachers have to do completely override parental attitudes.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:44

Actually that's not true, you would always have some. Not at the levels we have now, however.

TalkingPeace: "unless parental issues are dealt with". It won't happen, ever. Then what?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:54

Haahoostery.

It is people like you that are the problem with society atm. Do you have no compassion sympathy or empathy.
I presume you have never had to rely on benefit, maybe everything has gone well for you in life. However, this is not the same for all of society. I don't see how its only those working who fund the welfare system and I also don't see how its only working people who decide on the size of family they can afford.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:26:10

Peachy said: We have to do grammar and spelling.

Forgive me if I am speaking out of Peachy's mouth: she may disagree. But if you HAVE to do them at home, you are not learning them at school.

Cake: how nice that your children were lucky. They also have a teacher for a parent. How nice it would be if all children couid be that lucky, and what a shame they're not. What about them?

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 13:26:14

bubalou - how do u know that?

From the government's statistics smile

Office Of National Statistics

perceptionreality Wed 10-Oct-12 13:26:38

Goldenhandshake - do you realise that it is very difficult to get DLA? Your MIL must be entitled. Fraud rate for DLA is very low - according to the DWP themselves.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:27:33

I'm talking about the children in my class Brycie. Are you deliberately misreading mine and Peachy's posts?

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:28:52

And Brycie if you're so concerned about all these children who are being failed, why don't you go and retrain as a teacher and do something about it, instead of sitting at your computer with your holier-than-thou attitude?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:29:10

Outraged: of course we could just give up and not bother. Probably easier. The parents won't change. It doesn't matter.

Dahlen Wed 10-Oct-12 13:29:43

Of course there are people who make a deliberate choice to live on benefits. They may be a small minority in comparison to those who find themselves reliant on benefits due to a change in circumstances beyond their control but it's foolish to deny they exist.

However, the real question is why that happens, because until you answer that nothing will change, while removing benefits from these people will simply result in the cycle of deprivation being perpetuated. In turn this will lead to increased child poverty, increased crime and much more regular occurrences of events like last year's riots.

Tomorrow's 'scrounging' benefits claimant is likely yo be today's deprived child.

Surely the question should be: AIBU to think that we ought to look at the reasons people end up on benefits and what we can do to help them help themselves.

Otherwise it's just a blame game that serves no purpose other than stoking up people's righteous indignation.

Aboutlastnight Wed 10-Oct-12 13:32:31

It's interesting how the government has managed to turn the economic crisis into the fault of the poorest in our society. I see there's no outrage about PFI milking the taxpayer or the costly fuck-up of the west coast train franchise.

There was an interesting take on the whole benefits debate at the moment on Newsnet Scotland:

"Are we a “something for nothing” society? Are cuts the only answer? Perhaps there really is no choice?
There is.  But it would take humility, planning, and a Nordic rethink of society.

In Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland "welfare" spending is even higher than Scotland but the numbers who use the resulting high quality services (even paying additional user fees) are also the highest in Europe.  Heavily subsidised kindergarten care in Norway, for example, has a maximum monthly contribution from parents of £200.

Not free but not totally unaffordable either – and those out of work pay no charges. In the Nordic nations welfare is not a desperate "last resort" or an admission of personal failure.  It’s an “everybody” system redistributing income across an individual's lifetime as much as between individuals.

In Britain, it’s different.  Middle earners pay taxes AND take out private insurance to safeguard their own access to non-state funded, higher quality private welfare services.  That's crazy, divisive, expensive and a recipe for stoking up resentment.  This “double dunting” means many middle earning families in the UK pay the same or even more on welfare than their Nordic counterparts – with the big difference that our tax pounds don't help fix people, sort out problems in the long term, give welfare workers good jobs or help create healthier, happier nations.

Don't get me wrong.  Affordability is a big issue in the Nordic nations too.  But a Nordic Council of Ministers report on the subject has a very different tone to the hysterical, finger-pointing debate here.  They worry about a drop in the high quality of welfare services because that will damage social cohesion and the ability of women to work and thus kill the golden goose that’s let the whole “bumblebee” Nordic economy "fly" – high levels of trust in government combined with very high levels of employment.  As long as almost everyone is making a contribution risk can be shared collectively. Compare and contrast Britain. "

LettyAshton Wed 10-Oct-12 13:32:50

Those who keep saying what a small number of people this applies to...

I just had a quick look at the local courts list and there was a list of about 10 people IN ONE DAY done for benefit fraud. And this wasn't a couple of quid here and there but £20K+ sums. And there were several claiming DLA who had been found working cash in hand etc.

aufaniae Wed 10-Oct-12 13:33:50

Universal Credit will push families into poverty and even onto the streets.

Scrapping Housing Benefit for the under 25s will make many families homeless as many under 25s on HB have children.

The outcry about this should be bigger IMO.

We're supposed to be a civilised country. How can we be consigning people to homelessness like this?

Where the talk of job creation? I haven't heard it, have you? What are Cameron / Osbourne doing to revive the economy? Nothing. Borrowing is going up!

Their policies are failing, and you lot are still pointing the fingers at "benefit scroungers"?! It's a smokescreen, and you're falling for it hock line and sinker.

No one is arguing for the need for cuts. But this isn't about cuts. The Tories' policies are ideological, and will result in poverty and homelessness for many families. They are removing the safety net, and many children will fall through it.

Anyone who supports them should see themselves as personally responsible when they see homeless people on the streets, once these policies bite IMO.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:34:03

Yes I read "my children" as "your children", not your pupils. I didn't do it deliberately.

"because they go to a good school, with supportive parents. Not all children are that lucky. "

Yes they are lucky. Presumably the supportive parents helped with the basics while they did rainforest projects at school.

What about the other children without supportive parents?

I'm afraid I'm giving up. If people want to see throw their aprons over their faces and imagine there's nothing to be done then, whatever. It's obviously a pervasive attitude and leads to a horrible elitism. If your parents are crap then bad luck, we won't do all we can to ensure you're not crap too, because we've got the cop out of blaming your parents. OUR children will read and write and add up, WE can help them. Lucky us.

seashore Wed 10-Oct-12 13:35:06

Maybe the factory should actually pay a higher wage and take less profit itself. Why is it a given that some people, who don't come from privilege should work for pittance? If the factory wage is so close to benefits level, it's really just crap and probably doesn't make childcare costs possible.

The ultimate goal of any society should be equality ... if David Cameron grew up on a council estate he'd probably be on the dole. Osboure too.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:35:14

I'm not saying we should give up Brycie, I'm saying that you cannot put parental responsibility on teachers.

They (and their support staff) already have to make up for the fact that parents don't teach their children how to use a knife and fork, don't teach their children how to take off a jumper, don't teach their children how to turn a skirt or a pair of trousers the right way out, won't do any reading practice at home or even send the book that their child wanted to borrow back into school so we can read it with them. The list is endless. Children have already been at home for at least four years when they get to school. That four years where their brains are capable of learning more than they ever will be just being wasted.

I'll say it again. You are underestimating the influence parents can have on children's educational outcomes, and overestimating the power that teachers have.

bubalou Wed 10-Oct-12 13:35:38

garlicbutty where does it say that people aren't 'choosing' to be on benefits rather than work?

Perception It is not half as difficult as the DWP would have you believe, I have known MIL for ten years, other than being complacent and wary of working life because she's been out of the game for so long, there is nothing preventing her being able to work.

She has some mental health issues, that she is successfully medicated for. This would not prevent her working in a shop at the till for example, but she doesn't wnat to do this, she wants to stay at home all day because that's what she is used to, that is her routine. So she plays on her mental health issues, claims she becomes anxious leaving the house (although has been abroad twice in the last 5 years and has no problem popping to the local shopping centre when she wants something new). She readily admits that she acts up when it is her assessment time so she does not lose her DLA.

On paper, yes she is entitled to it, because she knows exactly what to say and how to act at assessment time. I have no doubt there are others exactly like her. I just hope as many as possible are caught, in her case, she has been investigated twice, but it is hard to prove she is doing anything wrong as she is simply 're-assessed'.

MoreBeta Wed 10-Oct-12 13:35:48

There are people live a life on benefits. Some of those people are too disabled, ill or have dependents to be able to take a job. Some of these people, know that a minimum wage job does not make up for the loss of benefits they would suffer by taking that job and are trapped.

IF they could get a job with net pay after all costs (ie tax and travel and work clothes) truely paid more than their benefits most I am sure would take a job.

Both the tax and benefit system needs reforming simultanously to make low paid work worthwhile doing.

OptimisticPessimist Wed 10-Oct-12 13:36:27

"there were several claiming DLA who had been found working cash in hand etc."

DLA is an in work benefit, it doesn't matter how much money you have or earn.

perceptionreality Wed 10-Oct-12 13:38:17

Letty - this minority doesn't justify screwing the majority.

I bet half of the people bitching about teaching in schools have no experience working with children themselves.

Brycie There are plenty of issues as to why children leave school with poor literacy and numeracy skills - inconsistent teaching (e.g. one teacher teaching one thing one way, one teacher teaching another thing another way) confusing children, large class sizes and yes, parents are also partly to blame. There was a study recently that found 3 out of 10 children don't own a single book, if a child isn't taught at home from a young age that learning/school is important - what hope do they have in school?

When I worked in schools with children we did loads of projects with them. One example would be George and the Dragon, which we studied just before St George's day. We incorporated that theme in plenty of lessons, i.e. writing film scripts, printing out pages of the story and asking children to highlight nouns, adjectives and verbs, getting children write predictions for what they thought would happen next in the story, we used dragon themed maths printouts, we even got them to make a stop-motion film using McDonalds toys because How to Train Your Dragon had just come out that focused on ICT skills.

Relating learning to something enjoyable like a project is the best way to get children to learn, learning has to be fun or children will not be interested (that's basic child development). Yes the focus should be on reading, writing and numeracy, but it has to be done in a way that appeals to children. Having children sit there learning thing by rote is not helping anyone.

You can bitch about your children's 'rain-forest' project and how you don't think what they did was good enough, and I'm sure it wasn't, but that doesn't mean this is typical of every primary school and it certainly doesn't mean that children carrying out projects is what's wrong with the education system.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:38:58

There is a very big difference between the Nordic nations and ours, and that is the diversity in the cultures.

As much as I love the multi cultural society that is Great Britain, a difference in ideals amongst so many of the population brings problems with it. We are a divided country simply because we don't all want the same things.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 13:39:00

I don't know that standard of basic education has much to do with the problem.
I taught groups of young single mothers 16+ who were on benefits. They had basic Literacy and Numeracy and had received a good basic secondary education gaining the lower grades at GCSE.
Their good education had made them understand that with the shortage of jobs, not alot of chances in the area they lived they were better off on benefit. Some of these girls were from middle class affluent families, others from several generations of families claiming benefit.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:39:08

I'm not underestimating it - I acknowledge as a full and complete failure of parenting. That is the whole point. I dont' want to see the children thrown on the scrapheap as a result.

I have read about the things you describe, the rotting teeth, the unfed children. I don't underestimate them. We as a society have to pick up the slack. It doesn't mean more money for parents, it means a better education for the children, and if that means going back to basics (which it does, as employers keep telling us) then that's what we should do. It's teachers like cake - who imagine rainforest projects are indispensable for children like this - who make me despair.

PropertyNightmare Wed 10-Oct-12 13:40:30

YANBU to think that plenty of capable people prefer not to work choosing to let the state pay for the upkeep for them and their children.

I don't however agree with the cutting 10 billion from the welfare state idea. Anyone with an ounce of decency would be loathe to see children of such families hurt by withdrawal of the funds that support their existence. I don't want hungry little urchins suffering in my name. the problem is the feckless parents, not their innocent kids.

If I was in charge I would keep the welfare system as it is BUT with the following change - after child no.2, all further child benefit and benefits in general would be paid in the form of food vouchers/clothing vouchers. This would see money going to look after the family and kids properly rather than on drink, drugs, fags, non essential lifestyle choices etc. It is all very well to live it up and go to the pub etc but there is no good or reasonable expectation or excuse for the state to fund this. Work if you want choices.
My proposed change would not apply to those out of work for good reason (disability) or to those who had children before finding themselves in a position where benefits are required.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:40:39

Morethanpotatoprints: that is interesting.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:41:32

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Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:41:50

As to why I don't become a teacher: I would fail the first interview on telling them I'd like to put children from Y3 upwards on separate desks.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:42:23

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MoomieAndFreddie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:43:49

YANBU

I live on a council estate mostly populated by people on benefits and I have to say I know MANY of the types of people the OP describes. sad hell i am even FRIENDS with some dare i say

But Personally I think its not that benefits are too high, but that wages are too low, and the cost of living is far too high.

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higgle Wed 10-Oct-12 13:46:25

I'm sure there are some who chose to live on benefits, because sadly I have a couple in my family. I'm certain that living partially on benefits is a choice for others as when recruiting staff at work I struggle to recruit full timers because they want limited part time hours so they can remain on benefits ( until the youngest leaves school, then they all of a sudden want full time work). Also when I tried to get a cleaner for a few hours a week I had a few applicants who actually asked me if I minded the fact that they were claiming too!

porcamiseria Wed 10-Oct-12 13:47:20

of course there are people like this

but you cant dare suggest it as it clearly really offends people on here

I have no idea why, as most intelligent people know there there is a clear difference between people with disabilities, people that are trapped, people who need help, and they do exist. and they deserve help. I pay tax and I dont want to live in a country with extreme poverty

and lazy scroungers who see Jezza Jyle as preferable to a minimum wage job

ParsingFancy Wed 10-Oct-12 13:47:53

Letty, as OptimisticPessimist says, DLA is an in-work benefit. So no one would be prosecuted simply for working while receiving it.

Making a fraudulent application or failing to declare an improvement is a different matter, but that's not what you claim your court list says. (Do they really give that much detail?)

Is the rest of your post just as accurate?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:48:27

Rainforest projects and such like might not be the highest priority for children from deprived backgrounds (although I would disagree with that) but what about the other children? The ones who do have supportive parents? Should all schools stop giving a broad and well rounded education that teaches about the relevance of learning as well as things that go on outside its own town just because of a minority of crap parents?

Don't the children of supportive parents deserve their needs to be met too?

Ephiny Wed 10-Oct-12 13:50:45

I have to agree with Brycie too. It's quite worrying to see the low expectations and fatalistic attitudes being expressed by teachers here.

Jojoba1986 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:50:57

I know of someone who lives off benefits & refuses to work. It's 'the thing to do' in the area he lives - v poor area with few local jobs & people can't afford to travel for minimum wage jobs. He spends a lot of his benefits on drugs. His house got broken into & his cannabis plants were stolen. The police caught the culprits but didn't know who the plants had originally belonged to... He went to the police station to claim them...! hmm

Conversely, his sister moved out of the area in search of a better life & is stuck on benefits, would love to work for the sake of her mental health but actually can't afford to because of childcare costs!

It's definitely not an 'all people on benefits are...' world!

Haahoostory Wed 10-Oct-12 13:51:11

Morethanpotatoprints. Of course I have empathy and sympathy for those who fall on hard time this is what the system is for. I, however, find people who have never worked, never intend to work, and continue to increase the size of their families whilst on benefits, to be no better than a parasite. Our society's parasites. Taking money from people who really need it.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 13:54:23

Letty - And there were several claiming DLA who had been found working cash in hand etc.

Erm, so what? DLA is not a poverty benefit, David Cameron claimed it for Ivan FFS! It's totally IMPOSSIBLE that anyone was prosecuted for working while claiming DLA because it's not illegal.

Would you care to review your evidence?

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:54:37

Ephiny do you not think teachers go into work each and every day fully armed to do the best by the children they teach? Do you really think I sit in front of my class of 6 year olds every day and think "oh well, not much I can do"? Do you think I go home at 3:30pm every day and think "fuck it"? confused

What can I do, however, about the thousands of children in other schools, in other towns who are receiving their education from a different teacher? Anything?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 13:55:02

I don't think teachers on here have low expectations at all.

They are just realistic about what they can actually do to get children to want their education when their parents couldn't care less about it. If a child doesn't want to be educated, there is only a certain amount that a teacher can do when she has up to thirty children with different weaknesses and needs.

I really think we need to be looking at ways to make all parents value education, because that is the only way teachers will ever be able to teach all children to their potential.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 13:56:00

bubalou, ONS data show that more people are looking for work than claiming benefits. I think that answers your question.

JennaMoroney Wed 10-Oct-12 13:57:20

ofgs

I had two chldren and I believed their father would support them/us (jointly). Turns out i was wrong. I can hardly leave my children at the side of the road now can i.

i actually feel resentful that somebody wth as little empathy and intelligence as the OP probably has a job/husband who works.... THAT is what makes me feel resentful!!

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:58:11

Freaky, I'm afraid Cake came on here calling me obtuse and being very un-calm. I'm not surprised she told me to fuck off, except that given her exclamatory tone it didn't come sooner. I think you are a bit like her, except you are more insulting from the off.

Outraged: I've just been thinking about this, and wondering about "two tiers" of education. I don't think that would be do-able or acceptable, of course. So I thought about how much a child loses by having more intense learning in school, and no homework. And I think, not very much. If parents are so supportive and involved, the time they spend on vital homework can in future be spend on non-vital projects.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 13:58:25

Freaky.

Totally agree with your comments on learning should be fun. My dd is H.ed and we learn so much visual/kinaesthetic and practical applications.
Unfortunately, may have to rethink this as will probably have to get a job now.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:59:15

Outraged: I console myself with the thought that the problem is that National Curriculum and not the commitment of teachers. That means things could change.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 14:00:04

I mean to say, teachers' commitment is not a problem: I'm sure they are committed. At the moment they're committed to the wrong thing, but that could change.

PropertyNightmare Wed 10-Oct-12 14:00:18

I agree, Haahoostory. They are pathertic, lazy, shameless parasites BUT I honestly can't say the same about their children. That is the problem. I'm not happy to say let those worthless little kids suffer and go hungry/cold. Cut benefits and mum and dad will probably still smoke and drink whilst there is way less food to go round. I am pissed off that the state has to support in cases where mum and dad can't be bothered but that is neither here nor there in the equation really. In a first world country we can't walk away from kids who need state help.

seashore Wed 10-Oct-12 14:03:31

Parasites operate from the top down. The people at the bottom of the pile are merely trying trying to survive, get by, keep a roof over their families heads (which in the current parasitic climate is not always possible). The true parasites have no such problems and actually are to blame for the desperate circumstances in which so many people find themselves now, through no fault of their own.

I don't understand how people can begrudge people having just enough to get by.

PropertyNightmare Wed 10-Oct-12 14:05:01

Yes, parasites at the top too. There is no denying that.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 14:05:22

Brycie teachers have NO SAY in what they teach, and how.

Maybe you should be lobbying the government rather than attacking individual teachers?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 14:05:26

Exactly Brycie, we don't want a two tier state education system, so why are you only looking to improve outcomes for one group of children.

I think we should be focussing on the children that leave Year 6 with their level 5's and 4a's, and looking at them to see what we can do to bring others up. What is it that the children who achieve have got that the others don't? Generally nothing, except parents who are supportive.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 14:06:57

god why does it always go onto dla

those of you who resent people claiming it so much have obviously not seen how complicated the form is and how difficult it is to get!

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:07:43

Well said, seashore.

The government says we've got no money, yet has already declared giveaways to the rich and big business: the top rate of income tax cut from 50% to 45%, and corporation tax cut from 28% to 24%, with plans to reduce it further to 20%.

These and other tax cuts for the rich and big business – benefitting the top 1% - so far add up to around £30bn of giveaways.

Coincidentally the same government is cutting welfare by £30bn. Cameron and Osborne are effectively taking money from the disabled, the unemployed, lone parents and those struggling to pay rents to give to the super-rich.

Why do people not get this? confused

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:08:48

Oh, by the way - £30bn is Thirty Thousand Million Pounds. £30,000,000,000.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 14:10:13

Outraged: parents who are supportive can add to what their children learn, and to be honest I think brighter children would benefit from a more intense primary curriculum. I think many parents would agree with me.

Cake: that is what I just said. I am not attacking individual teachers: you are attacking me. In case you need reminding.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 14:10:45

well quite garlicbutty and that doesn't even begin to cover the cuts that are affecting those ill and disabled at a local authority level

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 14:10:56

HaHaHoostery.

All people on benefit need it, with maybe the exception of the rich families still receiving CB.
These are children you are talking about and refusing benefit to those not wanting to work will leave them homeless and starving.
You may not agree with their lifestyle but each to their own.
I would like to add however, that any of these people who fall into the stereotypical image portrayed by many, are supporting the economy and paying tax like many others.

They buy their large tv's, subscribe to sky, smoke and drink (lots of tax there)
The rich stay rich by not really contributing much to the local/National economies.

'I just had a quick look at the local courts list and there was a list of about 10 people IN ONE DAY done for benefit fraud. And this wasn't a couple of quid here and there but £20K+ sums. And there were several claiming DLA who had been found working cash in hand etc'

I don't believe you.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:17:12

Neither do I, Starlight, since claiming DLA while working is perfectly legal!

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 14:18:13

DLA has the lowest fraud rate, it's less than 1% iirc and as everyone has already pointed out, you are allowed to work whilst claiming it

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 14:20:41

it's 0.5% if anyone is interested

seashore Wed 10-Oct-12 14:20:50

Garlicbutty, it's scary, those figures are so, so scary. I think though that petty attitudes about people on benefits, all this speculation about people's lives at a comfortable distance solidifies this ugly scheme and allows it to happen.

It's such a pity that we cannot aspire to an equal society, aiming at everyone having an equal chance in life.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 10-Oct-12 14:22:14

I'm not sure that people actively choose to be on benefits, so much as don't have other good choices to make.

I bleat on about this a fair amount, but the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Harry Burns, has done alot of research into people's life chances and how some postcodes have such poor life expectancy, life experiences etc. In these particularly deprived postcodes, you can see families where adults often haven't worked for 3 generations. There are no role models for children to follow into better ways of living - these families are trapped in an ongoing cycle of dependency on the state.

I think the solutions are complex & require long-term input. The solutions that would really help are so long-term as to be politically unpopular. Our parenting & family life is one of our biggest influencing factors in life and it is support for families that really counts in changing the long term social & economic outlook for people.

skyebluesapphire Wed 10-Oct-12 14:24:16

YANBU. I know of people who choose not to work, currently on child number 4 to avoid having to get a job, who have Sky TV, broadband, mobile contracts, yet are in Council Tax and Rent arrears, despite getting housing benefit.

They choose to live on benefits rather than work. They also see everything as their right. It is their RIGHT to have Sky TV. yes I have Sky TV, but to me it is a luxury and if things get any tighter for me, it will be the first thing to go. Because I own my own house - £700 month mortgage - and am self employed, there is very little help that I can get since my husband walked out, other than tax credits.

I very much understand that there are people who are disabled, or abandoned wives, or made redundant, but you cannot deny that there ARE people out there who DELIBERATELY choose not to work. If their benefits were cut then maybe just maybe they would realise what real life is all about. It is about working for a living to be able to afford nice things, Its what most of us have to do....

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 14:25:09

Garlicbutty shock

You can reducing a tax burden from 50p in a pound to 45p in a pound as a giveaway? A fucking giveaway!

Unbelievable! Just ignore the fact that the people who have to pay that much in tax are the ones subsidising others who contribute nothing why don't you.

Pathetic.

Brycie, supportive parents already add to what their children learn, but they pay their taxes too and deserve to have their children's needs met within the state system. I agree that a more academic programme will be better for some children, but that's what state grammar schools are for. At primary level, there is no reason why they shouldn't all learn the same curriculum with appropriate differentiation.

OneMoreChap Wed 10-Oct-12 14:29:49

I'm sure there are an awful lot of people who "choose" to live on benefits.

Much of it I think isn't real choice, but poverty - of ambition - near where I live, and work and volunteer, we have an estate, where there are families in the 3rd generation of unemployment.

There was work being advertised in the summer - all minimum wage - at a small hotel, couple of pubs a local hall, and a care home.

Spoke to a couple of youngsters at the end of August. "Fuckin' Poles, taking all our jobs".

Actually, there's a nice Lithuanian woman who I know works at the hotel...
"Well, they work for nothin', don't they".

I know the hotel owner. I also know he's paying minimum wage, but he kicks in accommodation, because she'll do breakfasts, clean - basically whatever he asks.

He can't get local kids to turn in for work...

Why should we pay benefits to some idle sod that won't get out of bed, and makes racist comments about someone who wants to work...

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:32:00

Yes, Seashore, and all the attention is conveniently focused on the poor.
People claiming JSA for 5+ years: 4,220
Richest 1 percent: 610,000

Long-term claimants would fit into 17 rows at Old Trafford (Lower North Stand).
You'd need eight Old Traffords to seat that top 1%.

Why are we busy hating one measly row, in their worn-out trainers, when the big bunch in bespoke shoes are averaging £500,000 - half a million each from public handouts?

Tweasels Wed 10-Oct-12 14:32:53

Look, you have parents and Grandparents who had a terrible time at school for one reason or another - in the alleged good old days as Brycie previously referred to. Learning difficulties went unrecognised as did ASD and behavioural issues. There was no pastoral care and as a result people struggled. You weren't even allowed to be left handed FFS.

Do you think these people support and encourage their children/grandchildren through school. No they don't. They don't see the value as it didn't work for them and as a result of it not working for them they are lifelong unemployed or employed in underpaid low skilled jobs. Children learn by example. It is not the fault of teachers.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 14:35:36

Outraged: thanks for the response. We'll have to agree to disagree, as I don't think children who are better off in terms of intellect, parental support and finance would lose out. I think it's very telling that many prep schools, who don't follow the NC, achieve much greater things. And often that's while having five whole afternoons of sport and drama every week.

There are not many children there with bad parents who don't care, but here I'm talking about the better off children who benefit from that kind of intense curriculum.

Hammy02 Wed 10-Oct-12 14:36:10

Everyone knows at least a few people that have chosen to be on benefits. That adds up to a hell of alot. Not just a minority.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 14:37:06

Why are you only using JSA to make that point Garlic?

What about one that wouldn't suit your agenda so well, like income support?

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:37:36

Freddos - Higher-rate tax is only applied to earnings above the maximum threshold. Don't make out you're having half your income taken away, because you're not. You pay the same rates as everybody else, then higher rate tax on income over £150,000.

Do you not think it's decent to give back half of what you earn over £150,000?
Why not? How much would you like to give back?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 14:37:44

"There was no pastoral care" - that's news to me. As for the rest of what you say - much of it is terrible generalisation.

We have learned a lot about pastoral care and the way children learn: this should be applied to a more traditional or intense curriculum. That way everyone wins.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 14:39:35

Brycie, I don't think we disagree that much tbh. I agree that something needs to be done, I just think it would be better done by other agencies and not schools.

Prep schools often do get excellent results, but then they have a lot in their favour, not just the fact that they aren't held to the NC.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 10-Oct-12 14:40:59

It is not education that will solve this. We've had free education for all for ages & yet there are still huge problems getting people into work. It isn't popular, but you have to start with support for families. It could take generations to work, but it is the only way IMO.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:41:06

Because I don't know much about how income support operates, Outraged.

And, more importantly, because I'm using accurate, published statistics rather than hysterical rhetoric. I haven't found exact data on jobseeking and income support on ONS. Should you care to do your own searches on there, perhaps you can enlighten us.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 14:41:43

I'm aware of that thanks Garlic. I'm loving the way you post as if I have that much money! grin I can assure you, I am a long way off being a higher rate taxpayer.

I think 45% is fine. 40 would be better.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 14:45:44

smile What agencies, though? We had surestart, that didn't work. School is the only thing where the children HAVE to go or the parents get fined ie there's a financial cost. So that's the best hope. But if there were another agency that could force the parents to be interested, I'd go for that. I can't imagine what it would be though. Possibly this "troubled families" intiative may help.

Bugsy: yes, we've had free education for ages but that doesn't mean it's the right kind. Support for familes - yes if you are talking about intervention, no if you are talking about money.

OneMoreChap Wed 10-Oct-12 14:45:59

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:37:36
Freddos - Higher-rate tax is only applied to earnings above the maximum threshold. Don't make out you're having half your income taken away, because you're not. You pay the same rates as everybody else, then higher rate tax on income over £150,000.

See, this is bollocks. Quite plainly bollocks.

Basic Rate £0-£34,370

Higher Rate £34,371-£150,000 (Note the higher rate is actually starting lower and lower in cash terms, never mind real)

Additional Rate >£150k

Source

That excludes NI, of course.

^Do you not think it's decent to give back half of what you earn over £150,000?
Why not? How much would you like to give back?^ What's the matter with 40%, which it was for most of the last government.

LettyAshton Wed 10-Oct-12 14:46:25

I have "reviewed the evidence" and note that it actually says "fraudulently claiming incapacity benefit".

grovel Wed 10-Oct-12 14:47:33

garlicbutty, I recommend that you use another expression to make your perfectly reasonable point.

My DH was perfectly happy to pay 50% on his earnings over £150,000. The best way to make him change his mind is to call it "giving back". It is money he has earned. It is a case of making a contribution to live in a civilised state.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 10-Oct-12 14:49:03

Brycie - definitely intervention.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 10-Oct-12 14:50:06

onemorechap, how is that not what garlicbutty said?

Oh, do you mean she should have said, 'additional rate' tax? In the context of 50% vs 45%, I assumed that was what she meant.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 14:50:32

Ok got to go. Bye and thanks.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:55:04

I take your points about incorrect terminology, grovel and Boulevard.

OneMoreChap Wed 10-Oct-12 14:57:02

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep

Oh, do you mean she should have said, 'additional rate' tax? In the context of 50% vs 45%, I assumed that was what she meant.

She said higher rate, which kicks off at £35k or thereabouts. Should really be around £42k but the thieving Tories didn't keep it indexed. See Rooker-Wise et al.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:57:25

It is a case of making a contribution to live in a civilised state.

You're absolutely right, of course!

should have said, 'additional rate' tax? In the context of 50% vs 45%

So are you. Cheers for the improvements smile

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 14:58:14

For pete's sake, OMC, I looked on HMRC's income tax band advisory. I'm not a bloody accountant, as you can tell.

ouryve Wed 10-Oct-12 14:58:18

Most salaried individuals aren't paying NI at such a high rate on their earnings about about £42K as they are on the rest of their earnings, anyhow, so it's not like someone on £50K is paying out a vastly higher percentage of their total income than someone just below the higher rate tax threshold.

defineme Wed 10-Oct-12 14:58:55

I always feel with these threads that there's an implicaton that those of us in work with a certain standard of living have got there as a result oftheir own hard work. It's such tosh. We are where we are in life as a result of myriad factors, a very minor one being hard work. That doesn't mean to say that I think working hard isn't a must: I just don't think working hard can get you out of any given shitty life.
I volunteer with people in desperate circumstances, often in receipt of benefits, and I can't think of one who has 'chosen' that life.
I watched 999 and I didn't feel anything but sad at the state our divided society is in. I haven't got any answers tbh.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 15:07:17

Meh

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 15:09:20

That's true about NIC contributions ending at a certain point so 45% over 150K is only 13% more than the lower paid burden of 32% over £8k. I do agree with cutting corporate taxation if it stimulates investment and creates jobs. But personal profit no. What do you need all that money for anyway grin

PostBellumBugsy Wed 10-Oct-12 15:18:15

Surely it has to do with aspiration somewhere along the line.
Yes, you can exist on benefits. There seem to be varying degrees of existing on benefits, from really on scraping along to being just about ok. Personally, I don't think sky tv etc comes from benefits, but obtaining money from another source.
However, most people who are working are usually doing that because they aspire to a life that is better than that on benefits. Somewhere along the line they have been shown that there is a better way. Most commonly that comes from the values of the family you grow up in - not everytime because there have to be exceptions, but in most cases.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 15:28:27

Actually if you knew anything about the benefits system you would know it's not as simple as signing on and being left alone for years in your lifestyle choice

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 16:11:13

Those of you who think it's generational, do you think young carers and sibling carers will be signing on the dole too?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 16:25:41

It is when you have small children usualsuspect. As long as you time it right, you can live a lot of years on benefits without any bother at all.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:30:17

Isn't that where what you & your family aspire to comes into it.

If you are a carer for a parent or sibling who can't work because of whatever reason they need caring for, that is very different to receiving state benefit because you don't have a job even though you are physically/mentally capable of working. (That is a statement of fact & I'm not implying that everyone physically/mentally can get a job or there aren't other factors at play.)

OneMoreChap Wed 10-Oct-12 16:32:37

Tressy
What do you need all that money for anyway

Quite right.

I could spend yours much better than you, as you don't know the best way to shop. Here, give me 45% of it and I'll spend it for you...

... or maybe I should let you spend your own money.

I have no problem with tax at 40%.
I have absolutely no problems with stopping conniving bastards paying 10% rather than 40%
I encourage hitting tax evading individuals and tax avoiding corporations.

I don't see why someone else should decide how I spend such a vast amount of the money over £35k I make.

whatsleep Wed 10-Oct-12 16:37:04

I know a couple who CHOOSE to live separately rather than together as that way she can claim she is a single mum, sod the fact that her kids don't get to live with their dad, but only see him a few nights a week when he is legally allowed to stay, I would say she CHOOSES to be on benefits. I'm sure there are lots who deserve the benefits they get but I am horrified by people who work the system, and yes I will be flamed but it IS us who pays for them from our taxes.

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:38:04

Onemorechap, I pay over quite enough on my low income and don't always agree with how it's spent by the treasury, thanks.

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:42:05

Whatsleep, if they are genuinely living separately then they are claiming what they are entitled to. It's not for us to judge their set up. Fair enough if they are claiming fraudulently, some do, but this couple don't.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 16:42:13

I know a couple like that too whatsleep. He officially lives with his Mum and works part time, but spends most of his time at her house with his 6yo and new baby. She says she is going to wait until this baby is five, have one more, then will think about getting a job when the youngest is in school. And the way things are at the moment, there is absolutely nothing to stop her.

A life on benefits really can't be that bad when people do things like this.

bubalou Wed 10-Oct-12 16:43:50

I know someone who pretends and claims to have illnesses they do not have.

Age - mid 30's. Haven't worked in 7 years, have a flat that is paid for, earns disability, buys weed, wears designer clothes, goes out for meals etc.

When the disability 'check up' happened this person simply told them that they wanted to kill themselves because of their illness etc - form was ticked and they have carried on receiving benefits for disability etc.

Before you all ask - yes I am 100% sure this person does not have the things wrong with them they claim. Can they work - yes!

No it's not me grin

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 16:45:22

tbf I know someone who has done that as well whatsleep and I think it's disgusting

post belly, yes I suppose it is about aspirations but I am pretty sure disability and illness is way up there on the causes of unemployment and poverty and believe me you can't plan for it happening and it can happen to anyone.

wrt tax, the system really needs a shake up when you look at legal tax avoidance and pay in dividends etc

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 16:46:21

I really cannot see how you can pretend to be mentally ill

cantspel Wed 10-Oct-12 16:51:21

Plenty of people play the benefits system to their advantage and i know several.

I work with a 22 year old. He is degree educated but choses to work only 20 hours a week in retail. i know for a fact he turns down extra hours as he doesn't want to earn more because at the moment he gets full housing benefit for his bedsit and doesn't have to start repaying his student loans. With his current employment he works 4 hours a day and still feels hard done by.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:54:01

OwlLady, my sister is a GP & she signs people off work all the time & signs their benefit forms too. Very often she believes that many of them are perfectly fit to work, but sometimes that is almost impossible to prove!
There are, of course, very, very genuine people who cannot work & I would never want to see their support taken away.
Unfortunately, there will always be those who play the system. I can't remember where the discussion about give everyone £15k got to, but I do sometimes wonder if that wouldn't be cheaper & easier. No departments, no admin, no assessments - just £15k for everyone over 18 & take it from there.

Aboutlastnight Wed 10-Oct-12 17:02:21

"Right now nearly 40% of all those unemployed are aged under 30. This is not because they are members of a uniquely lazy generation. It is not because they are an ill-educated generation. They are unemployed for want of work"
From The Guardian.

Good luck kids. sad

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 17:03:30

this person simply told them that they wanted to kill themselves because of their illness etc - form was ticked and they have carried on receiving benefits for disability

You know, it's very weird to keep reading this kind of thing. I'm currently entering stage 3 of an appeal against the decision not to award me DLA. I've got such revolting symptoms (including suicidal ideation) that I won't reveal them on here. They're extremely debilitating, but not enough to warrant the £90 a month - not ££££, ninety pounds a month - of DLA I wish to claim. Bear in mind I've had to fill in a lengthy & detailed form, go to meetings to tell under-qualified strangers about my symptoms, write long letters, have letters sent by my doctor and hospital, and still don't get the award. I wish it was a matter of somebody coming here, me saying "I want to die" and them going away with a box ticked hmm

I had an ESA review six weeks ago, too. This was the first time I've not been kicked off it, so I must be pretty bad. I get the "work capability" rate, despite not being capable of work, which is £95 a week, so not quite enough for designer clothes and drugs.

I buy things I can't afford on very expensive credit (APR is about 55% in real terms). Either this guy is doing that or your story is false. Or both.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 17:04:59

are you sure that's true re. people not wanting work? I work in retail and recruit within our store and we get no people between the ages of 23-40 applying and if they do they don't want to work weekends at all (which is a necessity unfortunately in retail)

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 17:08:48

I don't know anyone who works in retail who has a full time contract.

I also know that over 200 people many of them young people applied for a handful of jobs when Tesco opened a new local store.

I know this because our local paper ran a story on it.

Definitely in the minority but my MIL, BIL and SIL are all happy to live on benefits and make the minimum amount of effort to show they are trying, with no intention to actually work.

Fecking despise the lot of them, DH and I work our asses off and they say we 'have it easy' because we earn the amount we do...

The issue with retail is, if you have children you will end up paying for full time childcare monday to friday to enable you to be fully flexible for a 16 hour contract.

Not all of us have family to drop the kids in at different times each week.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 17:17:57

I don't know anyone who works in retail who has a full time contract

exactly true

we have a workforce of less than 30 and we have 2 people who are full time, the rest are aprt time and part time contracts are only a minimum of 8 hours

I think i am contradicting myself blush oh well, i suppose someone has to do it

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 17:18:54

to be fair, i am a carer and work in retail it can be flexible but it means for me, i have to work full weekends ALL THE TIME

(have wrote my resignation letter today, most probably wrong thread to be on)

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 17:20:09

You alright Owl?

from one carer to another- hugs X

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 17:20:20

Yes, most retail work is now based on 8 hour contracts.Still I suppose it's better than the many Zero hour contracts that employers get away with.

Not much better usual. 8 hours which you have to be available for 7 days a week.

Honestly, who can be that flexible and afford to work part time?

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 17:23:36

I know of a person who lives a comfortable life on single parent benefit in a nice detached house owned by her Father. She also has a long term partner in a full time fairly reasonably paid job who lives with her. So yes, some people do play the system.

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 17:25:09

'And the way things are at the moment, there is absolutely nothing to stop her. ' nope, under universal credit which has started to come in now in the test areas, she will be placed on workfare after her child runs one if she does not work long term.

As with the person who said I want to die, assuming that is correct (and all manner of reasons it might not be) then they must still be on the old dystem, which is running parallel to the new one for a handover period.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 17:25:24

It is bad , my DS has an 8 hour contract, he usually works quite a lot more hours. But his shifts are never the same every week.

Must be a nightmare if you have to find childcare.

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 17:25:58

But Viv she is a fraudster

As in, criminal.

so report her.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 17:26:09

See, I believe that one, Vivienne, as her dad and boyfriend will be buying stuff for her. Most of the other stories on here are absolute crocks of shite though.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 17:27:18

... sorry, I assumed the boyfriend living with her was embellishment?
If he does live there, she's cheating.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 17:27:38

Peachy, no to be honest i feel dreadful - hence why i am resigning!

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 17:30:34

Well I don't actually know her myself. But I've a friend who knows her. I agree she's a fraudster and gives genuine folk a bad name.

Peachy Wed 10-Oct-12 17:33:32

'I'm not going to name examples because they are places where I have family. But areas where large numbers of people don't work do exist.

So where large numbers don;t work,a s opposed to where nnobody works as you initial;ly stated?

Blimey, I know that- but doesn't mean everyone there is a skiver: fosr a start they tend to be LA housing which means that there will be a disproportionate number of elderly, disabled, sick and carers there: people who get extra points on housing lists. Then it will absorb those who aren;t working for any reason and is far from representative.

Heck, I live close to the Welsh Valleys; I grew up in Bridgwater, I know that happens. My city all in has a 20% unemployment rate- but there are clear and obvious reasons behind it, even if Cheryl Gillan (thank God she's gone!) can;t see it- you'd need to know how many were in work before everywhere employing anyone much closed.

But I checked all sorts of stats sources and nowhere has only unemployed people. Even the homeless accom I was tied to had a share of working families- well on entry, most were night / shift workers and a combination of B&B hours and neighbours with all kinds of issues put paid to that pretty quickly usually: we had one man who was trying to work 8 - 5 nights and only allowed in the building to sleep 6 - 8pm hmm, that was doomed.

Yes there are people who play the system. But it comes down to are you willing to penalise the genuine- most of whom will be either sick, a carer and / or have paid into the state before a change of circs; or do you focus on eliminating need and deprivation and acknowledge a few will slip through the net.

Most of all though it seems odd to yell for more measures when only 12% of those measures in existence have currently been enacted.

cantspel Wed 10-Oct-12 17:34:05

where i work it is mostly 20 hour contracts but they are always offering extra hours as there is not enough staff and they wont take on amy more. It is easier for them just to offer extra hours on an adhoc basis. Most can easily pick up an extra 10 hours a week.
Where i work has an evening shift upto 11pm with 25% extra per hour for working after 8pm. Most people on the 7 to 11 shift are mums or eastern europeans. We get a few students but they dont last long as they dont like working friday and saturday evenings.

cuteboots Wed 10-Oct-12 17:38:37

I know a few people who choose benefits and have not intention of working . Makes me bloody angry when as a single mum I work full time . I dont think they had the work ethic from their parents so its a vicious circle of they have kids and dont know any different! Wrong Wrong Wrong .

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 17:39:15

Well, if universal credit will prevent someone from having a third child when they can't afford their first two, then that sounds like a good thing to me. Those are the people that the cuts need to start with.

Viperidae Wed 10-Oct-12 17:42:25

I work in a very deprived area and can see that, while some of our clients do try to escape the trap there are some who consistently abuse the system and those who have no concept of any other life.

The problem is that a very small percentage of society cost a very big percentage of the budgets. In healthcare it has been suggested that 5% of a patent load will cost 80% of the money and i believe similar is true in law enforcement, social care, etc. It seems that no matter how may resources are put into this group, they will absorb it and still need more.

Of course it's possible to claim benefits for YEARS and be left alone. Of course * nods *

So explain to me why two carers who are supposed to be exempt from work expectation by virtue of being carers are constantly being harrassed to go to work focused interviews where a head tilting member of DWP staff keeps on about how much better they'd feel in work - despite having had to reschedule the interview three times because of last minute changing care needs getting in the way.

Oh yeah, you can hold down a job if your life is never the same one day to the next. Course you can.

Oh, and who will do the caring whilst we're working?

The state? £3 to £6k a week then. Not £55 a week.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 10-Oct-12 18:04:43

yanbu. There are estates and almost towns full of them. But they are not on the mn radar, so you'll be denied.

charlearose Wed 10-Oct-12 18:07:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoreBeta Wed 10-Oct-12 18:15:01

It is said that the Thatcher Govt conived in getting men who had been made redundant from old nationalised industries signed on to long term Sickness Benefit to get them off the unemployment register in areas of chronic unemployment.

MoreBeta Wed 10-Oct-12 18:16:35

Sickness Benefit became Incapacity Benefit and now it is called ESA.

Note: This is not the same Disability Living Allowance.

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 18:27:40

Morebeta, this is true, I think. Also when they closed down all the industries and wanted the country propped up by the city they factored in that many men losing their jobs won't find employment and where happy to have them on benefits.

The city cannot now prop up Britain, we don't have much manufacturing, real jobs that pay a decent wage in many areas. This is the problems we face.

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 18:28:17

'were' not 'where.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 18:36:19

Yes, MB, that did happen. It was v important for her government not to show escalating unemployment, as they'd campaigned on "Labour isn't working". So they dressed up the unemployed as sick. Of course, those same ex-miners, shipbuilders and car makers really are sick now as 30 years of unemployment with no hope of getting back into the swing will make you depressed.

They're reaching retirement age soon. You will have noticed how funding is being cut away from the elderly at an increasing pace.

By the way, unemployment is now the same as it was in 1979 when Thatcher rode to power on "Labour isn't Working".

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 18:39:09

Compounded by that fact that many working families had manageable rent from the council at one point so it did pay to work. Of course, the housing stock was sold off. Private landlords increased rents and now housing benefit isn't and out of work benefit anymore.

cinnamonnut Wed 10-Oct-12 18:41:27

There are lots of MNers who refuse to admit that there's a problem.

And it really is a problem - those who are fraudsters, or have it as a lifestyle choice, make it so much harder for those in genuine need.

expatinscotland Wed 10-Oct-12 18:42:52

'I'm not talking about people who can't work, disabled people, ill people, women dumped by feckless ex and left to fend for herself etc.. of course they should be protected.'

Of course not, dear. Just those 'undeserving ones.

' In the town I live, we have numerous Eastern European immigrants who all seem to be working, but mostly in low paid work the locals wont do'

That's right. None of them ever comes here and claims benefits, commits crimes (plenty of convicted murders in Scottish jails from E. Europe), are low-life drunks/addicts, etc.

Any other stereotypes you've since brought up?

grovel Wed 10-Oct-12 18:47:11

garlic, hello again!

Thatcher's wickedness was not in failing to support dead duck industries - it was failing to have a plan to replace the jobs. It's like Iraq and Afghanistan. I can argue for the wars (reluctantly) but I can't forgive the lack of plans to support these countries once we'd gone in and wanted to get out.

Funnily enough the best bit of Cameron's speech today was when he said we are fucked unless we plan for the new realities of globalisation. He's so right - but, as a Tory, he will instinctively be reluctant to use government funds to do so. He's right that governments are crap investors but can we really trust the market to do the job? I profoundly hope so.

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 18:50:32

The Eastern Europeans who work in my area are mostly working long hours for at least minimum wages, employers love them. Some will save as much as they can, send money home to often children they have left behind and go back home nicely set up. Some are fed up with working in hospitality, so are going to college, and eying up higher positions, after all they are well educated. Some are realising that once they stay a certain amount of time they can start a family here, ask for housing and claim benefits. I do wonder who will be doing the low paid jobs in a few years time.

Garlicbutty, to be classed in the top 1% of income in the UK you need to earn around £150k, hardly the super-rich! There are also only around 300k taxpayers in this bracket.

Also, what are they getting £500k handouts from the government for? I don't follow that statement at all.

peachespearsandapples Wed 10-Oct-12 18:56:34

Totally agree. I know a woman like this who has a daughter in my DD's class. I have known her for nearly 10 years and she has literally not worked a day in her life even though her DD is at school.

She has no partner, just saying this to give background.She has a two bedroom flat in the nicest part of our town in one of the most desirable streets (that most people could never hope to afford to live on), has her bills paid and wanders around living a life of leisure, whenever I see her she is sitting in cafes smoking and sipping coffee! She told me once that she wouldn't get out of bed for less than £25K a year. And that she 'chose' to stay at home before her daughter went to school as it was so important for a child to have a parent at home.

Her daughter, now 14, is a rude, aggressive, entitled, unpleasant bully who has no friends - she probably would have been anyway, but I doubt having such an irresponsible mother has helped.

I firmly believe someone like her should either have to get a job during school hours, or do voluntary community work. She contributes absolutely nothing to society.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 18:58:28

I agree with every word of your post, grovel, and was ranting that very thing at the radio earlier!

Tressy did a neat summary of what went wrong with Thatcher's half-baked plan, I think. Why the fuck she went out of her way to rob workers of their power (unions) only to hand even greater unregulated power to the City, I don't know. Maybe the union guys should have dazzled her in sharp suits.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 18:59:45

I think the vast majority of households would feel super rick on 150k per annum, single or joint income. It's absolutely vulgar to suggest otherwise and shows a real lack of self awareness.

OwlLady Wed 10-Oct-12 19:00:39

super rick grin I meant rich obviously!

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 19:03:34

peaches - has her bills paid and wanders around living a life of leisure, whenever I see her she is sitting in cafes smoking and sipping coffee

Who pays her bills? confused

So she's getting £71 a week JSA plus £20.30 child benefit. Out of that, she has to pay her gas & electricity, supermarket, clothing, transport, school trips, holidays, presents and everything.

They must be incredibly cheap coffees hmm

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 19:06:43

Charleybarley, I recognise the sense of your criticisms. I merely divided the £30bn additional concessions to the wealthiest individuals & corporations by 1% of the UK population. It was just a way of making a point, not intended as a breakdown of where the £30bn is actually going.

nkf Wed 10-Oct-12 19:08:10

Re: the annoyance of part time work and full time childcare costs, I personally think part time work is often a bit of a swizz. It only seems to work with highly qualified, usually professional people. Three day a week laywer yes. But with retail work and bar work and so on, it's grim.

nkf Wed 10-Oct-12 19:10:29

As to choosing a life on benefits, I believe the posters who say the numbers are small. I imagine they are also concentrated in particular areas and the problem will be long seated.

I doubt that that the child of workng parents "chooses" grows up and chooses to live that way.

owllady, I am quite aware of my own identity, thanks for the concern though.

I am merely stating my opinion - Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, are super-rich, not GPs, senior school heads etc, who typically earn around £150k p.a.

NB I haven't described your opinion as vulgar.

garlicbutty that's an interesting way to make an economic argument. Don't you think it a little odd to add personal tax changes to business tax changes and then present the results on a per capita basis? Surely you just end up with a completely meaningless statistic?

goinnowhere Wed 10-Oct-12 19:26:33

You see, I don't think large retailers should be allowed to keep people on such sparse or varied contracts. Give people a proper job ffs, that allows them to know what wages are coming in, to book their childcare, and not feel that they are better off not working.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 10-Oct-12 19:26:36

YANBU OP but the majority will not agree as benefits are their right.

Of course we should protect the disabled who cannot do any form of work or assist households where children cannot access special needs childcare but there are lots who claim they cannot work when they actually could they just dont want to in many cases. Having children does not render anybody incapable of working and being a SAHM is a luxury and one that should be supported by the household not the state. Yes its hard juggling work, a house and childrenmbut millions do it.

I would have like to have seen UC get a little more strict, working mums get 12 months maternity leave so everey new mum should and after that work should be expected unless you can live on the household income alone.

Breaking the benefit cycle and having children grow up in working households and seeing that the nice things in life only come from working can only benefit us in the future.

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:27:37

senior school heads earn 150k? Really? I didn't know it was that much. Thankyou Mumsnet. I've read the whole thread and I'm glad there are many of us who silently agree with my OP, thought I was going stark raving and that MN was inhabited exclusively by naive liberals who think we're all exactly the same and all decent, hardworking members of society. And thanks those of you who agreed that it isn't a tiny insignificant problem which we ought just to ignore because we can't ever change it. I won't accept that defeatist claptrap because I don't want to live in a country like that. And so called statistics are flawed anyway. Just looking at this thread, and the fact that such a high number of us know people commiting benefit fraud shows that it's probably a much more serious.issue. And it.effects society massively: unemployment, poverty, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, crime, violence..overwhelming, the people involved in these acts are stuck somewhere in the welfare trap. It is NOT a small insignificant unimportant minority.

nkf Wed 10-Oct-12 19:28:38

Senior school heads don't earn that amount. Or at least not as the norm.

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:28:40

typing on phone, excuse the lack of paragraphs, crappy phone!

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 19:38:53

It was a moral argument, charleybarley. I am perfectly capable of making a cogent economic argument when that is what I wish to do.

Here it is

http://www.teachingtimes.com/articles/heads-salaries.htm

An important job though, so the necessity of the salary, what I can't understand is why footballers get paid so much - John Terry earns £150k per week......

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 19:48:57

Of course people choose to live on benefits.
When you get a letter telling you to apply because you are entitled to them, what do you expect people to do? Refuse them.
In an ideal world there would be plenty of jobs, with suitable hours, paying a liveable wage. As this isn't the case of course people choose to live on benefit. Myself included.
If you mean to say that some are deserving and others aren't I can't agree with you, as everybody is entitled to help and support.
Some of the judgemental comments on these threads beggar belief.

Footballers pay is a whole other thread.

I could rant for a year on that topic angry

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 19:59:15

Happymummy.

No I'm afraid being a sahm is not a luxury its a right and one I intend to fight to the bitter end to protect.
Many sahms on benefit contribute to society and the economy the same as working parents.
Some of us happen to save the tax payer money by caring for our own children i.e not taking entitlements for free childcare, school funding, etc. As these costs kick in from 3-18 years now, I imagine some sahp have saved the tax payer thousands.
Happymummy I don't think you know much about bringing up dcs from your posts. Especially if you think millions of parents work without receiving any benefit.

Shagmundfreud Wed 10-Oct-12 20:04:17

autumnlights - people don't want to do badly paid, insecure work which is unfulfilling. Especially when they can see that the fruits of their labour are going ending up funding the lifestyles of the wealthy, through share dividends, and obscenely highly paid CEO's.

TBH it makes me laugh when I hear Tories going on about how FANTASTIC work is compared to living a life on benefits. I think: none of you have ever done minimum wage jobs while living in expensive private sector housing have you?

So yes, a lot of people have been living on a subsistence benefit rather than going out and taking up jobs that would result in many of them having probably an even more miserable lifestyle than they do now.

And until the banking crisis and a large rise in unemployment levels, the country was able to fund people to do this, as well as keep hospitals and schools running, subsidise university education, cut taxes for the middle classes, and pay out millions of pounds in non-means tested benefits to extremely wealthy individuals, of which there are many in the UK. And it managed to afford all this despite the fact that a massive proportion of top earners in this country contribute very little (proportionately) to the revenue pot.

I mean really - whenever we talk about raising more tax from the very richest, people always argue that they would then leave the country or find even more ways to dodge paying. Why is it considered morally acceptable for people who could comfortably pay more and help the country out of the dire situation it's in at the moment, not to do so, because they just don't like the idea of it?

Why is all people's anger directed at those at the bottom of the heap, who are expected to sacrifice a life of leisure (albeit a poverty stricken one) for a life of hard, unpleasant, and sometimes soul destroying work BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE COUNTRY?

Why don't we expect rich people to behave in a socially responsible way? Why is there so little censure of people like Tamara Ecclestone, who is spunking away an unearned fortune on gold-plated Jimmy Choos, while the sick and the young are suffering from cutbacks to social welfare?

Shagmundfreud Wed 10-Oct-12 20:06:05

"An important job though, so the necessity of the salary"

It's always been an important job, but it's only now that people think heads of schools should be made rich out of the public purse.

Not all other countries have the huge wage differentials that we have between bosses and staff.

Aboutlastnight Wed 10-Oct-12 20:28:05

Yyy to shagmund

"we're all in this together," remember that?

Simply put freud it is a matter of supply and demand - the state is looking for good teachers who can manage a school, there are not enough of these to go around currently, so wages go up to entice more able candidates to apply and meet the demand. Not everyone has the ability to be a head-teacher or a GP or a barrister etc.

Given the top 10% of all taxpayers pay around 55% of all income tax, how high do you think that burden should go? Higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers pay/ will pay income tax rates of up to 45% - how much higher do you think they should be?

MrsDeVere Wed 10-Oct-12 20:33:58

Dolomite what is the MN radar then?

And if you know these places name them, they cant be denied then can they?

MyNeighbourIsHorrid Wed 10-Oct-12 20:37:41

morethanpotatoprints of course being a SAHM is a luxury! Its not a right and never has been.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 20:45:39

MyNeighbour.

It has always been a right, why else would you have children? I didn't have children to have somebody else bring them up, of course its my right. I don't want to work as when I did I missed dc and my home life too much.
It is also a childs right to be nurtured, cared for and educated, some of us don't want to out source this to others. What is so wrong with this.

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 20:54:10

You can quite comfortably be a sahp if you are a single parent in rented accommodation. It's not a luxury, just as it isn't if you are partnered. You might not be living in luxury but it's ok.

I reckon I was in the worst position when I became a single mum with a mortgage. It was my choice to become a home owner but that was before I got pregnant. So my choices were to sell up and spend up and ask to be housed and stay at home or work full-time. I did the latter and we got through it but hell it was hard and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else tbh, whether single or partnered.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 10-Oct-12 20:59:13

MrsDeVere Time and time again we see on mn the rhetoric "oh but it's not true, people don't choose a life on benefits", and yet here on this very thread, within the last 20 posts we have a SAHM who chooses to live on benefits citing some excuse or another.

The majority of mn, the demographic is middle-class well-to-do west london darling high-earners. Their experiences of sink estates are limited. For my own admissions, I've always known there were problems in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Glasgow for example, but until maybe 8 years ago I had no idea that Bristol for example contained swathes and swathes of council estates and grinding poverty. I am under the impression that 30% of the UK population lives like this. It is something which goes unseen on my travels as a middle-class woman. How's that for honesty?

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 10-Oct-12 20:59:16

How does a SAHM on benefits contribute to the economy in the same way as a working parent given they are paying no income tax and any spending is done with money already from the public purse?

I didnt take free childcare, is it so hard to fathom that some people actually consider finances before having children rather than let others pay for their lifestyle choice.

I presume you intend to home educate as you wouldnt want teachers raising your children.

Growlithe Wed 10-Oct-12 21:01:16

Would it make more sense to try to crack down on benefit scroungers during periods of low unemployment, when they can be more easily identified? Just now, there aren't enough jobs for those that want to work, so how can we prove that whose who don't, don't?

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:05:19

Do you really think the majority of MNetters are middle-class well-to-do west london darling high-earners?

Tressy Wed 10-Oct-12 21:07:21

Happymum, it's not only income tax you know. There are taxes on everything we buy. So everyone is contributing. Also how about contributing to society by bringing up a child. Why do you think that working parents are topped up? Sometimes the top-ups can be more than a single parent is receiving depending on circumstances.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:08:25

The ones banging on about the great unwashed on these threads usually are though. So if you only post on these threads I can understand why you would think that.

Laquitar Wed 10-Oct-12 21:08:38

Just because 5 or 10 people come on these threads saying 'i know one', 'my neighbour is one', 'my sil is one'...doesn't mean that those people are as many as it seems. People don't come on these threads to say 'my sil has been looking for job for a year', 'my friend applied for 500 jobs' etc.

And to the poster who said that those of us who don't believe the propaganda about benefits lifestyle we are on benefits, how do you fucking know? It is called empathy. You don't have to be-currently-on benefits, you just need a bit of empathy and two brain cells to know that your life can change and you-or your dcs- might need to be on benefits in the future.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:17:18

Would you like me to tell you how it took my DS a year to find a job ,an 8 hour retail contract job ,despite gods knows how many applications. Or how my then 53 year old dp got made redundant and still 5 years later is on a zero hour agency contract? Because no one will employ someone in their 50s,or what about my neighbour who is also in her 50s and lost her job and has the princely sum of £71 JS a week to live on. Life of bloody Riley.

janey68 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:19:08

Oh fgs once we hear people claiming that you can only love, nurture and raise your own children if you don't work, then frankly what's the point of any intelligent debate?!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 21:22:12

Paying VAT out of your benefits doesn't count as 'contributing'. It's not. If its not money you or your family earned, then it is contributing nothing. Especially as VAT is only payable one supposed 'luxuries'. I thought people living in benefits couldn't afford luxuries?

Potato, you ask what is wrong with wanting to be a SAHM, and the answer is nothing. There's nothing at all wrong with it if you are being supported by family, or a spouses wage. But there's a hell of a lot wrong with it when other Mothers would love that option but couldn't afford to, so have to go out and earn a living to support the children they created. Don't you think they miss their children too?

Your attitude sickens me so much that I have to stand back, laugh, and try not to patronise you with my pity.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 10-Oct-12 21:23:13

just wanted to jump in and point out a few misconceptions that always get spouted on threads like this

goldenhandshake people on benefits apsolutly do not get water rates paid for them by the state (nor by anybody) unless they live in a care suituation where by water rates are included in rent or fee's. to the best of my knowledge at no time (or at least within the last 25 years) have water rates been covered for benefit claiments.

for anybody that is intrested there is a scheme run by the water companies themselves and applied for through them whereby you can have your water rates frozen at £455 a year if you have a provable illness that actually requires you to use more water or you recive a social benefit and have 3 or more kids you will still pay for your water but it will not go above the upper rate for the year.

outraged anybody on income support or any other out of work benefit that is exempt from actively job seeking (i.e lone parents with under 5's,carers,lone parent of older but disabled child) is still required to present themselves at the job center at least twice a year (minimum) and be interviewed and prove that circumstances havent changed,should they not attend this interview the benefit will be stopped. no chance what so ever is the person you refer to poping out a kid every 5 years and being left alone by the dwp.

thisthreadwilloutme Wed 10-Oct-12 21:28:37

There are people who do this BUT it must be a miserable existence. Normally people who know no different, grow up with parents on benefits, they have no concept of life outside of benefits. It's amazing what becomes normal in these communities... not something to be jealous on IME.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 21:29:29

Happy.

I do H.ed as is my right, I do care for my dcs/have done 2 dcs are older now. These are my choices as others make theirs.
Others take from the public purse in terms of the services I mention above and this as I stated begins with pre school ed through to 18 years (now). I contribute to the economy by buying goods and services, which yes SOME of which has come from the public purse.
The rich remain rich by keeping their money not really contributing very much.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 10-Oct-12 21:29:50

dont tampons still have vat on them?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 21:36:59

Outraged, you are entitled to your opinion. But all the other workers you mention have the same rights as me. They are not called "rights for morethanpotato" and nobody else. We all have the same choices in life, I don't see how anybody else could not afford to? Please explain

MrsDeVere Wed 10-Oct-12 21:37:56

Dolomite
So do the experiences and accounts of MNers like me and Usual and Peachy and hundreds of others count for nothing then?
Because we are middle class and living in west London because we are MN members? Regardless of where we live or what we do?

I am fed up of the dismissal of MN as being a middle class lump of left wingers. I have seen far more right ring rhetoric on here than left wing. The left wingers tend to back up their opinions with facts.

The benefit ranters tend to make sweeping statements and the only back up they have is because they know someone who knows someone.

I know some people who have never worked and see benefits as their right. Despite this I do not believe they are in the majority. Because I prefer to face truths, something many do not like to do because it forces them to challenge their own prejudices.

Its scary to think poverty can happen to anyone. Its scary to think that those 'low lifes' are actually nice people who happen not to be economically active atm.
Its scary to admit that the people the government are ranting about include a large proportion of this country. NOT because a large proportion of this country are scroungers but because our government are so out of touch that they think YOU are the same as THEM. THEM being those so despised on MN - the poor.

I can look out of my window and see a collection of council and ex council properties. Rented and owned. They all look the same, you cant tell the economic status of those who live in them. I know all the families. This is the sort of place people will point at and say 'look at all those benefit scroungers'.
There is ONE family with generations of non workers. One family who have worked on and off, on and off as their substance abuse has allowed, one single parent family, several immigrant families all with at least one working parents and the rest are elderly and ordinary families including those with disabled children and parents.

Many of them will receive some sort of benefit. The majority have or are contributing.

But that would be meaningless to someone who simply decided what we are all like based on their own bigotry. You know - a sink estate.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 21:46:32

Janey68.

I don't say that you can only nurture and bring your children up by yourself.

My argument is that if this is how you feel about your own children, you have the right to do so.
Otherwise childcare, pre school and school would be compulsory. So would work and having a nanny/childminder.
I maintain that whilst I have taken from the public purse, I most definitely have saved and continue to save money in which I am entitled to from leaving the public purse.
In addition, when I did work and pay tax I subsidised childcare for working parents whilst never taking this myself.
So I guess everything isn't so cut and dried when people on threads like this tell us we have no right to sah if we receive benefit.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:48:26

I live on a council estate too, you know ,actually live on one. I get so fed up of the 'I work with these people or I know someone who knows someone' bollocks on here.

There might be a few who take the piss, but the majority of people I live with, work, doing the jobs that would grind this country to a halt if they didn't do them. And whats more they do them for shite wages. So take your opinion of sink estates and shove it.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 21:51:16

We all have the same choices in life, I don't see how anybody else could not afford to? Please explain

Some people cannot afford to because they earn more than NMW. Not much more, but just enough so that they wouldn't be better off on benefits. Some people look ahead to the long term, and want to progress and be earning enough so that by the time their children are going to secondary school and building their own lives, they will be fully independent and not reliant on the state for any of their income. As they can do that as well as raising children that will contribute to society as much as a SAHP parent's children, they see it as a social responsibility.

Growlithe Wed 10-Oct-12 21:54:52

I'd never heard of sink estates until MN. I had to google it. Turns out I grew up on one grin.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:58:22

Every estate is a sink estate on MN.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 22:00:23

Where has anyone ever said that usualsuspect? hmm

Aboutlastnight Wed 10-Oct-12 22:03:03

Grow lithe grin

I grew up on a rather nice council estate...

Growlithe Wed 10-Oct-12 22:05:47

Ah that's what I thought About - but I was obviously deluding myself grin

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:10:23

There's almost no doubt that there will be lurkers from Central Office and Labour HQ moseying around on threads like this, taking the temperature, adding to their focus group assessments, picking up a bit of zeitgest. All the parties will take more notice of posters like Outrage than posters like Usual, just to pull out a couple. That's what I think.

Why brycie? Why would they pay attention to outrage more than usual?

Thats a genuine question. Im having a thick moment.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:17:10

Whys that then Brycie? because I'm not a middle-class well-to-do west london darling high-earner?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 10-Oct-12 22:19:01

because outraged fits in with there agenda perfectly

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:19:03

Hi wannabe smile I think it's because the target demographic at the moment is the voter with a social conscience who isn't dogmatic about how to exercise it. So for example people who care about underprivileged children but don't think the best way to help them is to give more money to the parents. (I don't want to put any words or any voter intentions into Outraged's mouth: I don't know, I agree with her/him on here about stuff but that's as far as it goes. I'm sorry Outraged if this offends you.) Whereas others are simply not possible to sway from a fixed view.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:19:54

No usual: because you will never change your mind. That's an assumption I'm making, I apologise if you correct me and I am wrong, and I'll withdraw the assumption.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:21:35

So they just want people who agree with their policies then. And?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:21:42

Pixie: I think the "agenda" is a two-way thing. Labour picked up on the so called squeezed middle because it basically inhaled the zeitgest from the struggling middle class. It didn't pull it out of nowhere. It was a reflection of what voters were telling them.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:22:33

No, I will never change my mind because I'm always right grin

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:23:48

No, people help form the policies, and people with more flexible and open-minded views are very important, as they could go either way in the booth. (again I am NOT talking about anyone specific here). Or put it this way, that applies to me. I could go either way. I have gone both ways, in fact! All the parties need to target people like me.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:25:37

Ok well I'm glad I didn't make that mistake smile but it does mean that one party can count on you (unless you're in Scotland and can go SNP!) and no other party need attend to your views and even the one particular party you may go with (!) doesn't have to attend that much because you're guaranteed in the bag.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:27:26

I see what you mean but tbh, I don't think many Labour voters would ever vote Tory and vice versa.

Thats why many people voted LIb Dem at the last election and look what happened there.

Well I have views similar to usual (I think) and although I dont get to vote labour/libdem/cons due to living in Northern Ireland, I would have voted Libdem last time if I could. And at the time even the tories were tolerable.

This time. No way. I have changed my mind.

But then maybe thats just because Im either gullable or not as knowledgable with politics as some.

Growlithe Wed 10-Oct-12 22:30:26

Brycie what would make you think that certain posters, for example Outraged are more flexible and open-minded than others, for example usual? Perhaps because they agree with you?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:31:55

There's going to be a HUGE swing vote next time. Before the last election LibDems were the default party of the social conscience slightly right winger who couldn't bear to vote Tory. Last election they became the default party of the Labour voter. This time there is everything to play for. Labour attempted to make as many people as possible dependent or in receipt of state benefits in order to basically buy the vote. Maybe there are enough, who knows, there weren't enough last time but there could be this. Working poor, even those in receipt of benefits, are realising that they are paying tax to many people who don't bother. They know this because they're poor themselves, they live in the same places, their children are at the same schools. This is making people cross and adding to the possibility of swing from a lower income demographic - even when they are getting benefits.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:33:52

Growlithe: no, it's not that. It's because I would say it's clear when people want to help and believe that suffering should be relieved and that the state has responsibility for doing that. However they are open minded about how that should be done - ie accepting that people abuse the system, believing there are alternate routes to simply doling out cash.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 22:34:06

You make good points about floating voters and government by opinion poll, Brycie. Sadly I am amongst the millions who have no fucking idea who to vote for next. None of the few people I'd trust with a chance to run the country are candidates for the job, and they're scattered throughout the three parties.

I seriously do not want another identikit twerp who's never done a real job, never needed to use public transport on a daily basis or had to save up for the deposit on their home.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:36:26

Hi Wannabe, I feel a bit bad about this, I don't want people to say what they vote, I'm sorry to Outraged, and to Usual, maybe this is inappropriate. I don't think you are gullible at all and certainly wouldn't think that because of the way anybody votes. People vote with the best knowledge available to them and according to their experience. (I do think it's actually a scandal by the way that you can't vote for the main parties. It's almost taxation without representation. )

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:37:13

You are so wrong Brycie, The working poor will never vote Tory. They are being shafted just as much as the unemployed.

In fact many of them are now the unemployed on account of losing their jobs.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 22:38:20

Brycie, if the LibDems are in such a strong position why are they positioning themselves as the default party of shared government? Clegg seems to be going out of his way to prove he can say Yes, Prime Minister to any prime minister!

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:38:22

Garlicbutty: I wouldn't call it government by opinion poll. Do you want an ideological party, never listening, or a party that takes on board what people want?

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:39:59

What are the alternative routes? Education? How about we give disadvantaged teenagers a bit of help with their busfares etc so they stay on at school.

Would that be a good idea?

oh wait....

sheepsgomeeping Wed 10-Oct-12 22:40:11

This thread sickens me actually. I'm feckless apparantly as I have four children and I'm a single parent on income support.

Hmm lets see. NONE of my four dc were born on income support. Ex partner and I BOTH worked but as he was an abusive twat I kicked him out and over the past year have had to give up a JOB that I quite liked as the hours could not be changed (retail, nature of the business) Twat would not turn up to look after his kids, no other childcare (who is going to look after my four, one with SN until nearly 11 at night??

So now I have no job, am carer for my ds too, really struggling in oh look a council house on a council estate, degree educated, reasonable cook (shock, benefit scrounger who understand the importance of a healthy diet).

Sure, i don't want to spend the rest of my life on benefits but part time jobs 16 plus hours, just dont exist here and its just going to get worse isn't it, I don't spend my benefit money on fags, drink, junk food and the pub. (my mum buys my fags, smoke 2-3 a day)

I would love David Cameron to spend a day with my family, make him open his eyes a bit.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:41:08

My granddad was working poor. He voted Tory. Not that he constitutes an entire demographic. But the "blue collar" (seventies term) Tory vote is becoming a phenomenon that people are talking about. There's a name for it, I'll try to find it.

Well yes. I agree. We get stuck voting for parties who are merely inbetween men with no real power.

So theres a whole demographic being affected by a government their votes cant change.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:42:52
Growlithe Wed 10-Oct-12 22:43:02

Brycie Am I getting you wrong, or are you suggesting Labour tried to get as many people on benefits so that they would vote for them? The only benefit I have claimed since a brief period in the 80s is Child Benefit (which I will soon lose granted), but I have always voted Labour, simply because I am concerned about those less fortunate than myself.

People who aren't poor do vote Labour you know.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:45:12

What usual just said.

The working poor are going to be just as affected as benefit claimants.

The working poor are also not very far from benefits with jobs the way they are. Why would they vote for a party who wants to remove that safety net?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:47:56

Growlithe, ironically I voted Labour for twenty years when I was "rich" (in relative terms) now I'm not rich and you've probably gathered I'm not Ed's biggest fan!

autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:48:35

yes, I think the Labour Party did offer financial bribes to win votes in the 97 election. It worked wonders for them. The spend and borrow mentality and turning a blind eye to the bankers fucked us over afterwards.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 22:49:09

I wouldn't call it government by opinion poll

I do. Perhaps it's my marketing background, but I can predict OsCam's soundbite 'policies' from what the Daily Mail and BBC have been saying about public opinion.

Example: Totally pointless new 'law' about being allowed to Defend Your British Home by use of ... er, exactly what the law said before this 'policy'. Cameron simply used the preferred wording of the DM reader in the street.
Etc
etc
etc
ad nauseam.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:49:25

I don't know wannabe but they do, and more might.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:50:10

Well that's OK garlic you can go with the ideologues who never listen to a word you say !

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 22:50:52

Growlithe, ironically I voted Labour for twenty years when I was "rich" (in relative terms) now I'm not rich and you've probably gathered I'm not Ed's biggest fan!

Hah, me too. Only I'd cheerfully drown Ed, Dave & Nick in the same pond.

Might yes.

The more that find themselves unemployed under a government which hasnt put forward any attempts to create jobs, the less you will find voting tory.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:55:51

smile garlic

I have to agree with autumn there.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:56:39

Wannabe: maybe you're right but Labour would be deeply complacent to make that assumption.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:58:34

And you have to think, which is the biggest group losing their jobs? Public sector workers. Is it an unfair assumption to suggest that loads would have been Labour voters anyway? I don't know, I'm on thin ice, but I reckon that's a safe-ish assumption. So not that much of a loss in voting terms.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:59:03

The Tories would be mad to think that they can win the votes of people who are just hanging on to their jobs.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 22:59:53

That IS a big assumption isn't it. I wonder if there are some statistics somewhere. Perhaps a lurking statistician from Labour HQ can supply. Thanks in advance, if you're out there!

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 23:00:08

that's OK garlic you can go with the ideologues who never listen

Not my point at all. We hire governments to listen to our concerns and propose expert solutions, not to echo the opinions of the loudest. If the average daily mail reader's solutions were the best possible we wouldn't need a fucking government, we could do it all by phone-in and save a few bob.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:00:15

Brycie, no problem. smile

You are probably spot on that I'm likely to be part of a swing vote come the next election.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:01:51

Well usual I must admit my profound hope is that everyone at Labour HQ agrees with you and believes that 1. no working poor people will ever vote Conservative and 2. nobody hanging on to their jobs will vote Conservative. I doubt they'll be that complacent, unfortunately, but I'll keep my fingers crossing that they think the way you don't and don't bother leafleting!

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:02:09

It's not only public sector workers who have lost their jobs, take a walk down any high street and see all the shops that have gone out of business.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:02:39

Hi outraged: thanks. Don't you think this is an interesting conversation?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:04:21

What is the difference between "listening to our concerns" and "government by opinion poll". Who said anything about "the opinions of the loudest" or the Daily Mail. I think we are agreeing - I think you have invented someone to disagree with because I didn't say those things.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:05:46

Who do you think the workers will blame for their job losses? It won't be the Labour party that's for sure.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:06:28

Yes, I do Brycie. I always find it interesting to read views that are so starkly different to me own. And I learn stuff.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:06:49

my own! blush

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:07:50

The shops would have gone out of business under labour too usual.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:08:06

Keep it up Usual. Listen to Usual, Labour HQ. No need to campaign with these groups at all.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:09:18

Went a bit dick van dyck there outraged! Yes I agree though.

Sorry usual I was making fun of you there, I shouldn't have.

garlicbutty Wed 10-Oct-12 23:09:48

I'm too tired. I'm not making myself clear. Time to finish watching Revenge and go to bed! Night smile

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:10:13

Goodnight smile

CommunistMoon Wed 10-Oct-12 23:10:24

I will definitely be going out leafletting for my local Labour Party branch now. Thanks for the encouragement.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:11:20

Oh no have I shaken the complacency! Terrible move on my part.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:11:50

They may well have done Freddo, but do you not think their gut reaction will be to blame the Tories.

I mean you have lost your job and now you are branded a scrounger. Why the hell would you vote for them again.

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 10-Oct-12 23:14:06

The Lib Dems are most definitely NOT the party of right wingers who don't want to vote Tory - I'm very left wing and very, very liberal and opposed to mass centralisation and very Pro Europe.

I don't agree with every policy (and Cleggs an idiot and Brown was daft not to offer to get into bed with us) but it's certainly a party I've been keen on for 10 years.

Before that I was Labour for 20 years but was pissed off with spin.

The Liberals are the natural home of the left with a social conscience - if David sex-god Mitchell votes Lib Dem it must be good wink

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 10-Oct-12 23:16:20

as the moment we have a bill that hopes to grant employers the right to refuse all employment rights and doing so gives them massive tax breaks,so they can offer a job that excludes you from protection

all part time employees in low income jobs who work less than 35 hours pw will be forced to obtain other work with no regard for any job they currently have this could require them to quit a 16 hour job for a 0 hour contract with no legal protection or get sacked for attending interviews during there normal working hours.

can anybody else see the problem this could cause.

its now gone from benefit bashing of the feckless to just benefit bashing and now bashing the working poor

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:16:34

LFC - they used to be. Most definitely. Am I the only old person here who can remember this and also the blue collar Tories?

CommunistMoon Wed 10-Oct-12 23:17:14

Hilarious post, LFC, keep up the good work!

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:18:23

I don't get it.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:20:06

No, I lost my job and found another one. I realise that was partly down to luck, but I don't want to vote labour because if everything stayed the way it was under them, then the country really will be up shit creek.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:21:13

So vote Tory then, your I'm alright Jack attitude is right up their street.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:21:46

Yes that hostility isn't going to win any friends either.

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 23:21:50

Let's face it, why are the Lib Dems supporting this stuff. Is that what people who voted for them thought they were getting. Of course not. I blame them more than the Tories. Sneaky double crossing lot. I can't see the Lib Dems even surviving the next election as a party.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 10-Oct-12 23:22:37

OP, YANBU imo, my friend is one of them. She has actually admitted to me numerous times that she would rather exist on £20 a week than work, even part time for £2000 a week.
I don't understand it tbh. She has a very poor standard of living and being poor consumes every single waking hour of every single day for her, yet the thought of going to work is apparently "beneath" her, and that is what she says to anyone who asks why she doesn't work, and never has.

Unfortunately, no govt has yet worked out an effective way of separating the 'can't works' from the 'wont works' with any degree of accuracy, so to punish the 'wont works' means that many many more 'can't works' will suffer immensely.

Is this a road we really want to go down? Punishing everyone for the sake of the 'wont work' people who would probably find other ways of making sure they didn't work anyway ?

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:23:07

oh well. some people I wouldn't want to be friends with.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:23:48

It's nothing to do with just me being alright, it's to do with the majority of people I know and care for being alright.

I just really dont understand how the government can get away with attacking the poor like this. I really really dont.

CommunistMoon Wed 10-Oct-12 23:25:48

How can the Tories see the majority of people you know alright? Have I misunderstood? Are your family and friends all hedge fund managers? Actually I only know one hedge fund manager, and he would never vote for those bastards.

Wallison Wed 10-Oct-12 23:26:55

I would say that the lib dems are actually worse than the tories because at least with tories you know what you are getting (ie bastards) but with lib dems they made themselves out to be all cuddly and caring and now they're just stamping their ecco shoes on a human face forever.

In response to the OP, I would say that you are being unreasonable. There are actually very very few people who have never worked. There are hardly any families at all where generations have never worked. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation recently did a study about it. What they found was that there were some people who had periods of employment followed by periods of unemployment, especially when their kids were young and there were pressures on their earned income such as childcare etc. But very few people had never worked. The JRF actually set out to find examples of generational unemployment and found so few that they were not statistically relevant. It's a myth put out by twats like Osborne to do their old 'divide and conquer' stuff.

Growlithe Wed 10-Oct-12 23:29:43

I used to worry about politics. I used to worry about the economy. I try not to any more. Why? Because its too horrendous.

Now the mess the country is in is blamed totally on Labour. I worry about this. I wonder, if we were under a Conservative government at the time the extraordinary events which caused the credit crunch had occurred, what would have happened?

I worked in IT at that time, for a bank that is now partly owned by the taxpayer, in a department run by a man who has now been villified in the banking world. It was all about risk in those days. IT used to be mainly about testing. You'd spend 5 days writing a program and 10 days testing it - trying to break it. It would then be tested in conjunction with all the other programs it would be run with. It would them be tested by the business people that would eventually use it.

At that time we were told differently. Don't test new systems rigorously. Bang 'em in, we'll sort the fallout on the fly in production. We suffered this, we wouldn't do that usually, we said it was madness, but budgets were slashed and it became the accepted banking mentality. Worldwide as it happened.

What would the Tories have done in the face of this?

I'm not convinced Plan A is working now, anymore than I'm convinced that the Tories wouldn't have got us into any less of a mess.

Stop and think. It was a global thing. Absolutely massive shift in attitude to risk in a virtually short space of time. Take risk, take risk, it will be ok, nothing will happen. Speak out and you'll will be shouted down as an idiot. I know, I was.

Was this Labour's fault? Really? For giving out too many benefits?

But as I say, I don't follow politics. Because just now, I really don't think anyone has a clue what to do really.

So let's just have a go at benefit scoungers, because, hey, no one likes a scounger.

CommunistMoon Wed 10-Oct-12 23:30:01

^this. Facts and research, not DM prejudice. Thanks Wallison!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 23:30:06

I would like to know how many families earning up to 80k (I think) aren't claiming the cb they are entitled to. I know it was 42k but heard that a couple could earn lots more.
Anyway hands up, whose done this?

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:33:52

Usual, you have to admit the irony. You spend a number of posts dismissing the idea that the working poor or anyone would vote outside their best interests. Then you accuse someone of voting as an "I'm alright Jack". Do you see what you did there.

usualsuspect3 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:34:09

Why do people buy into the myth that it's people on benefits that have caused all the problems?

Are people really so bloody stupid as to believe that shit.

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 10-Oct-12 23:34:46

The rank and file Lib Dems do not agree with current policy. But they are a tiny minority in the country. I know party policies are really dull but they've got a lot of good ones.

I blame the leadership but they had little choice at the beginning. They should get Vince in, he's cuddly, or bring back Charlie or Ming.

Loads of info about the new liberal left here www.guardian.co.uk/profile/richard-grayson

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:36:16

I don't think they do, Usual. But we can't afford to indulge mickey-taking and fraud any more, where as before we thought we could. We were wrong, but there we are - lessons learned.

CommunistMoon Wed 10-Oct-12 23:36:17

Do you think the party will hold together, LFC? Genuine question.

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 10-Oct-12 23:38:17

The best bit on that article is the historical one at the bottom - the bit where we could have had a Lib Lab pact and the world wouldn't be fucked.

<rewrites history on an olivetti>

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 10-Oct-12 23:40:24

Nope Communist, another split is due.

Unless we replace the leader and there might be opportunity for cohesion - though I think they should leave the Coalition and force an election (not right this second after blubbering Cam and Sam Cam today as they're riding high)

Wallison Wed 10-Oct-12 23:43:32

How were mickey-taking and fraud indulged in the past? There have always been fraud officers working for the DSS and various triggers that have alerted them to fraud taking place. In fact, back in the old days when you got a mandatory home visit from an EO before your claim was started, and at various intervals throughout your claim, you could say that fraud was treated more seriously then. It is not even as massive a problem as the tabs say either - only something like 1% of claims are fraudulent. The rest of the overpayments (about another 5% I think) are due to clerical error.

Viviennemary Wed 10-Oct-12 23:44:21

A LibDem/Lab coalition would probably have been a lot better. Personally, though I don't know a lot about politics, I think the Lib Dems will have to reform and rename themselves before they have a hope of being credible again. And I do appreciate that most Lib Dems will be not agree with the things that are being pushed through. Why don't they just say no to all these cuts.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:45:30

The same way they are indulged now. Much of the mickey-taking is perfectly legal, the type I'm talking about is described in some detail on the thread.

Why is all the focus and blame on benefit fraud and not on the mess the bankers caused. They are still getting paid huge bonuses while claimants are being demonised.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:47:54

I agree with you about bankers. But the financial services industry is a money-spinner for Britain, so there's more caution. I don't think the focus is solely on fraud any more - in fact I'm sure it's not. People are concerned about what's totally legal, but basically taking the mickey.

Wallison Wed 10-Oct-12 23:48:55

Sorry, I haven't read the thread so I don't know what you mean by 'mickey-taking' but really fraud is not a big problem and it has always been taken seriously and as I say I think it was taken more seriously when there were more robust procedures in place at the start of and throughout claims.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:50:35

Fair enough. I mean people who opt to live on welfare. It's legal, of course!

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:51:13

Wallison it might help if you did read some of the examples on the thread, if you did want to understand more what I'm talking about. It's very long though!

It may be taking the mickey. But if its legal...

Can you honestly say that you wouldnt do all you could to provide a roof over your families head and food on the table if you lost your job?

The people who take the piss with benefits and spend the money on crap instead of their kids will do that regardless. But the honest claimants are being penalised.

But yet again. It all comes back to money spinners and more gains for the wealthy. Aslong as they are stinking rich the poor can go and die in the gutter.

Wallison Wed 10-Oct-12 23:54:26

I've had a skim through now and most of the examples seem to be, as you say, 'people who opt to live on welfare'. As I said above, there are very very few people who do so. And even when people go out looking for these supposed generations of families who have never worked, they can't find them. They are a myth; a creation of the tabloid press much in the same vein as stories of the people who live the life of Riley on benefits.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:56:44

Wannabe: I'm sorry but the way you spin it doesn't match what is often happening.

Wallison: you're in good company, there are many denialists here.

Growlithe Wed 10-Oct-12 23:58:56

They want you to hate benefit scroungers. They are actually laughing at you you know.

CommunistMoon Wed 10-Oct-12 23:59:36

'what is often happening', eh? Nothing like hard facts and statistics to back up an argument, as ever.

What is often happening then?

CommunistMoon Thu 11-Oct-12 00:02:48

Sorry wannabe, I think it's something to do with loads of people choosing to live in the lap of luxury on £71 p.w. or something, according to a deluded poster above.

Brycie Thu 11-Oct-12 00:03:11

Growlithe: I don't think so

Communistmoon: only one person on this thread has said at any point - I don't believe you, ie you are lying or mistaken. Have you got the guts to say that to all the posters on the thread?

Wannebe: I thought you were on the thread all the way through?

Yes. I was.

As I said, the genuine claimants are being penalised because of the actions of some who take the mickey.

That is whats happening.

Wallison Thu 11-Oct-12 00:05:04

Why am I a 'denialist' for quoting what the JRF says? As I set out, they went specifically looking for these generationally unemployed families and they couldn't even get enough of them to do a proper study. It was reported throughout the press at the time (although admittedly I don't think the Daily Mail ran with it). What they did find, which is much more worrying then the scare-mongering about people who have never worked, is that there is a fairly large sub-set of the population who drift from one badly-paid insecure zero-hours contract job to another, interspersed with periods of time claiming benefits, with no hope of getting out of the cycle because of the need for employers to have this much-vaunted 'flexible workforce' that the CBI are always banging on about.

Working under these conditions, and particularly trying to raise a family while working under these conditions, makes for an extremely precarious and stressful existence. Much more stressful than not knowing where your next £100k deal is coming from on top of your annual salary of £500k. And yet people still do it, because they want to work and provide for their families. This pattern accounts for the vast vast majority of benefit claimants.

Growlithe Thu 11-Oct-12 00:05:53

What do you mean Brycie by 'I don't think so'?

CommunistMoon Thu 11-Oct-12 00:06:42

I spend a lot of time working with people who have lost their jobs or are long-term sick, disabled or carers for the disabled. I go through budgets with them and know what they are living on. Benefits aren't a lifestyle choice for loads of people, and those who think they are need to get a grip.

Wallison Thu 11-Oct-12 00:09:55

wannabe I don't for a minute think that genuine claimants are being penalised because some people are frauding - they are being penalised because govts think that being poor is a crime. I would include the so-called Labour party in that - they weren't quite as bastardy as the tories while they were in power but Milliband is hardly a socialist.

CommunistMoon Thu 11-Oct-12 00:10:11

Growlithe I think Brycie means that she doesn't think the hereditary millionaires in the Cabinet aren't really laughing at people like her, benefit-bashing and doing their dirty work for them. Deluded, as I say.

Wallison Thu 11-Oct-12 00:11:59

Osborne is long-term unemployed anyway - has the bugger ever had a job before the one he's got now?

CommunistMoon Thu 11-Oct-12 00:12:03

are really laughing. Damn, I am tired.