Who really gets £500+ weekly state benefits?

(713 Posts)
vivizone Wed 21-Nov-12 21:04:49

I find this shit so hard to believe. Reading the media, you would think this was a common figure on life on benefits.

Yesterday and today's Metro newspaper - people writing in saying they agree with the cap of £500 and why should people be sat on their arse and be rewarded by £500 per week. . Why should they earn £200 per week working and people are getting £500 a week doing nothing.

Seriously, who gets this £500 per week that is being peddled out of the media? I spent 7 months out of work after redundancy and I could not live on the pittance I received for me and my children. I do not know how people do it. I really don't. I had a decent redundancy package and that was the only way I could make it.

How many people do you know (forget the newspaper stories) that are RECEIVING £500 or more every week? I thought so.

How come if life is/was that cushy on benefits, not enough people are/were packing in their jobs to join a life of riley?

We have been had. Life on benefits is HARD and DEMORALISING. I have tried it and I can tell you you get PEANUTS.

The reason why stories run on people living in million dollar homes/getting thousands a week in benefits is because it is RARE. It is SO rare, that it gets reported on.

squeakytoy Wed 21-Nov-12 21:06:13

If you factor in Housing Benefit, it is very easily reached.

gordyslovesheep Wed 21-Nov-12 21:06:19

I saw the Metro letters and thought exactly the same - very few people get that it is a CAP it is not giving every single person on benefits £500

yehudiwho Wed 21-Nov-12 21:08:49

Who gets the £500, why that'll be the landlords

porridgewithalmondmilk Wed 21-Nov-12 21:10:31

Two women I know do. One is a lone parent and has four DCs. The eldest has been diagnosed with ADHD and she gets DLA for him. Then she gets income support, child benefit and CTC, and they alone come to over £400 p/w. Then she has housing benefit, council tax benefit and plus the two eldest get FSM.

The other lady is seriously depressed - I really feel for her but yes she does get a lot in benefits. DLA, IS, CB and CTC (two DCs.) Plus her husband gets a carers' allowance which pays for holidays and an iPad - so it does happen.

mercibucket Wed 21-Nov-12 21:13:07

Yay for private sector landlords and the selling off of council houses. Because that makes so much more sense, doesn't it, to pay landlords in London large amounts of money the taxpayer never sees again. It's mostly the rents, op, and only for those in high-rent areas like London

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 21-Nov-12 21:15:58

By the time you factor in housing benefit, council tax, and savings made on things like free school meals and prescriptions, I don't think it's that rare for people to be receiving that much, or close to it.

But no, I don't know how much the people I know who are on benefits get. I just know that if they are going on holiday and can afford to have pets and a car, when they don't have a disability, then they are getting too much.

Dunkinbiscuits Wed 21-Nov-12 21:18:27

My boyfriends ex gets £400 per week maintenance from him plus around £500 per week from the government (5 kids) - she would get more but has a mortgage, if she rented she would have that all paid for her too - she doesn't work although all kids are at school.

axure Wed 21-Nov-12 21:18:28

I've also had to claim JSA a few times, and like you say it is a pittance and nowhere near compensates for the loss of wages, also no other help if you have a mortgage, or a bit of savings, despite having paid into the pot.
I think the people who are being paid larger amounts are career claimants, have never worked, live in rented accommodation, so qualify for Housing Benefit, have children with various ailments/conditions such as ADHD or asthma, so they get carers allowance etc. I know I'll be really unpopular for saying this and I don't think everyone on benefits is undeserving. Also in the big scheme of things these families cost far less than rich tax dodgers, but we don't all know one of those.

Shellywelly1973 Wed 21-Nov-12 21:18:59

Here we go...again!!!

vivizone Wed 21-Nov-12 21:20:39

I understand factors like HB/CT etc but a LOT of the public seem to believe it is hard £500 cash that benefit claimants receive. That simply is not true. I keep hearing about this £500 they're getting in hand.

NoraGainesborough Wed 21-Nov-12 21:23:21

dunkin I think you are mistaken.

Someone getting £1600 per month in maintenance does not get that much benefit.

squeakytoy Wed 21-Nov-12 21:23:58

Well if it pays their rent it is the equivalent of cold hard cash really.

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:29:02

My DP recently lost his job and we have looked up housing benefit as we may need it.

It is.... £381 a week for a 1 bed in our area.

I am pro the welfare state but FFS. That's how much I earn after tax in my professional graduate job with three years experience.

I try so hard to not become a massive Tory about that, but that is a HUGE amount of money. The kind I coughed up over £20k to be able to earn.

Plus its lining landlords profits, hoiking up rents and makeing normal salaries unlivable on.

I think a lot of people tuned a blind eye to high benefits propping up low wages for far too long. I don't know what the answer is but work does have to pay.

mamamibbo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:29:51

if i was single and on benefits, with my 4 children, i would get £100 a week in rent, 100 a month council tax ( i think?) and irc its £50 per person for income support/ tax credits? thats £250 plus £60 a week for child benefit... is that right?

so 250+60+100+25=£435? all you would need is higher rent/ another person and you could do that easily?

ive also just realised, if thats right that we would be better off on benefits!

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:30:41

In fact I just did the sums, that is way more than my take home in fact.

FunTimeFrankie Wed 21-Nov-12 21:30:45

Its the housing & council tax benefits that bump that up so I can see how its reached. When I was made redundant I was averaging £600 every 4 weeks (JSA & tax credits & CA). That works out at £150 a week. Couldn't have claimed mortgage interest payments for a while - 3 mths is it? can't remember, and found a new job before i needed to claim council tax benefits (should have but looked at the form and thought I would do it later). Luckily I had redundancy and savings to see me through. Would have struggled after the 2 mths I had before getting a role though.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:31:36

I can only think of 3 families from my entire client group that do and all 3 have a severely disabled member.

And that's even including hb and ctb.

Dawndonna Wed 21-Nov-12 21:31:37

I have three children, all in receipt of DLA. I have a disabled husband. When we were on benefits (until July this year) we didn't get £500 per week. It's a flaming myth.


mamamibbo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:32:27

^aaaand i could probably get dla for my asd ds but ive never wanted it

FunTimeFrankie Wed 21-Nov-12 21:32:47

Actually - as others have said its not particularly the "cash in your hand" that you get its all the other bits and bobs that mount up

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:33:30

people that rent in expensive areas

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:34:09

personally im more concerned about the working poor

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:35:40

oh in my scenario plus JSA is £455 a week.

Mamamibbo surely the DLA would be for your DS, not for you?

Meglet Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:33

When both the DC's were at nursery I was on almost £300 a week in childcare tax credits alone (more than I earn), which still didn't cover the full cost of childcare.

I don't receive housing benefit but if I did I can easily see how despite working someone could recive £500 a week in benefits if they also have large childcare costs.

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:37

@whiteandyellow like people who earn under £381 a week grin

like me on my national average salary

Mintyy Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:37

Do some people really think it is £500 after housing and/or disabilities taken into account?

takataka Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:55

yeah..i dont know figures, but there are people in my family who live very well on benefits; go on holidays, run cars etc....so I imagine its probably in that region.....I think probably if you are long term benefit claimant you become more aware of what you are entitled to claim??

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:38:48


That's very very odd because if you rented a 1 bed place in Buckingham palace the max hb you would get is £250. PW

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:40:50

ethelb, well, i was thinking more able people that struggle by on minimum wage
the nmw needs to be increased to a living wage

and yes yes some people will argue that will put firms out of business, but if they cannot pay their employees a living wage then its not really a proper business

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 21:40:51

I am a Housing Officer for a Local Authority. I know of 2 unrelated families on my estate with 10 and 12 (yes 10 & 12 shock) children who get £2000+ per week in benefits, when you factor in Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Income Support, DLA, Income Support and Carers Allowance.

This is on an estate of about 600 properties. It's not as rare as you think.

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:42:20

I live in a v expensive area in London. To be near DPs work. The irony hmm

£250 pw is still 1250pcm. That's the take home for someone on about £21k. Pleanty of people on £21k don't have £250pw to spend on rent. Plenty of people on a duel income of about £30k don't have £250pw to spend on rent.

That would only be doable with £40k income before tax if you wanted to be able to afford to turn the heating on tbh.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:43:00

takas right, plus if you live in an area where alot of people are on benefits and its the norm, people will discuss ways to get the most benefits etc

StaceeJaxx Wed 21-Nov-12 21:43:04

Nope I don't know anyone on that either. DH has been out of work for 3 months, we get £310 per week for 2 adults and 2 children and that includes HB and CTB. Our rent is £101 per week.

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:44:29

@white I was being ironic grin

My point is that you don't have to be a low earner for benefits to look quite juicy. I earn national average wage and I don't earn as much as just housing benefit in my area.

But I know we don't like to talk about the squeezed middle on MN.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:45:10

modreb, say the families that get 2k a week
what would you say they are left with after paying all their bills etc

can't see how they spend that much, although they must spend alot on food iguess

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 21:47:04

DLA is not and should not be counted as it is not an out-of-work or means- tested benefit.

I do know someone who will be affected not because she rents an enormous house in Kensington but because she first became pregnant at fifteen and has gone on to have a further seven children with three other men. It's nearly £500 just in tax credits and income support and excludes child benefit and housing / council tax benefit.

She obviously thought it was worth doing at the time, but really, her life is nothing to be envious of. The future always looked incredibly bleak once the children had left and she had no skills or employment history but it looks bloody terrible now and there are eight children who will bear the brunt of it so I find it very distasteful when people are gleeful about the cap.

There are also many neglectful absent parents out there with multiple children but they are not the ones who will be demonised, or struggling to feed or house them.

ihearsounds Wed 21-Nov-12 21:47:55

When you count in housing and council tax, yes the total is over £500 a week depending on area and the number of children.
No the rent and ct doesnt go directly to the claimant (unless private), but its still 'income'. If you worked and got the same wage as someone with 4 children (used this number as I have 4 lol) you would then have to pay rent.
For example 4 children - ctc, cb, is/jsa is £348 a week. This would be mine to keep. Plus add onto this rent £150 amd ct £29 a week is £529 a week. Never mind fsm, prescriptions, reduction of school trips, reductions for days out etc.
And yes I know a few people who are now crapping themsleves because they get this amount of more, and not working because after rent and ct they wont be left with over £300 a week.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:48:39

ethelb, oh sorry i missed the fact you were being ironicgrin

yes the middle is quite a shit place to be at times, as you feel you get no help yet things are still tight.
its crazy that you earn the national average and that you dont earn as just housing benefit in your area

its madness

i strongly disagree with the selling off of council houses, its really done none of us any favours at all

OptimisticPessimist Wed 21-Nov-12 21:49:56

I'm a LP with 3 kids and a local housing allowance of £130pw, I don't get over £500 but if I had 4 kids I'd be just over I think. I got more than £500 when I worked.

I think the ones that get much over the £500 are those with both large families and living in expensive areas - housing benefit is already capped locally so you can only get enough to cover the bottom 30% of appropriately sized properties in the area.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:07

I'm sure someone will come along soon with the actual DWP link ( that my addled in bed poorly brain can't quite remember ) that confirms according to the DWP a very very tiny % of benefit claimants are long term and have more than 3 kids.

mamamibbo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:54

gail, yes its would be for ds but i dont claim it (for him) because he doesnt cost me any extra than my other children do so i dont think we need it? if he had expensive needs then i would

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:55

White they have top of the range cars, a family caravan in Wales, top end TV's, Sky subscription etc etc. The disposable income is more than mine and I earn in excess of £30k a year. With 3 DC's, 2 of which do not now live at home.

Catsdontcare Wed 21-Nov-12 21:53:31

I agree that dla should not be classed as an out of work benefit. If you can claim it for your child who has asd mammaniboo then I would do so even if you put it in a savings account for him as you just don't know if there will be a time when it's needed. We use ds's dla to access therapies that are available on the nhs but are not being offered to ds (occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietician, etc)

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:54:28

Why do people feel the need to add that the children have different dads? Is it relevant in any way?

Dawndonna Wed 21-Nov-12 21:54:53

as was said before DLA is not an out of work benefit and should not therefore be included.
Carers Allowance is removed from income support as it is counted as 'money you already have coming in'. Ergo cannot be counted either.

Dawndonna Wed 21-Nov-12 21:55:25

Child benefit is also counted as 'money you already have coming in' and is therefore taken off benefits too.

livingfortoday Wed 21-Nov-12 21:56:43

Per person or per household.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:57:19

modreb, top of the range cars and caravans in wales
i bet its a tough job at times when you see all this type of thing
you need the patience of a saint

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 21:57:25

And I agree that DLA should not be counted.

But in my direct experience, a large number of people take the piss.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:57:29

Don't claim dla unless your/ the claimants needs warrant it.

Asd will not automatically qualify

nailak Wed 21-Nov-12 22:00:01

£206 a week hb
£50 wtc
£150 ctc

plus council tax benefit....

does that equal £500 a week?

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 22:00:58

And I am not in the South East, but the North West. And I work in one of the most deprived places in the UK (according to the Census)

I think Mum and sister do just now - housing benefit - although that part is the lowest as houses up here aren't much more than about £100 a week, income support plus severe disability element plus both are on highest care DLA, mum is on highest mobility and sister is on lower mobility. They also get cold weather money when it snows - good as they can't afford to use more than two heaters normally.

It will be dropping in August to around £150 a week plus housing benefit. Sister will be getting around £300 a month I think but not sure. Apparently they might be able to claim more but they are already trying to move mum onto ESA and she's pretty much terrified - the form is very odd, asking her if she can pick up a cardboard box or type on a keyboard etc.

Mum takes multiple uncontrollable tonic clonic seizures, also BPV which at it's worst leaves her unable to move without vomiting, chronic ear pain and infections, chronic IBS, multiple allergies, asthma and anxiety issues due to past issues (abuse as a child then rape and abuse again as an adult through marriage and NHS)

Sister has multiple learning difficulties (like general stuff plus dyspraxia, dyscalcula), is severely autistic (verbal but only to those she knows, and she can't always hold a conversation), very agressive, no idea of social norms and boundaries (19 and pulled her pants down in the post office to check if her period had started yet). Will never live on her own and will probably be stuck in her mind as a wee girl for her entire life.

Both really require 24/7 care and what money they get very rarely goes on extras - i.e. cinema 1 or 2 times a year, swimming 1 or 2 times a year - much of the money goes on washing powder, clothes for sister, taxis to and from hospital (£60 each way as mum not fit to take bus after seizures and noone to drive her home). Mum's teetotal.. Neither of them really leave the village much if they can avoid it. Last time we went for a meal (in Wimpy) sister threw a glass of coke at me and poured another in my mum's handbag.. Sister's respite also charges £10 per night plus sister has to pay for food bought outwith the centre - the staff are quite, clever, in that they usually take everyone out for meals and get them to pay.. Last time Mum was in hospital and I was unable to care for sister (tried it once, ended up with her nearly breaking my elbow) they charged £75.

I admit all three of us have smartphones that my mum pays for but they are beneficial in that my mum can note her meds and medical info on hers, use it as a distraction re. anxiety, use it to contact me etc. We also have Sky + . Do go on holiday but that is funded by the SVDP as is much of Christmas - they get a food parcel and normally some money.

FWIW I know both do want to work - sister wants to be Miley Cyrus grin and Mum's a trained chef, but would rather work with people or foster disabled children.

£500 doesn't solve their lives but it does make things a little bit easier I suppose - and even then they struggle.

Initially when we first ended up on benefits we did live on £100 a week - and couldn't afford food, clothing or electric - the meter used to go "zoot" and we'd be plunged into darkness until my mum could top it up!

The only reason they get that money is because they are both so disabled and it's not really something anyone should desire or feel jealous of. It's not like they can use it for anything fun is it..

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 22:03:37

Sock because my post was sympathising with this person. My own DD and DS are the products of two marriages. It was a clumsy way of saying that four separate men had let this woman and their children down and that is another reason not be be jealous because they currently receive a large amount in benefits.

I thought it was relevant but yes I can see how it can be read as sneering. I honestly wasn't. DD's father is one such, "man" and I would be devastated to have what he did to us happen successive times and it affecting my existing DC. Horrible.

Should say the holiday is a week in a church owned caravan 70 miles north, and last time four out of six days were spent in hospital, at the local surgery and at the dentist. It's not a holiday abroad or anything.

QueenofNightmares Wed 21-Nov-12 22:06:32

We're on 'normal' benefits i.e JSA we get per week for me DH and DD

£101 JSA
£63 Rent
£61 CTC
£20 CB
£27 Council tax

£272 a week. I do think the Housing benefit and CTB should be taken into account as long as those commenting on the news stories are remembering to take into account any working tax credits or other benefits they recieve,

2 people out of an estate of 600 is not common. Not everyone on benefits has masses of children. An over average amount of children or average amount of children with disabilities would be the only way people would be getting stupid amounts of money. Having another child would entitle us to £70 a week more benefits than we currently recieve.

Children do not equal money on benefits, please remember that.

AmberLeaf Wed 21-Nov-12 22:06:55

The only reason they get that money is because they are both so disabled and it's not really something anyone should desire or feel jealous of. It's not like they can use it for anything fun is it

That /\

I think including housing benefit, child benefit, income support and child tax credits I will be just under the limit of £500 by about £2 next year. Although I will hopefully be doing a course/training to get back into work next September so I'm not sure how it will change when I am working.

FunTimeFrankie Wed 21-Nov-12 22:10:20

AudrinaAdare makes a good point - I have in the past on other sites seen posts from people who's children have grown and they are now having to adjust to the most basic of money because they are now a sole unworking person. Can't say I would want to be in their shoes no matter how much I would have liked to stay at home.

Cozy9 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:15:56

I think the cap should be less than £500. And DLA should be included in it.

I do. If you include everything such as housing benefit, council tax benefit, income support and child tax credit, free school meals etc.

But yeah, come and be envious if you want. My son is disabled and I have four dc, none of which were born on benefits as up till last year I was in a violent relationship where my now ex punched a heavy speaker accross the room and nearly knocked out our one year old baby. I carried on working till July this year but had to give my job up as it was evening shifts and couldn't get a reliable sitter. And my ds behaviour meant that working was a nightmare.

But yeah come slate me, I'm really living it up. Although my housing is paid for, every penny is accounted for, everything in my house is second hand. I don't go on holiday except to haven which my mum pays for, my clothes are bought from charity shops.

Many people get 500 a week if you include everything.

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 22:21:47

It's a very infantile existence, the cycle of having babies. You can see why it appeals if it is all you have known. I'm very lucky in that when I ended up as a lone parent on benefits for a time I had already gained my qualifications and had already had experience of the true cost of living and of earning that living.

Employers have never raised wages by £70 per week per child. Having more children was attractive for this reason because there was also the £500 grant for a baby and health in pregnancy one for £190. Re-use the baby equipment and you're quids-in. For the short-term. But as everything about life on benefits is by necessity, short-term and hand-to-mouth, why would you think about the future?

What is going to happen to the rare but real families who have lived like this? I can imagine it will end up being very expensive.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 22:24:23

Cozy care to explain why?

Why is that then cozy?

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 22:27:18

So it should in effect, be means-tested then Cozy?

Perhaps David Cameron will start us all off by paying back everything he was entitled to claim despite being obscenely wealthy. Yes, I can see that.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 22:28:42

so what is going ot happen to people that claim more than 500, will they have to basically move to cheaper areas?

takataka Wed 21-Nov-12 22:29:57

chop off their heads!!

stargirl1701 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:32:49

A lot of people, surely.

Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Free School Meals, Clothing Grants, Healthy Start Grants, Formula if not bf, Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, DLA, Attendance Allowance, Free Prescriptions, Free Dental Care, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, prob a few more.

In addition to what we all have (universal) - Child Benefit (at the mo), free Healthcare, free Education.

A combination of these has to add up to at least £500 per week. But, if someone needs this level of support we should be prepared to give it. The mark of a civilised country IMO.

I am in a cheap area but my rent is one of the highest council rents in Wrexham. It's only a prefab on a council estate that the council improved slightly and put my rent up. The house next door unimproved is forty pounds less a week than my rent. Where else am I going to go!!

WildWorld2004 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:39:13

I have just did a rough calculation and including HB & CT benefit i would get around £250 if i didnt work.

How many of the people moaning about the 'scroungers' get some form of benefit ie HB/CT benefit, tax credits, child benefit.

WildWorld2004 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:43:32

You get free school meals if you get tax credits not jsa/income support so tax payers can get it too. And you dont get free formula. Well not in scotland anyway. And prescriptions are also free.

edam Wed 21-Nov-12 22:46:45

It's housing benefit that is the main factor here. And the answer to that is to bring the cost of housing down. Tackle the dysfunctional housing market, where house prices have raced ahead of earnings to the point where housing is unaffordable for many many people - rents are at record levels because demand is high because many people can't afford to buy, especially first-time buyers - can't save the massive deposits now required (particularly given interest rates are at record lows) and can't borrow money even if they could because the banks are reluctant to lend. Banks were pushing money at buy-to-let 'investors', taking traditional first-time buyer houses off the market, and then the state paying high rentals on those houses - it's madness. And of course successive governments have failed to build enough social and affordable housing.

Instead of doing something sensible to control the craziness, the current government is just punishing the working poor and the unemployed by cutting housing benefit. Picking on the people at the sharp end, who haven't created the problem and don't have the ability to solve it, instead of making real decisions about reforming the system and tackling vested interests.

If the government wants to bring down the housing benefit bill, they could bring in rent controls and encourage housebuilding. That would also have the benefit of boosting the economy and creating jobs. But it's far easier to demonise the vulnerable.

Daft thing is, what they are doing will be incredibly expensive - shoving families into B&Bs (numbers are rocketing) is not only disastrous for those families, it's hugely costly. Forcing people out of cities into poorer areas with no jobs, disrupting children's schooling, breaking up communities and forcing people away from their families and medical care and sources of support will all add to the cost to the public purse. It will worsen health, worsen education, worsen unemployment and worsen poverty. But it will show up across many different budget lines, so the politicians will be able to hide the effects. Cynical, destructive and downright wrong. But who care as long as the Mail is able to write headlines about benefits cheats...

WildWorld2004 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:48:35

Well said Edam grin

Ajaney Wed 21-Nov-12 22:51:39

I work part time for a council in systems and admin support for Benefits and taxation department.

A couple of weeks back, we sent out letters to a small number of claimants advising them that they would be receiving less money from April. A few would be losing close to £200 per week.

The area is not really expensive, a 3 bed property in reasonable area around £500 a month.

The £500 a week cap is to include out of work benefits, tax credits and housing benefit but not disability or child benefit as far as I understand (I don't assess claims so am trained up on the rules). Child maintenance is also exempt now if i remember rightly.

There has been coverage in the papers on how this will lead to people on benefits in London or expensive areas being relocated to 'cheaper' areas and that London councils have been in touch with other councils to see about getting housing stock but I have no idea if this is true or just 'Daily Mail dreaming'.

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 22:52:08

Perhaps my DS should earn his DLA. He is astoundingly good at being wide awake in the small hours and loves animals so there might be some sort of farm work he could be doing instead of attending infant school...

babyinsane Wed 21-Nov-12 22:52:10

We get just over £630pw for one adult and one child, but that includes DLA (HRC+LRM) x2, for me and DD, plus Carer's Allowance for me. I get IS, HB, CTB, CTC (with severe disability premium) and of course CB. Our HB is actually quite low, £95pw as it's just a 2 bed in a council block in London. We get FSM and I have a Freedom Pass which I haven't included in the figures.

We won't be affected by the cap of course, because we get disability benefits. Our outgoings are high because we need taxi fares, private therapies, special foods, have to pay for 1:1 for activities etc, the cost of being disabled and having a disabled child are very high. But I do have enough cash to live comfortably.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 21-Nov-12 23:00:24

Disability benefits shouldn't even be counted when there is a 'totting up' going on, they are a totally separate thing.

Just to pick up one point Nora I thought that maintenance was discounted for tax credit/IS/HB purposes? Because it is for the children not support for the resident parent.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 23:02:35

If somebody is going to list a huge heap of benefits I do wish they would also point out that some require you to be over 65, some don't exist,some are only paid for ONE child and some require you to be significantly disabled.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 23:04:23

Maintainance is disregarded unless its a sum larger than the csa deal with. But it would not be deducted from savings.

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 23:11:46

Maintenance was counted as income when I was a lone parent and it was deducted from the income support which was, according to the government, "the minimum the adult needs to live on" confused

Luckily hmm this didn't happen to me because XH successfully dodged the CSA for years, but some families were constantly mucked around and left short.

The system changed due to the hardship that families found themselves in because of people like him. It is due to change yet again when lone parents are charged a flat fee and a percentage of the money gathered by the CSA. Why they don't charge the absent parent who refuses to cooperate or contribute in ANY way, I don't know.

babyinsane Wed 21-Nov-12 23:16:37

I think they will be counting child maintenance again when Universal Credit comes in. That won't affect me personally as I don't receive any from ExP, it would be a pittance anyway so it's not worth chasing him for it.

IAmSoFuckingRock Wed 21-Nov-12 23:18:41

i honestly couldn't tell you the weekly income of even 1 person i know. not even my mum or sister or best friend. yet post a thread on MN and you can get strangers from all over the country to post the exact details of their income for all to judge. and then you get the first lot feeling they have to justify it aswell. always amazes me how easy it is.

Lougle Wed 21-Nov-12 23:24:14

" Cozy9 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:15:56

I think the cap should be less than £500. And DLA should be included in it. "

The moment they do, a case will be brought against the Government for Disability Discrimination. You can't penalise individuals for income they get as a direct result of their disabiliy.

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 23:32:37

Is that right that maintenance is also going to change under U.C? I didn't know that.

I had already worked out that it will cost me and DH about £20 per year to keep claiming the paltry £1.60 per week that XH pays for DD and thought it was still worth it. Perhaps then he might remember that he has a daughter who would love to speak to him twice a year when his mother sends presents and a card on his behalf sad

Debs75 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:37:08

If you or someone in your household gets DLA then the cap doesn't affect you.
If it did we would lose the equivalent of double our rent each week or roughly the same as a private rented 4 bed property in our area.

TBH I do agree that benefits are high but only in proportion to the fact wages are so low. When you take into account the sheer bloody expense of utilities and just about everything benefits only just cover essentials. Yes some people get holidays and plasma tv's bt they probably go without proper essentials to afford them. Not all benefit receivers do that I know but it does seem to be a common misconception

fluffygal Wed 21-Nov-12 23:52:52

OH and I both work full time but OH is self employed and earning next to nothing at the moment, have mortgage, full council tax bill to pay. 5 kids between us. If you include childcare element of tax credits, we get just over 400 a week in TC and CB on top of that. I can see how it can be done, but not if you are not working. Take away our childcare element and it would drop dramatically (childcare is 1200 every 4 weeks, get 70% paid.so TC would drop to less then 200 a week).

fluffygal Wed 21-Nov-12 23:54:11

Although actually with HB and CTB I can see how it can reach that amount if you aren't working.

LDNmummy Thu 22-Nov-12 00:02:19

Yup, the rents in certain area's really are astounding.

rhondajean Thu 22-Nov-12 00:15:59

Can I point out that I was on training regarding this this week and the £500 cap does NOT include the new council tax reduction as this will be administered by local authorities.

However in my locals authority area of approximately 52,000 households they estimate that 40 households will be affected. This is not a well off area by any means either. So the actual answer is, it's not really that common.

Btw the cap for a single person will be £350 per week so less even than that one bedroom flat at £381.

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 00:22:23

surely the one bedroom flat is £381 per month, not week?

rhondajean Thu 22-Nov-12 00:27:36

Nope - check ethelb's pp up there^

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 00:35:18


<falls over>

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 00:36:12

We just had to claim JSA as DH turned up at work to find himself made redundant with no notice, no pay nothing (follow our campaign for what we are owed on twitter @rileysscrewedus ) along with 100's of others.

We have 6 children and wont be getting anywhere near £500 a week, but we have a low mortgage. If we had to claim rent in our area, Midlands with much lower rents than the SE, then would probably be in that region. People forget the £500 a week or £26000a year doesnt actually mean £500 a week in cash. It means housing benefit, council tax benefit and JSE/Income support type benefits. If you live in London then £500 a week could just be the rent!

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 00:36:46

surely the one bedroom flat is £381 per month, not week?

Not if you live in central London it isnt

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 00:41:44

The reason that child support payments were disregarded was because many women (my cousin was one) had their income support calculated on what they needed AFTER maintenance was paid. Sadly, her ex and many others, didnt pay it so she was living on £12 per week for her and her child. It soon became clear that what should be paid by the absent parent was often not actually paid and that people were suffering quite badly as a result.

And they are bringing that arrangement back! But hey, who cares?! Aslong as the middle England Middle Class DM readers are paying for them!

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 00:41:59

aren't paying for them

bubbles1231 Thu 22-Nov-12 00:44:37

How is it that someone can get DLA for themselves (because they need extra care/are unable to look after themselves ) and yet are able to then claim carers allowance to look after someone else? I don't understand. Surely if you require help to look after yourself, you're not able to take care of someone else? Or have I just mis-understood what the benefits are for?

ihearsounds Thu 22-Nov-12 00:51:22

No it doesn't mean entirely in cash, but its still 26k a year including rent. Many people on low wages have an entire income (including tc etc) a lot less than this, but live within their means. Like I said further up, if I weren't working, I would get cash £348 a week, from this I would have to pay very little rent (around a tenner a week rates), utilities, food, clothing and toiletries for 5 of us.
Bogey, do a benefit check, you will be in for a shock at how close to £500 you are.

anastaisia Thu 22-Nov-12 01:05:13

Gingerbread say this about maintenance

"Will child maintenance payments affect universal credit?

No, this is not changing. Any child maintenance payments that you receive will not affect the amount of universal credit that you are entitled to."

AudrinaAdare Thu 22-Nov-12 01:16:51

bubbles because DLA is paid on the basis of care needs which require extra funds. A parent who has lost the use of their limbs due to a R.T.A may well receive DLA and also Carers Allowance for their child who has suffered severe brain damage and is in intensive care. It's an extreme example I know, but it could happen to any one of us. It only takes one fuckwit.

Wowserz129 Thu 22-Nov-12 01:37:46

Child maintenance is not going to be affected when universal credit comes in.

I think that the majority of people who claim, do so because they need the money to live not to spend on plasmas. I will never judge someone for being on benefits.

I think some people have a false idea if what being on benefits is like and how easy it is to go from being independently financially stable to needing help to live. Quite sad really.

Brycie Thu 22-Nov-12 01:40:47

If no one is getting it then the cap isn't a problem.

lisad123 Thu 22-Nov-12 01:47:52

Bubbles because DLA is based on care needs rather than carers need. So I could have no legs and require DLA to help me get out and about, ect but my dd autsim doesn't require me to be physically able to carry her but to teach and talk her though the troubles of living with a social disability, ensure she has all the equipment she needs, manage her behaviour and be her voice. Does that make sense?

AudrinaAdare Thu 22-Nov-12 01:52:48

You put it better than I did lisad123 smile

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 02:01:33

I have checked, do you think it wasn't the first thing I did when I found out that my husband, who hasnt been out of work in 33 years, was out of a job? It wont be anywhere near £500 a week.

And tbh, what if it was? 33 years paying tax and NI, seeing the doctor once in the last 8 years, paying for dental and eye treatment, etc means he is perfectly entitled to claim for him and his family doesnt it? I have worked too, and we are both now seeking work.

If we need it and we have "earned" it, then why do you begrudge us?

CurrentBun Thu 22-Nov-12 02:28:21

I have unfortunately known of two people fiddling benefits. I reported one, or should I say tried to but no one seemed to be interested. It's a complete joke.

garlicbaguette Thu 22-Nov-12 02:47:26

I've only read the first page as I should be asleep but, bloody hell, ethelb, where do you live? shock Ours is £91 a week for a 1-bed and that's going down in April!

garlicbaguette Thu 22-Nov-12 02:54:23

OK, you live in a v. expensive part of London. Have you checked whether you could actually find a 1-bed flat to rent in your district for £385 or £250 a week (whichever it actually is)?

The campaigning groups are pointing out that, as HB goes down, Londoners are being squeezed out to the far edges of town. Meaning they can't get to their jobs if they have them - bear in mind that most HB claimants are working and, if they're in need of a rent subsidy, they're not earning enough for a 5-zone commute or the childcare to cover it. Some think it's a deliberate policy to rid the city of riff-raff ... so you'd better get a job or get packing wink

garlicbaguette Thu 22-Nov-12 02:57:27

Having said which, I'm very much with those who say the real problem is wages that are so low, the state has to prop them up. I get ESA (WRAG), HB and CTB. It's not much because I live in a depressed area - I moved here from London because it's cheaper! However, I'd need to earn around £22k to be as poor as I am now after tax. As this is a depressed area, there are very few jobs paying above minimum wage. So it's a trap wherever you live sad

garlicbaguette Thu 22-Nov-12 02:59:05

... point being, this is the least the government says I need to live on (and, believe me, they're not being generous) but it's practically impossible to earn it. So that's what's wrong, fundamentally.

Finally going to bed! Sorry for multiple posts.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 06:59:10

I completely agree that the real problem here is low wages. The lowest waged job should enable the worker to be significantly better off than they would be if they didn't work. The key word there is significant. If when all the extras such as free prescriptions, dental care, school meals are factored in, someone is only about £20 a month better off, what incentive is there to work? And this applies most in low skilled, low status jobs, Because frankly, the cash in your hand is probably the only motivator to work. If you are in a professional career, you are probably driven as much by the intellectual stimulation, the job satisfaction and other factors, and these aspects help get you through the times when you're training and early in your career when wages aren't great. In a menial job you're less likely to have these motivators.

On another note, I absolutely fail to understand the 'logic' of the small number of posters who piped up with 'but it's the landlord who gets the £500 rent not the benefits recipient'. Eh? The recipient is able to live in the property which the HB pays for. It's no different to being given the cash and then having to pay it out in rent. It's like me bleating 'but the bank gets £800 a month, and the council gets £200 per month, not me!' - yes, they do, but I have to earn that money first.

As a final point, a typical family might be paying out £800 per month mortgage/ rent, £200 in council tax and £1000 childcare. That's £2000 per month, or £24000 per year before heating, food, transport, clothes, phone bill.... And it's £24k out of TAXED income so the overall earnings would need to be far higher simply to pay those basic bills. This is the REAL problem. Ordinary cannot afford to live and it's the people who dont qualify for any top ups or benefits who get screwed the most.

Dawndonna Thu 22-Nov-12 07:17:16

I think the cap should be less than £500. And DLA should be included in it.

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:33:05

When my DH was made redundant a number of years ago he was entitled to £0 benefit of any kind because I worked. After my wage had paid the mortgage, council tax and basic bills we had £43 PW 'disposable' income between us to pay for food, transport etc. We seriously considered selling up at a loss because if we did that and left my job we would have been able to claim HB, JSA, water rates, council tax, FSM, free prescriptions etc etc.
This £500 is very easy to reach when you factor in all the benefits people can claim. Discounted swimming lessons, standby £5 theatre tickets.. I could go on. [bitter] grin

Mamamibbo (if you're still here, sorry, I went to bed! grin ) I was really just thinking of the people I know who claim DLA as well as being in employment - as it's not means tested they are entitled to it as is your son. If its there for him but you don't need it to supplement your family income why not claim it and save it up for him for when he comes out of education or moves out of home or whatever he wants to do in the future?

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:36:57

In other words... some people live very nicely on hand outs.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 07:45:47

I absolutely fail to understand the 'logic' of the small number of posters who piped up with 'but it's the landlord who gets the £500 rent not the benefits recipient'.

I agree, and I don't understand it either. It's as if people think the landlords are doing something wrong by providing people with a place to live and maintaining their properties. They forget that landlords are actually providing a service and have to do some work to be a landlord, and that they have to pay to maintain the home, and pay VAT on any maintenance they do as well as paying income tax on the money they earn for being a LL.

rhondajean Thu 22-Nov-12 07:52:55

One of the other changes with universal credit is that all benefits including hb ( but not council tax reduction) will be paid directly to one member of the household. They then have to pay rent etc themselves.

The cap also dies not include child benefit btw.

And £500 week is £35k earning per year net ( straight from dwp)

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:55:25

outraged I agree. I'm wondering if some people think that private landlords should reduce rents for people on benefits? Why should they? Jeez, free/reduced/subsidised bl***y everything.

ariane5 Thu 22-Nov-12 08:01:49

I used to get over 500 when I was a single parent but a lot of it was dla (4 dcs with genetic condition) . IS, HB, CTB, free school meals etc.

But then I got married and now we get nowhere near that amount and have to pay full rent, c tax etc and do not get free school meals. We are much much worse off now.

ihearsounds Thu 22-Nov-12 08:06:58

I never said I begrudged anyone. I said many people in households in employment have a household income a lot less than 26k a year, but within their means. How is that begrudging anyone? The government says you need xx a week to live on, yet thousands of households currently working are taking home less than this including the little top up from tc and hb. I know when I was claiming, I had more disposable income than I do now.

The Cap does include CB and CTC but not DLA or WTC.

Asinine Thu 22-Nov-12 08:08:13

The problem is that people find it hard to put themselves in each other's shoes. High level benefits sound like a lot of money, but as others have said many families on these levels have serious problems, whether it's unemployment, disability, overcrowding, health (mental and physical) none of which add up to a great quality of life, however much money is involved.

I think there should be an annual compulsory lottery amongst government MPs each year, where the lucky winners and their family have to actually live on benefits in a typical estate and use public services like health and education for at least a month and be filmed.

Until there is a real prospect of the policy makers living the lives of poorer people, they will continue to lack understanding.

OptimisticPessimist Thu 22-Nov-12 08:18:31

I think the reason people mention HB is because JSA/IS are supposed to be the bare minimum that people can live on - they should be left with that amount after housing costs. If someone (on full benefits) is living in an area of high rental prices then it can appear that they are receiving huge amounts in comparison to someone in the same circumstances but living in a cheaper area, but actually both families have the same amount to live on iyswim.

Housing benefit is already capped locally based on local rental prices, people receive an amount appropriate to the local rental market. When you introduce a standardised cap without taking into account the differences in rental prices, people will be left with lower than the minimum amount needed to live on after their rent is paid.

As edam said earlier, the problem lies in the private letting market and the selling off of social housing. Cutting housing benefit isn't really going to solve the root problem - most HB work or are disabled and won't even be affected (not to mention the many tenants who don't claim at all) so it's hardly going to have any sort of impact on rental prices.

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 08:22:44

ihearsounds I begrudge people who have the same size family as me, who have the same level of mental and physical health as me and my family and are being given more (in money/ benefits) than we can earn in a full week. Yes, I begrudge them!!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 08:26:53

Optimistic, the thing is that other people who aren't entitled to HB have to live in these cheaper areas if that's what they can afford, so why should it be any different for people who do get HB?

Those of us who live off our salaries don't get to change the figure we earn because some of it has to be paid in rent, sometimes people end up with less than the government says they should live on after they have paid their housing costs. That's why people get annoyed when benefits claimants seem to be exempt from these problems.

OptimisticPessimist Thu 22-Nov-12 08:36:59

Benefit claimants aren't exempt - LHA is capped locally at 30% of properties. The areas can sometimes be quite large (mine is the whole county, so offers no variation between towns/small villages etc), so it can be really hard to find a property that's both under the cap and actually accepts benefits claimants. My bog standard terrace costs slightly more than the LHA rate and it's actually underpriced tbh.

tjah04 Thu 22-Nov-12 08:59:58

It is actually quite possible to earn a substantial wage and still be entitled to benefits.

In my area with 4 children (1 receipt of DLA), I can earn up to £600 (inclusive of tax credits) a week and still be entitled to housing benefit.

I think that is silly but shows that potentially people who do claim this will not be capped since a substantial amount of earnings will come from wages. Yet they will remove benefit claimaints.

It is great as a job incentive but the jobs have to be there first. The real worry is that this will increase the divide between rich and poor.

The benefits claimants that many are speaking about are surely a fairly small minority. I feel for the working poor mostly.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:07:47

There are many areas of the UK (including where I was born raised and where I still have family members) where I can't afford to live- and that's with both of us working full time in reasonably well paid jobs. So I have little sympathy with the argument that it's 'unfair ' for people on benefits to not have complete choice about where they live

Cozy9 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:08:57

The benefits system is out of control. It has gone far beyond what it was originally intended to be.

FlangelinaBallerina Thu 22-Nov-12 09:20:00

The benefits bill is large and there are indeed some families claiming rather massive amounts, primarily because of housing costs. This stems from the fact that the housing situation in this country is fucking ludicrous. The council house sell off and failure to build any more with the profits plus Stalinist planning permission laws that allow homeowners to object to new housing developments in their area have led to this.

Now, I can see why people want less to be paid out in benefits. But the problem with a 25k cap is that it isn't tackling the root of the problem. It is taking people who live in expensive housing and removing lots of their food money from them. The problem of course is the cost of the housing, and not just for benefit claimants either. We have a housing crisis.

Of course, if we really wanted to tackle DWP spending, pensions would be the place to start. They take up the biggest slice of the budget by far. JSA, tax credits and HB are quite dinky in comparison. but of course, that won't happen. Much easier to penalise the young.

tjah04 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:21:18

Cozy9 I agree it is out of control. I definately think they should make people "earn" benefits as an alternative to capping them. There are so many voluntary posts that could be done. I do not mean degrading ones like pick up dog poo (which I have heard suggested before) But things like supporting local care services by visiting elderly homes and spending time doing stuff the paid carers do not get to do. Reading in schools, meals on wheels, etc....

Instead the government seem content on capping all benefits without being able to offer alternatives and targeting single mums who lets face it are bringing up the children of our future and should be offered support.

HecatePropylaea Thu 22-Nov-12 09:27:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FantasticDay Thu 22-Nov-12 09:28:02

As I understand it, it means that people who claim benefits will lose benefits if the family goes above the £26K upper limit. Most of those affected will actually be in work and claiming Working Families Tax Credit. I know of two families with small children, in each of which one parent is working full-time and the other part-time, who have lost the top up. I didn't qualify anyway, but I would have been quite happy to continue to pay for WFTC for people who need it, for the few short years when their kids are little - in most cases they'll have paid for it in tax before having the kids, and will again when they are older and the other parent goes back to work full-time.

FantasticDay Thu 22-Nov-12 09:30:33

Great post, Hecate!

So you begrudge me my sons disability then kitty. Or do you envy my abusive violent relationship that nearly killed my baby. That's why I'm now on benefits. Maybe I should have stayed in that relationship, at least ex and I had jobs hey?

threesocksmorgan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:31:31

I do so wish people would understand that DLA is not an out of work benefit, it is there to help disabled people pay for the expense of being disabled.
I do get a little bored with the jealousy.
my dd gets DLA, she has a "free" car.
she can't walk or talk and never will......still green??? what to swap?

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 09:34:03

We have our JSA interview tomorrow after DH was made redundant with no notice on Tuesday. I will swap with any of the bashers right now sad

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:34:26

Hectate : So there you go. Story of a raking it in benefit scrounger. The daily mail can kiss my arse. You are one person and one family, not all benefits claimants are in your situation and the truth is, there are many people who are lazy scroungers. Because of them, deserving people will have their benefits cut.

And as for voluntary work to pay for my benefits, great idea! I'll leave my two year old at home on her own then shall I? Who will have her?

ethelb Thu 22-Nov-12 09:37:20

Yes, the rent for my largish one bed with a garden is £300 less than that pcm. Obviously I have checked that I can get a flat for less than the HB as I earn less than the HB!

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:37:20

Ghost read again- I begrudge people who have the same size family as me, who have the same level of mental and physical health as me and my family and are being given more (in money/ benefits) than we can earn in a full week. Yes, I begrudge them!!

tjah04 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:39:13

Ghost, read what I put about single mums getting support. As it stands that is exactly what the government will be expecting you to do if you are a single mum.

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 09:41:16

Are you lot channeling Marie Antoinette?!

nearlymerrychristmasbutnotyet Thu 22-Nov-12 09:41:25

Some people are entitled to that amount as they may have 2 or more children who receive DLA. I know a woman who has 3 kids who are entitled to DLA because of Disabilities and Special Needs. She has a 4th child over 18 who has Asthma so its possible she could have got dla for that child too. So it is possible to receive a lot of money in benefits for true reasons.

shadylane Thu 22-Nov-12 09:50:46

We were on benefits when I had my first kid as dh got made redundant and I was self employed so
No maternity pay. We were renting in a trendy but not very expensive borough and they paid 1,200 in HB plus dole money. Now we have another DC and DH has better job before he still only takes home the same amount as we got on benefits. The system is designed to make landlords rich and to keep poor, uneducated people down and stuck on the outskirts if society.

ethelb Thu 22-Nov-12 09:51:16

@optimistic just to clarify I work, my DP lost his joba few weeks ago.

I don't get a special amount of money in my salary to cover my rent. (and commuting no one ever mentions commuting but up until July it cost mroe than my rent)

shadylane Thu 22-Nov-12 09:51:38

Better job than before, I mean

shadylane Thu 22-Nov-12 09:55:46

Benefits are a joke. Someone in my family who is educated to a high level and is extremely able is about to move into a council house in London's swankiest borough. They have had lots of jobs nothing permanent and now because they claim to have mental health problems they are getting housed. Despite the fact he is basically work shy and has no kids or anything. Plus leads the life of Riley.

edam Thu 22-Nov-12 09:56:32

Those of you who resent benefit recipients getting housing benefit - do you want the government to reform the housing market, to ensure there are enough affordable houses, both for rent and for sale, bringing down the benefits bill?

shadylane Thu 22-Nov-12 10:00:11

Yes obviously! We work very hard an still cant afford a house yet pay ridiculous rent

ParsingFancy Thu 22-Nov-12 10:02:07

"there are many people who are lazy scroungers. Because of them, deserving people will have their benefits cut."

No kitty, because of them and because of people like you, who would quite happily throw the Hecates to the wolves in order to punish the few, deserving and desperate people will have their benefits cut.

OptimisticPessimist Thu 22-Nov-12 10:03:37

Ethel many HB claimants are low paid workers - it's not limited to the unemployed. In fact, only 1 in 8 HB claimants are unemployed IIRC - the rest are low paid workers, carers, disabled people and pensioners.

shadylane Thu 22-Nov-12 10:04:16

And 'artists'

ethelb Thu 22-Nov-12 10:04:53

to reform the housing market

ethelb Thu 22-Nov-12 10:06:09

@optimistic but isn't that awful? People shoudl be paid enough and I can't believe that having housing benefit availabel to landlords hasn't meant they have hoiked up prices.

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:07:40

No kitty, because of them and because of people like you, who would quite happily throw the Hecates to the wolves in order to punish the few, deserving and desperate people will have their benefits cut.
Would I? I said that the deserving would lose out because there are so many people taking advantage of the system. I think you'll find it's the government putting all claimants into one big category not me.

OptimisticPessimist Thu 22-Nov-12 10:13:46

It is awful yes - wages are far too low in comparison to the cost of living. Cutting housing benefit won't change that. I saw something on the BBC a couple of weeks ago about comparing the rise of housing benefit to the rise of rents, I'll see if I can find it... Anyway, I seem to recall it said the rises in HB/rent weren't the same. Given that many LLs don't take LHA I don't think there's much of a causal relationship tbh. The problem is that many of those in receipt of housing benefit would traditionally have lived in social housing, meaning that the low waged would have afforded their rent without help and the unemployed/disabled/pensioners would have costed a lot less to house via housing benefit. Now they've mostly been sold off so the government is paying an inflated rate of housing benefit to pay for those same houses.

akaemmafrost Thu 22-Nov-12 10:14:37

DLA shouldn't even be considered in the same category as other benefits.

It is for DISABLED people who CANNOT improve their situation because of their disability to live a half decent life. How hard is that to understand? The fraud rate for DLA is LESS THAN 0.5%.

DLA is utterly irrelevant in any discussion about benefit rates, scrounging etc. How stupid do you have to be to not get that despite repeated explanations here on MN?

MoomieAndFreddie Thu 22-Nov-12 10:15:55

When I was a single mum with one DC, this is what I got:

£110 a week HB to pay my rent

£70 a week Income Support

£55 a week Tax Credits

£35 a week Child Benefit

£25 a week council tax benefit

£50 a week maintenance from DC dad (obviously NOT a benefit but included in income)

It works out at a NET "wage" of approx £355 a week, which is £18600 a YEAR - untaxed...which I believe would be the equivalent of earning a gross salary of about £22k (ie before tax and NI)

Just stating the facts in my own experience.....I am on the fence TBH ....personally when people get their knickers in a twist about benefits being too high, I actually think that is deceptive because, actually, IMO its that wages are too LOW and the cost of living is way too high.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:22:56

These threads become tedious . People cite individual situations where complex disabilities and extreme circumstances mean someone needs a high level of financial support and cant work. No one is begrudging them anything .

It's where people have as much capacity to work as anyone else, but can't be bothered, or think its their 'right' to have as many children as they want, or live in a particular area, funded through other peoples hard work. That's patently against any concept of equity.

And I don't think this is just about the jobless either. I think one of the biggest problems with the welfare and tax credits system is that it can incentivise people to work the minimum amount and well below their capability simply because they will get topped up by tax credits to the same level they would be on if they worked more. How one earth can that be right?!

Just as an example, a friend of mine, lovely lady, is a qualified teacher but chooses to work as a classroom assistant because in her words 'with tax credits topping up my low wage I earn pretty much the same as I would if I was a teacher with no top ups. Why work about twice as many hours a week with about 5 times as much responsibility and stress?'

And I can see her point. She's a lovely lady, and I'm sure the pupils get a first class deal, but how utterly ridiculous that our economy and social welfare system operates like this- that someone is rewarded for NOT working to their full capability using the skills and qualifications they took a long time to secure.

OptimisticPessimist Thu 22-Nov-12 10:23:37

This was the article I was talking about, from the analysis on the side:

Ian Pollock, personal finance reporter

It is sometimes argued that housing benefit is inflating the level of private rents.

The facts do not appear to support this.

Weekly housing benefit paid to private renters in England, Scotland and Wales has hardly risen in the past few years.

Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that housing benefit went up from £105 a week in July 2009 to a peak of £112 in May 2011.

It then fell back to £107 a week in May 2012.

That was an overall rise of 2%.

But the letting agency group LSL says monthly private rents in England and Wales rose from £650 a month in July 2009 to £712 a month in May 2012.

That was a 10% rise.

So rents do not appear to be rising fast because many low paid private renters claim a state subsidy.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 10:24:23

Akaemmafrost. DLA is there to meet the associated costs of having a disability. Exactly as it should be. That's why it's not means tested, and is available to anyone who has a disability, whether they have nothing in the bank or they have millions.

It is not there to tell people that they cannot improve their situation. Plenty of people in receipt of DLA can and do live 'more than a half decent life'. And many can provide financially for themselves and their families.

akaemmafrost Thu 22-Nov-12 10:26:02

I get DLA for my ds and I am his carer. I know exactly what it's for.

lisad123 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:27:05

Yes let's cut DLA and carers because the millions of pounds carers save the government is nothing, I'm sure I can find someone to watch my children for 3p an hour!!!
I am not better off with DLA and carers, because DLA isn't mine to spend! It belongs to my girls. It covers their extra lessons, books, specialist boots, therapy, and anything else they might need.
DLA. I run around from appointment to therapy to appointments countless times a week.
Please please take my stuff, look after my kids and I would happily go back to work fulltime.
At the moment I work one afternoon a week in paid work, am a trustee of a charity and run a support group.

CrunchyFrog Thu 22-Nov-12 10:27:37

I am a single parent of 3, one with SN.

I work around 30 hours for shit money.

I get way more in benefits than I earn, the childcare tax credit alone is more than my actual salary.

Raise the minimum wage to a living wage, then take away benefits. Saying "people on minimum wage can't afford to live, therefore people on benefits should get less than then" is twisted.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 10:27:43

Then you shouldn't be writing off millions of disabled people as being unable to improve their lives. Some can't, but many can and do.

lisad123 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:28:16

And no I'm nowhere near £500 a week.

akaemmafrost Thu 22-Nov-12 10:30:19

I wasn't. At all. That's how YOU chose to interpret my post. Ie focus on perhaps clumsy wording when it is clear that I am NOT writing off many disabled people. What a ridiculous thing to say.

akaemmafrost Thu 22-Nov-12 10:33:57

And as for me personally, I CANNOT improve mine and my dc's life atm without DLA and CA. I cannot work, I am a lone parent, I have two dc with MULTIPLE SN but only recieve DLA for one. Without it life would be pretty awful, as I would be expected to look for and get a job, which is impossible for me in my situation. So for ME that statement is true and was in NO WAY intended to write off millions of disabled people.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 10:34:38

It wasn't clear to me at all. You said DLA is for people that CANNOT improve their situation. Which read to me that you think that anyone who claims DLA is powerless to help themselves, and I strongly disagree with that.

But I'm glad that I mistook your meaning, it sounds like we pretty much agree on DLA otherwise.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 10:35:59

X posted. I'm sorry if I caused offence, I really am. I just get a bee in my bonnet about people with disabilities not being given enough credit for the things they can achieve.

akaemmafrost Thu 22-Nov-12 10:37:27

As I said that was YOUR interpretation it certainly was not what I meant. I think you can probably see that now that I have explained my own situation smile.

akaemmafrost Thu 22-Nov-12 10:38:00

Well we are totally on the same page then outraged smile.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 10:38:51


GossipWitch Thu 22-Nov-12 10:47:01

I think if you have a lot of children, claim dla for yourself or child/ren and have hb. It can add up to that amount easily, but at least £100 of that you wont see as it goes on rent and council tax, if you have to claim dla that should be spent on things that would make you or the person your claiming for's life easier or more managable, if carers allowance get's paid then an amount of that get's taken off whatever unemployment benefits you may receive.

GossipWitch Thu 22-Nov-12 10:56:16

Can you actually get dla for asthma? bloody hell I should claim dla for myself then hmm

lisad123 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:59:47

Asthma I think has to be really awful claim, not standard. It's not the illness that matters but the impact of your everyday life and ability to manage.
One person with autism might get nothing, another might get low rate, and another high rate. It's based on needs not dx.

wonderingsoul Thu 22-Nov-12 11:04:15

for me and my 2 i get 303. thats rent, child benifit, child tax and income suport.

thouse who would get 500 plus is thouse with LARGE familys living in expensive areas like london. and or privet renting.

akaemmafrost Thu 22-Nov-12 11:04:21

Good luck if you can negotiate your way through the 50 page + form when you claim.

wonderingsoul Thu 22-Nov-12 11:05:24

which is why they wanted to move thouse on benifits out of expensive areas like london to smaller town. to lower the cost. makes sence in theory but there wouldnt be enough housing or jobs so doesnt really work out .

Catsdontcare Thu 22-Nov-12 11:07:31

Yes Dla is about need not diagnosis. My ds gets it based on the fact that he requires help above and beyond that of an average child his age (particularly personal care needs). Those thinking it is is easy to claim should download the forms so they actually know what they are talking about rather than making assumptions.

Orwellian Thu 22-Nov-12 11:29:05

Actually, in London it is fairly easy to reach £500 or almost.

A 2 parent, 2 child family on benefits would receive (in my London borough) for a 2 bed rented flat;

Local housing allowance per week: £290
Income support/jobseekers: £111.45
Child benefit x 2: £33.40
Child tax credits x 2: £103

So a total of £537.85.

That doesn't include all the other free stuff like free school lunches, free prescriptions, free or subsidised nursery, free or subsidised school trips, help with uniforms etc.

minifingers Thu 22-Nov-12 11:36:29

My MIL gets disability living allowance and carers allowance.

She's 70, has diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and depression. She cares for my FIL who is obese, incontinent, has vascular dementia and incapacitated from a stroke.

Her life is really, really hard. sad

Those people who are arguing that those who live in London should move to cheaper areas - London is where most of the jobs are.

I know families who live in London who have been in the area all their lives. Their elderly parents live close by. Their children are settled at school. All their social support is on their doorstep. Are you saying that if these people are in private housing and they are claiming housing benefit which pushes them above the 500 pound cap, and if reasonably priced social housing can't be found for them, they should be forced to move far away from all of their family, and uproot their children from school ? How fucking awful and depressing. sad

Seriously - if we're THAT desperate to cut the benefits bill, can we not just stop giving pension tax relief to millionaires and handing out winter fuel payments to rich pensioners? Shouldn't it be a case that benefits are given according to SOCIAL NEED?

minifingers Thu 22-Nov-12 11:42:37

"Just as an example, a friend of mine, lovely lady, is a qualified teacher but chooses to work as a classroom assistant because in her words 'with tax credits topping up my low wage I earn pretty much the same as I would if I was a teacher with no top ups. Why work about twice as many hours a week with about 5 times as much responsibility and stress?'"

And the school are getting the skills of a teacher for the price of a TA. Which is a saving of about 15K. Probably a lot more than what she gets in benefits.

Or maybe classroom assistants could be paid enough to live on, and then they wouldn't be needing support from the benefits system in the first place.

picketywick Thu 22-Nov-12 11:47:55

People with large families, I suspect get big benefits.

Orwellian Thu 22-Nov-12 11:51:18

Minifingers - yes they should have to move if they can't afford it. That is exactly what families who are not entitled to benefits have to do if they lose their job or their rent/mortgage goes up, they have no choice and no sympathy from the government, even if, like the benefits claimants in your example, they have local family, kids in local schools etc. Welcome to the real world!

ParsingFancy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:03:38

Orwellian, there are no "families who are not entitled to benefits".

When someone not on benefits loses their job, they usually become entitled to benefits (contribution-based JSA). When their rent goes up, they may become entitled to benefits. If their mortgage goes up they have the option to sell and live off their capital until it's gone and then they are entitled to benefits.

Children being uprooted from school is not really the issue, it's informal care.

Social networks provide childcare - especially emergency or unsocial hours childcare - allowing parents to take up low paid jobs. They provide shopping and bathroom scrubbing and laundry for elderly parents or even temporarily ill family members who can't do these things. And that's before we get onto stuff like hospital transport and paying for acute illness when low-level care would have been preventative.

Destroying social networks appears to save money in one place but costs money in another.

ParsingFancy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:09:18

As an aside, I find it really weird that some people seem to have an image of The Tribe of Benefit Claimants, as a permanent status and definitely Other.

And when you point out that, ahem, actually the poster themselves claims benefits (Child Benefit, pension, tax credits, whatever), they say "Oh no, I don't think of myself as a Benefit Claimant."


Orwellian Thu 22-Nov-12 12:10:57

Parsingfancy - not true. There would be families who earned too much in the financial year to be entitled to benefits (even if they have not saved any of it) or people who have savings that are just over the threshold or who live in mortgaged homes.

ParsingFancy Thu 22-Nov-12 12:16:53

Yes, yes, of course there times when an individual is not entitled to benefits. But the moment their circumstances change as you describe - eg losing a job - they may well be entitled to benefits.

For example, contribution-based JSA is not means-tested. It is the insurance payout you get for having paid National Insurance. Over the years it's been eroded, but is still there. Ditto ESA (the replacement for Incapacity Benefit).

It's all according to circumstances, not membership of some Tribe.

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 12:42:23

People with large families, I suspect get big benefits

Think again. We live in a small house with a small mortgage and I keep bills etc as low as possible. DH lost his job on Tuesday with no notice and we dont know whether he will be paid what he is owed in wages, redundancy etc or when. I have put our claim in and the done the calculator and believe me, it is not generous. We were well below average wage anyway, and our income will now be half what it was.

Try living on benefits before you decide that its the life of Riley

rhondajean Thu 22-Nov-12 12:45:21

I'm sorry because it appears we were misled on Monday and child benefit is included in the cap ( bizarre as its still a universal benefit until your tax code triggers clawback now).

I love all this moral outrage, the lowest earning 60 percent of all households are negative contributors to the state ie take more out than they pay in, and that percentage is even higher for children with families. I always strongly suspect at least a few of those shouting loudest are actually being supported by others to raise their families through the services they use, although of course they never see the money so that doesn't count does it . hmm

Pinkforever Thu 22-Nov-12 12:50:47

I got a decent sum when I was claiming due to serious illness. I got dla and also income support as I still lived with my gp's. I cant remember the exact amount but I must have been getting at least £300 a week and I was a single person with no dependents.

I also know another mum whose benefits have recently been stopped who was getting £900 a month-and her dh works. I know this is true because she told me so herself....

LettyAshton Thu 22-Nov-12 13:15:34

It helps if you've always been in the system. The hardest hit are those who have had a job and a mortgage and then find themselves in reduced circumstances.

I know a few people who live a very good life on benefits. In one case (and I would suspect there are many others) the landlord to whom the housing benefit is paid is a family member. There is a whole network of this so it must be well organised and difficult for the authorities to unravel.

Brycie Thu 22-Nov-12 14:33:07

"The hardest hit are those who have had a job and a mortgage and then find themselves in reduced circumstances. "

This is true, particularly if they have been prudent and saved.

Brycie Thu 22-Nov-12 14:34:48

Orwellian - "they should have to move if they can't afford it. That is exactly what families who are not entitled to benefits have to do"

Brycie Thu 22-Nov-12 14:35:08

oh I forgot to say I agree with that

Brycie Thu 22-Nov-12 14:37:37

Parsingfancy - I don't know why you find it weird. There are those who find themselves in difficulty after working or through disability, who are on benefits temporaril. And there are those who are never off large amounts of benefit, have been most of their lives and will be most of their lives.

HungryHippo89 Thu 22-Nov-12 15:33:45

I have a friend 5 DC's ... 3 different dads (still with the youngest 2's dad) she lives in a privately rented house which is paid for (and it's a beautiful house) ... she gets her CSA for 3 kids council taxed paid for and all the usual benefits .. and her OH also get's some kind of benefit for being in a low paid job ... which according to him is about £800 extra in his pay packet ... My friend get's in benefits ... what i work 40 hours a week for ...

Why do I work? hmm

AmberLeaf Thu 22-Nov-12 17:33:13

I know a few people who live a very good life on benefits. In one case (and I would suspect there are many others) the landlord to whom the housing benefit is paid is a family member. There is a whole network of this so it must be well organised and difficult for the authorities to unravel

That would be fraud.

Not representative of the average benefit claimant. At all.

edam Thu 22-Nov-12 17:37:27

No, it isn't automatically fraud - you can get HB for renting from a family member in certain circumstances if you declare it. If you hide the fact it's a family member, it is more likely to look dodgy.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:41:00

Minifingers- referring to your post in response to mine about my teaching assistant friend- YES, precisely, a teaching assistant should earn enough to live on. And a teaching assistant who works 35 hours a week should earn more than one earning 20 hours. And a teacher should earn more than The teaching assistant to reflect the reap

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:44:52

Oops - reflect the responsibility they shoulder and the workload, skills etc.

Spot on- that's absolutely the logical solution.

But while we have a system where the part time teaching assistant can earn pretty much no different to the full time one because of tax credit and top ups, and the full time one can earn practically as much as the teacher once top ups and other fringe benefits are taken into account- well no wonder the Country is a mess

Like I said, the most low grade menial job should pay better than the employee would get if they didn't work. And those in higher level jobs with greater resp

edam Thu 22-Nov-12 17:48:19

That's an argument for a living wage, Janey. And I'd agree with it - ridiculous that we have a country where employers can pay their workers less than the workers need to have a roof over their head and food in their bellies and the government then props up those bad employers.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:49:31

Dammit I'm all over the shop today!

Those with greater responsibility should earn more to reflect that. Those who work more hours should earn more than someone in the same job doing fewer.

It all ^ seems^ so logical - the problem is, the complexity of the welfare system and in particular the fringe benefits such as free scripts and dental treatment mean that its possible to play the system to work less to gain maximum advantage. You just need a month where you pay out for three prescriptions and have a couple of fillings at the dentist and you are literally HUNDREDS of pounds down.

In short- I think those with really serious disabilities and illness are the worst off. I think those on mediocre incomes who don't qualify for any benefits are next worse off.

FlangelinaBallerina Thu 22-Nov-12 19:19:19

Shadylane, what you are describing in your post at 9.55 is the social/council housing system, not benefits. The two are not the same thing. Not all benefit claimants live in social housing (it would be cheaper if they did!) and not all social housing tenants are on benefits.

Dawndonna Thu 22-Nov-12 19:20:42

There are also Brycie those who through disability will be on benefits all their lives, wanting, but unable to work.

minifingers Thu 22-Nov-12 19:37:56

Janey - or you could argue that the most boring, repetitive and physically damaging jobs should pay the most.

All jobs should pay a living wage, especially ones like TA's!

ssd Thu 22-Nov-12 19:52:50

janey68, you posted this earlier

"I completely agree that the real problem here is low wages. The lowest waged job should enable the worker to be significantly better off than they would be if they didn't work. The key word there is significant. If when all the extras such as free prescriptions, dental care, school meals are factored in, someone is only about £20 a month better off, what incentive is there to work? And this applies most in low skilled, low status jobs, Because frankly, the cash in your hand is probably the only motivator to work. If you are in a professional career, you are probably driven as much by the intellectual stimulation, the job satisfaction and other factors, and these aspects help get you through the times when you're training and early in your career when wages aren't great. In a menial job you're less likely to have these motivators. "

well what an absolute cheek

I work in a minimum wage job as if fits in with the kids schooldays. Dh earns below average. But I work to set my kids an example, to earn money to pay the bills, to meet people and be stimulated, to go out to work and have a routine, to keep myself involved with the outside world....

you are suggesting only people in a well paid job have motivators to work, well thats tosh

if I lose my low paid job I'll look for another one, most people want to work not claim benefits if they are lucky enough to get and keep a job

ssd Thu 22-Nov-12 19:54:34

and janey68 if you're not a tory I'll eat my hat

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 19:59:39

Oh grow up ssd this isn't about party politics.

I don't have any issue with people choosing to work 15 hours a week if they can afford to do so. What I take issue with is a system which makes it possible to work 15 hours a week and get topped up to a level where someone working more hours in the same job, or working in a significantly more difficult and stressful job with more responsibility, is hardly any better off. How is such a system supposed to work? Where is the incentive to do more diffiicult, stressful work, or to work more hours? What if we all want to work part time in easy low stress jobs? Who are the poor sods who do the full time difficult jobs?

ssd Thu 22-Nov-12 20:06:24

don't talk nonsense woman

do you really think working full time in a difficult job pays the same as part time in an easy low stress job?

if you think that you're bonkers

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 20:15:39

she gets her CSA for 3 kids

Point of order, that is not a benefit, it is absent parents paying towards their childrens upkeep and is how it should be.

Bogeyface Thu 22-Nov-12 20:17:46

SSD in many cases a person working part time in a low stress job can end up receiving a similar amount in their bank account every month as someone who works long hours in a high stress job, because of income top ups such as tax credits.

Janey is pointing out that as long as that is the case, there is no incentive for anyone to work full time, or in a harder job, because they wont be any better off. Why is that so hard for you to accept?

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 20:20:07

No- if you read the thread - woman lol- you'll see I've explained that full time stressful jobs dont have the same wages as part time easy jobs, but the top ups in the way of tax credits, free dental treatment, FSM, free prescriptions, etc can mean there is very little or no differential

I gave an example of a friend of mine who chooses to work as a classroom assistant rather than a teacher because she gets enough tops ups and fringe benefits to hardly be any worse off.

At the end of the day, its having the means to pay rent/bills/food/dentists etc which matters to people. It matters not whether those things come by wages or tax credits- its getting them which matters to people

A system which acts as a disincentive to people to work longer hours or in harder jobs is clearly bonkers.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 20:21:46

Thanks bogey face- I'm glad you understand my point.
It doesn't make me a Tory (or labour or anything in fact) - its just common sense and logic

MummytoKatie Thu 22-Nov-12 20:37:39

One thing I don't get with the cap is who is going to work in Tescos in Kensington (for example)?

So you have someone who earns minimum wage in a very expensive area. At the moment they get a lot of HB because it is expensive to live there. Then it gets cut due to the cap. Presumably they would be better off living somewhere else. So they move. But who does their job?

I just can't quite work it out. Will the salary for minimum wage type jobs in London go up? But if Tescos are paying checkout staff £20 an hour then they are going to want to put the food prices up massively there. And then those doing the traditional minimum wage jobs (and now earning a lot more than minimum wage but only enough to cover their rent) won't be able to afford to shop there. So still won't want to live there.

Or will Tescos etc pull out of expensive areas?

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 22-Nov-12 20:41:38

Another point of order.

you only get tax credits if you work more than 16 hours if single or 24 hours if a couple. They even give you additional premiums if you work more hours providing the hours are enough to bump you up a band.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 20:43:04

You get child tax credits for doing nothing except having children.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 20:44:42

There are affordable council/HA homes in Kensington and central London. People will still live in them and need to work.

Viviennemary Thu 22-Nov-12 20:48:08

I think if there was a cap on housing benefit then rents will have to come down. It is only the huge subsidies that is keeping them artificially high and helping nobody except greedy landlords. I hope there is a cap put in place.

edam Thu 22-Nov-12 20:53:00

You'd think, Valerie, but sadly it won't necessarily happen - and the people caught at the sharp end can't do anything about it. Affordable homes are in very short supply, people can't raise the deposits for buying or get mortgages, so demand for rental is extremely high. Landlords, especially in places like London, have got the whip hand. If you want to bring down rents, you need to control rents (and build more affordable housing) not punish the working poor and unemployed.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 22-Nov-12 20:57:53

Outraged you know very well that I was commenting on the previous posts regarding working 15 hours getting large tax credits and having no incentive to increase hours.

Life would be so much easier for people like you if they had never changed ctc from income support

me23 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:00:09

You cannot get £381 a week hb for a 1 bed in central London. If you are privately renting then you would receive LHA ad the max you can get per week is £250 for a 1 bed in central London. Only social housing tennants can recieve hb and it wouldn't be £381 a week as social housing is not that expensive. If you go to direct.gov.uk you can get the correct info.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 21:03:41

I agree if you want to bring down rent then more housing needs to be built. Hopefully that might start to happen now that the government have removed the restrictions on building that put developers off.

Wanting to be paid for the service you provide does not make a landlord greedy.

Sock, I didn't realise that when I replied, but fair point. I get frustrated that child tax credits are called tax credits, it implies you have to pay tax to receive them. But you don't have to pay tax or do anything to get child tax credits, and I think the whole tax credit thing was just some very good marketing by the labour government.

Lougle Thu 22-Nov-12 21:08:36

"janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 20:20:07

No- if you read the thread ...I gave an example of a friend of mine who chooses to work as a classroom assistant rather than a teacher because she gets enough tops ups and fringe benefits to hardly be any worse off.
A system which acts as a disincentive to people to work longer hours or in harder jobs is clearly bonkers. "

That is the sort of simplistic view which does make it all seem bonkers.

The reality is that we need classroom assistants. The number of classroom assistants needed will always be higher than the number of teachers needed.

Taking my DD's special school as an example:

10 children, 1 teacher, 4 teaching assistants.

The class of children doesn't need 5 people planning their next steps, deciding the lesson plans. One teacher can do that. They do need 5 people who are able to facilitate learning and manage behaviour.

There will always be a higher need for low-waged, low-skilled labour. There will always be a premium for high skilled labour.

When your friend moves on and works as a teacher, who will replace her as a classroom assistant? Will she/he then be criticised for being low paid?

If you want people to aspire to higher wages, then wages need to go up. With free education, funded by the state, then revenue would need to go up, which means higher taxes.

Viviennemary Thu 22-Nov-12 21:27:18

I think this topping up part-time work with benefits does need to be looked at. I know somebody who works with people on benefit and a lot of the part time people won't do overtime as it wouldn't be worth their while because they would lose benefit and would be no better off. That simply does not make sense.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 22-Nov-12 21:27:57

Outraged. Correct really but look at it this way

None working family child tax credits used to just be called income support.

Working tax credits used to be called working families tax credits

Working families tax credits was just a jazzed up name for family credit.

This benefit started in 1986 each new name just replaced the previous named benefit and was advertised as doing so.

If we like it or not we will always need low paid workers and sadly its no longer possible to support a family on a low wage like it used to be.

Would you be interested in learning a bit more about mass employer contracts and/ or benefits?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 21:31:29

I though income support was separate to tax credits and that you didn't have to be working to get it.

I realise we will always need low paid workers, but we don't need people to have children when they have to claim tax credits to be able to afford them.

edam Thu 22-Nov-12 21:47:24

Outraged - we do need people to have children, though. A country with a low birthrate has problems. We need young people growing up and becoming workers and carers, otherwise there will be no-one paying taxes when we are retired and no-one to wipe our bums when we are too frail to do it ourselves. Children are a benefit to society and most countries encourage people to have children, with tax breaks and even direct payments.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 21:49:59

Children are a benefit to society only if the people that created them can financially support them. If society has to support them then society is not benefiting, society is instead spending a lot of money that it doesn't have.

We need the right people to have children, not the ones that have to rely on child tax credits.

It's a myth that only families living in desirable parts of London are being affected. I live in the South West and the average yearly salary in our county is less than £20,000. The price of an average house around here is £230,000 - 14 times the average wage. Housing benefit for a 3 bed house in our city is capped at £790 per month. There are currently only 2 properties to rent in the entire city for less than this amount.

This is where those £millions of benefits are going - straight into the pockets of the landlords. These vast sums we see being quoted are not going to the families at all, and they will have to use benefits money which should be spent on food, heating or clothing to make up the difference in rent and avoid being made homeless. Successive governments have failed to implement any sort of rent controls, and this is the result. Setting a cap on housing benefit now, at the top of the market. is completely pointless, it should have been done YEARS ago, and this situation would never have arisen.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:51:29

Lougle- I am not disputing that We need classroom assistants! I think some people are wilfully misreading posts on here! I actually think classroom assistants do an important job.

My point is quite simply that a classroom assistant working, say, 30 hours a week should get twice as much money as one who does the same job for 15 hours. And a teacher should get more again. And the headteacher should get more than the class teacher. Greater responsibility, and longer numbers of hours worked should be rewarded. It's not to say that those in lower grade jobs shouldnt get a decent wage- of course they should- but people doing harder jobs which involve stress, open ended hours etc should get more. If the people working part time, or in easier jobs end up getting tops and benefits which bring them almost to the level of someone working longer/ harder, then frankly - and this is my key point, you may as well not have any difference in wages, because the end result is the same. What matters to Jane bloggs is being able to pay her rent, council text, bills and get a filling at he Dentist when she needs one. If she can get those things working fewer hours in an easier job, why would she work longer hours in a harder job to end up with the same disposable income?

AmberLeaf Thu 22-Nov-12 21:53:11

OMG the right people to have children

Yes let us sterilise the wastrels eh.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 21:56:01

Amber, yes, in response to a post about society needing children.

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 21:59:51

"You cannot get £381 a week hb for a 1 bed in central London. If you are privately renting then you would receive LHA ad the max you can get per week is £250 for a 1 bed in central London. Only social housing tennants can recieve hb "

apologies if it has already been covered but i'm assuming it's only in central london that you cant get HB unless you are a social housing tenant? why is it different for london?

WildWorld2004 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:59:52

Seriously i can not believe what i have just read.

So because i need child benefit and child tax credit i shouldnt have my daughter. confused

I would like to know how many people in this country get no benefits whatsoever. No child benefit, no tax credits, no housing benefit. I bet the number is very low.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 22-Nov-12 22:01:15


A ta working 15 hours would receive no wtc they would have to work at least 16

They would also get an additional premium for working 30 hours

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 22-Nov-12 22:04:50

Iamso. Local housing allowance is what private tenants get, hb is what social tenants get both are paid by the same office.

And * outraged* did you really just agree with snipping poor people?

ssd Thu 22-Nov-12 22:09:56

janey68, can you show me an example of this working please?

"I don't have any issue with people choosing to work 15 hours a week if they can afford to do so. What I take issue with is a system which makes it possible to work 15 hours a week and get topped up to a level where someone working more hours in the same job, or working in a significantly more difficult and stressful job with more responsibility, is hardly any better off. How is such a system supposed to work? Where is the incentive to do more diffiicult, stressful work, or to work more hours? What if we all want to work part time in easy low stress jobs? Who are the poor sods who do the full time difficult jobs? "

providing the person on 15 hrs isnt at the dentist getting root canal work once a week or getting 5 prescriptions a month, how are they both coming home with the same wage??

I'd really like to see an actual example of this, the idea that a full time worker in a difficult job will come home with the same as a part timer in a low wage job is ridiculous

examples please

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 22:10:17

how very short sighted of you outraged. children are children for only 18 years as far as supporting them is concerned (i think it's 19 if they are still in FT education?) they are tax paying adults for alot longer than that afterwards and alot of them are your 'right' kind of people who have children without needing tax credits to support them so they are raising children to further contribute to society down the line.

but of course we could just let you decide who is the right type of person to have children and see where that gets you in your twilight years when there is no pension at all and no staff to help you bathe or get into bed or cook your meals.

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 22:12:55

sockreturning i am in NI and i rent privately but i recieve HB. perhaps it's different here?

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 22-Nov-12 22:17:46

The fundamental problem in this country that no political party seems to want to address is that house prices are way to high, both to rent and to buy. We can't afford to buy our own house, yet we are deemed wealthy enough to lose some of our child benefit next year. So, we are stuck with renting a very small house as that's all we can afford. It is nothing special and needs a lot of work both inside and outside. It was one of the cheapest houses we could find in the area. As we have to pay high rent to a landlord, we are not able to save much in the way of a deposit for our own place. We couldn't afford the high prices in any case. The bottom line is that we are paying our landlord's mortgage and are unlikely to be able to afford to buy our own place any time soon. If we are in this situation, how on earth do families earning less than £30k manage? We need more affordable family homes and I think there really does need to be some kind of tax on multiple property owners or this situation will only get much worse.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 22:19:20

FFS, some of you people really do just read what you want to, never mind what is actually on the screen in front of you.

I'm not advocating 'snipping' anyone. But if you can't see for yourselves that society needs more net contributors and less people who take out far more in financial benefits than they will put in, then there's not much point in me trying to explain.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:21:44

ssd - I gave an example of my friend upthread. Don't blame me if you choose to not believe it!

mamamibbo Thu 22-Nov-12 22:22:22

just to make you all jealous...my 3 bed, 2 downstairs rooms and kitchen, front and back garden house costs me <drum roll please> £420 pcm smile

you can buy a 3 bed house round here for £50k, horrble areas tho lol

IAmSoFuckingRock Thu 22-Nov-12 22:27:03

i think i'm quite lucky where i live too mama my rent is 450pcm. the house is small, very small and a tiny garden not attatched to the house but the area is great. it's a terrace but it's in a great location and my neighbour sold a house recently for £69k which i think is quite good. i never want to move tbh.

ssd Thu 22-Nov-12 22:27:33

what, you friend who works as a TA and is coming home with the same as a teacher?

break it down for me then, show me the actual money involved and I'll believe you

or did she tell you this and you believe her without knowing actual earnings?

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:08:43

She chooses to work as a classroom assistant, because with the top ups she gets including tax credits, childcare subsidies, HB council tax and things like free dental care mean that she has the same disposable income as she would if she works as a teacher. I know this because she has told me. In her words, why work longer and harder for no actual gain. I said all this upthread ssd- as I say, I'm not asking you to believe me because clearly you're choosing not to.

Plenty of other examples too on this thread (and others) from people who have found first hand that working longer doesn't pay.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 22-Nov-12 23:15:22


She does not qualify for wtc or childcare element as she only works 15 hours a week.

One of you is telling porkies.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:16:55

Oh and btw I don't have a total breakdown of all her living costs, surprisingly! But I believe her, she's a good friend of mine and I kind of believe what good friends tell me. I have no personal axe to grind with her at all. It's the system which is at fault. She should be able to earn a living wage as a classroom assistant . If she uses her skills fully and actually teaches, she should have significantly more in her purse to reflect the that job. But while she won't have any tangible difference in her lifestyle by working longer hours in a harder job, she's choosing to play the system to her advantage.
WHat an utterly bonkers system.

AudrinaAdare Thu 22-Nov-12 23:18:27

I can't remember the exact figures but I'm a former teacher and I certainly considered it when I was a lone parent. As a teacher I would have also had to pay for DD's childcare before and after school and for parent evenings, concerts, courses on the weekend hmm etc whereas the learning support assistant hours were during the school day.

I would have earned too much to get any help with that and it was a big expense, as was the fact that I didn't drive and would no longer have time to walk into town to shop around for bargains and would only be able to pick up essentials from the expensive corner shop.

Was also struggling with debt left by XH and on a lower salary my repayments would be more affordable.

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:19:16

Sock- I Didnt say my friend works 15 hours.
You're muddling posts. I used the 15 hours as an example in the context of 'if someone works 30 hours in a job they should have twice as much money as someone who works 15. Totally different post. I was explaining about the differentials being important

janey68 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:23:19

Audrina- that's exactly right- there are a lot of hidden costs too.
I have no doubt my friend would be teaching if it made a difference financially- she's a talented woman and trained as a teacher to do exactly that. I think it's awful for her that she wouldn't be any better off.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:32:53

Part of the idea behind Universal Credit is the theory of making work pay. So there will be four categories claimants will be placed into.

Carers,for example will not be required to be actively looking for work. Considerations will be made for lone parents with pre schoolers. Then basically all other able people will be reguired to actively look for work.( this is a very brief description).

The idea being all those able, will be required/encouraged to look for the equivalent of a job paying minimum wage at 35 hours per week. This includes single parents with school age children.

The theory is good but child care/school holidays/care for sick children is difficult & expensive in the real world. This would end the days of working minimum hours as the current system encourages.

There are many flaws within the new system as it appears to presume there are enough full time jobs for to go round. It ignores the difficulties faced by parents to reorganise care&travel costs.

garlicbaguette Thu 22-Nov-12 23:47:39

YY, Shelly, plus the 'penalties' incurred on the first few thousand earned are absurdly high. If this is supposed to release the benefits trap and facilitate working-where-possible, it's a cock-up.

That's even before we get to the part where it's all going to be dependent on the internet, which practically guarantees monster cock-ups on a weekly basis hmm

AudrinaAdare Thu 22-Nov-12 23:51:37

Christ you're right r.e childcare. Yet another massive flaw in IDS' plan. DH is self employed so we were not exactly fans to begin with.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:54:07

I really wonder how its going to work in practice!

Payments monthly in arrears...

Online applications&communication.

The cost of reorganising & implementing thwarting new systems 2.9 billion...

Viviennemary Thu 22-Nov-12 23:54:31

I think most people agree that £500 per week after tax is a very generous amount of money. I really don't see why a person in a not very well paid job should be subsidising other people to live in London or in another expensive part of the country. It just simply isn't fair. House prices are inflated because the system has made them so.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:56:52

Self employed are really going to be effected.

Thanks Torys-for implementing Labours nightmare plans!!!

AudrinaAdare Thu 22-Nov-12 23:59:04

I can't remember which organisation sent me this via email recently. It's very simplistic but also very clear for people who are unaware of the issues:

The Poverty Trap Game

garlicbaguette Fri 23-Nov-12 00:02:39

Oh yes, isn't there some thing where benefit will be deducted from the self-employed as if they were earning at least a full-time minimum wage? And if you say you don't earn that much, the JobCentre will go through your books with you and sort you out [snort] ?

You might have thought that a long-term sick person, and/or one with childcare issues, would be best advised to try clambering off benefits by doing a bit of freelance work, or starting up a little ebay business or doing crafts.

Nope. Not allowed.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:03:40

I totally appreciate where people are coming from with the cost£500 argument but universal credit is going to massively affect working families.

The media has concentrated on a certain small group of benefit claimants but universal credit is going to reduce, in the long run the majority of claimants income. So if you get WTC,CTC, CB,HB,ESA,JS it will have an impact on your income.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 00:04:28

shelly can you explain why self employed people will really be affected? i'm about to become self employed and i really dont understand the implications.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:12:30

Very basically you have to have an income equivalent to working 35 hours per week at minimum wage. Costs/expenses are not taken into account...Im not an expert on self employed. Its Carer s&DLA that i mainly deal with.

AudrinaAdare Fri 23-Nov-12 00:12:45

The worst thing is that the government via job centres have been actively encouraging claimants to go self employed to massage the figures. And now everyone will be expected to earn NMW during a fucking recession or go on Workfare. Way to encourage productivity and mobility Mr Duncan Shit.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 00:14:31

thanks shelly. i'll try and find out a bit more.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:17:55

There won't be the need for the extent of job centres after UC is fully implemented. The job centre staff will be joining the system they implemented-ironic!

garlicbaguette Fri 23-Nov-12 00:19:55

YY, I've only just realised I've fallen foul of the double-speak myself. Will get on to the JCP tomorrow shock

Rock, this is a long extract but it's important. It hasn't received nearly enough press, probably because it's both complicated and ridiculous :-

Universal Credit, which will introduce a staggering amount of complexity into the system and will stifle the chances of both the self-employed and the entrepreneurial alike.

According to the recently published draft regulations: “claimants who declare that they have income from self-employment, or who are self-employed with no income, will be invited to a “Gateway” interview.”

This appears to be some form of Stalinist Dragon’s Den, whereby people will be forced to prove to the DWP that their business, or their trade is: “done with the intention of increasing the income received to the level we could expect the claimant to make if working full time”

Claimants will be expected to provide reams of evidence at these interviews which will no doubt be carried out by people with so much entrepreneurial know-how that they’ve ended up working in the Jobcentre.

Should the claimant pass this government test, then they will be granted a year’s start up period, during which they will be largely left alone. After that they will be subject to the ‘Minimum Income Floor’. This means that self-employed people will be expected to earn a certain amount a week, or lose eligibility for benefits or self-employed status. The Government are not telling us exactly what that Minimum Income Floor will be in the consultation documents, however it has previously been suggested that people will be expected to earn at least the minimum wage for any self-employed activity.

Under the new proposals self-employed people will be expected to work at least 18 hours a week. It is unclear whether those in self-employment working at this level will be expected to abandon self-employment to take up full time work, or workfare, should the DWP deem it appropriate. Those working part time are now to be forced to continually look for full time work, attend interviews at the drop of a hat and hand in their notice immediately should they be offered even a temporary full time job.

If these requirements are not inflicted on self employed workers, then for many people simply under reporting their hours will mean they are able to qualify for the full Universal Credit award. If this all sounds confusing that’s because it is. Once again a key piece of legislation, set to go before Parliament in Autumn, has not been thought through or adequately explained.

It is likely that the Minimum Income Floor will mean that self-employed people are expected to earn the equivalent of the minimum wage for 35 hours a week or face a cut in benefits. As Housing Benefits are now to be lumped in with Universal Credit, this may mean homelessness for some.

Another aspect of the new regime will punish people who invest in tools, stock or other business expenses in order to increase earnings. Self employed people will now be required to report all income and business expenditure on a monthly basis as opposed to annually as under the present system. Expenses will not be carried over to the next month. This will mean if someone spends a couple of grand on stock this will only be reflected in their earnings for that month. The new system will make it impossible for self-employed people to invest on any significant level to improve their earnings.

It will not just be businesses that have large outlays, such as small shops or tradespeople, that will be affected by the monthly reporting. A freelance journalist who spends a month writing a piece in anticipation of it being sold will be penalised for not earning minimum wage during that period. Self employed people will be punished for injecting both time and cash into their business. The harder you work, the less you get.

And these are the lucky ones who have passed their DWP Dragon’s Den.

People who fail to impress the Government with their self-employment plans will still be permitted to earn money from self-employment, and will face the same monthly requirement to report any earnings. They will also however be given a Claimant Commitment, meaning they will not be treated as self-employed. This will mean that there will be a requirement to attend Mandatory Work Activity or attend pointless courses and workshops with Welfare to Work companies like fraud ridden A4e any time the DWP sees fit.

This will destroy people’s ability to take on small amounts of work on a casual basis. Should someone be offered a few days work on a self-employed basis they will not be in a position to guarantee they can turn up. They could be sent to work in a charity shop with no pay that week instead. Far from the stated aim of making all work pay, short periods of self-employed work will be a commitment that claimants can no longer make under the new regime. The DWP will decide how you spend your time and if you fail to comply you could face sanctions for up to three years.


Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:22:00

I work with families in really difficult circumstances. The information we are receiving about UC is patchy & unclear. I have spent months searching info on line-bloody mad! More dereactives are due to be announced shortly. Sorry i couldn't be more helpful...

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:32:09

Is it just me but how is this actually going to help people? The government should be encouraging self employment&small businesses.

Training, education & progression seems to be irrelevant-just as long as your earning that magical minimum wage at 35 hours per week.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 00:36:22



Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 00:37:01

I feel that people are not realising that many many people are struggling to make ends meet on a lot less than £500 a week. And yet all we read about is those cruel benefit cuts. And many many people are paying tax to subsidise these other folk getting a lot more money than them. Sorry but I think this cap is very long overdue.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:42:44

I agree with the cap but the point is nearly all people who recieve any sort of in work benefit will also have their benefit reduced,in the long run.

Hard working families are struggling now,its very difficult to comprehend how families will manage with cuts to income whilst living costs continue to rise.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:44:57

I agree with the cap but the point is nearly all people who recieve any sort of in work benefit will also have their benefit reduced,in the long run.

Hard working families are struggling now,its very difficult to comprehend how families will manage with cuts to income whilst living costs continue to rise.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:45:55

Sorry on phone...Tired&need to go to bed!!

AudrinaAdare Fri 23-Nov-12 00:49:47

DH and I think that means-testing the winter fuel payments is also far overdue and were pissing ourselves laughing at the Thatcher clone on the news at the Tory Party Conference who was squawking about losing Child Benefit grin

Self-employed people and anyone wishing to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" and become strivers not skivers will be absolutely unaffected. As long as they have inherited enough money from a tax-dodging ancestor. Seems fair to the government.

QuiteQuiet Fri 23-Nov-12 01:35:04

Let me think, a week I get rent £68 paid £70 ESA and £28 per week, (I pay £30 per month towards this) council tax £103 tax credits... school meals paid and milk paid.

I was on Incapacity benefit and getting more...(I was scared to take a job under £20/23,000.00). So now I am attempting to get some qualifications to back up experience of doing a job for 20 years, but I cannot find a job as I have 99 people with qualifications going after them... I would love a job!!! At the same time though, I also need to get better health-wise, so I study my ass off for one year, get my HND, hope all the psychologists and counselling help my mind get better, then apply to everyone again.

I agree the system is terrible, this is my first time unemployed since I was 16 and I detest every minute of it!

LucieMay Fri 23-Nov-12 01:54:42

It does irk me when people pull the lone parent card as a barrier to full time work or work at all. I'm a fully lone parent, no daddy around, not much extended family. I don't drive. If I can work full time with a primary school aged ds, all single parents can. And no I'm not on mega bucks.

janey68 Fri 23-Nov-12 07:42:28

There are issues which need to be ironed out with the universal benefit system. The current system however has just got to go and that was long overdue- too complex, unwieldy and unfair

The bottom line is, a healthy capable person should ALWAYS be significantly better off working than not working. And the more hours you work, or the more skilled/stressful/responsibility-laden the job is, the more the financial gain should rise incrementally.

There is NO point having a higher wage if the worker then loses out by not getting the top ups and other benefits which someone on a lower wage would get. That's basic common sense. What matters to people is having the money to pay their necessities and the disposable income left over.

NotQuiteQuiet Fri 23-Nov-12 08:31:05

I'm a lone parent it will not stop me working full time. Some may find it difficult though, I cannot think why right now, but we are all different, I'm not a big fan of generalizing 'lone parents' we all have different backgrounds.

akaemmafrost Fri 23-Nov-12 08:34:52

luciemay "if I can work full time then all parents can".


JakeBullet Fri 23-Nov-12 08:38:52

No Lucie not all parents can, there are various reasons why not. Everyone's life is different and until we realise this then the remarks the OP is reading will continue.

Just one reason....my child is disabled. Coupled with my own ill health I now claim benefits and I get nothing like £500 a week AND I get extra cash due to my DS's disability.

AudrinaAdare Fri 23-Nov-12 08:39:07

Yes, in my case I had several jobs, teaching and non-teaching from the time DD was a baby but employers don't take kindly to frequent absences due to hospital stays with her forty miles away. I do agree that it's possible in many cases though and it absolutely should be worthwhile working.

akaemmafrost Fri 23-Nov-12 08:39:33

All single parents can.

JakeBullet Fri 23-Nov-12 08:40:52

There are loads of pluses to working and not necessarily financial ones. I miss the banter with my colleagues, the feeling if having done something worthwhile not to mention the salary. I am doing my fist ever Xmas on benefits.....it's a bit of an eye opener for a woman who always earned plenty.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 09:33:30

yes lucie 'all single parents' who are in exactly the same position as YOU (education, qualifications, experience, health, age of children, health of children, affordable housing, affordable transport, dependable childcare, supportive employer etc etc) can.

for those with different circumstances (you realise these exist and are valid reasons that full time work may not be possible?) may struggle to work full time. open your mind! see beyond your own nose.

NotQuiteQuiet Fri 23-Nov-12 09:37:00

Thank you, I lost my words, I meant exactly what you all just said.

Right now I am too UNWELL to work, I detest it but can I change it overnight NO!!

Now I think i shall hide this thread before it makes my brain explode......

NotQuiteQuiet Fri 23-Nov-12 09:39:34

Oh one last rant.

I miss my work, I miss my colleagues I miss my routine, I detest being unwell, try climbing into my head for a day or 5 and see how you cope, I will warn you though its a living nightmare but what can I do, switch my 'yes your are perfectly fine' button on....hmm

Meh......... now I will hide you! Or this thread will get majorly messy via an explosion of brain cells.

ssd Fri 23-Nov-12 09:42:45

janey, I knew you'd come back with no figures but the old "well my friend told me"

your example is yet to be proved

until someone can show me a breakdown for a teacher earning the same as a teachers assistant then I can't see its possible

ssd Fri 23-Nov-12 09:48:14

maybe someone who has worked full time but is better off working part time can show me how this works

or does this only apply if you're a LP and renting?

Meglet Fri 23-Nov-12 09:50:21

lucie I'm a LP with 2 dc's who works part time. It is a miserable struggle but I can juggle things and we can just about manage. I don't intend to work full time as my IBS means I am on the loo most of the day (every hour is about normal) if I eat much. Working PT means I can limit what I eat on my working days, therefore be fairly productive in the office and catch up and eat on the days I don't work.

Working full time when the kids are older would mean they were unsupervised a lot more, I am going to be there to make sure they do homework and support them if they have problems with depression / eating disorders / drugs etc. I hope to work full time when they are safely at University and my health should be a bit better.

expatinscotland Fri 23-Nov-12 09:52:20

What Lapsed and ihate said. Housing costs, particularly in the private rental market, in many areas far outstrip low wages.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Fri 23-Nov-12 09:56:52

I live in an area where a lot of families are getting at lot more than £500 per week (inner east London, zone 1). That's because just over 10 years ago 3 bed ex Council flats in the area could be picked up for less than £70k. Buy-to-let landlords moved in, bought up all the ex-RTB flats, and rented them out to people who in previous times would have been able to get a council property.

Those 3-bed flats, often in poor condition, can now command £650 per week rent, paid by LHA. Far more than landlords can get from working tenants. The flats themselves are worth £360k. (The housing benefit cap will address this problem somewhat)

The poor tenants don't see that money - it flows straight from the taxpayer to private landlords who own these ex-Council properties, don't maintain them, and just rake the cash in.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 23-Nov-12 09:59:35

Lucie, I am also a lone parent with no input from my XP, limited local support and reliant on public transport. The difference is that I have three children (one with ASD) and as such the cost of childcare is completely prohibitive (XP was a SAHD when we had the children). Like NotQuiteQuiet, I miss working, I miss the contact with people outside of the school circle, the banter with colleagues, the challenges, the achievements... I am lonely without work and if I could work I would. Unfortunately, aside from the cost of childcare, I am pretty limited to where I can get to via public transport and most of the jobs available are retail or caring which are incompatible with normal childcare working hours. As it is, I'm doing an OU degree and intend to learn to drive next year so that once my youngest is at school I will hopefully have a greater scope of jobs available to me.

babyinsane Fri 23-Nov-12 10:42:58

Catkinsthecatinthehat 3-bed flats have been capped at an LHA of £340pw since last year, so it's doubtful that landlords can set rents as high as £650pw now. Although I'm sure that even with £340pw LHA, the other benefits will certainly raise the total benefits figure above £500.

I know of several families who live in that sort of area (inner London zone 1) who bought their flats under RTB and continue to live there - they weren't all bought up by BTL landlords.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 12:26:50

So Lucie, because you're able to work, there's no possible set of circumstances a single parent could be in that would preclude them? Bollocks.

janey68 Fri 23-Nov-12 12:29:29

Ssd- there have been plenty of examples on this thread and others from people explaining how they are no better off if they work full time, or work more hours, or work in a more challenging job! They have explained how frustrating it is because they WANT to be able to work more and have more money in their pockets at the end of the month. They have explained how the loss of tax credits, HB, subsidised childcare, free scripts etc mean that they are no better off working more.

I think that's an awful situation and a rubbish system. If you need to see people's personal bank accounts in order to believe them then that says a lot about you not them.

Dawndonna Fri 23-Nov-12 13:03:46
janey68 Fri 23-Nov-12 13:08:13

Those are pay scales- I think ssd wanted a total breakdown of tax credits, other benefits and all the outgoings (bearing in mind a teacher needs a lot more childcare than a TA who often works school hours only)

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 13:18:36

I must say I didn't realise quite how badly TA's were paid. Starting pay for full time £9,000-£10,000 shock

AudrinaAdare Fri 23-Nov-12 13:24:52

Out of interest I just ran £20K (higher level TA) and £35K (teacher) through the Turn To Us calculator for my situation. Fuck all on the second figure and 4K extra on the first. A VERY conservative childcare costs-estimate is £14K. And that is based on only 39 weeks as I would be at home working during the holidays.

Add the other expenses already mentioned and yes, I'd go for the T.A job. It would also mean that when I was home from work I would actually have time to talk to and interact with my children. And all weekend too shock

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 13:49:00

I agree with Janey68

I'd also add that for most working parents the issue is unsubsidised ludicrously high childcare costs.

SSD I will happily give you an example...

The following illustrates a working couple and paying childcare vs a couple whereby one works pt on minimum wage and the other stays at home to care for DCs. I can give accurate figures as I am basing this example on my own situation and that of my DSIS who is here with me now, discussing the merits of working FT or PT.

DP and I have a combined gross annual income of £63k + CB. After deductions this equates to £3932pm. I work 40+ hours pw with a 2.5 hour daily commute earning £43k(gross) DP works 40 hours and earns £20k (gross). We have 3 DC’s (13, 3 and 6m). We do not qualify for tax credits. Our essential monthly outgoings are as follows:

Childcare for DD2+DD3= £1748.
School dinners for DD1 = £40
School Music lessons for DD1 = £26
School Bus for DD1 = £20
Prescriptions for colitis = £30
My Fuel to work and parking =£200
DP’s fuel to work = £120
Rent = £700
Council Tax £123
Total = £3007
Income remaining to cover all other household bills: £925

In comparison…..

SIS works 24 hours pw on minimum wage and lives in a rented property also costing £700 pm. Her DH looks after their 3 DC’s (2, 4 and 6), whilst SIS works 24 hours per wk at a local shop. Their weekly income is as follows

£662.69 PT job
£268.32 WCTC
£716.17 CTC
£99.40 Council Tax benefit
£618.84 HB
Total monthly income £2365.42

After contributing towards her monthly rent (£81.12) and council tax (£24.96) and fuel costs they are significantly better off than we are with a disposable monthly income of £1541. Add to that free school meals, prescriptions and dental care and they’re left with about £700 more than us. SIS has also enrolled on a photogrpahy course which costs £695 but she recieves 90% subsidy (something I am a little envious of!).

In our case, its the childcare that crippling, I know this will drop as our kids get bigger but in the meantime it really is better of one of us gives up work! Which is just as well as DP has been made redundant!

Even if DP stays at home and I continue to work in a stressful job doing 40+hours pw with a further 13 hours travelling I would still be worse off than my sister, hence we are sitting here discussing the options of me leaving the rat race in favour of a part time job at the local coffee shop!

ssd Fri 23-Nov-12 14:37:29

thank you mumstonic, someone with an actual example instead of thinly veiled insults and hearsay

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 15:01:21

You're welcome ssd.

We forgot to add CB of £204 to my sisters monthly income, so looking again at the figures it really does make more economical sense to downshift to PT work!

Total madness though, we would go from paying tax on two FT incomes to not paying any tax at all, yet still qualify for benefits equal to a £30K salary AND be able to work PT under income tax threshold!

janey68 Fri 23-Nov-12 15:04:49

Thank you mumstonic - I'm glad you agree. Its a ridiculous system and a real disincentive for people to work in challenging, skilled, medium paid jobs

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 15:49:29


Did your sister actually say she received free school meals for the kids?

Most LA's will not award fsm if the household receives working tax credits even if your income is below the threshold.

fluffygal Fri 23-Nov-12 16:06:46

I am in the last year of my degree, I used the turn 2 us calculator and I will be no better off when I qualify whilst I have children. And that's the key isn't it? When my children are all grown I will still have that wage, whereas if I kept working in my current role, I would have a massive drop in income once my children reach 18 as tax credits would stop.

It doesn't bother me too much as I know in the long run, I will be better off.

janey68 Fri 23-Nov-12 16:26:15

Fluffygal- the longer term is the main reason some people keep working through the time that childcare wipes out their earnings. HOWEVER I think that another aspect of our dire economic situation is that many of the 'carrots' that previously existed are no longer there. If you know that your pension is going to be slashed in value (despite contributions increasing) and you know that if you work hard you'll end up having to sell any assets to pay for care later on (whereas if you don't have any assets the same level of care will be provided for you!) then it's yet another example of rubbish systems which don't incentivise people to work hard and be financially independent.

Maybe there's a phase inbetween having young children and high childcare costs, and bring screwed at the end of your working life too... Though looking at some of my friends with older children going through uni who have to pay for their maintenance because the adult child isn't entitled to the full loan... And looking at other friends with even older children who can't downsize because their graduate children can't afford to move out... I do find myself wondering how long that phase will be!!

We have a whole generation Who have been sold a lie: work hard, do well and you will be rewarded.
More like: work hard, do well and you'll find you're no better off than if youd worked less.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 17:16:19

mumstonic, no way would your sisters children get free school meals on that income.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 17:32:30

mumstonic you would be better off getting a pre paid prescription certificate if you are spending £31 per month on prescription charges.

A three monthly PPC is £29.10. This saves you money if you need four or more items in three months
A 12 month certificate is £104.00 and saves money if 15 or more items are needed in 12 months

ssd Fri 23-Nov-12 17:34:23

well janey, you were right and I'm totally shocked!!

JakeBullet Fri 23-Nov-12 17:36:05

If your DSIS gets WTC then it makes her ineligible for free school meals....been there. I get them now as a non working Carer.

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 17:48:57

I just called my sister and she advised that she thought she was entitled to fsm but we've just checked online and she isn't. Only one of her DC's is at school and she sends a packed lunch anyway.

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 17:51:04

You have just called you sister?

did you tell her you need to query something as you are discussing her benefits on MN?

What was her response?

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 17:59:39

mumstronic thank you very much for posting your financial (and Dsis's) situation. i too am shocked. really shocked. i have always believed that i would be better off working full time regardless. i'm about to become self employed and under the new universal credit system it appears i will have to be earning the equivalent of full time hours at minimum wage but as much as i hate to say that, i'm wondering why i am bothering after looking at your figures. i'm sure i'm not the only one thinking that. that really is very disheartening.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 18:09:46

But mumstonics figures [hers not her sisters] basically show that she pays a lot of childcare as do many, her sisters situation may seem 'better' but she is earning min wage which mumstonic clearly isn't, how long will mumstonic be paying out that level of money on childcare? certainly not for long.

When her childcare costs go down she will be quids in whereas her sister will still be earning the same as she is now with the same disposable income.

Lots of people talk about the benefits of being skint due to childcare costs for a while but it being worth it in the long run just to keep a career [and high earnings] going long term.

Darkesteyes Fri 23-Nov-12 18:13:46

Workfare doesnt help matters either. Just found this through Twitter.

profiting from workfare; encourage organisations to pledge to boycott it; and actively inform people of their rights.

Know your rights! Visit consent.me.uk and donotsign.com

Workfare in Shoe Zone this Christmas
Posted: November 23rd, 2012 | Author: boycottworkfare | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
This week, Boycott Workfare has been contacted by a concerned member of staff working at high street retailer Shoe Zone. Their first hand experience, which they bravely wanted to share with us all, provides yet more evidence that workfare is replacing paid jobs. As with Argos and Superdrug, Shoezone are using ‘work experience’ from the job centre to cover the busy Christmas period instead of employing temporary staff or giving current staff the option of over-time. Here is their story:

“I work in Shoe Zone in the south east. This week our manager has held three ‘interviews’ with people sent from the job centre. They are to help us for up to 30 hours a week for 8 weeks over the Christmas period. One of them stated he would only be getting his bus fare paid by the job centre. This is to be called ‘work experience’. If there is work to do over Christmas surely we could hire staff for 8 weeks in a proper fashion? I am sickened that my manager imagines they are doing these people a favour of some sort to ‘let them experience work’. I get the feeling that head office will be very pleased with themselves too to keep a store running smoothly over Christmas without actually using any extra resources, when these work experience placements can pick up the slack.

The three people start today on this ‘work experience’ and I am terrified by the idea that head office think they don’t need to pay their staff and can run a store with people from the job centre. i myself am on part-time minimum wage and if they can have workers for free now what is to stop them making my position redundant and using job centre people to run the store at no cost to themselves? If my hours are cut next year, i shall know why.

I do not feel its right these people will be expected to do the same work as our usual staff. Even worse, i will be expected to keep an eye on them to make sure no mistakes are made when pulling stock and writing labels etc- extra work we could do without at Christmas time. They will not be authorised to use the tills or ordering system but everything else including dealing with customers, they will be expected to do. Its a disgrace. I fear for the safety of my job at the moment and in the future if this ‘work experience’ continues.”

Landlords see most of that especially in private let's

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 18:21:53

Amber raises a very good point.

While the sister may be better off now, mumstonic would be much better off in the future. mumstonics has a higher earning potential when her kids get older and her sister and sisters dh will struggle to find a ft job each. which probably won't pay as well as mumstonic

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 18:23:33

Terrible isn't it TheHumanCatapault? What's with them letting someone else live in their property and paying to maintain the property and paying tax on their income? Surely they should jaunt let people live there for free, no matter how much they paid to acquire the place. hmm

Landlords do see the majority of that £500, yes.
Anyone saying that working people would also have to find that money is blind to the fact that the biggest claimants of housing benefit are those in work in low income jobs.

The housing market prices are obscene and need correcting, then the cap won't cause unnecessary suffering.

Oh come on Freddos. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts either, these 'properties' are assets. They will one day ultimately profit from them.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 18:31:36

Mumstonic, the difference between your family and your SIL is that she's going to be buggered when the kids grow up and you, barring disasters obviously, will not be. With that in mind, I'd think very carefully about giving up your 43k job.

Meglet Fri 23-Nov-12 18:37:25

I earn £9k and I don't get free school meals. Or housing benefit or council tax benefit. Just working and childcare tax credits. I don't think I'll be much better off when DD starts school as after school club and school dinners will wipe out most of my expenses.

But I am studying via the OU so I can hopefully earn more (even part-time) in a couple of years.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 18:37:53

I'm sure they are hoping they will eventually profit from them, but they might not. That's how investments work. BTL landlords face losing money if house prices come down.

So what if they're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Why should they? Being a landlord is a lot of responsibility, it take time and it takes money. They deserve to be paid for the service they provide. It's not their fault that someone else can't afford market rate rent without HB.

HB/LHA is paid to the claimant. For their housing costs. It rarely gets paid directly to the LL, and it's not the landlords fault that their tenants have to house themselves on taxpayers money, or that the government hasn't provided enough social housing.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 18:41:24

Outraged, that is not the point, the point is that that money isn't in the benefit claimants hands as is often implied.

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 18:42:33

One of the reasons London prices are so high is the subsidies given. End the subsidies and maybe housing will become more affordable for people wanting to live in the houses not people out to make a quick buck at the taxpayer's expense.

They can get their 'reward' when they sell their 'asset'.
Housing should not be a money earner. It should be a right to have a roof over your head. People profiteering grossly from that is just wrong.

JakeBullet Fri 23-Nov-12 18:44:10

"Being a LL takes time and money" <hollow laugh> .

Not if you were my ex LL it didn't, he never did any repairs and I moved out when the house basically became uninhabitable. I won't even begin to go n about the weeks n a freezing house with no heating which worked because he had not got round to sorting out repairs.

I have no doubt there are excellent LL out there but some are also right money grabbing bastards.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 18:45:13

Neither is the money that I get in my salary after I have paid income tax, national insurance, housing costs and utilities, but it still comes in and goes out of my bank account. Exactly the same as housing benefit does for people that claim it.

Everyone has to pay to live, I don't really see what your point is. The vast majority of us are able to see that most benefit money ends up being spent on essentials like rent, just the same as people's salaries do.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 18:47:06

All the good buy to let LLs are Mumsnetters!

My experience of private renting [admittedly a long time ago] was that my LL practically ignored his property/my home.

Broken boiler for three weeks anyone?

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 18:48:10

Oh and no my LL wasn't doing me any sort of favour in 'letting' me live in his property, I was paying to live there.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 18:48:13

Jake, there are bad tenants and bad landlords. It works both ways. You can't assume everyone in either of the categories is bad just because of a few.

Glitter, what about paying the LL for being on call to sort out problems and arrange repairs? Do they not deserve to be paid for that work? And what about if their investment fails and they don't get the reward at the end? Is that just tough shit because they shouldn't have had the cheek to try and provide for their own futures?

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 18:48:24

Nora, my sister was here with me earlier and we were discussing this very subject and she's happy for me to post.

For what its worth she can see the system is barmy. Her DH wants to work but they cant afford the childcare. Dsis wants to find a more challenging job with more hours but sadly the financial insentive isnt just isnt there. As a result they feel stuck in a career rutt, whilst myself and DP feel totally disheartened.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 18:49:22

outraged, often the implication is that benefit claimants have £500 notes to splash about town every week.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 18:51:04

Ha ha at LLs being 'on call' to sort out problems!

garlicbaguette Fri 23-Nov-12 18:51:20

I realise the conversation has moved along, but has anyone seen this today?

Why 2013 will be a boom year for bailiffs and slum landlords

"This month we just slipped back 46 years, to before Ken Loach's Cathy Come Home shocked the nation on the plight of homeless families. His film – about a family falling into ever worse housing, from caravan to hostel, until their children are taken into care – launched a change in the law that entered the national state of mind. From then on, the welfare state would house the vulnerable with nowhere else to go. Local authorities were given a legal obligation to take families in and find them social housing locally at an affordable rent. No longer.

"As of this month, the government has quietly changed the law. All a council need do is find a private landlord anywhere with a one-year lease, and wash their hands of them thereafter. Families can be housed anywhere with an "affordable" rent, hundreds of miles away in districts where rents are cheap because jobs are non-existent. Wrench children out of schools, parents from their jobs, take families away from where they lived for generations without the means to pay train fares for visits home – all this breaks the social contract on housing. So do the deep cuts in housing benefit: this week, regulations were laid that will set off a catastrophic and chaotic exodus in April."

"The government likes to quote bizarre cases of families housed in £100,000 a year mansions: it emerges that there were just five of these temporary oddities."

I am horrified.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 18:53:43

I am a tenant but i dont think LL are to blame TBH. they still have mortgages to pay and the rent they charge has to cover that aswell as the expense incurred in maintaining a property. it's the high cost of property that is the problem. alot of people who bought BTL properties ten years ago with the hope of making a profit would not be able to sell for a profit now. i know that ten years isn't very long in investment terms but now is when people need to release their money as things are so bad. and if property prices should be lower then these people (and all other families who are paying mortgages) will lose money. it's a really hard one to fix without alot of people suffering.

i'm happy to be corrected about any of the above as i know very little about the economy in general so maybe there is something about BTL LLs that i dont know about.

porridgewithalmondmilk Fri 23-Nov-12 18:54:11

Just five?

That's still half a million - that would be a lot of money for a hospital, for example, would it not?

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 18:57:05

Why do people always say things like that about hospitals? as if that money would have gone towards hospitals!

You know they are shutting down hospital departments left right and center don't you? and not because of five fucking 'mansions'

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 19:00:05

outraged, often the implication is that benefit claimants have £500 notes to splash about town every week.

I disagree. It might be what a few numptys that comment on the Daily Mail website think, but I think people on MN have got it.

And I really don't see that it makes that much difference. People on a decent wage have to pay housing costs too, no one assumes that they don't. I think that by saying there is often this implication, you are not crediting people with enough intelligence. People know others have to pay housing costs out of the money they get, and still quite often think they get too much.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 19:00:08

also, any sensible LL will find out what the LHA rate is for their size property in their area. if they have a 3 bed they will know how much their tenants will be entitled to receive (at most) and price the place accordingly. in my area rents are pretty reflective of the LHA rates just a bit higher.

porridgewithalmondmilk Fri 23-Nov-12 19:00:12

I think it's a lot of money and I think it would be better spent elsewhere.

I wasn't rude in making my point so I'm not sure why you felt the need to swear at me!

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 19:03:19

Affordable rent doesn't mean an extortionate rent subsidised by the tax payer. I saw a programme once that said they can't build more council houses in places where people want to live because of green belt rules. So I think it's more complicated than just use the rent subsidies to build more houses. I think this country has more people than it can comfortably take care of TBH.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 19:04:18

Porridge, I didn't swear at you, I used a swear word in my post.

If I said FUCK OFF porridge, that would be me swearing at you.

But I didn't.

So why did they hike my rent from 'social' to not very affordable then?

porridgewithalmondmilk Fri 23-Nov-12 19:05:28

Fair enough Amber

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 19:06:38

you are not crediting people with enough intelligence

I know, I generally don't when it comes to matters such as this, experience has told me that people are wilfully ignorant.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 19:08:06

Maybe it's not that they are wilfully ignorant, it's more that they fundamentally disagree?

garlicbaguette Fri 23-Nov-12 19:08:51

"There is no legal definition of an "affordable" rent, but most people might presume it should never eat into the absolute minimum the state provides to keep a family alive. Yet, even after families are exported, many of these "affordable" rents will leave them with virtually no money to live on. One estimate finds only Middlesbrough has rents low enough for a family with four children to pay up and still keep the sum unemployment benefits are supposed to provide for bare survival.

"Meanwhile, many of these families won't be able to pay the 20% of council tax due in April. That will mean huge arrears for councils, with bailiffs bills adding to the cost."

There are already people paying rents - the cheapest they could find - that leave them with £20 a week or less for bills and food.

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 19:12:54

Maybe, but I think a great number are actually just wilfully ignorant.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 19:42:50

mumstonic perhaps your sister needs to think about the future,

Job with no prospects with income top ups


Job with prospects without need for top ups

Same financial result short term.

If your sister does have the choice and she is choosing not to pick the one with prospects because she would prefer to currently receive the same income via top ups then she's an idiot who probably deserves to have troubles in the future.

outraged if I showed you a photo of a duck and said it was a horse and you replied no its a duck, would we just be fundamentally disagreeing or would I be wrong.

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 20:52:36

Sockret - Its the system is idiotic not the individuals.

It’s unfair to encourage people into work by offering massive financial incentives and then say, well actually it’s not the 'right' work there are no prospects so you're an idiot.

Yes, longer term I may be better off but define long term?....

Another 4-5 years paying full time nursery fees, followed by a further 7-8 paying after school care, after which we'll then have DD1's university fees to consider?

DSIS agrees, working PT in a shop isn’t the most challenging, but when asked 'would you swap places with me?' working double the hours, more stress, less time with DC's for another 10 years+ the answer was a most definite NO!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 21:06:00

I didn't say it wasn't the right work I don't think there is right or wrong work its all just work to me.

It was actually you who implied your sister wouldn't put in any additional effort without instant financial reward and that was the only thing stopping her that's your sister exercising personal choice not the system forcing her. There is a difference

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 21:06:37

Sock, you would be wrong, obviously grin

Outraged no but just pointing out tennant not see £500 here £300 goes to LL and yes there'd a premium here if On HB they know you won't have much choice of LL or property's

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 21:16:44

As to long term, to start with when universal credit comes in part time nmw workers will be treated like people claiming Jsa sent for interviews sanctioned if they don't go etc.

Your income is probably not at the whim of who ever sits in number ten or a pen pusher who thinks you should not go to your shift at your actual job that pays you so you can attend a job interview that may be for a zero hour contract where they can offer you the job subject to you waiving your employment rights in exchange for worthless shares by a company that has been offered massive tax breaks for doing so and if you don't accept it you get your tax credits sanctioned for 3 months. ( only one bit of that threat is only still a possibility)

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 21:23:48

sock why will people who alreday work have to go for a JSA interview and apply for another job?

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 21:26:57

Because they arent working enough hours or earning enough money....tis the new rules courtesy of david cameron.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 21:32:09

sad and scared for so many people.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 21:53:10

Because under uc part time workers become the new benefit scum

By the way I don't believe that it's not my view point

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 21:57:02

are people talking about this in all of your RLs? no-one is talking about this in mine. i only know it's happening because of MN. not one RL person has mentioned it. do people in know?

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 22:00:59

I knew somebody who worked and received £900 a month in childcare allowance. I was amazed. That would almost have paid for another person to be employed. I can't see how this was fair in any way with so many unemployed people.

AudrinaAdare Fri 23-Nov-12 22:07:42

Rules for partnerships where one person is a carer for a disabled child will change too. Currently the working partner has to do 16 hours to qualify for WTC. Under Universal Credit it will be 30 plus ie face the same conditionality as any working person.

That alone will affect parents of severely disabled children not to mention the assumption that you will make minimum wage. That's quite ironic given that the governments recently haven't been able to sort out a living one.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 23-Nov-12 22:08:16

People don't seem to be talking about this in RL, personally i think this is because people don't realise it will affect part time workers&the self employed.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 22:08:27

but vivienne if they hadn't subsidised that £900 (in favour of paying another employee) of childcare that person wouldn't have been able to work and so would then become unemployed filling the space in the queue that the new employee had just left. with that sort of thinking you're really only looking at employing people with no children. you could always suggest wages go up to cover the childcare but who subsidises that? employers? how can they afford it?

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 22:10:05

i'm going to bring up UC with a few friends in RL and see what they know or think about it.

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 22:11:28

Wayyyy back when I got a lot of working tax credits it did actually pay for another person to be employed, it paid for my childminder who had my 2, her 2 and only a couple of other children she could be paid for.

Childcare allowances not only let the parent work they create Childcare jobs and get money into the economy and make a huge amount of economic sense on many levels.

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 22:13:14

I still think it was unfair and what made it worse was that it was a government department. That money could have paid for two people to have a job. The person was getting almost as much in childcare top up as she was earning. I think this is quite simply wrong.

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 22:13:43

Oh and if the rules transfer, it's a single parent working 16 hours or a couple working 24 who will be eligible for the working element of uc and households eligible for Wtc at the moment aren't subject to the benefit cap.

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 22:15:46

I completely disagree Vivienne for so many reasons.

Not least being that not everyone can earn the ridiculous amounts needed to pay for Childcare, especially while young enough to have children, and it's an investment in their and their children's futures.

How do you feel about the special "free" Childcare set up for single parents and vulnerable families who aren't working then?

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 22:16:53

vivienne have you read mine and rhonda's posts? what is unfair about it? confused

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 22:21:20

There really isn't such a thing as 'free childcare'. There have to be decisions made and a fair system put in place. How many taxpayers does it take to subsidise that £900 a month. Nine people on say £14,000 a year paying £100 a month tax each to subsidise one person's childcare. Sorry I simply think this is wrong.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 22:28:01

dont forget the person recieving the childcare award will also be paying tax!

so what are you saying vivienne. parents can only work in jobs that pay well over the cost of childcare? how do you do this? raise wages? lower childcare costs? or just not employ parents in jobs paying less than £20,000?

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 22:29:35

and what do we do with all these parent who are suddenly unemployable? the dole queues are long enough!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 22:30:03

Ronda tax credits have already changed to the 24 h rule.

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 22:39:12

Will this £26,000 a year benefit rule include the cost of childcare. Will there be a cap on how much somebody can get. I haven't actually thought about that one. I think the squeezed middle are the ones I feel quite sorry for. On a treadmill never getting anywhere.

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 22:43:17

I'm curious to know more about UC, after my chat today with DSIS and of course this thread. Also DP's redundancy has prompted me to re-evaluate things.

I've just found this site (not sure how official or accurate it is) and UC appears to make very little difference to someone in a similar situation to my DSIS.


For someone working 24 hours p/w earning £662 they would still qualify for top ups resulting in a take home pay of £2265 + Council tax benefit which is to be administered at a local level. Assuming this was £1000 per yr this would equate to an equivalent salary of £35,226.

How can someone in a part time role earn more than a full time police officer or nurse??

Also, Sock are you saying that even if a person works 24 hours pw, they would still be expected to go for other jobs with longer hours? If that’s the case it’s bloody ludicrous. Firstly who will work in PT jobs and what about the small companies that can only afford to employ 1 or 2 part time employees?..... bookkeepers, cleaners, bar staff, waitresses?

Surely if a person is already working they're classed as employed? I'd like to see evidence to support the idea that a pt worker would be made to change jobs for more hours and money.

IAmSoFuckingRock Fri 23-Nov-12 22:46:35

"Firstly who will work in PT jobs and what about the small companies that can only afford to employ 1 or 2 part time employees?..... bookkeepers, cleaners, bar staff, waitresses?"

good point! i hadn't thought of that.

CrunchyFrog Fri 23-Nov-12 22:47:58

Vivienne I pay more each week in childcare than I earn.

So that's nice.

Would I be better staying home, d'ya think?

I'll be paying childcare longer than most people, DC2 has ASD so won't be independent for longer than the average child (I don't pay CC for 9 year old DD except in school holidays, because she can be farmed out to various family members without much impact - a child with SN is a different matter.)

I used to (when married and earning £32,000) get no help with CC, and it crippled me. Now, as a single parent on just above min wage, I get help, and it enables my employer to pay piss poor wages, my childminder to make a living wage (she makes far more than I do) and my landlord and all the others in the area to charge way more rent than minimum wage workers earn.

I'm propping up capitalism with my poor earning skills, yay me! << hint of sarcasm.>>

AmberLeaf Fri 23-Nov-12 22:51:31

It is ridiculous, but im surprised people are surprised TBH!

This is made up by rich tories who won't be affected.

AudrinaAdare Fri 23-Nov-12 22:56:16

Some good news r.e Universal Credit

If I fucked-up half that badly I'd lose my job. How I would love to see that man on workfare. Still, nice to see that it is all saving lots of money hmm

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 22:58:51

God sock I can't keep up - what is it now? ( apparently neither can hmrc website)

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 22:59:18

I'm a bit shite at doing links unless there amazon but its on the DWP website.and if you check the money and in the news boards links about it are all over them.

And seriously that's what I mean yes that's what's going to happen and they can make you change jobs repeatedly until you earn over a certain amount.

And don't count on ctb its now going to be up to the la if they offer any assistance to anybody.

As to the squeezed middle I understand things are hard at the mo but I will start banging on about the injustice against them when I stop coming into contact with decent law abiding people who routinely get there cards declined when attempting to buy bread and beans.

expatinscotland Fri 23-Nov-12 23:01:09

'Will this £26,000 a year benefit rule include the cost of childcare. Will there be a cap on how much somebody can get. I haven't actually thought about that one.'

Yes if it's via tax credits.

Oh, we're talking about it loads here. This is a rural area with nearly all part-time and seasonal jobs and shift work where you have to run a car for most jobs at all. Many of us are about to get shafted.

Move? Wouldn't that be nice! So you leave the job you have to go into a city and compete with everyone else in the same boat? What about your mortgage, if you have one, or your rent?

Even the HA officer admitted the plans were ill-thought-out, short-sighted and will end up costing more in monies to house the homeless resulting from the caps. Let's not forget, 80% of those who claim HB or LHA are in work.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 23:02:43

A couple can only get wtc if they work 24 h or more unless ones a carer or pensioner but lone parents are still 16 h.

Think it came in last year or year before

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 23:06:06

Sock that's what I said. 17 hours for a lone parent and 24 for a couple.


Wtc and presumably it's replacement ic element are not included in the cap. Childcare costs are paid under wtc. It's bad but please let's not all panic more than we must.

And 26k net is a 35k gross wage.

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 23:06:31

17??? 16!

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 23:08:23

Sock I get you - I meant if existing rules transfer to the new ic. Sorry.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 23-Nov-12 23:11:20

Childcare won't (currently) be included in the cap because it's part of working tax credit and families in receipt of WTC are exempt from the cap. Whether that changes either with the introduction of UC or at some other point in the future remains to be seen. The childcare allowance was cut from 80% to 70% of costs as part of the Coalition's first budget so they're certainly not averse to cutting it.

When I worked full time my childcare costs were £450 pw - my weekly wages were £200. I could not have worked for as long as I did without the tax credit subsidy, and the cuts that were made to it (which amounted to £30 a week for me and anyone else using the full allowance for two or more children) had a part in me leaving my job. That subsidy meant I could work and pay income tax/NI but it also created a job for my nanny and meant that she paid tax/NI and I paid employer's NI. FWIW, in terms of immediate costs I cost the country less on benefits than I did working, because of my low wage.

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 23:16:18

Sorry phone is correcting uc to ic for some reason

garlicbaguette Fri 23-Nov-12 23:35:37

YY, the new housing policy has ALREADY been made law. It's happening next April.

From then, the bedroom tax will be in full force. This affects people like me, who went for a low-quality 2 bed when HB was still allocated by cost (ie, I got a single person's allowance but found a 2-bed that it would cover). Now I'm not allowed to have a spare room and, from April, will be penalised. I will not get help with moving costs. It's unclear how the bedroom rule affects divorced parents and others with variable needs, for example two children one of whom has seizures and cannot safely share.

Council tax benefit will only be 80% even for those with full entitlement.

Councils' obligation to house the homeless is limited to finding a place for them - anywhere in the country. Say you and your family are evicted next April, maybe because your lease has run out or the landlord wants to refurbish (private tenancies are only 6 months by law, remember). You go to the council. They say they've found you a flat 400 miles away. You have to go. Never mind your jobs, DCs' school, family, doctors, everything: if you need the council's help with housing, you must go where they send you.

Bearing in mind that few low earners or non-earners can save the deposit (usually 2 months' rent) and the cost of moving to an unspecified location, this is clearly going to lead to utter chaos and widespread misery.

Housing associations are issuing financial warnings all over the country. The new law will make things even harder for them, presenting an imminent risk that floods of tenants - many vulnerable - will need rehousing, but no housing will be available at affordable levels.

The burden of housing benefits will fall on the councils people are moved into, not the ones getting rid of them. Since the cheapest housing is in the worst-funded areas, this may lead to councils going bankrupt or raising rents artificially to keep people out.

It is true that UC dictates part-time workers must attend jobsworth schemes, including workfare, interviews, box-ticking fiestas and whatever else the DWP tells them to when they tell them. This means that a part-time waitress may not be able to go into her paid work because she's been sent to work full-time, for nothing, by the jobcentre.

As part of this drive to force the nation into non-existent full-time jobs, everyone will have to put their CVs online, do their jobsearches, their diaries and their bookkeeping online ... and the records will be linked to all the other data held by the DWP. Going by past performance, this means that your medical records, bank details, address and your exact whereabouts will be available to any nine-year-old hacker and people who find USB sticks left on train seats.

I'm relieved to see Mad Ian's staff have left him and his UC system doesn't work! However, I wouldn't put it past him to push the thing through regardless - meaning that this insanity will be run by a garbled computer system, monies will be transferred randomly to the wrong people and 800 people will turn up for the same flat in Middlesbrough or workfare placement at Argos.

I can only think people aren't talking about it because they assume it's all scaremongering and no government could be this insane. Sadly, it is all true. The above - and more, and worse - has ALREADY been made law.

Oh, and don't think about challenging this through the courts as your legal rights have already been cut in half and they're just trying to wangle their secret proceedings bill through. That one means the government may choose whether to allow access to the details of any case. This includes controlling your access to the details of your own case.

Don't believe me? Check it out. I have. Then start telling everyone.

garlicbaguette Fri 23-Nov-12 23:36:59

Vivienne, I need to catch up on cross-posts but am not really seeing why you say the childcare money could have paid someone's wages? It did pay someone's wages - the child carers!

rhondajean Fri 23-Nov-12 23:39:59

Garlic. On Monday the dwp managers told us that you are only eligible for costs for a room for your children if you receive child benefit for them.

So mum and dad divorce. Dad has a room for his two daughters every second weekend. Mum claims cb. Dad loses job. He now has to find 14% of his total housing costs to keep a room for his children.

This was in the case study they gave us to consider do I am sure I have this correct.

mumstonic Fri 23-Nov-12 23:43:01

I've searched and I've searched and I cannot find any evidence to suggest that someone working 24 hours per week would be forced to find an alternative job with more hours and better pay.

According to the DWP site, people are encouraged to work more hours, but I cant find anything to suggest its compulsory to still look for FT work. My understanding is, if someone worked more hours in any given month, their benefit would reduce accordingly, yet they would keep more of their earnings and be better off?

I could see this working as an incentive for people wanting to take overtime to earn a bit extra without fear of losing their entitlement providing the online system thats linked directly to HMRC actually works which it inevitably won't and cost millions to set up

What worries me is that HB will go directly to the claimant and not the landlord...recipe for disaster? how many people will not pay their rent and lose their home?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 23-Nov-12 23:49:44

Garlic the extra room changes will not apply to you( unless they change the rules) it only applies to those in social housing.

Not those in private rented.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 00:01:38

Mumstonic what do you think work conditionality requirements are?

And incentives?

AudrinaAdare Sat 24-Nov-12 00:06:50
AudrinaAdare Sat 24-Nov-12 00:11:14

This is a great thread but where are you O.P?

Are you okay? :headtilt: grin

garlicbaguette Sat 24-Nov-12 00:15:42

Thanks for that, Rhonda. I lost the will to live when I was trying to keep track of what happens with people who need a carer to sleep over, have children who can't share for health reasons and so forth - did you do studies on those, too?

I'll have to tell the council, Sock, as they've already sent a pre-advice! I hope you're right!

Mumstonic, I was going to find the docs for you but have got to go to bed this minute!

Here's a forum post from a man whose part-time employee keeps having to go to JobCentre-related activities.

Here's a page from The Void, who does do his homework, and another from him about the farcical online jobsearch.

garlicbaguette Sat 24-Nov-12 00:16:15

Beat me to it, audrina, thank you smile

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 00:16:27
IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 00:18:49

And you can be sanctioned if the job centre think you don't dress smartly

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 00:26:36

Garlic read this


Scroll down till you get to the bit headed bedroom tax it clearly states only social housing tenants will be deducted

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 00:26:58
AudrinaAdare Sat 24-Nov-12 00:28:33

My sister's long-term unemployed friends and boyfriends all seem to have a large number of facial piercings and offensive neck / hand tattoos. I've wondered if they were deliberately making themselves unemployable and then castigated myself for having right-wing thoughts.

Dressing smartly will be the least of it where I live if that's true.

expatinscotland Sat 24-Nov-12 00:36:05

'What worries me is that HB will go directly to the claimant and not the landlord...recipe for disaster? how many people will not pay their rent and lose their home?'

It already does if you are a private renter, although in some councils you can elect otherwise.

If you lose your home through deliberate non-payment of rent you are classed on non-intentionally homeless.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 00:46:44

Expat I expect lots of people who get sanctioned for not dressing how the DWP want you to,or not taking a 1 hour job offer because it clashes with your other employment, or not going to a DWP meeting because your actually at work and don't want to be sacked, will blow there hb as that won't be sanctioned when your other money has been.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 00:50:06

Audrina its true.

You can be sanctioned for not following the advice/ instructions given during a DWP meeting, these meetings partly focus on making you more employable and appearance is actually mentioned as one of the things to advise on.

AudrinaAdare Sat 24-Nov-12 00:52:47

When I needed HB I could opt for it to go directly to my landlord. Is this option not going to be available now?

I really worry about my sister. She has "good" weeks and "bad" weeks because tax credits / income support come in either weekly or fortnightly. I have tried and tried to explain that she still has the same amount coming in and there is no need to overspend one week and be in debt to everyone the next but she won't have it.

I've tried to get her to budget over a fortnight but no, if it's there it gets spent and fuck the next week because my pensioner Dad buys food and puts money on the meter. I shudder to think how it will be when the rent payments land in her account like a lottery win and food and fuel for the next three weeks will have to be paid for.

I can appreciate the rationale behind it - to encourage responsibility, but people are being set up to fail and as ever, the vulnerable, the children will be the ones who will suffer the most.

expatinscotland Sat 24-Nov-12 00:52:55

I completely expect it, Socking. I know people who've been sanctioned already. Still others, in full-time work, who are not earning enough, apparently.

AudrinaAdare Sat 24-Nov-12 00:57:54

They do seem to be bringing in U.C rules before the dubious legislation has even gone through. We know a newly self-employed person who is busting his guts to start up but because he isn't earning much in a fucking recession yet HMRC have decided he must be doing less than ten hours a week so have cancelled his WTC and reduced the DW's CTC to pay back the "overpayment"

rhondajean Sat 24-Nov-12 09:59:18

Garlic we were told where a room is needed for an overnight caree it where one child has health needs that would disturb the sleep if another child then that could be allowed as a needed room. That was verbal though.

Sorry if there are typos, am on phone and rubbish at typing.

The reasons for potential sanctions are very vague. I'm working with some terrified people just now. There is very little work in the area.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 10:10:47

Rhonda there was a high court case a few months ago disabled children needing there own room the la lost but have appealed .

It's compleatly discretionary and based on disturbance to the none disabled child, not risk not privacy nothing other than sleep disturbance.

And at least 4 ls's have sent out guidance letters that state disabled people with carers are also subject to the change.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 24-Nov-12 10:18:09

From what I read, money can go directly to a landlord if the tenant is vulnerable in some way, so there will be some safeguards in place.

There shouldn't need to be safeguards against people just not paying what they owe though, individuals have to take responsibility for that themselves, and rightly so. There is nothing wrong with making people dress in a way that is going to increase their chances of employment. What's sad is that an unemployed person wouldn't do that anyway and needs to be told. It's just common sense.

Also, not all part time workers are going to be expected to attend interviews etc, only the ones that have to claim top up benefits. People who also have financial income or support from elsewhere, or who work enough part time jobs that they do not need to claim benefits, will be left alone. I don't think it's that unreasonable that if people are going to be given money that the agencies that facilitate the benefit money check up on people to make sure they really need it. If we are in a situation where people deliberately make themselves highly unemployable by having facial tattoos and piercings, then unfortunately these checks have to be made. That's not the fault of the government, it's the fault of people who cannot be trusted o take responsibility for themselves.

FlangelinaBallerina Sat 24-Nov-12 10:27:08

It's possible for HB to go directly to a landlord, but I think only in cases of vulnerability and/or arrears. Of course, part of the reason for this is tacit acknowledgement that lots of HB claimants are renting from private landlords whose insurance doesn't allow it.

AudrinaAdare Sat 24-Nov-12 10:46:38

I wonder if that has gone some way to address housing fraud? I once rented privately via a well-known agency and my landlady was claiming H.B for it and had gone to live with her boyfriend. I had no idea until two people from the council knocked on my door one day.

I suppose everything has its good and bad points.

It does worry me though. The people who have no idea how to earn a living, or even why they should will find a way to get the money they need and the vulnerable will sink.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 24-Nov-12 10:51:30

They need to devise a way of working out who is genuinely vulnerable and who is just unwilling. There is a big difference, and we can't just class people as vulnerable and support them unconditionally if the only reason they are vulnerable is that they are unwilling to make enough effort to take responsibility for themselves.

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 10:55:43

It was pointed out to government when the bedroom 'tax' was dreamed up that it would stop foster carers taking in children - because they need a spare bedroom, foster children can't share. So if they are between foster children when it's assessed, they will be penalised. The Lords amended the legislation to prevent foster parents being hit, but the govt. reversed it. Yet another sign that they are acting out of spite against social tenants, not out of any real principle or reasonable policy.

It's unbelievably stupid, because there is already a massive shortage of foster carers and children's homes are far more expensive, even without looking at the suitability for children and risk of exploitation.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 11:23:30

Edam foster carers will be hit even if they currently have foster children. Foster children are not classed as children by hb.

outraged you are just picking an extream it is entirely probable that you could get sanctioned because the job centre staff member does not approve of your shirt because its red.

Of course it's not all part time employees only the poor ones or the low paid. I know we often clash on threads like this but even you must be able to see one of the glaringly obvious problems that being

A nmw employee lets say she's worked for many years in a shop she works the same hours every week as her boss won't change her hours due to several other staff needing the hours they do. She gets told she has to attend a interview elsewhere but on a day she's ment to be working, if she refuses she gets her money stopped if it happens more than once she could be sanctioned for up to 3 years .or she goes and risks pissing her boss off he could sack her, she gets offered the job but its a 0 hour contract that obliges her to keep herself free just incase they need her does she quit her job that she knows gives her 16 hours for 0 hours?

Also why would anybody assume a part time employee would need lessons on how to be employable they are already employed so surely they already are employable.

rhondajean Sat 24-Nov-12 11:26:19

We were told on Monday that local authorities have a discretionary fund. I forget the name. At present it's used for disabled adaptations but it could be used to top up hb where required. Every local authority in Scotland has said they will do this and foster caters are their top priority.

To put it into perspective, they named a few las where the total fund is 70-80k per year and the gap from the hb changes is 600k - 1 mill. But they have set foster caters as priority.

I'm not sure if England is the same.