not lack of jobs - lack of ambition!

(411 Posts)
eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:21:34

I know very, very little about politics, and if you can help me see this from a different perspective, please do!

A friend is a labour party member, and we recently had a row.I have a good friend (I like her for her personality, not for her life choices) who had a baby at 16 and is on benefits. She has a now 4 year old, starting school in September. She has a huge two bed flat in london (we would love to live where she does! but couldn't afford it), sky tv, the child has a nintendo ds, new clothes all the time, constant days out. I said it makes me angry that me and DP work (we also had a baby young) really really hard. Firstly, I had to go back after 9months, while she gets to sit on her bum until her kid is 5. Secondly, she gets free childcare! She had 2year old funding and 3 year old funding, while the £50 a day to put my 1year old in nursery makes it barely worth me working.

This is the point where we had a row. My labour friend said that it's not her fault that she's on benefits, there's no jobs to make it worth her working. However, if you spoke to my other friend, she has never even considered working. She said to me last week, when her daughter goes to full time school in sept, she has two options: 1) have another baby and get another 5years 6months, which she's planning on doing. 2)Wait until sept, then she has another 6months on job seekers to get pregnant. HOW IS THAT FAIR????? she isn't even looking after her daughter for the past two years, because she's in nursery. Why does this woman get to sit on her bum with free childcare? Why isn't she made to do voluntary work as a fully abled 22 year old with 10 gcse's, or at least made to go with her daughter to nursery and learn parenting skills, which is what I assume they think she lacks if her daughter gets so much funding!

I'm not saying that everyone on benefits/job seekers allowance isn't looking for work. I know how hard it was for DP to find work, it took months of hundreds of applications. I'm saying that while a life on benefits is so cushty and just relies on a baby every five years, no one has the incentive to work! labours answer was increase the working wage. I disagree, she's comfortable, why would she go out to work just for a few extra quid a week?

realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 13:25:27

Maybe you would be happier with Tory friends?

realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 13:26:27

..or even joining the Tory party.I think you would fit in very well.

I wouldnt say life on benefits is cushty but i would imagine that for someone say like your friend - it would be very hard to get a job which would pay enough to cover what her outgoings are and that she can afford to take time off from when the holidays are on.

I totally blame the system - there should be massive incentives to get mums back to work - subsidised/free child care etc etc......

Realistically she is not going to want to go to work is she if she is going to be worse off.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:27:54

so you think you should get free childcare even if you're not working? surely she should have to do something? college? volunteering? childcare to get her out to work!

I didn't know those not working got free childcare - that is wrong. I also believe that a lot of people are stuck in the benefit trap and don't want to be and a lot of people can't find jobs who want them, and are unfairly lumped together with others. This lady seems to think it's ok. I find that appalling.

she doesnt get free childcare...her child is over 3 so she gets funded to attend pre-school just like the rest of us!

Dawndonna Wed 09-Jan-13 13:33:21

It's not really your business, is it.

DialsMavis Wed 09-Jan-13 13:34:30

If she had 2 year old funding then there must be some issue why it was given, I have read in here that the criteria is quite strict.

3 year old funding is 15 hour a week, so YABU for saying she doesn't look after her child.

HungryHippo89 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:34:48

YANBU - My aunty did this popped a kid out every now and then - 100% lived on benefits and the dads of these kids (5 kids - 5 dads) And i'm not being cynical - She told my mum after the 3rd that this is what she would do. Never worked a day in her life - It's jsut too easy!!

Also I have a friend again with 5 children - 3 different dads she gets more in benefits and CSA then what i get paid for being on mumsnet slogging my guts out for 40 hours a week. And she has said she will only go back to work when all children are well into primary school. Her DP is on a "low income" and he gets some kind of tax credits to bump up his wage i think his tax credits amount to about £14k a year something ridiculous like that he said it pretty much doubles his monthly wage. They live in a beautiful 5 bedroom house which is also paid for ... However this isn't her fault ... if i was in that posistion i wouldn't go back to work .. Totally the peoples fault who deceide how much people get on benefits... It is way too cushy for them!!!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 13:34:48

I have a cousin that made very similar life choices as your friend. She has had her second baby now that her oldest is in school. She has a DP, but he claims to still be living with his parents even though he pretty much lives with her in her three bed council house with garden.

I don't blame her for it, I blame her parents (my aunt and uncle) for letting her grow up to believe that this is acceptable, and the government for making it possible for her to do this.

She doesn't have much of a life, she spends most of her time hanging around the local shopping centre with her friends who are all doing exactly the same thing, so I can't see anything to envy her for. It's still wrong though.

I worry about what she will do when her dc have grown up, especially if they end up repeating the cycle. Her life really will be miserable then.

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 13:35:02

Free childcare?

Do you mean a full day nursery place?

She'll be on about £125 per week then housing benefits, but £125 a week in cash, she sounds really good at budgeting if she manages all those days out and new clothes!

Im impressed she manages bumsitting all day and 'constant' days out too.

coppertop Wed 09-Jan-13 13:37:16

The "childcare" is a pre-school place for 15hrs a week, so the mother is hardly 'sitting on her bum with free childcare'. It's for the benefit of the child.

Only some people will qualify for the 2yr funding but every child has 3yr funding, regardless of the employment status of their parents.

If you really believe it's such a fantastic lifestyle, try it for yourself.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 13:37:44

Wont someone please think of the goat?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 13:38:11

I didn't know those not working got free childcare

It's not free childcare, it's free nursery education, there's a difference. The aim is not to give the parents childcare, it's to give the children access to education that they might not be receiving at home, because research has shown that it give children better outcomes by the time they leave school. It's for the child's benefit, not the parents.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:38:38

I don't know how much she gets. But she gets a lot! You can't really say how much she gets amber because you don't know how much she's entitled to without assessing her individually.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:39:44

Nursery education - still not being looked after by the parents though. Why don't parents have to go with them and learn about ways to help their kids learn? rather than giving them 15hours a week to sit in wetherspoons (which is what she does soemtimes)

BigShinyBaubles Wed 09-Jan-13 13:40:51

YANBU op. I know a few women who got pregnant so they didnt loose their 'easy life'- their exact words not mine.

Nursery education - still not being looked after by the parents though

WTF are you on about? Every child is entitled to attend nursery...god, bitter much?

Why don't you kick out your DH, put yourself at the mercy of the government, walk in her shoes for a bit and then see how you feel about it.

Good friend? Christ, I think not!

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 13:42:06

eggs I actually can say how much she gets!

The government set a limit on what they feel a family in those circumstances can live on, it is the minimum amount that they decide.

Everyone single person in her circumstances will get the same, the only thing that will vary is housing benefits as that will depend on what her rent is.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:43:18

was fully expecting to get flamed! Glad some agree. smile

I also think realcoalfire just because you don't support labour, doesn't make you a tory either. I already said i don't know much about politics.

coppertop Wed 09-Jan-13 13:43:22

"Nursery education - still not being looked after by the parents though. Why don't parents have to go with them and learn about ways to help their kids learn?"

What a wonderful idea. 30 children, up to 60 parents, and the nursery staff all in one place every day. I'm sure that would be extremely educational for all concerned.

Maybe they could continue the same system in schools too.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 13:44:18

In particularly deprived areas, parents are expected to have more involvement in their child's nursery education. The nurseries will call parents in to look over what is being learned on a regular basis, in the hope of getting the parents engaged with their children's education so that hopefully, the cycle doesn't repeat itself.

I completely agree with you that life is made far too easy for people just because they have had a child they have no way of supporting. It's wrong, and this is exactly why I believe child tax credits should be scrapped and why child benefit should be capped to two children. Allowing people to live this kind of life isn't doing them or anyone else any favours.

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 13:44:27

I think Amber might have a fair idea that the OPs "friend" does not get full funded childcare because there is no such provision under current rules. The child is getting the same founded nursery places as all of you who had children in recent years will have been getting. Those of us who had children earlier had to pay for all nursery education: you bunch of useless lay-abouts! grin

The only difference is that the OPs child got it from 2yo- which hardly justifies the OPs moaning about what she has to pay for her 1yo.

CaptainNancy Wed 09-Jan-13 13:45:47

Wow- you live in an area where there are an abundance of 15hr p.w. jobs during nursery time? shock
Where? Where? We'll all move there...

I'm still trying to see where politics plays a part.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:46:16

Well funny enough Betty. I am a good friend. She is a clever girl, with hard working parents but has now got comfortable. You think a good friend should let someone rot like that? Because she will. She's comfortable now, better off than me. But I've got a career. I can't afford the same flat as she's got, but in ten years I'll have a big house. So I think being a good friend means giving her a reality check that's its not going to be okay to live like that forever. She may have money now while her daughter wants things that cost a few quid in Claire's or poundland. But soon she'll want £100 trainers and an ipod. SO YES I AM A GOOD FRIEND ACTUALLY!

Allonsy Wed 09-Jan-13 13:46:24

what a weird post. All children get 15 hours a week at nursery, what the parents do in that time is their business, i used it to get 2 hours peace per day!

and there is a severe lack of jobs out their especially in some areas and where working for minimum wage plus childcare CAN make you considerably worse off, its the system that needs changed i dont think you can blame though stuck in it.

coppertop Wed 09-Jan-13 13:46:53

Small point but if your 22yr-old friend had a baby at 16, wouldn't they be older than 4yrs? confused

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 13:46:59

OP the 15 hrs are hardly "childcare" when where I live you cannot take it at once, has to be 3 separate sessions, so doesn't allow much time for work by the time you drop off and pick up

Theres 153hrs left in the week once you take away the 15, so she's hardly sitting on her arse not looking after her daughter

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 13:47:20

it is the minimum amount that they decide.

What they have decided is too much.

If someone living off benefits can afford to buy their child an iPad, and still be able to go out at the weekend, then they are getting too much.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:48:50

Kind of getting side tracked about the nursery thing? My point is, she's still allowed to sit round till her kid goes to school,then do it all again! Her lifestyle is being funded by all of us working. No one should make a choice to live of others. Benefits are to help people, not to be entitled to!

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 13:50:38

You know it's January when the wintervaal subsides into the sea leaving the field for the usual mythical friends with benefit lifestyles.

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 13:51:04

Yanbu I have a friend who brings in more money in benefits then I earn ! And I have 3 children to look after. But unfortunately the government seem to think that people on benefits need more to live on than those of us who actually get up in the morning drag our kids out at silly I clock and go to work !

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 13:52:29

"But soon she'll want £100 trainers and an ipod. SO YES I AM A GOOD FRIEND ACTUALLY! "

Has noone told you that there is an answer to a child who wants £100 trainers and an ipod? Perhaps your friend can tell it to you?

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:52:39

yes very mythical cory hmm all of us that have said we know someone like that...

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 13:52:45

We should copy what the USA a time limit for claiming job seekers like 2 yrs Max after that u will have to sponge your way rounds friends sofas till you find a job and pay your way

jellybeans Wed 09-Jan-13 13:53:53

'I had to go back after 9months, while she gets to sit on her bum until her kid is 5'.

That depends if you see raising a child as sitting on your ass or as a worthwhile vocation/job; albeit unpaid if it happens to be your own child. For me I don't resent lone parents being able to SAH as I myself am a SAHM with a partner who works. Even as part of a couple I am often exhausted so having to do it all myself 24/7 would be hard work. ALL the gardening and house stuff PLUS full responsibility for the DC! Why not vent about the men that do not pay their way?

You are not a real friend if you are so resentful.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 13:54:04

Ah, first post eggs11.
This 'friend' is imaginary, isn't she?

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:54:17

I think after one child then that's it. You get 9months of income support. Working mums only get 9months materninty why does she get until the kids 5?

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 13:54:36

cory wink

What they have decided is too much

If someone living off benefits can afford to buy their child an iPad, and still be able to go out at the weekend, then they are getting too much

Who's got an ipad?

CaptainNancy Wed 09-Jan-13 13:54:43

sorry- what is stopping you fromdoing the same thing, if you think it's so great?
Oh, could it be because you want a future? Not so grea then, is it?

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 13:54:45

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 13:52:45
"We should copy what the USA a time limit for claiming job seekers like 2 yrs Max after that u will have to sponge your way rounds friends sofas till you find a job and pay your way "

And you don't think this might conceivably lead to a rise in crime rates?

coppertop Wed 09-Jan-13 13:56:16

Methinks the ipad is the new 'plasma TV' on these threads.

Should the goat get an upgrade too?

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 13:57:22

An Alpaca, coppertop?

CaptainNancy Wed 09-Jan-13 13:58:08

No eggs- most of us do not know anyone like this!
I certainly don't.

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 13:59:09

So we just carry on looking after those who have never contributed into the system ? I thought u pay in you get some help back ? But loads of ppl have never even paid into it!

wont someone please think of the poor Ipad grin

FWIW when me and dh were made redundant at the same time a few years ago we claimed jobseekers and housing benefit.
There was no money for days out, new clothes, ipads, there was basically enough money to feed a family of 5, pay gas/electric/water, and whatever bits and bobs came up during that fortnight.
It was not a life of luxury at all and we only did it for 5 months.

Why do people think living on a minimum amount of money from the government is the life of riley?

D'you know, I actually do have a friend who admits, to her shame, that she is better off 'on benefits' She hates it and has been applying for jobs, which she will take if she gets offered one. Of course, everyone's circs are different but it can happen.

Narked Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:35

How lovely that you decided to join Mumsnet to share your concerns.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:49

Why are some people so determined to believe that people like this are imaginary or 'mythical'.

Is it really so hard to believe that when you can live a pretty good lifestyle without having to do anything other than give birth then there are going to be a lot of people that do so?

There are plenty of people that do this thing of having babies evenly spaced out so that they can live off other people for years and years. If you don't want to admit it, then you are probably one of them.

I'm sure if working age benefits were only paid out for children who were conceived while both parents were working, the accidental pregnancy rate would drop dramatically.

thecook Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:55

Posts like this piss me off. Bleating on an on, thinking that their tax pays for everything

I hope you aren't. claiming child benefit cos that is a BENEFIT you know. Or any form of benefit.

But really, mind your own. I work full-time. I personally couldn't give a shit what others claim.

BreconBeBuggered Wed 09-Jan-13 14:01:26

I do know someone who apparently lives like this.

It looks like a truly shit life to me. Overrun with kids and no prospects or money. Not even a lousy llama.

coppertop Wed 09-Jan-13 14:01:32

Oooh! They make Alpaca ipad cases.

The perfect combination.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:02:52

Who's got an ipad?

My aforementioned cousin bought one for her six year olds Christmas present.

FiveSugarsPlease Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:02

Eggs - the free childcare is for the CHILD not the parent.

And it's only a few hours a day. It varies between 12-15 hours a week.

2yo funding is given to children who are deemed to most benefit from it. E.g. in poverty, has a disability, had a sibling who is terminally ill etc.

3yo funding (in Scotland anyway) is considered the first year of education. Although attendence isn't compulsory. The nursery has a cirriuclum to follow. My dd used to go to nursery 5 afternoons a week from 1pm to 3.15pm.

How on earth could anyone fit voluntary work - let alone a job - around that?

Fair enough, if she worked over 16 hours a week, she'd be getting Tax Credits that would pay upto 70% of her child care costs. But as far as i know, childcare is a fortune in London - so it wouldn't cover it.

And i'd strongly advise her against having another baby. Childcare would get more and more expensive, (that 70% decreases with subsequent children) and she'd eventually have to find a job one day.

She must be feeling really low and desperate if she'd consider becoming an LP to another baby in order to get by. Perhaps you should tell your friend to invite her to your next outing? Maybe you should get to now her better before you judge? Maybe you could help her sort out her financial options if you're so bothered about them?

And i'm really offended you're judging her parenting skills on the fact her child gets funding.

My dd got some funding at 2yo because she was delayed. Nothing to do with my parenting skills, thank you very much.

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:12

The reason we might just throw doubt on the OPs credibility is that she claimed that her friend was receiving a huge benefit that it was then proved to her that she couldn't actually be getting under current rules. When that was pointed out to her, she immediately changed her tune and claimed that was a side issue. So why should I believe her figures in the rest of the post? Wouldn't I be more inclined to believe somebody who can get their facts right?

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:14

My son was conceived and brought up my myself and my ex for the first 10 years of his life until I lost my live in job because of the seperation.
I get bits and pieces of work in the summer, nothing in the winter (tourist area),
I can't believe anybody thinks living on benefits is easy.
It's not, it's a pile of shit.

Chandon Wed 09-Jan-13 14:08:41

I know someone like this. We were friends, but when she dumped her youngest DD on me ( aged 3) without an explanation, and then never came to pick her up as she was shock in prison for benefit fraud, the friendship was, erm, never the same. She is now pregnant with her 4th, and simply cannot think of aNother way to live. Which is quite sad actually. She plays teh system, and t sort of works, but it is not a life of riley and sky tv and outings, but rather one of constantly moving house to avoid debt collectors, having to pretend not to live with her partner, which is stressful, and generally not seeing a way out.

It defintely does not just happen in the Daily Mail.

Ime, MN is a very left leaning forum, which means posts like this will not get much sympathy and you. ( and maybe I will too) be accused of trolling or being tories or whatever.

Fact is, Britain got a few things wrong with regards to benefits, and whereas I believe that vulnerable and unlucky people should get generous benefits, pisstakers should not be bale to have access so easily. Abroad, some newspapers say it is an "interesting" strategy of the British Government to pay the poor the have lts of babies....what chances do these kids have once they are older? What future society are we building?

The current benefit system is just enough ( by no means generous, I really don t think) for people to keep afloat, with just nt enough incentive for them to change the status quo. This is nt an ideal situation. And saying that does not make me a tory. I just want support to go out to the people who really need it, and plenty of it, and not to people who choose a life on benefits as a lifestyle choice.

Sidge Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:12

Lots of posters on MN don't seem to believe that there are many people in society that see the welfare state as a way of life. I guess it depends where you live...

For many it certainly is an active choice - the system has made not working a lifestyle choice.

It is the system that should be criticised rather than the individuals. But for many people with poor education, poor employment prospects, a lack of ambition or support, not working has become financially viable and a more attractive option.

badguider Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:39

Does anybody out there actually envy a mother who spends 15hrs a week sitting in weatherspoons while her child's in free nursery? does anybody think that sounds like a great life?
she probably wants another child rather than a job because she's got no education, no prospects and no self esteem.

Threads like this seem be based on an assumption that these people have a 'great life' but i for one would MUCH rather have my life and my work. having a baby at 16 and staying on benefits as long as possible isn't a great life. how will she be at 40? 50? when her children are adults themselves? a life well lived? i doubt it, unless she goes back to education or training of some sort when the children are older.

badguider Wed 09-Jan-13 14:14:34

sorry, i should have said, the point relating to benefits 'paying' and capping them is that cutting benefit will NOT suddenly give a person ambition and self-esteem to get a job. they'll just get hungry and poorer and the children will suffer and be punished for being being born.

Inertia Wed 09-Jan-13 14:18:49

15 hours nursery education per week is not free childcare. Jobs which allow parents to work 9am to 12noon 5 days a week (or a similar inflexible arrangement) are very thin on the ground. And all children all entitled to this nursery education (which is designed to benefit the child, not to provide free childcare). And your friend is looking after her child- I'm sure that the child doesn't attend nusery 24 hours, 7 days a week.

It may well be the case that your friend can't find a job which pays enough to cover her child care costs, let alone the cost of housing etc. And the answer is to make sure jobs pay a living wage, and that childcare costs are affordable- not to slash benefits (many of which support low-income families where people are working but in low paid jobs).

You know, it might be a good idea for you to become interested in politics. Your naivety about the way this government is pitting different sectors of the less wealthy against each other is surprising- usually those who are totally uninterested in politics don't judge entire social policy structures on the basis of one anecdote (unless they are unable to think beyond what the Daily Mail tells the, or they are being wilfully ignorant).

By the way, are you at work? Not mumsnetting on work time are you?

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 09-Jan-13 14:19:26

You are a crap "friend" OP. You clearly hate this person but keep them in your life so you can judge her choices and feel better about yourself. How tragic. Makes me so sad for you. sad see got a sad face and everything.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:19:44

does no one read the thread before they comment? badguider she has 10 gcse's (above c grade, not like e's!) and dropped out of college because she got pregnant within a few months. SO she is educated. She has enough self esteem.
I've said that the reason I'm not envious is beacuse that flat is all she'll ever have. But at the moment, she'shappy with that. But that shouldn't be an option.

cory the childcare is a side issue I said, not the money. I admitted that I don't know how much she's gets, but it's more than £150 a week!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:33

You don't think being hungry is an incentive to get a job? Really?

I don't think anyone envys a mother in this position. I certainly don't and I think a person would have to have serious issues of their own if they did. I do resent it though. When I have family members waiting months for essential operations and friends using wheelchairs that cent even get a decent cushion, then yes, I do resent people who choose to take money of the pot just because they are lazy.

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:41

It's the ones that cheat the system live a life of Riley if your a couple u get sweet FA !

takeaway2 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:53

"I just want support to go out to the people who really need it, and plenty of it, and not to people who choose a life on benefits as a lifestyle choice." - I agree with you chandon

I have a step relative who had her first child at 16, married the bloke a couple of years later, had another. Many years later, just when the first child hit 16 years of age, decided to have another child, 'accidentally', with this bloke that she was then estranged from... Perhaps it was coincidence that the third child came about just as the first child was at the age that she could no longer claim for cb or whatever.

whilst they were married, he never worked. He couldn't even do leaflet distribution. He just never worked. His first child, when asked 'where's daddy', replied 'oh, daddy is sitting on his arse downloading stuff off the internet'.

Whilst they were estranged, she sold her council house, declared herself bankrupt, moved herself and the kids to the mother's house. was put on the urgent re-housing list and got another house in a few months. easy-peasy. The money...? she transfered it to her mum.

With that money, she bought a business. and got her H to run it. He then ran off with an employee.... somehow or other, they got back together and oppsy-daisy, she got pregnant with no 3. and the cycle continues. ...

KatyPeril Wed 09-Jan-13 14:21:20

YABU. Being an unemployed single parent is fucking soul destroying.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:22:44

It's not my first post. I name changed grin sneaky.

I can be a very good friend and still think she's lazy. I tried to encourage her to do a course, told her about citizens advice etc Not interested at all. In fact that's where she found out she better have another kid!

The thing that tipped me over the edge was this quote:

"How funny is it that we both have kids and homes, and loads of people from school are still at home with their parents like kids themselves". My brother still lives at home at 26 because he has no partner and can't move out. Having someone pay your rent and deliver a nice little cheque every week isn't growing up either.

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 14:24:29

And wen my child was in free nursery I managed to fit in 4 home care calls earning. £20 which was £100 a week ! So if u try u can so something ! It's all " I can't " "it's not enough time"

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:32:50



Oh well, why not just tell her congratulations and then go and slag her off to all and sundry!

Being as you are such a good friend and all wink

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 14:36:10


eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:36:46

I'm literally so shocked, this is the most ridiculous coincidence hahahaha.

I'm slagging off her choice to be on benefits, not her as a person.

Allonsy Wed 09-Jan-13 14:36:49

I feel sorry for her it must be a horrible cycle to get caught in, being stuck at home with children dependent on the government is no life

some 'friend' you are, id be disgusted if i knew a friend spoke about my personal circumstances on online

PessaryPam Wed 09-Jan-13 14:38:34

OP you are striver and the girl you describe is a skiver. Even Liam Byrne says this. Although he seems to have forgotten his past utterances. I am glad that when austerity really hits these lifestyle choices will no longer be possible.

TheSecondComing Wed 09-Jan-13 14:42:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grumpyinthemorning Wed 09-Jan-13 14:43:54

The fact that she has good gcses and started college doesn't automatically mean she has ambition and self-esteem, and it's very unfair of you to think that. I left school with fairly good gcses (mostly Cs, I even got an A in one subject!), attempted college twice, but my personal life really messed up my head (toxic, controlling mother). My self-esteem hit the floor, I developed a "fuck it" attitude towards work and education, went completely off the rails with drinking, sex etc. I snapped out of it when I fell pregnant with DS, but I still struggle with depression, low self-worth and horrible feelings of inadequacy.

Of course, nobody except my DP and two best friends would be able to say that about me. On the outside I'm a bouncy, happy-go-lucky person.

My point is, it's not always easy to see the issues someone is hiding. Education as an adult is patchy at best, and near impossible to arrange around small children unless you do a correspondence course (I can't because I wouldn't be able to get motivated). There are simply not enough jobs to go around. Combine these facts with any number of underlying problems, and it can pretty much cripple you. But she may not want to ask for help, or feel that even if she asks, she won't get it.

Try walking a few miles in someone's shoes before you judge them, ok?

thecook Wed 09-Jan-13 14:46:39

OP You are a shit friend.

By the way, do you claim CB or WTC?

PessaryPam Wed 09-Jan-13 14:48:46

thecook, what do you think would happen if we all decided to live off benefits?

Inertia Wed 09-Jan-13 14:49:16

Wow, what are the chances of that?! She has texted news of her pregnancy at the exact same time you are slagging her off on the internet! Still, good to know you've got time to check your phone messages, what with you being so hard at work and all.

By the way, I take it you've never claimed any child benefit or state help while your partner was out of work? Or is it only the benefits other people get which are open to criticism?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:53:18

Can people please start to see common sense and stop lumping Child Benefit in with all the other benefits?

It just makes you look silly.

Up until a few days ago, it was a universal benefit. It is in no way an indicator of whether you can afford your own children or not.

PessaryPam Wed 09-Jan-13 14:53:24

To be fair CB was introduced in return for a tax rise and is merely a way of redistributing money within a household to the mother. It would be better viewed as a tax rebate by many working people. I don't know if the OP is a net contributor or taker though.

ouryve Wed 09-Jan-13 14:54:00

I've been waiting all week to fill this particular square on my bingo card.

Your "friend" is not all unemployed people
Your "friend" is not all benefit claimants
Your "friend" is not all single mums...

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:54:59

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Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 14:55:30

I'm slagging off her choice to be on benefits, not her as a person.

If your so confident that what your doing isnt really fucking nasty, then why dont you say it to her face, and why have you hidden behind a name change?

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:57:06

I have said it to her face.If you bothered to read the thread, you'll see I encouraged her to go to citizens advice and see about some training or something. I've told her she needs to do something, her something is get pregnant again.

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 14:57:46

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eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:59:51

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CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 15:00:06

I disagree that raising the working wage won't help.

It will help the millions of people who are currently struggling and are worse of in work than they would be on benefits, or if they split from their partners. Those are the people I'm most interested in helping.

Plus, if wages went up, we wouldn't have to pay out as much in working tax credits. The cost of living would be likely to rise in line with the rise in minimum wage (which I realise wouldn't help those already struggling as they would be no better off) which would effectively have the result that people in work would have more money than they would if they were on welfare, and as long as benefits don't also rise, those on welfare wouldn't be able to have such a cushy life after all.

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 15:00:39

I bet you have not said half of the nasty things to her face that you have on this thread. Telling her to go to the CAB and get some advice about training is nothing like 'Why does this woman get to sit on her bum with free childcare?'

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 15:01:34

Well the way you have been talking on this thread, its hard to tell if you are joking or deadly serious.

because you can live comfortably on benefits. That's the issue.

Yeah, coz they should all be having bread and water for breakfast, wearing bags on their feet rather than shoes and sending their kids up the chimneys to earn their keep.

I have never claimed benefits, I work full time as does my DH and I have a nice life thank you. I have a friend exactly like your friend, she is a single parent, her son is 10 now and she lives off benefits. Her life, none of my beeswax although I am fully aware the grass certainly is not greener on her side od the fence. It sounds like you are very bitter about your life style choices. You are obviously not happy so why don't you sort out your life and what you need to do rather than wasting energy thinking about what your "friend" should be doing.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 15:02:55

Your taking it into a personal context again vagaceratops. I have known her since 4, so you can guarantee i've told her she's lazy and needs to sort her life out. It's not a sustainable way to live!

I'm at work, am I allowed to be on mumsnet?
It's a iPhone I'm using if that's any better, but I was in wetherspoons at lunchtime.

OP, like I said before, I don't know anyone who lives a fantastic life on benefits, in terms of having money for clothes, days out etc. we certainley didn't.
I'd suggest that there may be other reasons that your friend is reluctant to go to work, rather than just having such a cushy life claiming benefits.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 15:04:20

my lifestyle choice means I am going to be paying for her lifestyle choices. Therefore it is my problem.And we can change how the system works by voting for parties that agree.

thecook Wed 09-Jan-13 15:05:37

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I think everyone 'knows' of someone who lives this way, because they heard it from so and so and they were told by the butchers dog. Realistically they cannot afford all those things on benefits, so it's not true. Maybe op your friend gets help from her parents? Maybe they buy the gifts for their grandchild as their own DD is struggling? It's none of your business plus you've made it up

Takeaway2's comment about knowing some who sold their council house and was in prison etc etc is interesting, you'd think it'd be rather difficult to sell a house you don't own wouldn't you....

Oi MNHQ, can we yet a yawning face please??

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 15:06:12

Well as always, thread begins. The normal people answer and agree. It drags out with drip feeding OP information as i get questionned and it's only the hardcore that stay on and fight.

Glad the first few pages agreed. If you read those you'll realise you can have a cushty lie on benefits.

I'm out.

grumpyinthemorning Wed 09-Jan-13 15:06:37

You're putting it across in a personal context, eggs11.

Do you know every detail of this friends life? What goes on in her head? What she does while DC is at nursery? No.

Want to know what I do? I work on writing my book. Because education isn't going to happen until DS is in full-time school. But anyone looking through my window would just see me on my computer!

Stop with the judgements and get on with your own life, it's clearly not very full if you have time and energy to slag off others.

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 15:07:00

Yes, a cross between hmm and shock

PessaryPam Wed 09-Jan-13 15:07:13

We used to live next door to a benefit cheat. They do exist you know.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 09-Jan-13 15:08:03

YANBU - but pity her for her lack of ambition.

thecook Wed 09-Jan-13 15:08:09

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grumpyinthemorning Wed 09-Jan-13 15:08:16

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Tweasels Wed 09-Jan-13 15:08:24

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realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 15:08:37

'I don't understand why you think qualifying for a nursery place means a lack of parenting skills
Everybody (yes even you) gets 3 yo funding and 2 yo funding is for children living in poverty, poor housing etc.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 09-Jan-13 15:08:38

I feel a bit for posters who start these threads sometimes. It's clearly as issue which bugs a lot of people i.e. that they work very hard and life is getting harder and pay is getting worse, whereas someone who apparently made "poorer" choices that they did (those choices we were warned about) is seemingly being given a much easier ride. Yes there is an element of "it's not faaaaaaaair!" but that never became easier just because we became adults. And then they try and start a chat about it on MN little realising that it really isn't the Done Thing wink

Rightly or wrongly, this can obviously be irritating.

I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing by the way; I am not backing the OP up or shooting her down, but I am saying that someone can't even mention this subject without a flurry of hmm faces and biscuit emoticons, and exhortions to mind their own business. If everyone minded their own business about everything, MN would be a very quiet place indeed.

eggs you cannot live a cushy life on benefits.

I know because I have claimed benefits

Have you?

VinegarTits Wed 09-Jan-13 15:10:22

why are you vilifying your friend? where the fuck is the father(s) and why are they not paying for these children?

you should be shouting about why men in our society are allowed to get women pregnant then fuck off allowing the state to pay for their keep

you alos come across as very jealous and bitter about the choices she is making

Viviennemary Wed 09-Jan-13 15:11:54

Well it would be difficult for her to get a job that pays enough to make it worth while her working if she is on her own with two children. However, it has to be an issue that some people are tearing round like headless chickens juggling work, and childcare, paying huge nursery fees whilst others are exempt from this stress.

takeaway2 Wed 09-Jan-13 15:21:01

storminateacup - they owned their council house. you do/did get to buy it after living in it for a long time. So she sold it. and no one said anything about being in prison?!!!

BunFagFreddie Wed 09-Jan-13 15:23:00

"Nursery education - still not being looked after by the parents though. Why don't parents have to go with them and learn about ways to help their kids learn? rather than giving them 15hours a week to sit in wetherspoons (which is what she does soemtimes) "

It's the beginning of a child's education and you'll probably find that a lot of mums are happy to lend a helping hand. Would you feel differently if they have DH looking after them, rather than being a single parent? Also, are you aware of the fact that a lot of companies don't actually like to employ mums with young children? Yes it's illegal, but it still goes on. Most of us could find ourselves single and on benefits if things took a bad turn.

Nursery is the same as sending a child to school. I really don't understand your beef at this.

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 16:08:17

Why don't parents have to go with them and learn about ways to help their kids learn?

I am sure you will feel differently when your own DS reaches 3. Will you be giving up work then?

ouryve Wed 09-Jan-13 16:24:26

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ouryve Wed 09-Jan-13 16:24:54

My kids get babysat all day, btw. It's called school.

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ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 16:42:07

My daughter gets baby sat 3 hours a day at school nursery. However its only term time and there aren't any jobs that fit into 3 hours a day term time only. I gave up work as its was getting financially silly to pay for after school care and breakfast club for ds and day nursery for dd as well as diseal to get to work after a pay cut.

"However, it has to be an issue that some people are tearing round like headless chickens juggling work, and childcare, paying huge nursery fees whilst others are exempt from this stress. "

What is so virteous about doing a job that doesn't cover your costs if you don't enjoy your job. Why be a headless chicken if it doesn't make financial sense? I am not sure that lone parents should be forced into work if it costs the state more to subsise their childcare costs. The govenant are planing to force benefits families out of london with universal benefits cap of 26K.

"She had 2year old funding and 3 year old funding, while the £50 a day to put my 1year old in nursery makes it barely worth me working. "

I hope that you get more than 3 hours nursery care for £50. When we had dd in day nursery we got ten hours of care, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack for £45. School nursery only provides 300ml of milk. In our area it costs £12 a morning to send a child to private pre school and there is no snack as far as I know. You can choose to use nursery vouchers at the private pre school.

I think the OP should worry less about other people. She is clearly jelous.

jellybeans Wed 09-Jan-13 16:47:17

' when you can live a pretty good lifestyle without having to do anything other than give birth'

...and raise your child presumably. Women have been having babies since time began yet the way 'work' is now is a fairly recent thing. It doesn't always fit in with raising children. Many people would rather be with their small child than work. Even more so if that child has been through trauma and already lost one parent!

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 17:33:17

chandon re your friend who dumped her child on you and was sent to prison for benefit fraud..that is benefit fraud, not the same as the massive majority of genuine benefit claimants.

Cloudsand Trees, anyone on benefits who can afford an Ipad has either got it on credit, got it as part of a mobile phone contract or has money coming in from somewhere else, you CAN NOT afford Ipads on benefits.

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 17:35:18

Ipad = at least 4 weeks of disposable income on the benefits you get for 1 child.

Dawndonna Wed 09-Jan-13 18:08:15

I'd be more inclined to listen if you could spell, construct a sentence and use grammar.
But hey ho!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 18:15:11

I wish I could believe you Amber, but I don't. She's not the only one I know who has bought expensive presents for their children while on benefits.

I appreciate that not everyone on benefits can afford these things, but it is a fact that some clearly can.

Dawndonna Wed 09-Jan-13 18:20:36

And those that do probably end up in serious debt.

Ipad = probably a few more weeks of the 'disposable income ' we have both working.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 18:31:37

Working people get into debt too! But then that's a choice you have a moral right to make when you are earning your own money.

Dawndonna Wed 09-Jan-13 18:51:36

As I've said before. Eugenics, alive and kicking on Mumsnet.
As I've also said before, thank god it's not you who gets to decide who does and doesn't have children, Clouds.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 19:05:17

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OttilieKnackered Wed 09-Jan-13 19:06:44

I'm a young, single woman with no children. I earn a fairly decent wage (just above national average). I am very healthy and take no regular medication.

Therefore, I 'take' less than a lot of people out of the system.

I pay the requisite amount of tax, as well as paying back the £20,000 of student loans I had to take out to get the career I'm in now.

I just can't, for the life of me, get worked up about people who live on benefits, through choice or otherwise. I thank my lucky stars that I'm fit and able to work, that I have the skills and opportunities to have a fulfilling career I love with loads of opportunities to progress. That I haven't been fucked over by some man who sweet talked me and then left me holding the baby, or decided to abuse me. That I'm able to earn enough money to live, have a few luxuries, and make a contribution to the 'pot'.

I feel lucky that I am able to do this and don't have to rely on benefits. I just don't understand the feeling aggrieved at those less fortunate than me.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 19:11:09

I find it interesting that the majority of people saying "hang on, its not all ipads" are the people who actually have experience of living on benefits.

Have any of you benefit bashers actually had to survive on benefits? And suffered the physical and emotional problems that come with it?

When you are considered by the rest of society to be a worthless scrounger then you start to believe it. When I was a single mum on income support I didnt live the life of Riley. I did live on anti depressants though.

Come back when you actually have experience of what you are talking about instead of "I know someone who......." .

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 19:14:14

Clouds, you don't have to believe me.

What Im saying is correct as anyone who, like bogeyface says has actual experience of living on benefits will tell you.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 19:16:06

It says that 24% of people in poverty have depression compared to 14% who are not poor. Still think its all fun?

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 19:16:12

I was a single mother on Income Support in the early 90's. I have to say, I'm afraid I bloody loved it! In those days, all my rent was paid, got free school dinners for dd, fed and clothed us both and could do what I wanted. Can't believe I'm admitting that, and I'm pretty sure, no, I know, I'd hate it now.

Lilithmoon Wed 09-Jan-13 19:17:09

OttilieKnackered what a brilliant post.
It is saddens me that people like the OP have nothing better to do then stir up trouble like this, based on fiction.

Bubblegum78 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:18:57

I think you are right to be cross actually and she should get her lazy arse out to work!

I've been a single parent on benefits and she is just spewing excuses, she clearly has no intention of going to work because she told you!

What a life to aspire too!

Why others on here are defending her is beyond me??

There's no point them calling you judgmental because they are judging you for judging her.

People blame the government for the state of the country, well it's not just their fault, it's the legions of people who think the same as your mate.

Before people judge me for benefit bashing I'm not, there's a difference between being genuinly in need and just being lazy and popping kids out because you don't like the idea of working for a living.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Jan-13 19:21:09

Yawn. 0/10.

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 19:25:43

Some children on benefits have been given the IPADs by their fathers. I know a little boy whose father bought him the latest IPhone with a contract for his birthday so that his son can phone him easily. However the said Dad is appauling about paying maintaince. He has bought the IPhone to ease his guilt rather than paying for the shoes his son so badly needs.

It is perfectly possible to own expensive gadgets, and be on the poverty line without commiting fraud. Do you honestly think the Mum should lose her benefits because her son has been given an IPAD? It smacks of the attitudes of some of the characters in the books written by Charles Dickens.

thekidsrule Wed 09-Jan-13 19:26:56

i bought my son an ipad on benefits with cash so yes it can be done

flame away

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 19:26:58

Amber, what you say is correct from what you know, but what I say is also correct from what I know.

The difference is that I believe that some people on benefits are having a genuinely hard time, I know that's a fact for many people. But I can also see that it's not that way for everyone. Some people do choose to be on benefits, they really do! I don't understand why some people are so opposed convinced that no one ever plans the timing of their children deliberately so that they can stay off work and on income support for as long as possible.

Bogey, you had a fair point when you talked about your experience. And I'm sure your experience isn't isolated. But it is quite small minded to assume that your experience is the same as everyone else's. and when you talk about poverty, then you are talking about poverty. That affects working people too, not just those who live purely on benefits.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 09-Jan-13 19:29:48

OP, I feel your frustration with your friend. She's a self confessed benefit scrounger and yes, there are many out there unfortunately. There are many more however that don't scrounge and are genuinely needy.

Someone up thread said they didn't know any scroungers. Well not to worry, I know enough for the lot of us. Their entitled attitude disgusts me but I know they won't be able to sustain this lifestyle when the benefit changes bite. I just feel sorry for the truly needy who will have to suffer as a result of the scrounger's greed.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 19:30:10

I'm not going to flame you thekidsrule. I thank you for your honesty. And you EastHolly.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 19:32:17

I realise that, but what is pissing me off the attitude that everyone on benefits should be put through the ringer because of a minority that take the piss.

2 years on benefits before you are on your own has been suggested. And what happens to the thousands who have, like my husband, recently been made redundant? There are not enough jobs to go around, so what would happen to my family if neither of us could get a job in that time?

Its all well and good saying its wrong, but unless you make things even worse for families like mine, then its just a fact of life.

As I say, I'd hate it now but I am a different person in a different place - and anyway, the time I did have to 'sign on' in the past few years, because I lost my job, we were stuffed as we have a mortgage. Luckily I got a job very quickly but it was ridiculously hard - DH was working p/t so we got nothing like FSD. Anyway, that's a whole other situation.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 19:40:16

Personally Bogey, I wouldn't go out to make things worse for families like yours. I just wouldn't give out child tax credits, I'd give out free childcare instead, making it possible for you to work if you were able to. I'd cap CB to two children, because anyone who has more is taking a very big risk, and I wouldn't pay anything for children conceived while two parents were out of work.

The fact is that there are so many more worthy things that this country could spend its limited money on, and I just don't think that a system that actively encourages people who have little inclination to work to have more and more children. That's not saying that I want to be able to choose who has children (for Dawn's benefit!) it's saying that people have to be made to take responsibility for their own lives and their own children.

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 19:52:04

I find this thread depressing. People are making judgments about intensively personal situations they know little about.

Schools are increasingly using the internet more and more for homework. This puts poor kids at a major disadvantage. An IPad is essentially a computer and if an IPad can be used for SAM learning then there is some point.

Or do you not want the children of those on benefits to get the educational benefits of the internet?

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 19:52:30

Clouds, what do you know though?

All you know about is someone elses experience and that is based on what they choose to tell you.

If you are a singe parent of one on £125 per week, you cant afford to pay cash for an ipad, unless you are taking out credit/loans etc.

kidsrule, how did you manage that then? social fund loan?

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 19:53:32

...and what bills did you not pay to be able to buy one, they cost about £400 dont they?

usualsuspect Wed 09-Jan-13 19:55:29

Did you join MN just to whine about nasty benefit scroungers OP?

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 19:57:03

So you would stop tax credits? What would we live on then?

Tax credits arent just paid to those in work, they form part of the support that we get while we are out of work. Without tax credits we would have survive on £111 a week, for 7 of us!

And I would like to remind you that between us, we have paid in almost 50 years worth of tax and NI. I think that we are entitled to some of that back when we need it!

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 19:59:33

"My brother still lives at home at 26 because he has no partner and can't move out. Having someone pay your rent and deliver a nice little cheque every week isn't growing up either."

Actually, benefits are paid by BACS, not by cheque, so either you've never been on them or haven't been on them for at least ten years.

I'm still housesharing at 30 because I live in an expensive city and it is fucking depressing, but I don't understand how not having a partner means you can't move out of the parental home and expect one's parents to support you past the age of 18. Oh well, I guess it's another form of scrounging, right eggs11?

usualsuspect Wed 09-Jan-13 19:59:41

Typical goading load of bollocks.

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 20:00:55

I think that CloudAndTrees must have her heads in the clouds. She certainly isn't in touch with reality on this thread. I don't many people who choose to live on benefits.

To pay for free childcare for two pre school children costs about 20K. Working child tax credits are pittance in comparision. I think the child tax credit system has been reasonably sucessful. Its far from perfect, but it has helped low income working families.

Its amazing how mumsnetters know so much detail about other people's finances. Prehaps some of the people who are on benefits actually aren't on benefits. They may have some other source of completely legal income. (Charity, pension, maintaince, Shock horror they may do shift work or anything)

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 09-Jan-13 20:01:55

It's very easy to find out what % of all benefit claimants have more than 3 kids and have received out of work benefits for longer than x amount of years.

Actual maximum cash for a over 25 yo with 1 child if no maintainance received is £153.00

Cost of iPad £399.00 bit more than 4 weeks disposable income.

You do know that people on benefits still have to pay water heat power food comunication fee's transport, (most areas's) school uniform clothing well everything everybody else has to pay apart from rent and CT ( ct due to change soon as nobody will receive full ct paid).

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 20:02:43

The last government had a scheme where families in poor areas could get refurbished computers, along with lessons on how to use them, for free. It meant kids had something to use for their homework, or people could go online for the first time.

I bet that went as soon as this shower got into power. And they're closing the libraries - the ones which offer computer access and homework clubs - as well. So why wouldn't someone buy an iPad on a catalogue account or via BrightHouse and the like if they were on a low income with no access to money or credit?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 20:03:16

Yes, I know what my cousin, and a couple of other people, choose to tell me. But I'm close enough to them and close enough to other people that are close to them to believe I'm getting the truth.

I have no reason not to believe them, they are the sort of people who have no shame about what they are doing. They see no reason to try and hide it, they are open and honest about what they do and wonder why I don't do the same.

So even on the very slim off chance that I'm wrong about the iPad, I still know with 100% certainty that there are a number of people who deliberately have children four or five years apart so that they can remain out of work for as long as possible. And it is wrong that the system enables people to do that.

usualsuspect Wed 09-Jan-13 20:04:40

It's always someones cousin, isn't it?

Funny that...

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 20:07:03

Hilarious hmm

Shock horror! People have cousins whose lives are very different from their own! Scandalous!

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 20:08:11

Adds a couple of names to spreadsheet...

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 09-Jan-13 20:08:34

There are a number people who do that but its a very very low number, I can't remember which poster posted it but the torys tried to find loads of them to wind is all up but apparently couldn't even find 500.

usualsuspect Wed 09-Jan-13 20:08:57

Are you sure it's not the woman up the road?

usualsuspect Wed 09-Jan-13 20:09:35

You know, the one that has 3 holidays a year and 2 cars?

reallytired We both work and can't afford an ipad for our chidren. Not in any way 'benefit bashing' but would we get one too?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 09-Jan-13 20:10:04

My cousin spends all day eating cheese

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 20:12:07

My sister has a friend who is 'on benefits' with two children and her own place, who bought the latest iPhone on day of release.

a) she lives in an area where you can buy a whole house for the cost of a flat deposit in London
b) as my mum's a widow and pensioner and my sister is a single parent, I know that expensive goods almost always are on the drip from catalogues etc
c) she has little qualifications and lives in an area with high unemployment, racial tension *(her partner is Asian and this is in an area where 'p***-shagger' is a regular insult) and almost nothing to do during leisure time than go out to the pub and get drunk
d) I would find it exceptionally hard to be a parent to two small children, never mind with a job on top

So who knows how cushy your cousin has it, huh?

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 20:12:52

If you were my cousin and were as transparent about your political leanings in RL as you are here, Id tell you all sorts just to watch the steam come out of your ears.

thekidsrule Wed 09-Jan-13 20:14:03

no socail loan,no not paying bills

i start saving in january normaly £15 ish a week for 3dc's

i am debt free and all bills are up to date

ipad mini £265 + £65 extended cover = 329

i do get maintance for 1dc which is top of benefit (been getting for the last few months)but that is not the one that got the ipad mini

i manage well on the money i get for me and three dc's and i have no debts

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:14:23


What is this "number of people" then? Roughly?

Because I have only ever known one person to do this, and I live in an area with high claimant levels and know a lot of people who are or have been on benefits.

For every one person (lets face it, you mean women) who does this, there will be hundreds that dont. You are just using the one example you know about and assuming that most women on benefits are doing the same thing!

I would like to use your own words back to you

But it is quite small minded to assume that your experience is the same as everyone else's.

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 20:15:37

Ah ok, you get maintenance.

That explains it.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Jan-13 20:16:34

My cousin's friend of her cousin twice removed lives in a HOUSE in Notting Hill, has 5 cars, 50 iPads, 30 iPhone5's, a 50-inch smart telly in every room of the house even the shitters and stay in the same resorts as Prince Harry on their 10 holidays a year. All on benefits, too.

She just keeps poppin' 'em out.


ssd Wed 09-Jan-13 20:18:40

my neighbour told me she wouldnt dream of working for the money I get, £6.19 an hour, she wouldnt get out of bed for that

she played the system, had her housing and council tax fully paid whilst her bf claimed he lived with his mum....she had more money than I'd have known what to do with

she was boasting about this to me too, thought I was mad for working

being on benefits is utter crap if you are honest about your situation,but if you lie and work the system it can be not a bad life

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:18:50

Could someone tell me when I will get my holiday tickets for Florida?

Only H signed on 8 weeks ago after his company closed down and I promised the kids we would go to Disney because MN told me that all families who claim get to go.


expatinscotland Wed 09-Jan-13 20:20:48

Bogey, have you had your flat-screen tellies yet? You'll get your tickets after those arrive.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 20:21:07


a) the person I'm thinking of lives in London. A pretty shitty area of London, but still London.
b) the expensive goods could be 'on the drip', but I don't think so.
c) my cousin also has little in the way of qualifications, but that's because she couldn't be arsed with going to college when she was doing an NVQ in hairdressing. She's actually very good at cutting hair, just couldn't be bothered with the qualification. I'm not sure about levels of employment in the area, but it's certainly not non existent. Her partner is from a different race to her own, but it's very common for people to be in mixed race relationships in this area.
d) you'd really find it exceptionally difficult to have a job and two small children? Well then don't have two children, or suck it up like the rest of us!

usualsuspect Wed 09-Jan-13 20:22:23

Only 50 ipads? My cousin twice removed has a race horse and a Ferrari and a swimming pool in the garden of her 10 bedroomed council mansion.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:22:26

We have our old flat screen but we bought that, and its 2 years old so I am sure we are due an upgrade.

Do I get extra money for the clothes we will need for our holiday too? I am not spending my money on them if I can get them with someone elses tax!

ssd Wed 09-Jan-13 20:22:59

and BTW, I dont know or care how many sodding ipads my neighbour might own, she's showing her kids a very bad example of how to live an easy life,the only decent meal they get is free school diners

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 20:23:44

"reallytired We both work and can't afford an ipad for our chidren. Not in any way 'benefit bashing' but would we get one too? "

I am not on benefits, and we don't have IPads. I think the google nexus is better than the IPAD and a lot cheaper. Our household has plenty of electronics bought with our own money. We have no need for an IPad as the children can use our PC. The cost of an IPad is less than a PC and monitor.

I can understand why a parent might take out a loan for an IPad. The problem with refurbished computers is that they have often been got rid of for good reason. Lots of people want the best for their children and get into horrendous debt.

I have no idea what my neighbours personal circumstances are. Its none of my business. Sometimes people on benefits have a small amount of savings. You can have savings of 6K and still claim income support without reduction. Savings evaporate pretty fast if you are a family on benefits.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 20:23:52

I would like to use your own words back to you

But it is quite small minded to assume that your experience is the same as everyone else's.

Bogey, that's fine, use my words. But if you are going to, read all of them. I have already said that I'm well aware that a life on benefits can be very difficult, and that I know everyone's situation isn't like my cousins.

The point is, that the system shouldn't allow anyone to live like that legally, but it does. Which is what makes it shit.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:24:38

the only decent meal they get is free school diners


So what else do they eat? Whats wrong with free school meals?

expatinscotland Wed 09-Jan-13 20:25:17

The government's giving out smart tellies now, Bogey, so you should be getting yours upgraded. Just throw your old ones out into the road in front of your taxpayer-funded mansion (Gideon got one of those, too, didn't you know? But he worked hard so it's okay).

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:25:25

No they shouldnt, but I ask again, what would you do that wouldnt penalise people who, not matter how hard they try, CANT FIND A JOB?

ssd Wed 09-Jan-13 20:26:15

shout away bogey, who said anything is wrong with free school diners?

not me

keep your chip on your shoulder to yourself

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:27:02

A mansion?

Shit. I knew I was being short sighted when I bought my house. 13 years of mortgage payments wasted!

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:28:04

Erm, I wasnt shouting! Well, I shouted House, but thats because I won Benefit bashing bingo!

I will ask again, what else do they eat? And why mention free school meals if there is nothing wrong with them?

expatinscotland Wed 09-Jan-13 20:28:10

There's no such thing as can't find a job, Bogey. It's all your fault. There's always prostitution.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:29:23

expat I said to my mum the other day "If things dont improve soon, I will have to go back on the game" and she just laughed.

I was rather insulted grin

ssd Wed 09-Jan-13 20:32:29

bogey, I cant be arsed getting into a fight with you

as I said before, being on benefits is shite when you're honest and upfront about your situation, but when you lie and scam the system it can be not a bad lifestyle..if thats how you choose to live..that to me is what the op was complaining about..

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 20:32:38

the person I'm thinking of lives in London. A pretty shitty area of London, but still London. - well, good for her. I'm sure she'd be able to cope once she got a job and her housing benefit stopped instantly, then, because even shitty areas charge £1k a month or so for a flat unless you want to flatshare with your baby (which happens - I didn't take a place in a shared house because the room - one room - next to me would be taken up by a family with a nine-month old). And the tube's free, right? I work, so I pay for it, but surely the scroungers just get to travel for free on special golden benefit carriages.
I'm not sure about levels of employment in the area, but it's certainly not non existent. Her partner is from a different race to her own, but it's very common for people to be in mixed race relationships in this area - that's completely different from where my sister's friend lives, then, so congrats on missing the point. No jobs, and prejudice around dating someone Asian if you're white. Pretty miserable. Doesn't sound like fun to me even with the massive benefit bounty which would be coming my way.
"^you'd really find it exceptionally difficult to have a job and two small children? Well then don't have two children, or suck it up like the rest of us!^- that's why I PERSONALLY don't have children (though medical reasons say no anyway). I don't think it's a cushy life in the slightest to be a SAHM, which she was by necessity as her children were small, and even harder when you're broke.

AllYoursBabooshka Wed 09-Jan-13 20:34:05

My dogs cousin is gold plated.

I'm totes jelly belly. envy

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 20:34:30

bogey, I cant be arsed getting into a fight with you

I wasn't aware I was starting one. I was simply questioning a comment you made, which you clearly can't answer, otherwise you would have.

Have a nice evening smile

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 20:35:10

I mean, I don't have kids, but last time I checked they were pretty expensive to run, you have to feed them at least once a day and the authorities tend to frown on you putting them in a drawer when you have to go out to work. I'm not sure this having-kids-to-live-cushy-benefit-life is going to keep me in iPads to be honest.

Samnella Wed 09-Jan-13 20:37:17

YANBU to feel aggrieved as you are struggling by the sounds of things whilst this woman gets it all handed on a plate. But you know it won't be that way forever. It may seem this woman is gaining now but will you feel the same way in 10 years? She will still be in the same flat, living the same life and her children could very well be disadvantaged by it.

I think there are scroungers and people in need. There is a difference. To me an example of a scrounger is a member of my family who had a baby at 16 and is now 30. She has never worked. Not even for a day. She has never paid a penny in tax. She has a flat paid for and her boyfriend lives there without the authorities knowledge so she gets benefits plus his salary. Yes they have the flat and the obligatory TV and all the so called trappings including two holidays abroad in the last 5 years. But do you know what? I wouldn't want her life. Its empty. There is no progress. What hope does she have of finding a job now after 14 years and no experience. Its pitiful. There is no answer. She's done various Mickey Mouse courses on the expense of tax payers which lead no where. The job centre have enrolled on confidence courses and all that but to no avail. How can a 30 year old have never worked? Ever. A healthy , functioning 30 year old who hasn't been studying or doing anything at all since the day they left school. Its outrageous.

I have no idea why some of you defend the OPs friend. She has admitted she doesn't want to work because its easier not too. Childcare costs? - surely that's what tax credits are for? Or put money into making childcare more affordable for low income families. Must be off during the holidays? Why? Most people don't just work term time. Not making enough to make it worth while? Well that does and will change by the sounds of it. I would rather my hard earned tax was spent supporting someone returning to work than paying for someone to sloth about for years. It is hard fact that there are people like this. These are not the same people who need help in a crisis, who though no fault of their own need a temporary helping hand. I have no problem with that. But I do have a problem with people who make living off benefits a lifestyle choice.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 20:37:38

Being a SAHM is lovely! I certainly enjoyed I when I was doing it!

Oh, and they don't instantly stop housing benefit when you get a job. If you had a clue what you were talking about, you would know that the vast majority of HB gets paid to people who are in work.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Jan-13 20:40:04

'Oh, and they don't instantly stop housing benefit when you get a job. If you had a clue what you were talking about, you would know that the vast majority of HB gets paid to people who are in work.'

Yes, they do. You have to re-apply for it with your new circumstances.

ssd Wed 09-Jan-13 20:40:32

bogey, no,sadly I clearly cant answer your comment as I clearly have a hidden agenda against free school meals, have managed to hide it all my life but you clearly saw that

smile, have a nice evening

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 20:42:31

Re apply, notify them of a change of circumstances, whatever, the result is the same. You still get help paying your rent (rightly) so what difference does it make?

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 20:42:48

"Oh, and they don't instantly stop housing benefit when you get a job. If you had a clue what you were talking about"

They do if you go from unemployed to a job which pays over the threshold, because I've been there. I started halfway through the month so got two weeks' pay for my first month, six weeks total until I was paid enough in one go to make the rent. HB stopped the day my contract started. Oh, and when I applied for it, it took six weeks to kick in as well; the authorities gave me the helpful advice of 'try borrowing it off a family member?' when I asked them how I was meant to pay the rent in the meantime.

10/10 for trying, though.

ssd Wed 09-Jan-13 20:43:48

samnella, of course theres a difference between scroungers and those in need, but this gov is intent on making us believe they are one and the same....and for every scrounger there will be thousands of people in need

and the scroungers couldnt care less!

thekidsrule Wed 09-Jan-13 20:44:03


my income with £75 maintanance is £380 per week approx plus FSM etc but 2 i provide there lunch confused

bog standard claim,no disabilities etc

i dont have to top up any rent as i own this house though i do incur costs such as building insurance maintaining property,anything breaks etc

but i dont own a car,a big saving

same mobile for 4yrs £10 sim a month

cook loads and am a real bargain hunter

thats how i do it

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 20:45:13

Again, what difference does it make? It's not like your LL is allowed to throw you out because you don't pay your rent on time once. They have a hard enough time getting rid of tenants that don't pay at all for months.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 20:45:47

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expatinscotland Wed 09-Jan-13 20:57:14

'Again, what difference does it make? It's not like your LL is allowed to throw you out because you don't pay your rent on time once. They have a hard enough time getting rid of tenants that don't pay at all for months.'

What difference does it make? Well, now you have a record of not paying rent on time, so when your BTL landlord serves you your two-months notice because he's sick of your problems paying the rent on time, you get to try to find someone else to take you on with that on your record, and pay your moving costs again. But hey, it's all your fault for being working poor.

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 20:58:54

It makes a difference if you live with your landlady, see her every day, and she has to pay her mortgage. It also makes a difference if you dislike letting people down, or having to beg or borrow money from others. And in my case, it made a difference when your HB is a hundred pounds lower than your actual rent anyway.

fridgepants Wed 09-Jan-13 21:01:32

And, yeah, if you need to move, then good luck funding your deposit to be able to afford to do that, and some way to move your stuff to the new place. Because they don't offer crisis loans to cover the period between applying for HB and it being due, whether you can pay your rent or not. And let's hope you have a landlord who is happy with a 'DSS tenant' as well, because if you're flatsharing and you have to organise this, your notice period is a month.

Bogeyface Wed 09-Jan-13 21:01:47

Clouds, it makes a huge difference because the LL can evict them at the end of their tenancy and get someone else in. Someone who doesnt claim HB, which is why it is next to impossible now to get a private rent that takes HB.

The LLs dont want to wait 8 weeks for rent to be paid, especially if they are paying a mortgage on the property, so will just refuse to accept claimaints. I remember all the property ads saying "No children, no pets, no DSS" when I was looking for somewhere as a single mother on benefits. We ended up staying at my mothers for 2 years.

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Jan-13 21:08:26

Kidsrule, you didnt need to tell me what you live one!

But yes I imagine the £75 a week maintenance makes a massive difference, as you may know the majority of single parents [working and non working] dont get any at all from the NRP.

Everyone that keeps telling their stories of benefit claiming fraudsters, you do know how low benefit fraud actually is dont you?

akaemmafrost Wed 09-Jan-13 21:10:17

clouds I literally sink into depression that when I read ALL your posts about pretty much everything, you are the DM in human form.

I've never wanted the hide a poster button till now.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 21:10:44

These problems with HB aren't going to apply to people that don't bother to get jobs and decide to just have another baby instead though, are they?

That's the point.

The people who are deliberately scrounging make it harder for the genuine claimants to be treated well.

And as thekidsrule has kindly proved, it is possible to save to cover expenses.

It's not like it's any easier for people who are in work and have a mortage when they have their children, so why should it be made so easy for people that have been living on benefits? We all money worries at times, I don't see why people who have had their lives entirely funded by benefits should expect to be exempt from that.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 09-Jan-13 21:12:40


Unless your neighbours bf has a very good job, if she has more money from the benefit system than you would no what to do with

Then you have a distinct lack of imagination

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 21:14:51

akaemmfrost, and isn't she amazingly prolific for a newbie?grin

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 09-Jan-13 21:15:13

No clouds, people like you make it harder for genuine people to get treated well,because of the utter shite you spout

akaemmafrost Wed 09-Jan-13 21:18:23

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AmberSocks Wed 09-Jan-13 21:18:45

me and my dh split up when i was pregnany wih ds1 and i went on to benefits for abuot 3 months,the last month of pregnancy and 2 months after.

i got about 120 a week,would of got more if i needed housing etc.

i went back to work when ds was 8 weeks old,(went to work full time for royal mail)they actually replaced income support with wtc which was more than is as i was a single mum,i obviously had ctc and cb,plus maintanance from dh,wages were about 280-300 after tax.

so what i am saying is i was a lot better off working,i know there are different situations but for a lot of people with just one child it is possible to work if you want to,they also offered to pay 80per cent of childcare costs which i didnt need as my mum looked after him.

twofingerstoGideon Wed 09-Jan-13 21:21:30

YABU and a bit of a shit-stirrer to be honest.

ConstantCraving Wed 09-Jan-13 21:22:50

We used to live on benefits, including HB. We had one DS at the time. It was hard. Once a week DH and I treated ourselves to a coffee out and a shared piece of cheesecake. I used to walk everywhere - even in the rain with shopping bags and my toddler because our money would only just cover the basics - whioch didn't include a bus ride at £1.40. We both work now and have done for the last 10 years, we don't have a huge income but are SO much better off than we were on benefits. It just does not compare and I can't understand why so many people buy into the myths about this fantastic 'liefstyle' you can lead on benefits. It is hard, relentless and depressing. We pay taxes and I do not for one second begrudge my share going towards someone's benefits. I despise this goverment.

thekidsrule Wed 09-Jan-13 21:27:11

from my humble experience

1 child = worth financially going back to work for

2= probably

3 = not really,especially if no help from ex or relatives etc and you really are truly on your own

although maybe not right,most people will and do whatever is best for their circumstances,life is tough sometimes and it's only natural that people look out for themselves,even if they dont think of the long term implications

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 21:30:18

Excellent post ConstantCraving.
Yes, that is the reality of living on benefits.

Arthurfowlersallotment Wed 09-Jan-13 21:34:32

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ConstantCraving Wed 09-Jan-13 21:41:21

Thanks lady smile. I'll never forget that period of my life and am forever thankful that we were able to climb out of it - I know that if we were in that situation today it would be so much harder. The good thing was that it really made my son appreciate the things we had, he took nothing for granted and has a really strong work ethic now. Yes - shock, horror - the child that grew up with parents on benefits for much of his early childhood actually had to forgo many of the things his friends took for granted - computed games, trendy clothes etc.... and would you believe that we didn't even have a TV as we couldn't afford the licence fee? (Sorry to burst the myth bubble OP).

nametakenagain Wed 09-Jan-13 21:59:15

Bunkum <sigh>

Dawndonna Thu 10-Jan-13 07:31:03

* I just don't think people should have children when they can't afford to provide anything for them.*
1)Yes. Myriad reasons, none of them any business of yours.
2)This is called Eugenics.
It's not a hysterical reaction, it's a reaction after reading an accumulation of your posts. As I said on another thread in which you were benefit bashing, you are Marie Stopes in disguise.

ssd Thu 10-Jan-13 08:10:17

Sockreturningpixie , yes he did have a good job, when he choose to work, he was freelance

obviously you find it hard to believe a couple not married, a few kids, her claiming as a single parent, getting every benefit going as she knew how to play the system, him getting job seekers and working now and then and not declaring it, but living together = more disposable income than a married couple with a few kids, him on £17k her on £5k, paying all bills at full whack

why say I have a distinct lack of imagination? you are the one who seems to think this is fantasy

it doesnt matter anyway, as I said for every one like my neighbour there are thousands being honest and in the shit

expatinscotland Thu 10-Jan-13 08:33:05

She's a criminal, ssd. So shop her.

PessaryPam Thu 10-Jan-13 08:55:11

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ssd Thu 10-Jan-13 10:11:11

expat, dh says it'll only make it harder for her kids, thats why I dont

she waved and laughed at me once when I was going to work, from her bedroom window, as she was opening her curtains grrrr

if she had to make do with less, she'd make sure the kids went without rather than her

the thing is, I dont believe for a second all the cuts will affect her too much, she's too wily to let that happen, she'll come up with another scam if she starts seeing less money coming in, so all the gov's doing with these reforms is harming the working poor and the unemployed who claim legibly to what they should get, but no more

akaemmafrost Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:37


PessaryPam Thu 10-Jan-13 10:50:30

Yes ssd that is my worry too.

twofingerstoGideon Thu 10-Jan-13 11:32:13

she waved and laughed at me once when I was going to work, from her bedroom window, as she was opening her curtains grrrr

Really? She was OPENING her curtains? That really doesn't fit well with George Osborne's rhetoric about 'skivers'. Tut tut.

fridgepants Thu 10-Jan-13 11:56:56

She should be peeking out from behind them, the dirty slattern.

cloudpuff Thu 10-Jan-13 11:59:54

Why is that when someone on benefits has something nice people assume its come straight from the benefit money?

There are many children who got ipads/nintendo ds/ ps vista etc in dds class for xmas, and guess what some of those families are on benefits too, I cant afford one for my dd despite hubby working but I also don't give a fuck where the money has come from to pay for them as its none of my business.

They could be reconditioned cheap models, gifts from other family members, from places like brighthouse, bought on a credit card or even saved up for all year by clever budgeting parents. My Daughter got a nintendo ds while we were on benefits and I hope people did not judge me the way some are so hell bent on doing so on this thread, it was actually given to her by my father as he got the xl version.

I have been on benefits myself in the past and it was very very miserable and fucking hard to make the money stretch. Im not bitter or jealous of anyone in that situation tbh.

Mumsyblouse Thu 10-Jan-13 12:31:26

I don't think it's imaginary to know people who are very nice lovely people, but have calculated, probably correctly, that they are better off on benefits or not working long hours. I know two such mums, in one case the mum was on her own and kept her hours down under the 15 hour max for tax credit reasons (this has now changed I think anyway). She lived in a lovely 4 bed house that was paid for by housing benefit and we freely discussed the fact that she would not be able to pay for these things if not subsidised by the state. The other is an old school friend of mine who I got to know again later in life and I was pretty horrified to find out she'd fallen into the benefit trap (after being left by her partner) and didn't see herself working again, but was worried as her second was nearing school age and her benefits would have been changed once they were 6/7 (can't remember exact age). Rightly or wrongly, I told her I thought she should either train (she could have done a free uni course) or go back to work, which she has now done working 4 days a week.

In both cases, I felt sympathetic as the mums were left on their own with the children, way harder to work than in a two-parent family. However, in both cases, the women concerned were well-educated and felt a real low-level depression about their life circumstance but couldn't see a way out given they didn't have a recent history of working on their CVs.

I am not sure why people keep saying no-one would choose the benefit lifestyle as it is clear people do, but this doesn't mean it's particularly luxurious or enjoyable, what it means is they see it as a viable alternative to being a poorly paid worker single parent worker. Of course my first friend had a nicer house when on housing benefit than if she was living off, say, £20,000 a year, in a cheap part of the UK. These mums (and dads) don't all have the alternative of going out and getting well-paid jobs to afford nice houses in nice areas and so the option to take an ok house and live on very limited means seemed quite a good one, although in the long-run made them feel depressed and powerless. I wouldn't chose it for exactly that reason.

picketywick Thu 10-Jan-13 12:49:04

I think there is something to be said for mum or dad being with the child until 4 or 5 years of age, then doing a career.

Aftewr ALL RAISING A FAMILY USED TO BE THE MAIN CAREER 50 YEARS AGO. (sorry about the capitals)

Mumsyblouse Thu 10-Jan-13 12:58:20

Picketywick- I agree, but it's a bit strange to expect the state to fund you staying at home, when everyone else has to pay for it (by having partner/saving in advance from own salary). Staying at home is lovely, but not an option I have had myself with my own children, what with having a job and bills to pay and all!

Also, once you've got into the dependency mind-set, it's hard to break, partly psychologically, partly to fill the gaping CV. My friend believed herself to be deskilled and unemployable after 10 years at home til I arrived and told her to get off her arse and start applying for jobs and that staying home on benefits another 10 years was not a viable career option for a clever successful person like her

My ds got really really pissed off last year as he discovered that some of the lads in his class had expensive phones/ipads/whatever it is nowadays.. and that their parents were unemployed..He started turning into 'tory boy' until I reminded him that, as others have said, they are probably from a catologue/brighthouse/other such place. I'm not model of virtue, but after going through a time when I racked up massive credit card debts (working) I'm terrified of getting into debt again, so until we can afford to pay outright for these litems, which Iconsider luxuries, I'm afraid, he'll have to make do with our ancient computer. Hopefully he 'got' that.

holidaysarenice Thu 10-Jan-13 15:29:24

In honesty I can see both points here, most ppl know someone struggling on benefits and someone with a cushy life. I didn't know until recently that maintenance isn't counted, so it cud be benefits plus several hundred from a nrp.

However my point is, what will happen to all these mums when they can no longer have kids evert five years, stuck at home, no child related benefits, no work experience?

A low paid job will even be difficult to come by.

Maintenance isn't counted anymore? It was when i was on IS in the 90's - every penny (both of them grin ) I got from exh was taken off my benefits! Blimey, when did that change??

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 10-Jan-13 15:52:59

My mum had a customer, who got TC and CB and benefits, and had a huge amount of maintenance, i mean hundreds a month, and not a penny affected her benefits.

I have been a lone parent, for 3 years, now my DD is 5, im on JSA, and my word its very tough, been out of work since she was born, even low paid jobs are hard to get, i wish i had gone back to even do voluntary sooner.

I dont know how some people have such a nice life on benefits, it seems the more kids, the nicer life you get.

The more kids the more nicer life you get


I have 4 dc and I'm on benefits, only recently since last July. I don't have a nicer life thanks, I'm broke. I live on seventy pounds a week shopping to feed five of us, my gas and electric meter swallows forty pounds a week, tv licence, I have some debts, I have to run my car too as my son has some special needs and I need the car to get him to school and back.

My life is not cushy, it's bloody hard, maybe I should have stayed with my abusive working ex partner who stole my money and pinned me up against walls whilst I carried his baby?

Oh and eggs I qualified for a free days nursery placed for dd3 aged 2 last year for eight months to give me some respite as at the time my sons violence escalated against me and his sisters. I am not a feckless useless parent although I feel it sometimes when I read these threads but one who struggled against the crap hand my family had been?

I intend to go back to work, I have a degree for ffs. I want to retrain as a teacher but whilst my family still has difficulties I am unable to do this at pressent but will start next year looking into my options

Why do I read these bloody threads

Sorry for mistakes, dd jumping all over me

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 10-Jan-13 17:23:05

No offence intended Ghost, thats just based on personal experience, im baffled how they do it.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 10-Jan-13 17:25:31

Fiddling i suspect in some cases actually.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 10-Jan-13 17:28:03

Ghost do you get DLA btw.

Yes I do, but I use that to run my car, it also gets used to repair any damage ds does to the house. I will be using this months to pay for petrol and replacing two more doors, and polyfilla for walls.

It is NOT used for iPads!

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 10-Jan-13 19:31:56

Expat, unless she's pretending to be disabled and a carer as well as a widowed mother she is not getting all the benefits.

There is no way unless she is using different identities for her to get any more than the gov says she needs to live on.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 10-Jan-13 19:32:39

Sorry ment SSD,

ConstantCraving Thu 10-Jan-13 20:05:28

Mumsyblouse ''it's a bit strange to expect the state to fund you staying at home, when everyone else has to pay for it (by having partner/saving in advance from own salary). ''

Why is it better to be scrounging off the state than scrounging off a man? Having a partner isn't 'paying for it'.

Do you guys not realise how LITTLE will be saved from the benefits reforms and how MUCH people will suffer.

ssd Thu 10-Jan-13 21:22:42

yes but you arent reading my posts sock, she might be getting just what she's due as a single mum but sh'e living with her bf who claims unemployment and works for cash on the side

ssd Thu 10-Jan-13 21:27:42

she is getting benefits as a single mum and living as a couple with a man who works

in other words, fiddling

I cant see any posts here where it says someone claiming benefits honestly is living a cushy life, I can only see posters describing benefit cheats who are fiddling the system and living a cushy life

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 10-Jan-13 21:31:43

If she does not consider herself to be in a formal partnership or that type of relationship and he is maintaining accommodation elsewhere (his mothers) then she is breaking no laws.

The DWP does not care who you have sex with or if you share a room they are not even allowed to ask you it does not care if you have guests or how long they stay providing they are maintaining accommodation elsewhere,

He will be if he claims as well as earns.but that's him not her.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 10-Jan-13 21:46:29

Op. So does she have a regular boyfriend?

How did she get free nursery for her two year old? I've never heard of that before.

janey68 Fri 11-Jan-13 07:41:17

My response to the OP is somewhat in the 'middle ground' - which I know is disappointing to posters who can only think in terms of simple black and white labels- either tory bastard or lazy scrounger.

I dont think life on benefits can be particularly rewarding. You must be constantly juggling (unless you are in a position where maintenance or some other means are upping your income) and more importantly it must slowly suck your self esteem dry and offers no long term security. You are at the whim of changing govt policies rather than having control over your life.

On the other hand it is of course totally ludicrous that it's possible to be almost as well off not working, or working very part time, as it is to work full time. That's a result of stupid policy with tax credits. Everyone should be tangibly better off I they work. And the more hours they work, the better off they should be. Most people don't play the system, but some do, and the system has enabled that to happen.

Anyway, getting rid of tax credits is hopefully the step in implementing fairer policies. In the long term, op, this woman won't be laughing. It's also worth remembering that in terms of outcomes for her child, she would be far better off working rather than taking the short term easy option

Dawndonna Fri 11-Jan-13 07:46:29

It's very strange, all these benefit cheats, yet the governments own figures put benefits cheating overall at 0.7%. There are more people on here aware of benefit cheats than there are in government offices!

cory Fri 11-Jan-13 09:20:05

I find it harder to work up indignation about the minimal percentage of benefit fraudsters than about the fact that the government's austerity measures are driving us further and further into recession at a time when pretty well all the other northern European countries have left it behind.

I've been speaking to Swedes and Germans over the holidays: to them, the recession is already a distant memory. Does anyone really believe we have a bigger problem because our welfare cover is more generous?

expatinscotland Fri 11-Jan-13 09:24:09

Exactly, cory.

Bogeyface Fri 11-Jan-13 12:09:34

Can I just ask.....

where are the jobs that you would have people doing?

I dont know if you have noticed, but thousands of people have been made redundant in the last year alone, my husband was one of them, and they are all now on the job market, fighting for what is out there.

Its all very well saying "they should be working" but without the jobs to work, nothing will change!

expatinscotland Fri 11-Jan-13 12:12:54

Now, Bogey, you know better than to ask such a silly question! I'm sure they can find someone to pay them for cleaning grafitti, picking up litter or dog poop, what have you. It's that they are not striving hard enough. They can more to Singapore or Hong Kong, too, there's plenty of work there.

janey68 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:27

As I say I don't think cheating is the real problem. The number of actual fraudsters is comparatively small and techniques for nailing them are becoming more sophisticated.

The deeper problem is that people can quite legitimately be on benefits with HB ,council tax subsidies and with all the fringe things such as free school meals, free scripts, dental care etc they could find themselves no better off, or virtually no better off than if they get a job. Or they could work a couple of days a week and find that with top ups they wouldn't be any better off with a full time job.

That is quite plainly ridiculous and unsustainable.

allgoingtoshitnow Fri 11-Jan-13 12:39:22

"where are the jobs that you would have people doing?"

I'll ask the next Polish person I see. They dont seem to have a problem finding work.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 11-Jan-13 12:49:36

Actually what Singapore and Hong Kong have going for themselves is an ingrained entrepreneurial spirt and low taxes.

expatinscotland Fri 11-Jan-13 13:00:45

'I'll ask the next Polish person I see. They dont seem to have a problem finding work.'

Really? Plenty of them hanging round outside JobCentres smoking in two cities I can think of.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 11-Jan-13 13:40:32

Expat. Are you suggesting that single mums like the op is talking about should move to Singapore?!

chris481 Fri 11-Jan-13 13:55:22


"Maintenance isn't counted anymore? It was when i was on IS in the 90's"

It changed from April 2010.

takeaway2 Fri 11-Jan-13 13:55:33

Single mums like the op's example will not survive in Singapore. It is not a welfare state.

chris481 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:17:07


"Why is it better to be scrounging off the state than scrounging off a man? Having a partner isn't 'paying for it'."

In theory in a partnership you have pooled assets and income, his money is hers, so she is paying her own way if she spends his money.

It's better because the man would be voluntarily paying, some taxpayers would rather not, so there is an element of coercion in redistribution via the state.

chris481 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:23:44

I meant to explain why "scrounging off a man" is better, on re-reading the bit I quoted doesn't quite say what I thought it did.

So, let me get this're a single parent receiving income support and your ex pays you £250 a week maintenance say, and you still get your IS and HB and whatever?? I'm not trying to be controversial or anything, I genuinely had no idea this had changed - is this how it works?

Dawndonna Fri 11-Jan-13 14:49:57

Yes, it is how it works. Equally, you can be a single parent who's ex is supposed to pay £250pw and doesn't pay tuppence a month. That's why it was changed.

Dawndonna Fri 11-Jan-13 14:50:12


Right. Thanks for clarifying that.

expatinscotland Fri 11-Jan-13 15:49:07

fuckadoodle, I was being sarcastic, as I'm sure Bogey knows grin. There's a particular poster who continually suggests moving to far-flung climes for work as if it's the easiest thing in the world.

Bogeyface Fri 11-Jan-13 16:45:39

I did get that Expat smile

As for the Polish people finding work, most of the Poles locally (we have a large population) are doing temporary warehouse jobs, which yes, we are applying for.

Are you suggesting that they are working harder at find jobs than my husband and I who have a mortgage to pay and kids to support?

Belladonna666 Fri 11-Jan-13 17:42:05


I looked on the Turn2us calculator and we would actually be much better off on benefits and I would have my dh around full time.

I recently asked about getting my youngest dc a childcare place for 15 hours a week from 2 and was told it was only for people on benefits. Those not on benefits have to pay, so the equivalent of getting almost £500 a month more tax free as that is how much the nursery costs if you are not on benefits. When you factor in all the other freebies like free school lunches, uniform grants, free prescriptions on top of the myriad benefits, then even with a good salary, once tax and national insurance have been removed many are worse off than those on benefits. It's a no brainer.

expatinscotland Fri 11-Jan-13 17:57:57

'Are you suggesting that they are working harder at find jobs than my husband and I who have a mortgage to pay and kids to support? '

It's much, much easier to take on temp or seasonal work, cash-in-hand, zero hour contracts and below min wage work when you can leave your kids somewhere else, sleep 10 to a room and the money you earn is worth double in your home currency.

But of course, it's easier to just say people are lazy, feckless, workshy losers rather than address the real problems.

Bogeyface Fri 11-Jan-13 18:16:17

I have another question.

Given that alot of jobs are not paying enough to live on (there have been lots of arguments about NMW not being high enough which is why tax credits where needed in the first place), and because of that some people genuinely are better off on benefits through no fault of their own, what would you do?

Lower benefits to below what is acceptable to live on? Consign families to not being able to eat, or pay their heating bills? Do you benefit bashers know that the average family on benefits is not fiddling? Is not paying for Sky, ipads or holidays? Is barely making ends meet? Do you actually understand that CHILDREN WOULD SUFFER without free school meals et al? Not because their parents are feckless but because the state pays the minimum amount needed to live on, and not a penny more. They take into account free school meals when working out the amount a family needs, they take into account council tax benefit (which will no longer be paid in full, but benefits will not go up to fund it, so thats another little push into poverty). "Freebies" are essentials, not fucking luxuries! They ensure that a child of non working parents gets a decent meal, that the poor get medical care, that they dont go to prison for a lack of money (as happens if you dont pay council tax).

Amongst all the Daily Fail style disgust and frothing, no one has actually come up with a solution that doesnt mean millions of people trying to survive on LESS than the NMW with no help whatsoever.

How on earth is that a good thing? Or doesnt it matter as long as you feel that you tax isnt being "squandered"?

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 11-Jan-13 18:39:03

Yes, quite Bogeyface.
I cannot believe the impression that posters on here have about people on benefits as opposed to the utter sustained misery of living on them.

janey68 Fri 11-Jan-13 19:17:58

Bogey face- it's not about lowering benefits. It's about ensuring that someone in the lowest paid, most menial and unskilled job, is significantly better off than they would be on benefits. And the more you work, the more you should earn.

The system has become so unwieldy and complex that it is quite possible to be working and have a standard of living which is no better than you would have on benefits, or by working very part time. That is quite clearly bonkers. If anyone disagrees with that, and believes it is possible to run an economy and society effectively without ensuring that people are significantly better off in work- please share your secret.

ssd Fri 11-Jan-13 19:22:16

lady, I'm confused

can you show me a post where someone genuinely thinks people on benefits have a good life? I've never met anyone who thinks this, or read that on here. I've read posts including my own, about someone that is cheating the system dishonestly and it claiming money they aren't due, and living a cushy life off the back of this. But nowhere have I read someone saying people who claim the correct amount they are due to receive have it easy...?

twofingerstoGideon Fri 11-Jan-13 19:35:27

Bogey face- it's not about lowering benefits. It's about ensuring that someone in the lowest paid, most menial and unskilled job, is significantly better off than they would be on benefits. And the more you work, the more you should earn.

Unfortunately, making claimants poorer does not make low paid people any better off financially. IMO, what is 'bonkers' is allowing companies to pay paltry wages/employ people on workfare. Companies should prioritise paying their workers a decent living wage before handing out million pound salaries to their CEOs. We need a fairer society - not a divided one where badly paid workers are encouraged to despise benefit claimants (which is what Osborne etc seem keen to encourage).

janey68 Fri 11-Jan-13 19:37:26

I never suggested making benefit claimants poorer. I am saying that being in work should leave people significantly better off than not working.

twofingerstoGideon Fri 11-Jan-13 19:37:26

ssd - you keep going on about people 'cheating the system dishonestly'. Seriously, if you genuinely know people who are doing this why aren't you dobbing them in for fraud?

twofingerstoGideon Fri 11-Jan-13 19:38:32

... the only way people can be 'significantly better off' by working, rather than not working, is if wages are significantly increased.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 11-Jan-13 20:17:40

But ssd, there are sooo many people on Mn that know somebody, or have a cousin or a friend of a friend or the cousin of a friend etc etc that have 2 holidays abroad a year, run a car and have huge tellies, Sky and every electronic device known to man.
They usually have countless children in designer gear as well.
This comes up all the time on benefit basher threads and as somebody said upthread, it's designed by the Government to make the working poor have someone to look down on.
And it's working, judging by what I read on here.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 11-Jan-13 22:27:02

Expat. Oh i seeeee.

[wonders who the poster is]

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 11-Jan-13 22:45:20

Twofingers. I have a friend who is a single parent to school age children, doesn't work and also claims carers allowance to care for a relative. Except she can't really care for the relative as they live too far for her to get to their house, would cost a fortune in cabs, no buses go that way and she doesn't drive, too far to walk etc etc

The relative does have a condition, there is no denying that but my friend doesn't care for her on a daily basis. I don't actually know what she is expected to do though to be able to claim, but i do recall that when one of my parents tried to claim carers when the other was seriously ill it was so hard! Got turned down because my parent worked and so couldn't also be considered a carer, or something like that. It was a nightmare! And seemed so unfair as they really needed help sad

So Im not sure how my friend managed it. She is doing ok money wise, in that she has holidays and a gym membership (oh if only) nice clothes, is able to throw parties, have nights out a lot, expensive furniture etc.

But to get to the point of why i don't grass her up . . . because who the feck does that to a friend? Would you really? Would i want to see her and her children suffer? Of course not.

Personally i do think she's got stuck in a rut and it would be good for her confidence to work part time or something but i can't make her, but i would never grass her up.

It vaguely irritates me but mostly because Im so skint and it doesn't always seem fair. And also so unfair that my family were turned down at a time of great need. I don't understand it really. None of us had ever claimed benefits though whereas every member of my friends family do so perhaps they know how it works better.

Bogeyface Sat 12-Jan-13 00:47:48

I agree that wages should be higher, but a lot of the focus in this thread and others has not been on the fact that workers aren't paid enough but that claimants are paid too much.

Lots of comments along the lines of "why should my tax pay for someone to sit on their arse all day?" "I dont pay tax on my earnings for someone else to do nothing....." "We work and cant afford sky, why should someone on benefits have it?"

Its not about increasing wages, but about taking away from claimants. And that attitude is wrong! It wont solve anything but will create a terrible situation of homeless families and neglected children.

I wonder how these people would feel about paying their tax to foster and care homes because millions of children have been taken from their parents just because the parents can't afford to feed and clothe them.

Bogeyface Sat 12-Jan-13 00:49:30

Oh and I think that we can safely disregard the "my cousins sisters dogs aunties babysitter is claiming £X and has three holidays a year blah blah" As has been said, the official figures for fraudulent claims is less than 1%, so a couple of anecdotal stories on a thread with almost 300 messages is hardly representative of the benefit claiming community as a whole.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 12-Jan-13 02:54:16

You can be a carer and also work as long as you don't earn more than £100pw, you also don't have to physically see the person you care for for any minimum time scale

You have to be doing things on there behalf for at least 35 hours pw, your carer duties may be in the form of either practical help,personal care or supportive encouragement emotional care.

I.E one person may need a carer to clean,cook or do shopping or physically assist them with movement dressing ect.

Another may need a carer to just cook

Another may need a carer to attend to personal washing ect

And another may need a carer just to be there or just to communicate or be aware of health variations or to provide verbal support or encouragement

Or be available as and when needed

Or to phone 27 times during waking hours for reassurance and checking amongst other types of verbal help

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 12-Jan-13 02:59:53

Also ca is £53 pw hb take most of it hmrc ( tax credits) treat it as earned income so it can reduce any of those it also can lower the amount f benefits the cared for person receives, So that ca probably makes her about £16 pw better off than a person in her circumstances who is not a carer and reduces her relatives income.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 06:35:15

Ooh a benefits bashing thread on original hmm

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 07:00:45

I agree with Janey - the govt has to give people an incentive to work.

It is appalling that the "working poor" exist. I know a woman who very matter of factly mentioned that her feet would get wet as she had holes in her trainers - she couldn't afford new that month as she'd had to buy her DD new school shoes. That woman had a DP who worked and did shift work herself around the school day and her DPs work.

I genuinely don't understand how she can be in that position whilst someone else I know is a single parent on benefits spends her whole time buying new boots in the HofF sale.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 07:10:01

Anyone on low pay will also be on benefits cutting benefits will penalise your friend just as it does the person who is not working.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 07:12:30

And a single parent buying boots in the HofF sale is raking money in from another source. I am a single parent on benefits and I have a disabled child meaning I get extra....but no way can I afford boots. My last ankle boots came from a charity shop at £8 and that was about my maximum budget too.

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 07:13:44

jake I didn't mention "cutting benefits" confused

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 07:20:07

And I know the woman buying boots is getting money from other sources - her 2 DC's fathers pay a large amount of maintenance whilst she is also in IS.

My point was that is wrong that the working poor exist.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 07:20:16

Yes, sorry, I realise that Sara, mind running away with me at the moment. Just saying both are going to face cuts to their income over the next two years in real terms......both the low paid working person and those on benefits.
Interestingly enough when I spoke to a lone parent advisor about the possibility of going back to work in the next few years his advice was that at NMW I would need to do 30 hours to break that IS not right or fair. Thankfully my qualifications mean I won't be on NMW but for those who are I can see why some will not bother. Not all because most people realise that there are more benefits to work than financial.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 07:21:34

An....yes maintenance is not counted due to it sometimes being that's how she does it.

Loveweekends10 Sat 12-Jan-13 07:30:34

I teach at least 3 students a year that apply for the course in order to claim a funded nursery place then don't attend or submit work. Consequently I see them and chuck them off the course but many students coming to FE courses get away with it for quite a long time.

Accept it that not everyone is striving to better themselves and some people do actually want to doss about while other people pay.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 12-Jan-13 08:42:24


That's interesting. You know a lot about it!

In my parents case the working one definitely earned more than 100 a week because it was a full time job although was still a fairly low paid job. My sick parent could really have done with full time help as they couldn't even make themselves a cup of tea some days and couldn't dress themselves etc but it just wasn't possible financially for the other to give up work. So the working one would help them before work and do what they could and then go to work late so that they were around for a few hours in the morning. Then others would be around later sometimes including me, but it meant the sick parent spent hours alone which wasn't good.

I don't begrudge anyone benefits who need them. Times can get really hard and in those times people need all the help they can get. I do however not understand how it was so difficult for my parents to get much.

They applied for disability living allowance (think that's what it was called) which they were turned down for as well despite the fact that my parent was actually dying sad I fought on their behalf and managed to get them that but it took some doing!

One of my parents had actually spent their entire adult life not able to work due to an illness. They were turned down for any help due to it being an illness which you could say is "all in the head", they just accepted it and didn't appeal and so my healthy parent spent years and years supporting a family on one low wage.

I don't know if there really was a time when mental illnesses didn't qualify or if it was a mistake or if the rules changed at some point or what. But my parents were the sort to just accept it and give up and struggle.

They are the type of people who really suffer when its made difficult to apply for benefits. The ones who know the system manage it no matter how hard its made. Its those like my parents who really need it who just gets poorer and poorer and go without food to feed their children, and then children like me who grow up very poor as a result, without clothes (i used to share a few badly fitting things with my mum as i got older) and opportunities, school trips etc.

Because my sick parent couldn't claim anything we didn't get free school dinners and things like that. It has a knock on effect.

It affected other things such as my teeth! I needed braces but my poorly parent couldn't get me to appointments and it wasn't practical for the working one to take time off to take me as they worked 12 hour days in a job which eventually gave them a breakdown. My teeth weren't really a priority. So to this day i still have a wonky smile and more teeth than my mouth can handle which can be painful sometimes.

Wow Im going on and on and on . . . grin

Im not really sure what my point it, perhaps that it just seems so unfair. Those who really need it don't seem to get much help and yet i see others who appear to do well on benefits to the extent that they don't have an incentive to go back to work.

After all this though, i have no idea what the solution is! grin

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 09:10:47

Your point about braces is pertinent. I also know quite a few working adults who have terrible problems with their teeth because they cannot afford dental work. If they were on benefits they would be given the treatment for free.
This isn't about benefit bashing... I actually believe essential dental work and check ups should be free for all. There are people on here who are sticking their fingers in their ears and going 'la la la benefit bashers' because it's more convenient that accepting what many of us are actually saying. I have no problem with benefits being at the level they are- it's just that when working people who supposedly earn too much to qualify for benefits are in real terms able to afford less than people on low incomes or no income then the situation is not only absurd but unsustainable. Which is what the govt has finally recognised.
Make work pay. Make more hours of work pay more.
In reality there can be very little , or even no, difference in the actual standard of living between one person working full time and not qualifying for anything and someone working say, part time in a lower paid job getting top ups. Where the hell is the incentive for that full timer?

ssd Sat 12-Jan-13 09:17:11

2fingers I replied to this further up the thread "ssd - you keep going on about people 'cheating the system dishonestly'. Seriously, if you genuinely know people who are doing this why aren't you dobbing them in for fraud?" when asked by expat

lady, I'm sure most posters dont really think a family on benefits have all that honestly, most posters must know a life on benefits is hell and the only way to have the plasma tv's etc is to be claiming something dishonestly and having extra money coming in, either that or be drowning in debt which is just as bad

I've known a few folk playing the system, all differently but for their own is possible, but its nothing to be jealous of and much as I'd have liked to I wouldnt dob them in as I knew the kids in the families would be the first to suffer

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 12-Jan-13 09:34:32

Janey. Both my parents had teeth issues in adulthood. One lost the lot at a pretty young age and had to have false teeth and the other ones teeth rotted away. They kept a few but the ones they had were in very bad condition. They later in life got partial false teeth which were too uncomfortable to wear. I imagine better ones would just have cost too much.

ssd Sat 12-Jan-13 09:37:43

janey, I agree with you, except the bit that says the gov recognise the problem, I don't think they do, I think they only see what they want to see

but the bit where people are going "benefit bashers la la la" is correct, rather than discuss the problem openly and say that the system isnt fair in some ways, they want to jump on anyone who says anything they feel is wrong, like its a personnel insult to them, it must be hard to read these threads whilst on benefits and think "but that's not me, I want to work but there's no bloody jobs", but all this jumping down folks throats doesn't help any discussion, I got accused of " benefit bashing bingo" earlier when I mentioned free school dinners and was asked "whats wrong with free school dinners?! when I hadn't said anything was wrong with them.....hmm, where the discussion there??

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 12-Jan-13 09:39:24

Have read most of the threads, but not all of them i admit.
Firstly op, you have zero clue about being a single parent!
Secondly, you are massively over exaggerating about her spending or she is working on the side??
Thirdly, would you like to swap places with her?blush

You may think it sounds all cushty, but i'm very sure if you could swap lifestyles you would be very dissapointedgrin

The only part yanbu on, is the free 15hr 2yo childcare bit, i personally think ALL people regardless of income should get that, but if the government has gave it to her of course she is going to take it, especially being a single parent-she needs a break like the rest of us!

Let me break this down for you and lets see whether you will change your opinion:
Chb for 1 child: Roughly £68 a mnth
Income support: Roughly £71 a wk
Tax credits: Roughly £48 a wk
Maitenance:??? But if father is also on benefits, she will only be getting £5 a week!
Council Tax: that will be paid for her until the new rules come in April
Hb: nearly or all of her rent will be paid but she may have to subsidise it if she has so many bedrooms.

Sound fun to you now?
This is supposed to be a friend, yet your whole op slagged the lady off!
Wheres your goatgrin

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 12-Jan-13 09:45:40

This isn't about benefit bashing... I actually believe essential dental work and check ups should be free for all. There are people on here who are sticking their fingers in their ears and going 'la la la benefit bashers' because it's more convenient that accepting what many of us are actually saying.

I agree. Sometimes on here its like you can't even mention benefits without cries of "benefit bashing" which is ridiculous. I suppose their are some who just hate everyone who is on benefits but i would imagine the majority just think it needs to be run differently. Discussion is important but on mn its almost a no go area on the subject.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 09:53:47

YY- that's exactly it- it's almost become a no go area. Anyone who wants to have a reasoned discussion about it finds the thread is jumped on immediately with cries of 'benefit bashing', mentions of goats or the classic biscuit which is ultimately not doing the forum any favours. Its become a place where many threads follow a predictable pattern and people will look to other forums to discuss important issues

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 12-Jan-13 09:57:04

True. Which is such a shame.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 10:11:41

I cba reading the whole thread, but, as Amber Leaf points out, everyone with one child who is on out of work benefits gets the same amount to live on. Exactly the same.
When I was on income support, when ds was a baby I went to see the lone parent adviser, who worked out what I would get when I started working part time (21 hrs), and even with paying council tax, bus fares and buying lunch every day it works out at around £30 a week more when you work, which is substantial if your income on IS for buying food, clothes, travel and paying bills is £126 a week (which it was then).
Trust me, you are not better off on out of work benefits, and there is no spare money for an i pad.
Sorry, but those are the facts. You can check them with the dwp.
But if you think you would be better off not working, give it a go.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 12-Jan-13 10:15:16

But doesn't that depend on your earning potential?

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 10:30:06

Yes it does- and on your commuting and childcare costs- neither of which you need if you're not working.

comingintomyown Sat 12-Jan-13 10:48:11

Everyones idea of cushy is different I suppose but theres no way I could live a lifestyle I would consider cushy on benefits.

For me sure its annoying thinking about fraudulent benefit claimants but no more annoying than say drivers who drive without insurance or the vast amount of other poor behaviour in society.

Mostly I dont concern myself with it though and just focus on my own life and let others make their choices. To me choosing a lifestyle which offers no growth for the future ie just keep having babies to keep state funding going would be hell but hey if that is a choice someone else is making and its legal then let them get on with it.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 10:54:40

Um. My working full time aunt got braces at the dental hospital for free. You can't get braces free, unemployed or not, unless you are refered to a place like that, unemployed or not.
There are very few dental treatments you can get free on the NHS these days.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 11:02:52

No fuckadoodle and janey, because the system which works out what you get when working is designed to always make you better off-hence you get a diminishing proportion of childcare costs paid, depending on what you earn.

I already said that commuting costs WERE taken into account, as was childcare.

And, because I had had to junk my previous career, and move somewhere out of London, my earning potential was fairly low. We worked out the amounts based on a wage of £8 ph, but if you worked it out based on min wage it would be the same.

For example, housing benefit is worked out based on only £65 % of your wage. Therefore, if I earn £100 a week, they only count that as £65 per week, and adjust the reduction in HB accordingly.

It IS getting harder to go back to work since the Tories cut the max childcare help from 80% to 70%. That affects people on low income the most, but even now, you are still slightly better off working.

Besides which, when you are working, there is career progression. On benefits you are going nowhere.
I used to live on an estate, somewhere where many of you might think would be full of women with loads of kids on the soc.
Well, the vast majority worked, in retail mainly. The ones who DID have too many kids and chaotic lives, and milked the system for all they were worth were few and far between.
And I wouldn't have wanted their lives, not for one second.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 12-Jan-13 11:04:33

Whilst the state gives people the choice of not working, the system will be abused. Presumably thats why UC has lowered the age from 5 to 1 of when people are expected to work after having children. Much fairer as thats pretty much the same as maternity leave.

Her parents should be telling her to grow up and take responsibility but wond if they claim themselves and feel she is entitled. I saw a post recently on anither board where the person with one child got the equivalent of a gross salary of over £30k!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 11:07:36

And interesting, I know quite a few young women, working, with young kids and struggling to make ends meet who also believe that someone, somewhere is having a cushy life and thumbing their noses at us hardworking mugs.
This is EXACTLY what the multi millionaires in charge of things want:For the poor to attack the poorer.
They are laughing at us, scratching around like manky pigeons, pecking each other to death over a few scraps, while they give more tax breaks to the super-rich.
There you are-have some politics. You're welcome. wink

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 12-Jan-13 11:08:50

I think the reason why it turns into crys of benefit bashing is because everybody who gets discussed always gets described as having so much or as feckless or not a very good parent and there are so money people who appear to think that is mostly the case with benefit claimants.

And that lots of people are struggling.

If you think about it its often going to work out easier for a person who has lived on £150 or less cash a week to budget for a while and cope because they are used to it than it will be for someone who has a income above the limits to claim anything when all of a sudden there income drops or living gets significantly more expensive.

Housing benefit is set up with income disregards so it does work out that you are slightly better off in work than out of work ( even with fsm unless you have loads of kids) tax credits give you a premium when you move up from a lower hour band to one of the higher bands.

Its not as if you can walk into the dwp make up a sob story and be given any more money than the gov says you need to live on but there are so many misconceptions about this that it creates problems,I've had people who have told me they think people can claim for pet dogs or that they think people on benefits don't have to pay water rates or get subsidised electric.or that there children get free taxis to school.

They tend to be shocked to find out this isant true.

theplodder Sat 12-Jan-13 11:24:32

The world stands agog at our nutty benefits system,and huge debts, and the world's ponor beat a path to our door to us. If you can't see what's happening, you're blind. It is utterly unaffordable and unless a grip is got the country will continue its long decline further into the economic abyss.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 11:24:50

'even now, you are still slightly better off working.'

Even if this is true (and I'm not convinced it's always the case) the point is that there needs to be a significant difference between working and not working. Likewise there needs to be a significant difference between working part time and getting top ups, and working full time.

If you are only going to be, for the sake of argument, 5 or 10% better off, in real terms, by working, or by working full time rather that part time, where is the incentive? I repeat, I am not interested in cutting benefits (and a lot of people on the thread have said the same) - what needs to happen is for people who work to know that they are substantially better off. They need to see tangible differences in their life. That is what acts as an incentive to people. I know there are other benefits to working too, but at the end of the day, people want to be able to pay their bills, pay for the essentials in life and then have money to enable them to improve the quality of their life. For a long time now, many many people on modest (or even on what would are generally considered quite reasonable ) incomes have found that in real terms they are absolutely shafted and are hardly any better off than if they cut their work hours. That is absolutely crazy economics.

theplodder Sat 12-Jan-13 11:25:23

World's poor.

Bogeyface Sat 12-Jan-13 11:37:52

It was said above that the government has finally realised that it is wrong that someone on NMW is no better off than someone claiming benefits. Except that instead of raising NMW, and risking alienating their supporters, they are lowering benefits. Which is wrong and will lead to even more poverty! Why is that so hard to understand?

The world stands agog at our nutty benefits system,and huge debts, and the world's ponor beat a path to our door to us. If you can't see what's happening, you're blind. It is utterly unaffordable and unless a grip is got the country will continue its long decline further into the economic abyss. So what do you suggest is done?

ssd Sat 12-Jan-13 11:52:12

sock, I hear what you're saying "I think the reason why it turns into crys of benefit bashing is because everybody who gets discussed always gets described as having so much or as feckless or not a very good parent and there are so money people who appear to think that is mostly the case with benefit claimants"

but honestly I dont think most people do think everyone on benefits being discussed gets so much. I think most (although deffo not all, some folk have closed minds no matter what) folk know being on benefits is no picnic

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 12-Jan-13 12:03:44

I agree SSD but unfortunately the ones who do often turn up on these threads banging on about tv's iPads cars or mobile phones don't quite get it

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 12:04:17

Ssd- I agree that some people have closed minds. But that works both ways. I have talked to people on low incomes who complain about 'only' getting 70% of their childcare costs paid for them. They were agog when I replied that dh and me have always had to pay every penny of ours- even when it equated to all my wages. Their reaction was genuine shock. Likewise I was talking only the other week to someone who works for the same company as me (she is in a low paid role) and she was worrying about the changes in April to council tax benefits. She will still get most of hers paid but not as much of a subsidy as she's had for the last few years. When I replied that yes, council tax is a lot of money and I grit my teeth when the £200 per month goes out on direct debit from my earnings she was shocked, and asked how on earth I can afford it.

So I think there can be ignorance on both sides. If you're buffered by wealth you may have no concept of what it's like to be on benefits, but equally if you've received tax credits and other benefits all your working life you can have no concept of what it's like to have to fund everthing out of your own earnings.

I do however think its a minority who don't understand. I think most people know that the real issue is that the welfare system as its been is not sustainable, so it's not even a 'moral' issue about who deserves what.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 12:05:43

The incentive is that working, you will not stay in the same place. I now qualify for jobs that pay 5000 a year more than I did 5 years ago, thru experience.
Believe it or not, most people do not enjoy sitting at home all day in a freezing flat they can't afford to heat, with no money to go anywhere or do anything.
I am glad you don't want to cut benefits because it was really really hard to pay £65 a week bills out of £126 a week, leaving us with £60 a week for food, clothes, nappies and bus fares.This is how I ended up in debt, and really in the shit financially, with an apalling credit rating, which I am still suffering the effects of.
Wages in this country are dire. Really low compared to most of Europe. Rent is insanely high. That is why working FT on a low wage can still be a massive struggle.
The people benefiting from the massive HB bill are landlords. Approx 60% of renters have to claim some HB. Most are working.

I just wish people would stop comparing low wage working to not working. No, there is not a massive amount of financial difference, but the amount there is IS significant when you can go from saying no to an ice cream at the park, to sometimes saying yes.
When you can pay your bills by dd, and you can have a trip to the seaside with your 4 yr old who has never seen the sea before, because you have that little bit extra it matters.

Dawndonna Sat 12-Jan-13 12:14:53

False Economy have published the following statistics:

Proportion of the entire welfare budget that goes on the unemployed: 3%
Proportion of jobseekers who go on to claim for more than a year: 27%
Proportion of budget claimed fraudulently: 0.7%

However, looking at Mumsnet you'd honestly think all those figures would be around at least 50%

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 12:18:30

I wouldn't imagine anyone enjoys sitting in a flat they can't afford to heat, or not being able to afford the little luxuries like a trip to the seaside - my point is that there are people on what would be considered reasonable incomes who don't qualify for any top ups for whom this is a reality. As you say, rents, council tax, childcare are HIGH. If you are a couple with one or two children, paying all rent, council tax, bills, nursery fees, 2 x commutes out of your own income, oh and lets throw in a month where you need a couple of prescriptions at nearly £8 each oh and one of you has terrible toothache and needs a filling at nearly £100 - many people struggle not to be in debt at the end of the month, never mind think of buying ice creams

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 12:20:33

But also Janey, if you were on a low enough income to qualify for childcare help and council tax benefit you would get it.
Look, I have friends who are in the so called squeezed middle.
They quite often complain about being skint, and what they can;t afford. They are not loaded, but doing OK, no tax credits.
So I sat down with my friend and she told me what they had coming in, and what was going out (mortgage, CT, childcare etc) and I realised I had actually thought they were skint. They really wern't. They had enough disposable income to save every month. They go on holiday every year. They have a car. They can afford to have hobbies. They go out for meals.
Which is good for them, but don't tell me you are skint because you don't get CT help.
I also am struggling to see how someone on Income support S is going to potentially pay £40 a month (in my area) for council tax out of IS. The payday loan companies must be rubbing their hands.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 12:24:06

I wouldn't describe your friends as 'squeezed middle' if they can afford holidays and meals out. I'm talking about people who don't quality for top ups and for whom those things would be a pipe dream

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 12:28:38

ifnotnowthen the concept of bettering ones employment position is an interesting one. Of course for many people working means progression, but by no means all.

Many individuals will work in NMW jobs all their life, either because it is all they are capable of or they have external pressures that make promotion impossible.

It is a fallacy to suggest employment brings self improvement and stability. For many, as they lurch from one job to the next, it doesn't.

Bogeyface Sat 12-Jan-13 12:32:22

This is my local MP. Voting on a tax cut for the richest people in the UK, and people say that the benefit system is fucked up?!

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 12:36:00

Sarabellum- that's true, working doesn't always lead to progression

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 12:54:46

Thanks dawndonna-I was just looking for those stats!

The thing is, it seems to me, that you can lay out the facts, like those dawndonna has presented, in front of people all day long but they don't hear it over the din of the hatred, envy and misinformation fuelled by fear and prejudice that the media has whipped up.
The other day on BBC breakfast I watched a report about the govnmt's "strivers versus skivers" welfare cuts.
The presenter reported anxiety among voters that the cuts may also harm "hard working families" and not just the unemployed. There were other comments which made it clear that there was an unarguable difference between the deserving poor (hardworking families) and the undeserving poor (scroungers laying a-bed while the hardworkers go to work) and that anything harming the unemployed was just fine.
This is such a common perception now that to say anything else is considered a bit foolish and radical.
But what if my Dad, aged 55 gets made redundant? He has been working for 39 years, paying NI and taxes, not dodging them but paying into the state like clockwork.
He is out of work. He can't find a job. Even B and Q are not hiring.
He is on JSA. What a scrounger, right?

As the stats show, the majority of welfare is not paid to the unemployed. The majority of HB recipients are working, many of them full time.The bulk of welfare payments are paid to landlords. Most people who sign on unemployed are employed again within a year . I know I was.

But then, you can prove anything with facts..

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 12:57:48


Amen to everything in your last post. So well said.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 12:57:49


Amen to everything in your last post. So well said.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 12:57:49


Amen to everything in your last post. So well said.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 12:57:50


Amen to everything in your last post. So well said.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 12:57:51


Amen to everything in your last post. So well said.

JakeBullet Sat 12-Jan-13 13:03:06


Amen to everything in your last post. So well said.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 13:04:56

No one is arguing with the stats. They are saying that the current situation is unsustainable. It could equally well be argued that there is a din of misinformation and envy about the squeezed middle. As evidenced above where someone thinks the 'squeezed middle' is people who eat out regularly and afford holidays! Hahahahahaha.
That's well off in many people's eyes.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 13:07:31

Ta Jake..what happened there? grin

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 13:13:55

janey love.
I havnt always been poor. I used to have an OK job/career where I didn't qualify for any help. I wasn't remotely rich but I could afford those things.
So I have been on the other side of this and am not at all misinformed.
If you are working FT and don't qualify for tax credits, yet can't EVER go on holiday or eat out then either your money management skills need looking at OR you DO qualify for tax credits.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 13:16:49

"the current situation is unsustainable."

What situation? The one where only 3 % of the welfare budget goes on the unemployed?

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 13:18:26

Im not your love btw! Or was that an attempt to be patronising?

I think you're moving in different spheres to many of us if you think that people who don't qualify for tax credits must be mismanaging their money if they can't afford holidays and meals out. Actually I find that quite insulting on behalf of the many families I know where both parents work full time, they get no top ups and are lucky to get to the end of the month after paying the essential bills, rent, CT, childcare etc with any spare, never mind luxuries.
As I say, maybe you move in different circles..

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 13:33:17

ifnot that patronising "tone" is what drags these debates down hmm

I'm sure someone will know for sure but I believe you don't get TC's once you're on more than approx 50k if you have small DC's. The idea that you can live in the southeast and afford holidays and meals out if you either rent or got in the ladder post 2002 is an absolute joke.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 12-Jan-13 13:48:46

A lot of the differences is in what people treat as essential bill wise,

To some its 1/2 cars, house insurance, boiler protection policy's, activity fees and other stuff like that on top of food heat ect

To others it is just water food heat light

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 13:54:15

Of course there will be some variation in what people consider 'essential'
But to suggest that a family with young children, living on just over the threshold so having to pay rent, childcare, everything out of their faxed income, must be 'mismanaging' their finances if they aren't eating out and going on holiday, is frankly a big fat insult. There are thousands of families in that position, not just in the south east but many other areas of the UK, who struggle, really struggle to get to the end of the month, not Because of holidays and nights out but because normal real life is so damn expensive.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 13:55:00

Oops that should of course be taxed income not faxed!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 14:03:04

I think janey may have started the patronising tone....
Plus, I am northern and call everyone "love"!
Yes, living in the southeast is expensive in terms of rent. That is why working people get HB. If I still lived in London I would qualify for HB working at my current wage, even if I worked full time.
The law says you need a certain amount to live on. If you go below that, you qualify for help.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 14:05:27

No I haven't patronised anyone, so don't try that one. And I hadn't noticed you call everyone else 'love' on the thread either.....

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 14:14:22

ifnot you are missing the point. You can earn (considerably more) than the threshold for HB and still struggle to pay rent.

When I last lived in London rent on a two bed in a fairly crapy area was 1400, council tax 200, childcare x1 1,200, tube 300 ish a month then all the other expenses. Tell me how you begin to afford that with each partner earning 25k let alone "holidays and meals out".

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 12-Jan-13 14:44:01

No, Sara I don't think I am.
Aside from the tube costs, which I dont think can be offset, if, after paying rent and childcare costs you can't afford to live, then yes, you would be entitled to some HB/tax credits.
And I agree with sock-the things that you might consider essential may be things someone couldn't even consider on jobseekers or on a lower wage.
Like home insurance or life insurance for example.

I know a lot of people in exactly that position btw, living in London, working in the public sector for around the national average wage, paying a mortgage or rent, 2 kids etc. They manage. And they do better than me because there are two of them to split the gas bill and the council tax, and the rent.
They are simply not as poor as someone in the same position who is unemployed, which is the question raised in this thread in the first place.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:21:59

You are resolutely burying your head in the sand here and refusing to see the issue being discussed. No, you are not given benefits on the basis of saying 'oh dear we're both earning and we can't afford to pay all our rent, bill and other essentials like dentist bill. If you are considered over the threshold you get nothing- regardless of whether you can afford the above. Sara has given a clear example, not in any way unusual, of a family who would not qualify for any top ups. Your response is that they are mismanaging their money of they can't afford holidays and nights out. That's either plain ignorance or a deliberate insult. Yes, they will have more actual money coming in than someone unemployed. It doesn't necessarily leave them with any more disposable income.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 12-Jan-13 15:25:26

Exactly what IfNot says, it's not comparable.
Being unemployed or mw is not comparable to being on or over 50k!
Even with the benefits included, you are still way better of earning that kind of money than ever being on benefits.

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:25:51

if they can't afford afford holidays

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:27:37

How are you better off pumpkin , if your essential outgoings (by which I mean rent, council tax, childcare and commuting costs for work, and basic food and clothing, leave you with no more disposable income than if you weren't working?

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 12-Jan-13 15:30:03

I cannot fathom how that is even possible though op?
Do explain how because even with those outgoings you are still better off.

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 15:30:42

ifnot your statement "if after paying rent and childcare costs you cannot afford to live then you would be entitled to TC/HB is simply untrue.

A couple earning 30k each would take home 3,800 PCM. Based on the position 10 years ago an unglamourous flat in a rough round the edges area would be 1,400; council tax 200, childcare, 1,200. Allowing for one person to use public transport @ 300 and 350 (80pw )food bill I am working out that they have a grand total of 350 PCM between 2 for their utilities, clothing and everything else.

Ain't getting many meals out and holidays on that

SaraBellumHertz Sat 12-Jan-13 15:32:34

And of course that is with one DC - heaven forbid you might want more....

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:37:35

I'm not the op, so I'm not sure whether that last question was to me pumpkin!
But a good example of how is Saras example above, though if you were talking about two children in full time childcare in the south east then you'd be talking nearer £2000 per month rather than the £1400 she quotes. Then around £1400 rent , £200 council tax, plus commute, other bills, then things like dentist fees, prescriptions.. It's really not hard to see how a family with mum and dad on £25 each would struggle to pay the essentials and would have no more actual disposable income than someone not working. As for suggesting that if that family can't afford holidays then they must be rubbish with money... Well, unbelievable!

janey68 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:41:53

£25k each

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 12-Jan-13 15:44:05

Like most people holidays and trips are normally saved for by going short most of the year.

I could see where you are coming from if you were talking of mw vs jsa, as me & my dh are on near enough the same off as we were on mw, even with top ups included.
But i can tell you, that we have only ever had one holiday in 8 years and my large tv was a swap with my mothers smaller tv and our sky tv is on the lowest possible payment.

My dh was made redudant, and if it wasn't for benefits etc my children would starve & we would be homeless, its as simple as that.

We are on jsa, any luxuries are funded by saving and this years xmas gifts were bought in advance on a weekly basis. We eat cheap food so that the kids can have nice things and we have tabs etc, which were all paid for in installments from littlewoods. Trips to cinema or zoo etc are a rare yearly occurance as we cannot afford them.
We were in 5k of debt until the redundancy money came through, there is none left now.

My dh & i have been looking for work for 4 months solid yet all he could obtain was a one off holiday job, we WANT to work but cannot get anything, its depressing sad

So when you see your friend with all this stuff and think her life is all fluffy marshmellow like. It isn't, just because you see what you think is a good thing, it doesn't mean it is.

I was shocked at how little jsa is when we first applied for it 4 months ago, its shite basically.