To ask Scameron and Osborne to hang their heads in shame?

(101 Posts)
MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:08:53

Within two years, almost 7.1m of the nation's 13m youngsters will be in homes with incomes judged to be less than the minimum necessary for a decent standard of living, according to a new report.

Some key facts about child poverty

>Nearly 4 million children are living in poverty in the UK (after housing costs)

>The proportion of children living in poverty grew from 1 in 10 in 1979 to 1 in 3 in 1998. Today, 30 per cent of children in Britain are living in poverty.

>The UK has one of the worst rates of child poverty in the industrialised world

>The majority (59 per cent) of poor children live in a household where at least one adult works.

>40 per cent of poor children live in a household headed by a lone parent. The majority of poor children (57 per cent) live in a household headed by a couple.

Note that child poverty boomed after that witch Thatcher took office 1979 !

This is what you get when politics is no longer democratic, when politicians, media and education dumbs people down so that even the working classes trumpet how bloody wonderful neo-liberalism is. How the free market should dictate everything from health and welfare to the price of crisps, your wages and even how valued you are are a human being.

I think The Tories should all hang their heads in shame, IABU ?

ChairmanWow Wed 13-Mar-13 19:15:30

You know you're not. I agree with every word, particularly that poor and working class people are buying into the neo-liberalism myth because of what proprietor-owned media outlets are telling them.

The stats are shocking and the growth of inequality in this country since the late '70s is inexcusable.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:23:12

Thank you, I really think it is time people started to wake up to what neo-liberal economic policy is doing, it is decimating society and impoverishing our children and their futures.

zwischenzug Wed 13-Mar-13 19:26:41

"Below the breadline", lol what a farce. I can't believe anybody takes seriously an article that claims 'child poverty' exists in any meaningful way in this country. The only children who go hungry and such are those who are neglected by their parents, the welfare system is very generous to parents.

The main problem children in this country face is paying off all the debts the spendthrift baby boomer generation have piled up on the government credit card (but who are conveniently retiring and letting others pay off).

wonderingsoul Wed 13-Mar-13 19:32:44

well, no we dont have third world poverty and dying children on the streets.

we do have alot of people wondering what bill they should pay first, if they can afford to put the heating on. trying to work out when they can buy that mop/bra / shoes.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:33:28

What evidence do you have that welfare is "very generous" and even if it is why are wages not generous "The majority (59 per cent) of poor children live in a household where at least one adult works"

In terms of baby boomers, it would be correct to say that this generation lived through an age of unprecedented growth, prosperity and social mobility because of embedded liberalism (democratic socialism in the UK) with the creation of the NHS, house building, social housing, nationalised industries and where the UK invested in the welfare of its people. A time when labour was fairly organised and people could support a family on one wage.

the welfare system is very generous to parents

Wages, however are not.

As the OP says, the majority of children in poverty are from households where a parent works.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:34:37

That was directed to zwischenzug


Comparing UK poverty to that of third world countries is ridiculous aswell. Its offensive to people who are going without.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:35:59

Zero hrs contracts, weakening of labour, unemployment exherting a downward pressure upon wages.....

and the Tory medicine for this......."flexible labour"

Ask yourself "what is flexible labour?"

lougle Wed 13-Mar-13 19:36:52

YABU -they'd have to feel shame first and they are unfeeling.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:38:23

so true lougle does that make them sociopathic ?

Xales Wed 13-Mar-13 19:40:46

So in the 13 years that Labour were in power they didn't really manage to dent the percentage in poverty.

I think you are being unreasonable to say the Tories should hang their heads in shame. All the parties that have been in power and all the MPs that have voted to pass legislation that rewards rich greedy bastards/corporations at the expense of the rest of the country should do so.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Personally I think Politics should be taught in schools.

I went to a Grammar school and politics was a GCSE option. If you didnt choose the GCSE you just didnt learn about politics.

Sorry, posted too soon.

If it was taught more widely then perhaps we would get a wider range of politicians. More "normal" people rather than wealthy idiots who only look after their own interests.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:48:46


My personal take on Labours inability to put people before corporate profit, stems from neo-liberalism itself. When the media is corporate owned they would get a roasting. When the media speaks, people assimilate this into their thinking. I also believe that without corporate backing any party would find itself in a difficult position. It will take a very brave party with the backing of the people to take on corporate tax avoidance, regulate the banks and demand better pay for workers.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:52:47

Not sure if teaching politics in schools would help. How can you be sure that it wouldn't be biased?

I think what should be done in schools is to establish debating societies, encourage children to speak in public and have confidence in expressing their views.

idiuntno57 Wed 13-Mar-13 19:52:59

YANBU but I think it is not all their 'fault'

Poverty is relative and in a society where there are some high profile 'haves' getting away with tax evasion etc. calls to penalise the poorest are hitting the wrong people.

If I hear the word 'hard working' applied before 'families' to imply middle class people with slightly compromised living standards as opposed to benefit 'cheats' another time I think I'll scream <prepares to scream... a lot>

Working for minimum wage is no life and being on benefits not much better/worse.

These children haven't got a chance.

I just can't believe that these so called clever politicians and their advisers can't think of a decent solution... or is it just because they are too busy lining the pockets of their cronies to consider a radical long term plan??

idiuntno57 Wed 13-Mar-13 19:53:29

sorry meant to say of any party. Though this lot seem particularly idiotic

MrsKeithRichards Wed 13-Mar-13 19:56:03

Why do people assume being anti Tory makes you pro labour?

Op yanbu.

idiuntno57 Wed 13-Mar-13 19:57:07


I think part of the problem is that once they enter politics, esp parliament, no matter how well being they are 'turned' by the system. The only way to succeed there - it seems to me - is to become utterly self seeking.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 19:58:42

The divide and rule tactics are tiresome but to those in power quite necessary. How very dare the working people of the uk hang together and have shared cause for concern over their lives, how very dare we all stand together and demand change and democratic government with policies that put people before greed.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 20:01:27

MrsKeithRichards......well said. I vote labour, what choice is there but I seriously question my own sanity when I put a cross in the box. Combining big state spending with neo-liberal low tax rates, flighty foreign capital and deregulation, privatiation of all profits and socialised risk underwritten by tax payers spells........bankrupt.

Bodicea Wed 13-Mar-13 20:04:52

Nothing to do with the fact that the tories always inherit a bankrupt country and have to pick up the pieces and make the tough decisions after labour has frivolously and unsustainably spent all the money??? Did you know Gordon Brown sold all the countries gold in the middle of a boom - when gold prices were at their lowest!!!

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 20:08:57

Oh, no, I have been living in a tent in sherwood forest wink

Apart from the last term, when else have labour left the country bankrupt?

The reason the UK is near collapse isn't because of labour but because of neo-liberalism. Same with the USA and many other countries that have adopted it.

Saxie Wed 13-Mar-13 20:16:33

I agree that the politicians are not truly representative of the country and that is a big issue. I'm not sure how you fix it though. It seems bizarre and archaic to me that the majority of professionals in this country are from public schools. We should consider our education system a failure until the general population are more fairly represented in all the corridors of power.

As to the issue, how would Cameron & Osborn understand? It is a life so far removed from their own London centric privileged lives.

jaywall Wed 13-Mar-13 20:27:27

What exactly is poverty ? Because relative poverty, which is being discussed in the Op's figures 'could' be defined as not having a smart phone if enough of your peers have one.
It has been defined as not owning branded trainers in the past.
Something i find distasteful when considered against the back drop of real (absolute) poverty in some countries.

cory Wed 13-Mar-13 20:28:16

If the Tories are picking up the pieces, how come the UK is taking so much longer than comparable European countries to come out of the recession?

How come the head of the OBR has written to Cameron pointing out that his austerity policy is holding back economic growth?

E320 Wed 13-Mar-13 20:36:20

Do you seriously expect an "instant fix" after 13 years of socialism? You may be too young to remember the then chancellor, a certain G.Brown not changing anything in his first budget BECAUSE there was lots of money in the kitty. Well, I wonder how that happened.
I, personally, do not care for those, who are generous with other people's hard-earned cash.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 20:38:05

jaywall I think relative poverty is important, it shouldn't be underestimated because it doesn't sit isolated from real poverty.

When thinking about how neo-liberal economic policy has shaped the global economy and how we trade with other less rich nations, it can be seen that third world debt is actually helping to enrich the first world, or rather first world bankers, investors and corporations.

An exert from the first para of the world trade organisations agreement

" raising standards of living, full employment and large steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand"

It must be understood that full employment is not possible under capitalism but isn't even desirable under neoliberalism. Without effective demand you can not have increasing employment, without employment you can not have demand.

Which brings us back to what is relative poverty and what impact does high levels of relative poverty have on the creation of real poverty both here and abroad.

When you consider whether poverty should include having access to the goods in the market place, you can only conclude that in order for an economy to grow and lift people out of poverty, there must be effective demand for all the goods in the market place.......without it, there are no jobs.

jaywall Wed 13-Mar-13 20:39:59


Which countries are those? What indicators are you using to suggest they are out of recession ? I assume you mean GDP growth ?

Well the last quarter of 2012 showed 6 countries in the EU grew their GDP, i personally do not think we compare to any of them but perhaps you see us as a new Romania...or lithuania ?

cory Wed 13-Mar-13 20:41:32

Me, I am old enough to remember the Thatcher years. And the total shambles that were the Major years. They did not inspire me with a lot of confidence. Cameron doesn't either.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 20:41:42


I have every sympathy with tax payers watching there money get wasted. I too pay taxes and I am old enough to remember Thatcher being elected and paul vockers shock treatment, spiralling interest rates, house reps, mass unemployment, strikes, privatisation and the rot thatcher set in motion with her chum Reagan. Thank you.

jaywall Wed 13-Mar-13 20:46:17


Just a quicky, i need a bath. I disagree, full employment is possible it was possible before the welfare state and it is possible after it, im not quoting anyone here, just personal experience from travelling around ASEAN countries. Seeing what happens when there is no welfare state. This might sound odd, but they have a better standard of 'life' than anyone in this country on welfare. In my opinion.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 20:52:11

Welfare state is needed as a response to capitalism.

What was the first form of welfare? Education and it came into being after the industrial revolution.

Without the tendency towards monopolisation I might agree with you. Capital accumulates in few hands and the rest of us can not compete. We can only compete with each other for the work available.

E320 Wed 13-Mar-13 20:54:18

I wonder how old you were? Probably not old enough to have benefited from a "good" education?

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 21:01:34

When, during the industrial revolution, under Thatcher or when Brown sold the Gold ?

NicholasTeakozy Wed 13-Mar-13 21:04:07

Bodicea Wed 13-Mar-13 20:04:52

Nothing to do with the fact that the tories always inherit a bankrupt country and have to pick up the pieces and make the tough decisions after labour has frivolously and unsustainably spent all the money??? Did you know Gordon Brown sold all the countries gold in the middle of a boom - when gold prices were at their lowest!!!

The country wasn't bankrupt when Camoron and Gidiot got their filthy paws on it. The deficit to GDP was still lower than in 1997, now it's way higher, all because of Osberk and his ridiculous austerity policies, which will only ever depress the economy. Labour made the terrible decision to bail out the banks, and it is that private debt which we are now paying off. Wrongly. They are privatising profit whilst socialising debt, and that's immoral.

As for Gordon Brown selling off the gold, it was at the recommendation of his financial advisor, an ex employee of Goldman Sachs.

Unless neoliberalism is overthrown we are fucked financially. It only allows for trickle-up economics.

What the Tories are doing is ideological. They want to dismantle the Welfare State and replace it with something that turns a profit. The problem with this is it will cost more so their 'cuts' are meaningless. They know this and they're knowingly deceiving the populace, for which they should be impeached. It used to be a criminal offence to lie to The House but you see it every day now these scamming thieving cunts are in charge.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 21:12:34

Well said NicholasTeakozy

In the USA tax rates rose to something like 90% for the very wealthiest, the money was used to invest in spending that would grow the economy and put people into work. This lifted the states out of the great depression. The wealthy were of course livid that they should have to pay decent wages and indignant that they should have to repay the wealth stolen from the workers that created that wealth. So they mounted a fight back......neo-liberalism. Started with the funding of a few academics and will end with the impoverishment of millions.

The great depression followed period of huge income inequality, this latest crisis followed a similar pattern.

The difference this time is that the working classes have been lied to and hogwashed into believing in "trickle down economics"

HillBilly76 Wed 13-Mar-13 21:17:48

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Scrazy Wed 13-Mar-13 21:23:47

I agree that you cannot compare third world poverty to poverty here in the UK. We pay so much of our income in taxes to prop up a welfare system, we have an infrastructure and relative poverty here shouldn't exist. Money is there for a basic standard of living for everyone. It's where the money is going that is the problem.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 21:34:34

And where is the money going?

"After the implementation of neo-liberal policies in the late 70's, the share of national income of the top 1% of income earners soared"

"The top 0.1 percent of income earners in the US increased their share of the national income from 2% in 1978 to over 6% by 1999"

"The median compensation of workers to the salaries of CEOs increased from just over 30:1 in 1970 to 500:1 by 2000" Harvey

Estimates are that 2% of world population own around 50% of world wealth, and around 8% of world population owns more thatn 85% of world wealth.

HollyBerryBush Wed 13-Mar-13 21:39:33

Apart from the last term, when else have labour left the country bankrupt?

You're far too young to remember back to Calalghan and Wilson, with Heath and Thatcher picking up those pieces. Slate thatcher all you like, she inherited a bankrupt country and did what had to be done at the time. Hindsight is wonderful thing - her vision was destroyed by Blair, but thats neither here nor there with your comment Apart from the last term, when else have labour left the country bankrupt? - we are still picking up the pieces of gordon Brown as Chancellor, and it's likey there will be another 40 years of picking up those pieces.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 21:40:17

>In the USA tax rates rose to something like 90% for the very wealthiest
>Do you really think that is viable today?

NO I don't because of globalisation. Whilst the general population is prevented from crossing nation boarders in search of work due to immigration controls no such controls exist to prevent the flight of wealth and investment.

I also think that whilst the nation is told "we are all in this together" and that we must swallow the bitter pill for the sake of the country, national pride is something done to us because the corporations, businesses and the wealthy have no such national loyalty.

This is why so many people are inclined to keep bleating about the national debt.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 21:46:41

In 1979 the debt to GDP ratio had fallen and was roughly 47% of GDP, under embedded liberalism the Debt to GDP fell like a brick during the years after the war when we built up the welfare state and the NHS.

It is estimated that the Debt to GDP will be over 100% by 2015, thanks Gidiot.

TheOriginalLadyFT Wed 13-Mar-13 22:39:36

Same old same old - everything is the fault of the Tories, despite Labour having 13 YEARS to right all the world's wrongs, when actually they just tipped us into an economic black hole

I watched a report on the BBC this morning about people living in what they described as a very deprived area. Virtually every house/flat had a satellite dish, and the bloke they interviewed freely admitted to refusing to get a job as he was "holding out for a good one" rather than doing "something boring and repetitive where someone would boss me about". Another woman, supposed a career advisor, said there were no jobs; the BBC reporter then said there were currently 1,000 jobs advertised within a two mile radius of the report location.

I've seen other tv reports with people moaning about not being able to afford gas bills, when in the background there's a 60" widescreen TV, complete with DVD player and sky box, and the moaner is smoking a fag.

Whingeing about nasty Tories is just sticking your head in the sand about some of the issues this country faces. It might offend socialist sensibilities, but beyond the comparatively small number of genuinely needy people receiving benefits and facing real poverty is a vast gulf of idle buggers who don't want to do a day's work. Plenty of those also think nothing of having multiple children which they then say they cannot afford and who will be "living in poverty"

But hey it's all Cameron et al's fault and sod personal responsibility or a sense of contributing to society, eh?!


HeadFairy Wed 13-Mar-13 23:00:12

TheOriginalLady no one likes a scrounger its true but where do you put the super rich in all this? How much blame must they take?

HeadFairy Wed 13-Mar-13 23:05:44

I'm really looking forward to the day when newspapers are full of hate filled articles about the billionaire who only pays 6% tax and who gives his non dom wife £2bn bonus to avoid paying tax on it in the same way we see hate filled articles about the poor in this country.

The rich do more damage than the poor to this country, don't pay tax, don't contribute in any meaningful way and then fuck off as soon as conditions become less favourable to them. Well goodbye and good riddance to them I say.

MiniTheMinx Wed 13-Mar-13 23:29:22


> Labour having 13 YEARS to right all the world's wrongs

Labour wasn't socialist and hasn't been since Blair gatecrashed.

> to right all the world's wrongs

Should our government be righting all the world's wrongs? do we have the right to intervene in other countries? well maybe you think we do, we did afterall push neo-liberal reform on Chille and many other countries.

>the bloke they interviewed freely admitted to refusing to get a job as he was "holding out for a good one

I think this probably backs up my assertion that the "liberal" unbiased press is in fact a corporate press. Of course they are bound to edit the programme so that it fits with their agenda

>BBC reporter then said there were currently 1,000 jobs advertised

Yes there is work but this problem of poverty is one not just of no work but of low wages. Wages have stagnated for the past three decades and 59 per cent of poor children live in a household where at least one adult works. Of course low wages are subsidised but do you want your taxes to subsidise low wages or would you prefer employers to pay a living wage?

>I've seen other tv reports with people moaning about not being able to afford gas bills, when in the background there's a 60" widescreen TV, complete with DVD player and sky box, and the moaner is smoking a fag

Indeed people in poverty often make poor choices but is that not also because state education is failing so many people? Plus I would draw your attention to the fact there must be effective demand for all the goods in the market place.......without it, there are no jobs.

> Plenty of those also think nothing of having multiple children which they then say they cannot afford and who will be "living in poverty"

There are two things that set people apart from animals and they are related, production and reproduction. It sets us apart from animals. People have a need to sustain immediate life, ie food, shelter but they also choose to sustain life through reproduction.

Yes people choose to have children but why should that choice be denied them. Should they ONLY be fit for wage slavery and lining the pockets of their employers before they are buried? should that maintains the choice of their employers to reproduce? You do realise that for every 500 workers there will now be only 1 who can reproduce if the uptake of tax benefits excludes you from reproducing.

Darkesteyes Thu 14-Mar-13 01:45:05

We have a satellite dish on the side of our flat but its not been in use since 2005. And to the poster who said someone cant be in absolute poverty if they have a smartphone or mobile phone?
ive seen news reports on tv from poorer areas of SA where a guy had a mobile phone. But he was living in absolute poverty. The phone/flatscreen tv/satellite dish are a handy media stereotype to hang a hat on.

KateShrub Thu 14-Mar-13 02:52:12

One of the main reasons why working people are on low wages is that the last government, headed by war criminal Blair, increased immigration levels to the highest in history. This benefited Blair and his ilk, by providing cheaper labour (Polish builders etc.) to extend his children's property, and low-cost cleaners to scrub his toilets, but it reduced wages for the existing population, bringing them into poverty.

In addition, the previous government created rampant house price inflation, so that scumbag war criminals like Blair could make huge profits buying multiple homes at the expense of working people, who could no longer afford a place to live.

The so-called bedroom tax is a distraction from the fact that the real issue is the unaffordability of housing for everyone.

Unfortunately the damage wreaked by the last Labour government, like many before it, may not be reversed for many years, if ever.

Unfortunately the damage wreaked by the last Labour government, like many before it, may not be reversed for many years, if ever.

The tories arent trying to reverse it. They brought in workfare. Further undermining our NMW and creating FREE labour for companies.

They are allowing Zero hour contracts that erode away employee rights and give companies an easy way of keeping staff without having to pay them or even worry about sacking them.

Darkesteyes Thu 14-Mar-13 17:43:36

VERY interesting article on workfare.

Darkesteyes Thu 14-Mar-13 17:44:46

From the above article.

At the end of 2012, stores such as Argos, Asda, Superdrug and Shoezone made use of the government’s workfare schemes to meet their seasonal demand, instead of hiring extra staff or offering overtime. This is part of an increasing trend to replace paid employees with workfare participants. In September the 2 Sisters Food Group sacked 350 workers at its plant in Leicester. It moved the production of its pizza toppings to Nottingham, claiming that the move was ‘as a result of several recent strikes’. However, instead of employing people, the company has taken on 100 workfare placements, ‘to give them an idea of what it’s like to work in the food sector’.

It’s not just companies using workfare. It has an increasing presence in the public sector too, plugging the gaps left by redundancies and cuts. Hospitals, public transport and councils have all used workfare participants to provide services. Halton Council has shed 10 per cent of jobs since 2010, and is now using workfare placements. Lewisham has closed some of its libraries. It has now emerged that its new, outsourced ‘community libraries’ use people mandated onto workfare for free labour

Darkesteyes Thu 14-Mar-13 17:46:09

100 workfare placements in one company!!!!
And STILL there are people saying that workfare doesnt replace paid work.

TheCrackFox Thu 14-Mar-13 17:51:33

Work Fare is an utter disgrace.

survivingwinter Thu 14-Mar-13 18:00:49

Yanbu op but then you are asking this question on MN and not to Daily Mail readers who believe these families all deserve to live in poverty because they have too many kids/can't budget/scrounging lone parents etc.

Workfare/The work programme is an utter disgrace I agree and lots of decent services and charity budgets have been cut to fund it angry

From that article

"Universal credit looms on the horizon and with it will come a new deluge of conditionality. Low paid and part-time workers will be drawn into the same boat as jobseekers – forced to do jobsearch and workfare until they are earning the equivalent of full-time work at minimum wage. Whitehall intends to make using the disastrous Universal Jobmatch website compulsory, sentencing those claiming social security to hours of demoralising searching on an ineffective database, while also making surveillance of every click possible."

Working isnt enough for the tories. If you are poor you deserve to be treated like a child whether you work or not.

LadyPessaryPam Thu 14-Mar-13 18:13:37

YADBU, whatever the issue, because you are expecting any politician to understand the concept of 'Shame'.

MiniTheMinx Thu 14-Mar-13 18:49:30

wannabedomesticgoddess forcing people to spend hours pointing and clicking, it sounds positively Orwellian.

Nice find Darkesteyes does anyone know if 2 Sisters are still using free labour? Looking at the website all of their recent vacancies are for supervisory and management staff, which suggests they probably are.

The chairman of 2 sisters " has been _Chief Advisor to the British Government at the Home Office_ and is a Senior Advisor to Goldman Sachs Private Equity. Mr Allen is also a Non-executive Director of the London Olympic Committee Non-executive Director of Tesco" wiki

Bodicea Thu 14-Mar-13 18:54:42

Headfairy you can't tax the superrich at hight tates as they just bugger off taking all their money with them. It's happening in france now. They have been taxed to the hilt and are jumping across the channel to London - which is welcoming their money with open arms!

I do agree that we need to look after those in low paid jobs and encourage them to stay there rather than sack it off and sit on their arses. It is just not right that you can be worse off going to work than sitting at home on benefits. But the tories have an uphill struggle because of the massive benefit culture that labour has created. It's a lot harder to take something away than to give something.

Bodicea Thu 14-Mar-13 18:55:29

sorry typo - higher rates

MiniTheMinx Thu 14-Mar-13 18:59:56


No but our politicians (labour included) can play the national pride card and send working class men out to fight illegal wars. So yeah, the rich can have no national loyalty whilst we either sit tight and wait for crumbs from their table or get our legs shot off.

MiniTheMinx Thu 14-Mar-13 19:02:00

>I do agree that we need to look after those in low paid jobs and encourage them to stay there rather than sack it off and sit on their arses

Have you been asleep? we are now entering a triple dip recession.

Bodicea Thu 14-Mar-13 19:09:40

I would love us to be able to tax the superrich - but globalisation as is it - it is not a viable option anymore. No point winging about it. There needs to be a balance to keep the money in the country and not on other shores.

Bodicea Thu 14-Mar-13 19:16:17

Yes I am aware there is a recession but you can't blame that for everything.
I am also aware of plenty of people who work the benefit system to the max - i.e I know someone that makes sure she doesn't work more than 16 hours a week so she can still get all her benefits.
I know someone else who was on a good salary - £30,000 - when consulting some governmet body about her difficult divorce issues - can't remember which - they told her the best thing for her to do would be to quit her job so she could get legal aid as well as benefits. No joke!
Why kind of system is this?

JuliaScurr Thu 14-Mar-13 19:34:10

Bodicea what you say seems reasonable until you see how the benefits system works - if you earn 50p over the meanstest limit you lose the lot - free school meals, prescriptions, tax credits , school bus pass etc, so you end up unable to manage in spite of earning a bit more.
But you cannot get enough hours or childcare to make up th difference

I know someone that makes sure she doesn't work more than 16 hours a week so she can still get all her benefits.^

Its very easy to blame the benefits in this scenario. But the true problem is the pittance that we call NMW and the lack of hours available. Usually because of the workfare schemes.

JuliaScurr Sun 17-Mar-13 12:32:47

yy wannabe nmw is the real prob - benefits subsidise bad employers

LittleChickpea Sun 17-Mar-13 13:12:15

Before i get lambasted I have used some of this information on another post but it's relevant here too.  

 OP YABU to blame the current government for this.  Every government that's been in power since 1915 should be blamed.   After all, the public net debt has been growing since 1910/1915.  But the vast majority of this debt has come within the last 30 years.  Why? Money become cheaper and cheaper to borrow.. In the early 1980s government could borrow at 15% for a few years and now it's about 2% for 10 years.  Last year Britain spent £120 billion more than it collected in taxes.  The majority of this went into welfare and public spending.

 I mean let's think about what is happening in the country and why future employment may/will prove to be much more difficult which will impact on prosperity.  Let's use Spain as a comparison.  Spanish unemployment is 25%, and for the youth it's 50%.  The debt situation in Britain is far worse than it is in Spain. Our economic position is far worse than it is in Spain. Britain's debt equals 900% of the economy.  When you listen to well respected economists, in all recorded history no country has ever recovered from the position Britain is currently in, financially (thank you very much Gorden for carrying on spending for 13 years).  This level of debt has never been reversed and it has inevitably resulted in financial collapse.  Currently British unemployment is just under 8% but bearing in mind the debt/number of companies going into administration etc. it's only a matter of time before Britain starts seeing up to 30% unemployment. Or maybe, I am talking a load of balls!!

This is just one issue in amongst lots other issues.  So how do we resolve it?  We can all kick off and point the finger at the current establishment but all this was happening in the 13 years that Tony / Flash Gorden were in power.  I haven't heard anything from Eddie the Red or Crazy Balls that demonstrates how they can resolve this.  If anyone here has please can you share it with me.  I am really interested in hearing it.  

LahleeMooloo Sun 17-Mar-13 13:18:51

What's the answer though? If you raised all wages, there'd be far fewer jobs than there are already and more people on benefits, with less money in the pot to pay the benefits... I'm not saying you shouldn't raise wages, I am genuinely asking what the solution is because it seems to me that there isn't one.

SickOfWinter Sun 17-Mar-13 14:15:08

Why is it these people HAVE children, if they can't afford to provide for them? Contraception is free after all... Oh yes, because our ridiculous welfare system PAYS them to have children, and they obviously spend this money on themselves.

if they can't afford to provide for them?

See my point about NMW.

Orwellian Sun 17-Mar-13 14:18:57

LahleeMooloo, there is no way out. It will be a decline in living standards, rampant inflation, the sun setting on Western economies as Asia (which is far more competitive, isn't burdened by a huge welfare state or high taxes to pay for it) is on the ascendant. We are going to have millions unemployed and unemployable expecting to have the same standards of living as those working 70+ hours and any government who imposes punitive tax on the few remaining tax payers are going to see them vanish from the UK (which is already experiencing a significant brain drain) quicker than you can say "Labour spent squandered all the cash". The future isn't rosy for the UK, we no longer have an empire and there is nothing we make or do that can't now be done elsewhere cheaper and better.

TheRealFellatio Sun 17-Mar-13 14:26:53

>The proportion of children living in poverty grew from 1 in 10 in 1979 to 1 in 3 in 1998. Today, 30 per cent of children in Britain are living in poverty.

Er...1998. How is that David Cameron' fault? confused I've heard of him being blamed for things that happened during Gordon Brown's term of office, but trying to blame him for things that happened before Tony Blair even arrived is a bit much, even for the most enthusiastic Tory hater. grin

mrsjay Sun 17-Mar-13 14:43:13

you can ask them they wont though they will have their heads held high in their mansions , they dont care a jot

LittleChickpea Sun 17-Mar-13 14:50:57

LaLeeMooLoo that's a killer question.  Lets hope our politicians have the answer.  But even if they did/do i doubt they would have the will to carry it through because no one wants to make vote losing decisions even if they are right for the country.  The other question is "is Britain suffering from a liquidity (cash flow - short term financial obligations) crises or is it a solvency (ability to meet our long term financial obligations) crises?".  All I know is we need to find a way of getting rid of the debt because it is chocking our economy but doing that will involve pain. Pain = Lost Votes

I don't think borrowing is the answer.  All we are doing is taking from the future economy (our childrens future) to prop up today's economy.  It's the never never model..

I also agree with a number of points Orwellian makes.  

FasterStronger Sun 17-Mar-13 17:13:16

we have raised living standards using borrowed money at the same time as the world has become more competitive.

and everyone is living longer.

there is no easy fix, just more more work and less money.

Darkesteyes Sun 17-Mar-13 17:36:51

Heres a novel idea. If one company is using 100 workfarers then the work IS obviously there. SO FUCKING PAY THEM.

Well said.

LittleChickpea Sun 17-Mar-13 19:51:15

we have raised living standards using borrowed money at the same time as the world has become more competitive

Yes we and other countries have used borrowing to buy our way out. But globally only three of the ten large developed economies have started to pay their debt (South Korea, US and Australia) whilst the rest look to have continued to increase their debt.  Will this drive competition, not sure.  One to research I think. 

Personal and financial sector debt looks to be improving but public sector debt is continuing to rise. This is were the defficult decisions need to be made.  Do we borrow / spend? Will this work?  I am not convinced because we are getting more into debt but producing less income to service the debt.  Borrow to spend more on infrastructure, maybe but not buying it.  We would get a spike in economic activity but would it create lasting employment? Doubt it, unemployment would likely increase post project completion.  Plus Britain would need to get further into debt to support this and it takes us back to the never never model. Spending from the future (our kids futures) to benefit us today.  

I am no expert but I just do not want to burden the next generation with our debt.  It's like leaving our kids an inheritance but instead of giving them cash to help boast them etc., instead we send the bail lifts to their door.  Bit dramatic I know but you get my point.  

there is no easy fix, just more more work and less money.

Agree with that completely.  Thank god I am not one of the people trying to resolve this. 

ShellyBoobs Sun 17-Mar-13 20:08:46

The proportion of children living in poverty grew from 1 in 10 in 1979 to 1 in 3 in 1998. Today, 30 per cent of children in Britain are living in poverty.

So the proportion of children living in poverty reduced between 1979 and 1998?

What's your point?

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Mar-13 20:46:25

Shelly The proportion of children living in poverty grew from 1 in 10 in 1979 to 1 in 3 in 1998. Today, 30 per cent of children in Britain are living in poverty.

The proportion of children living in poverty grew from 1 in 10 to 1 in 3. Thatcher took office in 1979.

LittleChickpea you must be listening to some fairly obscure economists grin because even Stiglizt and Paul Grugman have distanced themselves from neo-liberalism and are calling on the IMF and the Governments to move from austerity to Keynesian economics.

during the period of embedded liberalism 1945-1979 the debt to GDP ratio was the healthiest it has ever been. I think the only period in which debt to GDP was better was the end of the 18th century !

The reason the debt fell and output rose is because of several factors not least because workers were earning a higher percentage of national income, some industries were nationalised and corporate taxes were higher.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 17-Mar-13 21:04:34

True poverty doesnt exist here, the lack of internet or a smart phone being indicators prove that.

Its no governments fault, children are bought into the world by their parents. If the household income cannot support them then thats nobodies fault but theirs.

If circumstances change as they can in life, many dont have a back up plan or claim its impossibe to work and parent. How many choose to have a none working adult in the household and expect the state to step in and top up their income as they wish not to work.

Stricter benefits where people cannot chose to not work would result in more people self supporting and only having children that they can afford. Future generations will benefit from a good work ethic and a country that promotes work not benefits as a lifestyle.

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Mar-13 21:27:09

So we should send 1 in 3 children back

People are not choosing not to work, 1000 applicants for one job with Costa coffee, NMW work. Get real.


You have been on these threads for months now, and you are still talking the same nonsense.

Do you actually read replies to your posts? Do you ever try to see it from a different perspective?

Anifrangapani Sun 17-Mar-13 21:37:28

The comparison between 1979 and 1998 doesn't necessarily mean the increase took place in 1979. It could have bumbled along at 1:10 for 15 years and then increased. I am no appologist for the Thatcher years but I hate the misuse of statistics to prove a point.

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Mar-13 21:52:54

grew from 1 in 10 in 1979 to 1 in 3 in 1998

How much clearer does it need to be, it isn't an ambiguous statement confused where does it say the figure grew in the YEAR 1979 !

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 17-Mar-13 21:59:47

Wannebe, just because i disagree it doesnt make my opinion invalid.

Plenty on here alone who believe they have the right to not work or to work few hours. People are told that having children costs very little and not to worry about finances as plenty of money will be handed out by the state.

I believe we should have a welfare state to support short term between redundancy or where serious illness strikes but i believe that people should be financially responsible for themseves and the choices they make including having children. If you choose to not work, work few hours, have children etc then its nobodies fault but your own if your household income is deemed low. Whilst jobs are not as abundant, work is out there for those who are not picky.

I dont disagree with any point you make.

Except the fact that you seem to think the majority of claimants dont want to work. The numbers who dont are very small.

The truth is that for many, there arent enough jobs to go round and any that there are wont pay the bills due to being part time or low wage. And thats only Job Seekers.

Tax credits, DLA and Housing Benefit are all in work benefits. So the "benefits are a lifestyle choice" stance is simply false.

How many times must this be explained to you before you actually listen and take it on board?

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Mar-13 22:07:56
Anifrangapani Sun 17-Mar-13 22:18:43

Minx that is my point exactly. Which is why you pointing out that Thatcher took office in 1979 is a red herring in the argument not supported by the statistics that you quote.

MiniTheMinx Sun 17-Mar-13 22:25:35

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS, née Roberts (born 13 October 1925) is a British politician, the longest-serving (1979–1990) wiki

child poverty rose from 1979-1990 and may have continued to rise btw 1990-98 but I don't have a year by year breakdown.

I am not suggesting that labour tackled the problem either.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 17-Mar-13 22:26:10

I never said most dont want to work but you can find plenty on here that admit they cant possibly work as they have children. Plenty also know how to play the system and work few hours or only have one adult in the household not working as they know the state will allow them to claim. Choosing to work part time or have an adult stay home is a lifestyle choice.

Plenty wont take any work available or increase their hours as they dont want to work for the same money they get in benefits not because it doesnt cover the bills.

DLA is different but as i never mentioned it, not sure of the relevance as its not means tested at all anyway.

People are responsible for their own lives and choices, no government is responsible for that.

ConferencePear Sun 17-Mar-13 22:36:26

The blaming previous politicians argument is wearing a bit thin. They had now power in France, Italy, Spain or now, Cyprus.
I don't really understand economics, but the answer must lie elsewhere.

Yes but your opinion is coming from the view that most are laughing all the way to the dole queue.

They arent. They are trying to survive. Let me assure you that benefits are no luxury. But you cannot expect people who are earning so little to take another drop in income because of the bigger picture.

The problem is not with benefits. No one can "work the system". Benefits have been set at levels that the Govt says people need to live on. Its already at the miminum.

The problem is with low wages, part time hours, zero hour contracts, workfare. All things that the government could fix but they choose not to. Instead they have people like you believing that people are draining the system for the fun of it.

Why can you not see through the propaganda?

People seem to think all the devious masterminds who are out to get them are the people scraping around for £71 per week JSA, and not the multi millionaires running the country.

The thought is laughable. Why are people blaming the little guy with no power?

SomethingOnce Mon 18-Mar-13 00:34:20

Benefits = generous


LittleChickpea Mon 18-Mar-13 05:05:56

MiniAtheMinx I generally get my thoughts from biased publications which support my views with their interruption of statistics etc.  So please don't take any note of my humble rumblings.  wink

Ahhhhhhh the famous Keynesian multiplier. The man that argued that spending wasteful or not was good for the economy.  He even suggested bulldozing half of London down (confused) so we could rebuild it to drag us out of an economic downturn.

I think it works in some cases but it's also flawed.  The model doesn't take into account governments must finance their spending (taxation, bonds ect.).  Unless it goes into debt which then takes us back to the "never never economy".  The money borrowed must be paid back in the future with interest.  This can be a never ending nasty cycle.  Bigger debt = government raise taxes/increase money supply to inflate debt away =  sterling becomes less valuable = it becomes more difficult for us (employees) to pay taxes and/or save. 

Increased tax only takes money from private sector (small and large business) and government thn spend it.  Government will always be less efficient at managing spending compared to private business. Private business use their P&L as performance feedback on their return on investment.  Governments don't have this P&L feedback so everything they do tends to be a guesstimate.  Bottom line, the value sucked out of our economy by public sector schemes will always be much more than what economically we get back.

ConferencePear. The reason people still blame them is they had power here. They were left with a much tighter system of controlling the Financial sector but they willingly relinquished control which allowed Financial sector to do what they wanted.  And to add insult to injury Flash Gorden gave his mate a nighthood.  Evan Crazy Balls has somewhat bitterly acknowledged this.

LittleChickpea Mon 18-Mar-13 05:07:03

Please excuse the spelling... Predictive text, arrrggggg angry

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