to think that people with savings don't realise they may not be eligible for ANY Universal Credit

(199 Posts)
OriginalRoute Tue 02-Apr-13 22:42:08

Universal Credit will be affected by savings over £6000 and if an individual or a couple have savings of £16000 between them they will not be entitled to any Universal Credit. I'm in a full time low paid job and have no pension, but do have savings slightly above £16000 from my inheritance. It wasn't a big safety net for the future especially with current interest rates but I thought it was better than nothing. Now Nothing would actually give me a much better return and I'm going to have to spend it on topping up my income, as I don't think the chance of getting a higher paid job is likely in the foreseeable future.

ExRatty Tue 02-Apr-13 22:46:12

ATM you can't get income support if you have savings of over £6k
£16k is already the figure for other benefits afaik

OriginalRoute Tue 02-Apr-13 22:50:42

Capital isn't taken into account when working out entitlement to tax credits.

ThreeWheelsGood Tue 02-Apr-13 23:24:10

Hasn't this always been true for JSA and council tax housing benefit? Still sucks though.

mercibucket Tue 02-Apr-13 23:37:42

i think you are right and a lot of people are in for a shock

PariahHairy Tue 02-Apr-13 23:55:41

Isn't that what savings are for though? A rainy day? confused I hate this government and almost everything they do, but on this hmm. Although, why don't you buy silver or gold to take you under the limit, I'm always reading on the conspiracy forums I read that precious metals are an excellent store of wealth.

Or buy an expensive piece of art/jewellery something that doesn't count as savings.

steppemum Wed 03-Apr-13 00:04:56

original route, does that mean that under universal credit, the old rule about savings and tax credits will no longer apply?

We are entitled to child tax credit, does that mean we will no longer be entitled?

Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 00:05:36

6,000 won't get you very far these day though. You might need to buy a new car, or have unexpected, urgent repairs at home. 6,000 could soon vanish.

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 00:07:42

But it's not really a rainy day is it? Just my life, going to work and not getting paid enough. Am I being subsidised or my employer?

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Wed 03-Apr-13 00:08:31

This'll start a spate of peeps hiding cash in biscuit tins (not that I'd blame them). Then the banks will lose money.

It does seem that these new plans aren't terribly well thought out.

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 00:11:15

As I understand it Steppemum if you have savings over £16000 you get nothing.

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 00:11:16

As I understand it Steppemum if you have savings over £16000 you get nothing.

ExRatty Wed 03-Apr-13 00:17:20
ExRatty Wed 03-Apr-13 00:18:56
Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 00:26:45

Can't people just transfer money into a relatives account or something like that? Won't people just move their money elsewhere or invest it in something that won't be taxed?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 00:35:50

Yanbu and you are exactly right in your understanding of the rules re UC and savings. Biscuit tins are about to become very popular I think. I find it odd that £17k in the bank means no child tax credit unnder UC but a £17k car sat on the drive is fine as is a £17k diamond ring on you finger. Can you just pay it against your mortgage? That would be a 'sensible' and non frivilous wayway to spend it?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 00:37:59

Also someone in rented with £17k in bank will not get child tax credit under UC but a homeowner with £100k equity in their home (but no savings) will? It is very odd logic.

Time to start stuffing the mattress. Lots of elderly people have money hidden about the house, inside books cupboards biscuit tins. Time to join them. Dh used to like keeping a cash stash, I got him out of that habit a few years back.
It's good to have back up for emergencies, no way I'd spend it all.

wannaBe Wed 03-Apr-13 01:02:37

£16k is the equivalent to an annual salary in some instances. Why on earth should people be entitled to benefits if you have that much in the bank. To that end, if you can afford to save £16k clearly you're not living in poverty are you?

There are already limits on income support and JSA which it could be argued are far more important than ctc which you presumably can earn even if you have an income where as IS/JSA are your income.

I think they're right on this.

thekidsrule Wed 03-Apr-13 01:05:22

*ATM you can't get income support if you have savings of over £6k
16k is already the figure for other benefits*

not true savings between 6 and 16k can get income support,for every £250 over 6k they deduct a £1 from is up to £16

Also someone in rented with £17k in bank will not get child tax credit under UC but a homeowner with £100k equity in their home (but no savings) will? It is very odd logic.

well id be stuffed then if they counted equity,i would have to sell my house,find a private rent with 3 kids ,single parent not working and pets,where would be the logic in that then

ATouchOfStuffing Wed 03-Apr-13 01:06:47

It's because the government want you to spend it to help boost the economy. As long as you/we do then we will fish the country out of their mess while they get paid huge amounts for making us want flashy cars by selling us out to large companies for advertising and media pressure like the Daily Wail.
Rant over, time for bed!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:09:41

But why is a £17k car ok, a £17k ring ok, £100k equity in your house ok but not £17k in the bank? I am not sure why the last one alone should mean no child tax credits. I don't get CTC but I feel sorry for yet another group of people hit by this government's policies.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:10:22

My last post was to Wannabe btw.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:12:50

I see they want you to spend it but I would assume anyone with a mortgage will sink it straight into that. Pretty unfair to those renting (with savings) who can't do anything as 'sensible' with their nest egg.

thekidsrule Wed 03-Apr-13 01:19:19

does childrens savings count then?

thekidsrule Wed 03-Apr-13 01:24:22

yes but thats always the old argument

there prs and cons to buying

pros and cons to renting

when i had a morgage the dwp only paid a tiny amount to my morgage,i had to make it up out of benefit £250 a month

same house next door private rent,single parent,same amount of kids,same money coming in had ALL her rent paid,NO top did she have to make

i didnt think that was fair and i had more costs on top,insurance,general maintanance

life isnt far sometimes

AlbertaCampion Wed 03-Apr-13 01:26:53

I agree with the posters who have gently queried why, if you have £16K stashed, the Government should be topping up your day-to-day living expenses.

wannaBe Wed 03-Apr-13 01:27:00

because £17k is cash. You can't live off your equity, yes you cann potentially remortgage your house but then that's just getting into debt. Most middle income earners can't afford to save that kind of cash, you certainly shouldn't be able to save that on benefits.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:28:53

But the ring and the car can be easily sold and are both 'non essential' confused

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:30:44

Also I would think nest eggs might have been inherited or accumulated before peoe had children and claimed CTC ( as opposed to having been saved 'from' CTC/benefits).

wannaBe Wed 03-Apr-13 01:33:01

yes technically they could be sold but A jewellery and cars may depreciate in value and therefore are not worth the money you paid for them. and B, do people suggest that it should be ok for someone to come round and value your property to check what is sellable and what isn't. It simply isn't comparrible to say that if you have a ring of value then you shouldn't be entitled vs if you have actual cash sitting in the bank. To compare the two is completely ridiculous.

cantspel Wed 03-Apr-13 01:34:37

thekidsrule any money in child accounts is treated as belonging to the parents in all cases where claim benefits is involved.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:36:19

Ah, just read some stuff about 'transitional protection' and UC and it might be that OP will be ok to keep claiming. The 16k limit might only apply to new claimants. Will link for OP in a min.

TheSecondComing Wed 03-Apr-13 01:36:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wannaBe Wed 03-Apr-13 01:36:46

it's still money though. Where it came from is irrelevant. If you have 17K in the bank then you have the means to survive on that money. It is not the responsibility of the welfare state to maintain your lifestyle while enabling you to maintain your savings as well.

If a banker previously working for one of the large banks saved 17K of his bonus last year and was then sacked, would you think he should be entitled to benefits then?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:39:21

www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/ucpbn-transitional-protection.pdf

I am not sure but I think this suggest that existing CTC claimants will be 'guaranteed' similar cash supplements under UC as they currently get unless they have a 'significAnt change' to circumstnce.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:42:00

TSC- I think I am just pissed off with Tory cuts across the board grin

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:45:56

This link also suggests OP and her savings might be ok due to 'transitional protection'
(Exratty originally linked to this one on previous page).

www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/ucpbn-3-capital.pdf

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 01:47:45

Taken from above link:

'e) People with capital of £16,000 or more who are entitled to Tax Credits before migrating to Universal Credit will receive transitional protection to protect their cash income. Capital limits are not changing for claimants of out of work benefits or Housing Benefit.'

NewAtThisMalarky Wed 03-Apr-13 08:10:31

I'm very aware of this and have mentioned it on mumsnet before.

My capital that will disqualify me is a share in a property that I can't sell without taking legal action to force the sale - which will cause huge issues for my family. Something that I'm not really prepared to do at this stage.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Apr-13 08:13:24

Good... If you've got thousands in the bank, use that first because that's what they're for. Alternatively, invest it into a pension or something.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 08:32:49

The Tories pursuing policies that discourage saving.

Their inconsistency is astonishing.

MsNobodyAgain Wed 03-Apr-13 08:42:33

People need to be aware of the deprivation of capital rule. If you have savings you suddenly spend in order to keep yourself on benefits, you can be investigated and treated as though you still have the money in the bank.

Childrens savings also have to be declared. Even Child Trust Funds which, although it is not technically your money as it is in the childs name and totally inaccessible by the parent, you should make the DWP aware of it.

MatildaMay Wed 03-Apr-13 08:49:53

Sorry if this is slightly off topic, but I've been searching and can't find the answer to this.

Currently I receive some child tax credits, I work part-time and am a single parent. I also get maintenance from my ex-h - at the moment child maintenance payments aren't used when tax credits are assessed. Will that change when this new system is brought in?

MsNobodyAgain Wed 03-Apr-13 08:56:11

No, it won't change.

scroll to the bottom

MatildaMay Wed 03-Apr-13 08:59:30

Thanks MsNobodyAgain.

Crazycake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:17:23

What if each of your 4 DC had 5k each in bonds? (Gift from gp's for their future). Technically savings but not in a bank iykwim.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Apr-13 09:19:32

"The Tories pursuing policies that discourage saving."

This doesn't discourage saving. It discourages people building up enormous cash reserves at the taxpayers' expense ... big difference. The OP could have chosen to put their spare cash windfall into investments, Premium Bonds, a pension, shares, property, assets, children's ISAs, all kinds of options other than cash deposits.

auforfoulkesake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:24:15

this has always been the case though. and they need to know how much your children have so there is no hiding your nest egg there <<shrug>>

MsNobodyAgain Wed 03-Apr-13 09:24:27

crazy it depends if you can access them. If it is a bond tied up and payable solely to them when they are, lets say 18, it should be fine. If you can withdraw or access that money, it can be a grey area.

auforfoulkesake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:24:35

you used to be able to get housing benefit on a mortgate shock

auforfoulkesake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:24:50

mortgage

JourneyThroughLife Wed 03-Apr-13 09:30:19

Well said, Cogito...

I'm lucky to have a decent job but I live from month to month. My salary goes in, my standing orders go out. Nothing left except the overdraft. There are no savings and no, I don't own any property, and my car is done through car leasing (couldn't afford to buy a car myself). If I had £16000 in the bank I would think I was absolutely rich (I would even with £6000) - I therefore can't believe people really still expect to get benefits etc. and have this amount disregarded. Try having 'nothing' and see how it feels....surely benefits are for those with nothing at all? (And no, I don't claim any benefits myself).

mrsscoob Wed 03-Apr-13 09:41:22

She said it is an inheritance, she hasn't been saving it up with her benefits hmm.

To be fair she is most likely in a poorly paid job, like most people who work and are on benefits, which means whatever job she is doing is keeping the cost down for you the consumer anyway.

Take a supermarket worker for example. Even working full time if the worker has a family they will need to claim tax credits. Due to the shortage of affordable housing they will probably need to pay a private landlord a lot of rent, therefore claiming housing benefit.

State tops up workers wages, supermarket makes profit, food prices can stay lower.

Now you can either moan about "scroungers" or you can moan that the supermarket is having its workers wages topped up by the taxpayer. The supermarket could start paying all their workers a living wage and then their workers wouldn't need to "scrounge" but then your groceries would triple overnight. Would you be happy with that?

Yes she has a little nest egg that she inherited. No doubt from a relative that worked hard and paid taxes all their live. I don't think she should have to spend all that on living expenses just because her employer doesn't pay her enough to live on.

Crazycake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:45:37

Thank you Msnobody, I don't think we can assess them (never tried to), we get a statement every so often. My IL's set it up for their university fund.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 09:46:00

Well said, mrs.

"This doesn't discourage saving. It discourages people building up enormous cash reserves at the taxpayers' expense ... big difference."

Tiny difference.

As the number of people talking about keeping money in jamjars on the thread attests.

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 09:46:52

Can I just point out that I have a full time job. Unfortunately it's not a decent job, it's a bit rubbish which why it doesn't pay a living wage on it's own. (Despite my amazing budgeting skills grin)

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 09:46:52

Can I just point out that I have a full time job. Unfortunately it's not a decent job, it's a bit rubbish which why it doesn't pay a living wage on it's own. (Despite my amazing budgeting skills grin)

RedHelenB Wed 03-Apr-13 09:47:29

Can't see how you will be better off working in a minimum wage/low paid job under UC tbh.

FasterStronger Wed 03-Apr-13 09:51:19

OP to protect your cash either:

1) use it to pay off your mortgage if you have one and save on interest
2) get as much of your wages paid into a pension as you are allowed, live off the money to make up the difference. the govt will pay your tax back into your pension increasing the size of your pension.

HollyBerryBush Wed 03-Apr-13 09:54:05

Sorry but in in 1942, Sir William Beveridge laid the foundation of our welfare state with his report on how to slay the ‘five giants’ of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness.

I fail to see how having 16K squirrelled away comes under 'want'.

HariboAndWine Wed 03-Apr-13 10:01:39

Why on earth would you expect government assistance when you have £16000 in the bank! shock shock shock shock

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Apr-13 10:16:54

" I don't think she should have to spend all that on living expenses just because her employer doesn't pay her enough to live on."

What kind of parallel universe are you living in? hmm That's like turning up at the pub with £500 in your back pocket and then insisting everyone else buys the drinks because you'd really rather keep all your money.

foslady Wed 03-Apr-13 10:22:26

I have a mortgage. I've worked hard all my life, and my mortgage is cheaper than it would be to rent (and pay someone elses BTL mortgage). Thanks to redundancy and other factors I am now on a low p/t wage (and desperately looking for full time, but struggling). I too was left some money. That small nest egg (over £6k but under £16k) is my breathing space. I do not have a landlord to fix my heating if it breaks down and would only be able to get a ridiculously high interest loan on my wage, and as I live rurally with a poor bus service need my car (a mum mobile, nothing flash there, either) so I can work. Thanks to exh walking out to live with ow I have to be able to provide everything for my dd. We don't live an extravagant life and hope each month the the money lasts til next payday.

So yes, people DO need savings. Or am I now to be expected to sell my house and rent somewhere, claim no benefits as I will have house equity rather than be rewarded for doing my best under the circumstances?

Try living my life. I'm here because of circumstances beyond my control, not because it's where I chose to be. The person who died could see I was doing my best under the circumstances and wanted me to not fret about my future. It was her lifeline to me. And now that lifeline is going to be eroded.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 10:32:52

Tax credits were not a part of the original welfare state.

They were a convoluted, costly attempt by New Labour to cut child poverty (and arguably increase dependence on the state, and thus their vote).

They were largely successful in their aims (both stated and suspected).

They also provided a massive state subsidy to low-wage employers, which was pointed out at the time.

They were not meant to be for people in dire financial circumstances. They were meant to keep lower income families with children ticking over.

It is a massive change to entitlement if savings now mean you can't claim them.

Forcing people to run down their savings before giving them this money doesn't strike me as being particularly smart.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 10:44:37

I agree totally, AThing. You are entirely correct. CTC are not benefits. The reframing of them as such under UC makes me go hmm.

The problem at the moment is that thanks to the government everyone is jealous of everyone and bitter about any help given to anyone other than them! People are jealous of those on subsistence level benefits, jealous of council houses with spare bedrooms, jealous of someone on a low wage with a small nest egg. FFS we've even had a recent thread with serious bitterness exhibited towards the disabled and their carers. Some twat telling a poster that she should not expect state help to care for disabled family members rather she should be grateful for any crumbs thrown her way shock.

I wish we could go back to a less divisive and less bitter time.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 03-Apr-13 10:49:50

What about if you rent your house, as you cannot afford to buy. You have been saving desperately hard for a deposit for 10 years and now have just gone over the cut off threshold. Then you lose your job and suddenly need UC. Why should someone with the same amount of equity in their own house not face the same penalties as a renter trying to save to buy their first property?

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 11:05:58

"Some twat telling a poster that she should not expect state help to care for disabled family members"

shock

What kind of country do these people want to live in?

The jealousy thing is just depressing.

cantspel Wed 03-Apr-13 11:10:46

AThingInYourLife and you can have savings. Up to £6k worth before your uc will be effected, so plenty for an unforseen boiler or car breakdown.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 11:16:43

Or course child tax credits are benefits! It's ridiculous to say that they aren't.

I can see how working tax credits, while still being a benefit, are a neccecity because wages don't keep up with the cost of living, but child tax credits are given to people that have children they can't afford. Of course they are a benefit.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 11:21:53

AThing, yes it was an utterly disgusting thread. I only saw the vile comments once the thread had been closed. The poster who was told to be grateful for any help given at all was left crying and very hurt by the obnoxious comments.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Apr-13 12:17:09

"It is a massive change to entitlement if savings now mean you can't claim them."

Massive but fair, surely? Isn't this a small example of why the welfare changes are, by and large, quite popular?...

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 12:24:53

Children's savings count if they have over £3,000. And there are two types of jobseekers allowance. Means tested so savings taken into account. Non means tested paid if you have the right number of NI contributions in the relevant year and only usually paid for a maximum of 5 months.

I didn't realise the UC would alter the amount of savings a person was allowed to have. I can see people's point that it's OK to live in a house worth millions but not OK to have over a certain amount in the bank.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 12:25:21

sorry 6 months.

MatildaMay Wed 03-Apr-13 12:31:13

I'm shocked that children's savings count towards the new benefit. DS has some savings bonds that were given to him as a baby/toddler by family members and which can't be accessed for a number of years. They are under the £3000 limit. However,if they were over £3000 does the government expect families to cash in their children's future funds to support their family. What about saving for university etc?

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 12:32:35

No, I don't think it is fair.

I have a lot of problems with tax credits, both ideological and practical, but just taking them away from any family with significant savings until they have run those savings down, sends a very weird message about self-sufficiency.

That the benefit changes are (so far) popular has a lot less to do with their fairness (or lack of) and everything to do with the government successfully tapping in to the real politics of envy.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 03-Apr-13 12:50:53

Well said AThing

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 12:56:09

Plus this change is going to make it virtually impossible for young families to get a foot on the property ladder. Saving for a house wil lose them CTC/UC. It seems very harsh 'rug pull' to those in rented accommodation.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 13:00:01

Good point, property.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 03-Apr-13 13:00:06

Exactly what I think too property. However, someone living in a 5 bed detached house with mortgage paid will be entitled to claim. It's not fair at all. No doubt the tories will tell us that those homeowners are aspiring while those renters are not.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 13:04:07

Yes, it seems to encourage permanent dependency rather a temporary boost to family income while childcare costs are high.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 13:05:15

But child tax credits exist so that people who can't afford their children have a means of clothing them and feeding them. CTC does not exist so that you can have state subsidy for your children while you save up to buy yourself a property!

I'm amazed that anyone thinks its ok for people to be saving for property while government/taxes pay for their own children.

Just shock

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 13:07:48

Exactly. There is no sense, consistency or reason. Just another arbitrary policy which punishes.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 13:10:59

Clouds, we are saying that those on average and low incomes will no longer be able to save to buy a house yet those already on the ladder will continue to get assistance despite possibly having equity in their home. It is unfair and hurts those in rented.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 03-Apr-13 13:11:08

Clouds, I'm talking about someone who has saved to buy a property while they were working. In our situation, dh is a higher rate tax payer and we are trying really hard to save for our first house. If he loses his job when UC comes in, we would not be able to claim anything. Why should this not also apply to a family with their own home. They should be made to downsize to release equity. Why is it ok to have assets in one family, which equate to the same or more than the amount of cash savings in another family. I would say that the family with their own home are in a much better position financially and security wise.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 13:13:53

Add message | Report | Message poster AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 13:04:07
Yes, it seems to encourage permanent dependency rather a temporary boost to family income while childcare costs are high.

AMEN

RafflesWay Wed 03-Apr-13 13:20:27

So basically people who - yet again - have worked hard all their lives and saved religiously for their retirement years AND paid consistently into the system are going to be told to take a hike if they lose their job, have to accept low paid employment etc through no fault of their own. Makes me sick! We have already been affected by this as both dh and I had very well paid careers in our younger days and made some very shrewd investments. 4 years ago dh had to take early reirement due to severe arthritis. Despite 2 consultants and gp stating no way could dh work, the pigs at ATOS claimed he was fit to work. Appealed once and won without hesitation - dh's allowance was actually increased by tribunal - but only weeks later dh had to start again from scratch as ATOS said he was due for another review and of course told he was fit to work!! Dh and I took the decision we were not going to br harassed any further so now DH is living on small pension which kicked in at 60 and our investments and I run a small business from home. Thankfully we are ok as we live quite frugally and as we own home outright can still afford nice holidays but why should we have to use money we had put aside for a comfortable retirement when we had never claimed a penny all our working lives?? The system stinks and I feel so sorry for anyone who has suffered similarly and is younger than us. Disgraceful!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 13:23:53

Property, I understand that, and I see the point, but this is child tax credits I'm talking about here,not working tax credits. Child tax credits shouldn't need to exist in the first place, but unfortunately there is a real need for working tax credits, and in the case of those, I'd agree with your point.

The majority of families that own their own home also own great big mortgages. They are always going to need housing, so while I see your point, I can't see the logic of turfing someone out of their home so that they can either live in an owned property that is too small for them, or to make them start private renting because they would be unlikely to get a council or HA home.

Benefits are there to help people that have fallen on hard times, and a family that has managed to get a mortgage and have equity in it are more likely to have been in a good situation and then need help than a family who has had children before they have got enough money for a deposit on a property ( assuming that that's what they want to do because that's what we are talking about here). That's what welfare is supposed to do. Help people who have fallen on hard times, not prop people up while they have children before they have the capability of housing and supporting them.

Cash savings are different to equity because they can be easily accessed without making a family move away from their home or jobs or schools.

Someone that is forced to release their equity will still need housing. Someone that is forced to spend their savings will just be spending their savings, there is a big difference between the two situations.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 13:28:01

"But child tax credits exist so that people who can't afford their children have a means of clothing them and feeding them."

How about thinking about them less as scroungers and more as potential organs for your non-donating family?

You are OK with freeloading a system for your own benefit, so it's hard to see what your issue is here.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 13:30:46

"That's what welfare is supposed to do. Help people who have fallen on hard times, not prop people up while they have children before they have the capability of housing and supporting them."

No, tax credits are not for people who have fallen on hard times.

They are to help families with children stay out of poverty.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 03-Apr-13 13:32:04

We had children while renting, as property prices are way too high. If we'd waited any longer we'd have been in our 40's. We still rent. As I said dh is a higher rate tax payer (for now) and we have always worked very hard. I am getting the feeling that you think we are deemed less worthy of help because we rent clouds and weren't 'responsible' enough to buy our own over-priced shoe box before having dc.

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 13:32:34

I have argued on many, many of the recent benefit threads. I'm a true leftie but I agree with the policy of savings. This country is struggling, we cannot afford to give out money left, right and centre. You can have a small pot of savings (up to £6K) for unforseen emergencies but I don't see why you should be entitled to benefits if you have a little pot stashed away.

I am happy to admit on here, I have savings and thus, I am currently ineligible for ESA. I worked my arse off to save that money, going without for a long time and I hoped it would be for a deposit for my own home one day. I'm now needing that money to live off - rent, food, bills etc. Yeah, it's bloody gutting to know I'll be unlikely to ever save that amount again and unless I marry or meet someone, I'm unlikely to own a property but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 13:32:46

Ah, and there is another inconsistency. It is ok to move the children on council estates to new areas and schools (in order for parents to a avoid 'bedroom tax') but it is not ok for children of home owning parents to do the same?

The message I am trying to convey here is that I don't want to see anyone, council, rented, mortgaged etc hurt by idiotic, inconsistent, arbitrary Tory bullshit policies. So many people are falling for the 'I'm alright Jack' tactics being played.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 03-Apr-13 13:37:31

Agreed property. You're only 'alright' till you're not 'alright' IYKWIM.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 13:37:32

Child tax credits were sold to families as a perfectly normal thing to have.

Helping those on shitty min wage raise a family with slightly less stress.

My DH works full time, when this crappy shitty UTC comes in I will be made to answer to the job centre too!

You couldn't make it up!

It was never given as a benefit. We were almost forced in to claiming, as there was no other choice . angry

expatinscotland Wed 03-Apr-13 13:37:55

And? Benefits are not here to prop up peoples' personal savings. I don't see how it sucks. What would suck is if you were allowed nothing. £16K is a huge amount of money!

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 03-Apr-13 13:40:29

"..a family who has had children before they have got enough money for a deposit on a property ( assuming that that's what they want to do because that's what we are talking about here). That's what welfare is supposed to do. Help people who have fallen on hard times, not prop people up while they have children before they have the capability of housing and supporting them."

But Clouds, almost no-one these days can afford to buy a house. Say a teacher and a bus driver, working full time, even if they saved for ten years, would still not be able to raise enough of a deposit in most places to get a mortgage.
Buying a house before you have children is a totally unreachable goal for MOST PEOPLE.
The only people I know who own houses/flats, are either people who were given SUBSTANTIAL wads from their parents, or people who bought 15 years ago.
Also, wages are so low, and rents, transport and fuel so high, that if people only had children when they needed no help from the state, they just never would.
I don't know whether people with large savings should claim state help tbh (and like TSC I am very left wing) BUT I do feel that every single change the government makes squeezes the have nots and have-littles more and more, and social mobility has been killed stone dead.
As of yesterday, due to the new round of cuts, I am personally £25 a month worse off. Yesterday I took a single bus journey with ds which cost me nearly four quid.
I am really worried about how people are going to cope, including us.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 13:43:20

Child tax credits and Working Tax credit were benefits introduced by Labour. It seemed like a good idea at the time but it has just encouraged a culture of low wages and part-time work only offered by companies, knowing it will all be topped up by benefit. It needed to be changed. Housing Benefit again went crazy under Labour. Encouraging greedy landlords to demand ever higher rent. Something had to be done.

mrsscoob Wed 03-Apr-13 13:43:47

and a lot of people haven't "fallen on hard times" they are just doing what they have always done, they are working in full time jobs but their employers do not pay them enough to survive on. The government know this and they subsidies a lot of these jobs to keep things like food, healthcare costs etc down so YOU don't have to pay so much. If everyone were paid a fair and decent wage then the companies would have to get the money back from somewhere so YOUR costs would go through the roof!! Then you would be really moaning as it would effect you directly. Think about it. The OP is talking as someone who is working FULL TIME. You are directly profiting from people like her, who are working hard and earning a shit wage yet you then have the nerve to paint people like her as a "scrounger" and say they shouldn't be entitled to a bit of an inheritance. It is disgusting.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Apr-13 13:44:19

'Thankfully we are ok as we live quite frugally and as we own home outright can still afford nice holidays but why should we have to use money we had put aside for a comfortable retirement when we had never claimed a penny all our working lives?? The system stinks and I feel so sorry for anyone who has suffered similarly and is younger than us. Disgraceful!'

You own your own home outright and have a pension and are complaining you don't get state handouts?! Those are two things that will never happen for many younger people, not because they don't 'work hard' or 'are shrewd' but because house prices are a joke in relation to even good wages and as a consequence rents are very high, on top of taxes.

HollyBerryBush Wed 03-Apr-13 13:49:31

'Thankfully we are ok as we live quite frugally and as we own home outright can still afford nice holidays but why should we have to use money we had put aside for a comfortable retirement when we had never claimed a penny all our working lives?? The system stinks and I feel so sorry for anyone who has suffered similarly and is younger than us. Disgraceful!'

Rarely am I struck dumb, but congratulations, that post has managed it.

Exactly WHY do you think you should get hand outs? Just because? you want a piece of something you think everyone else is getting? That remark is just so typical of the me-me-me generation. It used to be that you saved for rainy days and retirement and you used that money as a fall back. Not to stuff under your mattress then put the begging bowl out to.

It absolutely undermines those who have a genuine need for welfare assistance.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 13:50:22

Its always the same old same old.

When will people realize that earning low wages does not equal workshy?

When? if you haven't claimed anything at all ever in your working life then consider yourself blessed...not bloody clever!

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 13:54:07

Why should people with savings over £16,000 get benefit. And yet somebody could be on £12,000 a year, with no savings and no pospect of ever buying a house, is paying tax. Insanity!!

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 13:55:10

'prospect'

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 13:55:27

How about thinking about them less as scroungers and more as potential organs for your non-donating family?

You are OK with freeloading a system for your own benefit, so it's hard to see what your issue is here.

Bad form AThing. As well as being completely inaccurate. hmm

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 13:55:45

Feminine Sorry not being snarky but I don't get that message from this thread at all.

mrsscoob Wed 03-Apr-13 13:57:13

Exactly Feminine. I know a widow with three children who works over 40 hours a week, at night so she can still drop her kids of to school and pick them up. She is knackered and hardly ever sleeps, I am worried about her to be honest. She gets WFT, I suppose to some people on here that makes her a scrounger hmm

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 13:57:53

£16k of savings does not make you filthy rich.
It buys you a new Vauxhaul Zafira or a conservatory. I do not consider that people with Vauxhaul Zafiras or conservatories have 'made it' in life grin.

IfNot is right. If you are not proper rich you are getting shafted by this government.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 14:01:28

"Child tax credits and Working Tax credit were benefits introduced by Labour. It seemed like a good idea at the time but it has just encouraged a culture of low wages and part-time work only offered by companies, knowing it will all be topped up by benefit. It needed to be changed."

Tax credits didn't seem like a good idea at the time. It was obvious they would make it easier for companies to pay low wages.

I agree that they needed to change.

But not by bundling them into this diasastrous, inflexible "universal" credit and pretending they were just regular benefits.

A good place to start might have been raising the NMW.

Rather than leaving people on low wages but taking away the money that has (up to now) made it possible for them to work for so little.

mrsscoob Wed 03-Apr-13 14:02:59

Vivennemary your post doesn't make sense. Someone working full time will still be paying tax won't they. Plus the money came from an inheritance, they didn't save it up.

If it isn't fair that some people get an inheritance and others don't then why don't the government just take everyone's inheritance. Would that make you happy?!

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 14:03:04

Most people are not saying £16K makes you 'filthy rich' but it makes you able to support yourself for a bit longer than you would if you had fuck all. Some people seem to be deliberately reading what they want.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 14:03:11

We had children while renting, as property prices are way too high. If we'd waited any longer we'd have been in our 40's. We still rent. As I said dh is a higher rate tax payer (for now) and we have always worked very hard. I am getting the feeling that you think we are deemed less worthy of help because we rent clouds and weren't 'responsible' enough to buy our own over-priced shoe box before having dc.

Not at all. I think people have to make a choice, and I don't see renting as some terrible thing that has to be suffered. Renting a home is a perfectly normal way to live with as many benefits as there are to owning. I think anyone that has genuine reason for needing help should receive it, I just don't think that tax credits should be available to people who can afford to save up significant amounts of money.

*But Clouds, almost no-one these days can afford to buy a house. Say a teacher and a bus driver, working full time, even if they saved for ten years, would still not be able to raise enough of a deposit in most places to get a mortgage.
Buying a house before you have children is a totally unreachable goal for MOST PEOPLE.*

I appreciate this, I really do, and like you, I worry for our children. But again, I'm not saying that people shouldn't have children until they have a house/mortgage. I'm saying that people have to make a choice and if people want to rent and have children that's fine. If people want to buy a house that's fine. But don't have children, then claim benefits that go straight into your savings account so that you eventually get to have it all, partly funded by other people.

Child tax credits should not be paid to people who can afford to save money for house deposits.

Cambam2010 Wed 03-Apr-13 14:10:43

I was a house owner. I was married and had a child whilst being a home owner. Unfortunately my marriage didn't last and I am now a single parent to a toddler. We sold our house and what little equity we had made was divided equally between me and my husband.

I work part time. My wages just about cover my rent (private - no HB). Then I have to find £500 childcare a month (makes working seem pointless really) as well as all other bills, food etc.

I receive WTC & CTC. I have the equity from my house sale plus other small savings from when I worked full time pre-child.

Each month my out goings and incomings don't stack up and little by little my 'savings' are used up. If my CTC was stopped this would happen much quicker and eventually I would have nothing to show for my hard working pre-benefit life. It's sad. I'm trying to get myself and my son a secure future. I pay more rent then I would on a mortgage but lenders will not lend to me. If I still had a property then I would be able to leave that in my will to my child. I'm unlikely to ever be able to leave my child a nest egg because I'll probably never be in a position where I'll be able to save again.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 14:13:23

crashdoll not from this thread -true.

More like a feeling I'm getting from some posts!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 14:14:02

Crashdoll, i am just making the point that whether you have a Vauxhaul Zafira, a conservatory or £16k in the bank for a house deposit you are hardly living it up. Yet for the person saving for the house the rug is being pulled.

Has OP been back to this thread? I was hoping she would comment on the links I gave above. Fingers crossed for her that she will be ok to keep getting CTC under UC. I don't know whether I am interpreting the 'transitional protection' information correctly though.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 14:21:13

The thing is property, if someone has a Vauxhaul Zafira, they don't need the government to give them a car. If someone has a conservatory, they don't need the government to give them a conservatory. And if they have £16,000 in the bank, they don't need the government to give them money.

Cambam2010 Wed 03-Apr-13 14:28:10

So someone with the luxury of a conservatory can have help but not someone that has sensibly tried to save a bit of money to improve their lot in the future?

Abra1d Wed 03-Apr-13 14:30:44

After two years' unemployment, living on my earnings of around £20k. We are finally applying for tax credits. We have savings, quite a lot of them, but our interest earned is not great, meaning we are eligible for the credit.

I imagine once the shift to the new system happens we will no longer be eligible. But in the meantime, having seen my husband apply for so many jobs without claiming JSA, I feel no scruples about applying for working tax credit. I work, don't earn as much as I used to because of the publishing downturn, but I do work and always have (ten weeks off for each child, but that was all). Why should we be discriminated against because we saved in the good years instead of having holidays and smart cars?

charlearose Wed 03-Apr-13 14:39:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 14:42:12

Just make sure you keep it in a fire proof box charlearose! grin

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 14:49:43

clouds i just can't agree that the family who have chosen to buy the new Zafira are in any way more deserving or 'in need of' UC then their neighbour who is saving for a house. The policy makes no sense.

It will just be a huge disincentive to save in the 'traditional sense'. People will spend (perhaps on readily realisable assets) and continue to be eligible for UC whilst owning a house moves further away.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 15:27:52

A bit of fairness in the system would make me happier. The welfare state is for people in need. Somebody with £16,000 in the bank isn't in need of help from somebody on low wages. This doesn't affect me. But I can see the unfairness of it at the present time.

No wonder there is confusion over benefits. Some people are going to foodbanks and talking about children starving. And others say £16,000 isn't much. In spite of what people say on Mumsnet I read the vast majority of folk are in favour of the changes. I wonder if that statement is right or wrong.

RafflesWay Wed 03-Apr-13 15:29:27

expatplease re read my post as I did state "I feel so sorry for anyone similar who is younger" which I genuinely do. However I don't consider my dh's claim for ESA a "state handout" at all. We have never claimed a penny in over 40 yrs and the first time we try we are basically harassed until we decide to live off our savings while some "lard arse" or recent immigrant seems to have no issue. As I say the system stinks and I totally agree with you about making house buying, savings etc for younger people a major stink! It is getting worse in all areas for decent hard working people.

RafflesWay Wed 03-Apr-13 15:31:09

Sorry holly just read your post and am equally dumbstruck.

charlearose Wed 03-Apr-13 15:31:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RafflesWay Wed 03-Apr-13 15:32:39

Totally agree Abra

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 15:34:03

vivien most people are interested in "changes" most people have zero idea what is in store.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 15:39:49

clouds i just can't agree that the family who have chosen to buy the new Zafira are in any way more deserving or 'in need of' UC then their neighbour who is saving for a house

But I don't think that either. If you can afford a new car, you shouldn't need benefits. I don't think people who can afford a new car are more deserving or are more in need of UC than someone who is saving for a house.

I don't think you should be able to afford to do either of those things while your life is being subsidised by the state. Benefits are not there to help you be able to save for a house.

Arguably though, people often need a car to be able to work. They don't need 16 grand sat in the bank to be able to work, and you condo get to work in a car that costs a lot less than £16,000.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 15:47:48

And there you have it, tax credits are NOT BENEFITS. They are not intended to support a subsistence lifestyle. They were intended to help families with the costs of raising children and the costs of child care. A valuable 'tax break' for families has now been reframed as a 'benefit' by the Tory party.

sarahtigh Wed 03-Apr-13 15:49:10

These savings limits have applied to JSA and income support for years, savings under 6000 not taken into account sliding scale upto 16k

a few benefits like DLA take no account of either savings or income
child benefit now takes notice of income but not savings

equity in a house does not count but a second property would

for pensioners limit is 23k

spending savings on paying debts is reasonable and is accepted buying 16k new car is seen as depriving yourself of assets/ capital and they can assume you still have money and not pay benefit same with tying money up for your children if your children are specifically left money by grandparent in trust until they are 18 it can not be touched but if you were left the money and decided to transfer it to your children then that is asset deprivation

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 15:55:27

Of course tax credits are benefits!

There's a big difference between working tax credits (an unfortunate neccecity) and child tax credits (should be scrapped) but they are a benefit. You don't have to be in work to get child tax credits, therefore they are a benefit, and not solely intended to help with the cost of childcare.

RedHelenB Wed 03-Apr-13 15:56:11

People claimed child benefit & owned homes, had expensive holidays etc. Child tax credits was an effort to make more children's lives easier in the same way 7 working tax credit was to encourage people to work! People can work just as hard for a low paid job as a high paid one so to my mind great that they had tax credits to even things out a bit!

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 15:56:33

"They were intended to help families with the costs of raising children and the costs of child care. A valuable 'tax break' for families has now been reframed as a 'benefit' by the Tory party."

Yes, predictably enough.

When people at the time asked why it was necessary to take the money in tax and give it back in tax credits instead of changing allowances, there was no good answer.

I have always suspected that Brown saw that making large swathes of the population dependent on cash from the government as a good thing.

The fact that this choice made it easier for Tories to remove them and for right wingers to moan about "benefits culture" didn't figure.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 15:57:53

But a tax break is just exemption from paying tax. So to simplify, if you paid £100 in tax and got that back that would be a tax break. But if you pay £100 in tax and get back £400 how is that a tax break. It's a benefit to all intents and purposes. I think it was misleading to call it tax credits.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 15:58:59

They were only ever called tax credits as a ploy by labour to make them seem more palatable to people who would have rightly disagreed with their existence.

Doesn't the fact that you don't have to pay tax in order to claim child 'tax credits' tell you that they have absolutely nothing to do with tax?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Apr-13 16:03:12

property - no. 'Tax credit' is a total misnomer. Many people receive more in tax credit than they ever pay in tax, which makes it a benefit.

The whole system is totally fucked because people have raised their lifestyle expectations and taken career and child-rearing decisions based on state handouts rather than on their actual financial position.

Anyone who has £16k in the bank should not be claiming any state help.

amicissimma Wed 03-Apr-13 16:05:10

Tax Credits aren't benefts, they are just a return of some of the tax paid to those a) deemed worthy of receving them and b) who can face the filling out of forms, submitting and resubmitting of information that is required.

There used to be a bottom tax rate of 10% (which I think Gordon brought in). Then it was bumped up and some people were allowed to claim some tax back.

How about bringing the low rate back or have an extra tax-free allowance for parents, if we insist that low-waged people with children should pay less tax than say, those giving Grandma a few little treats, or those saving for a home so that they are less likely to need support when they do have children?

Could it be, as suggested upthread, that people would be less likely to vote for a party that let them keep their own money, rather than one that apparently gave them handouts?

Babyroobs Wed 03-Apr-13 16:06:24

Many families get more in tax credits than they ever pay in tax. How is that not a benefit?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 16:09:03

The labour spin doctors were having a great day when they thought up tax credits. It was all propaganda.

I can't believe there are still people that genuinely believe tax credits aren't benefits. It would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 16:09:31

Of course people should be able to claim tax credits if they have 16k.

how are they ever going to get anything otherwise?

I don't think its fair to lump tax credits with other benefits anyway.

As I said earlier, we were all sold tax 'credits' as a way to raise our families.

Its beyond cruel to whip them away now.

amicissimma Wed 03-Apr-13 16:11:37

Babyroobs, well, that's bananas. Better to call them benefits, then. They're not being tax credits at all.

Like it or not, Frank Field and IDS have a point in that the system needs to be simplified. How on earth do people ever work out what they can claim?

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 16:12:22

clouds tax credits have helped people survive when earning shitty wages.

Yes, they are given when out of work, but they are also given to families that need them to top up low wages.

Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 16:12:29

I think the issue is the high cost of living, especially housing. We can't just let people in low paying jobs starve or no longer be able to afford to pay their rents or run their cars. Never mind utility bills.

Unfortunately, if we took tax credits away from them, that's exactly what would happen. We all need people to do these low paid jobs, but the same people who rely on them, moan about tax credits. It's a crazy situation.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Apr-13 16:12:56

'We have never claimed a penny in over 40 yrs and the first time we try we are basically harassed until we decide to live off our savings while some "lard arse" or recent immigrant seems to have no issue.'

So you truly believe 'lard arses' and immigrants rock right up, get ESA and don't have harassment from ATOS or reams of paperwork? You do? I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale, if that's the case.

PMSL! Immigrants who are non-EU nationals have to have a permanent residency visa to claim ESA at all, the cost of this visa is about £1000, they have to have lived here from 3-5+ years (3 for spouses of British or EU nationals and much longer for those who come on work visas), pass a Life in the UK exam (not free), and have no recourse to public funds before they get that residency visa.

They must pass fitness assessments and submit their earnings, income and savings/assets just like any other person.

Ditto 'lard arses'.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 16:13:18

It was beyond silly to introduce them at the levels they were paying out. I agree that it is hard for people now to have these taken away. If people are getting hundreds of pounds a month extra from the state how can that be anything other than a top up, a benefit or call it what you will. It has nothing to do with tax as the normal meaning of the word.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 16:13:38

it not difficult (under this system) to work out what you are able to claim.

The forms are simple.

From what I've seen on UC , it will be much harder.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Apr-13 16:14:55

'The welfare state is for people in need. Somebody with £16,000 in the bank isn't in need of help from somebody on low wages.'

I agree with that. That is fortune to most low-income wage earners. Well beyond a rainy-day bit of money for repairs or the odd emergency.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Apr-13 16:18:32

Feminine I'm interested in your assertion that you were forced to claim tax credits, how does that work?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 16:18:54

Feminine, and that's where labour did such an excellent job on people like you.

Working tax credits top up low wages, I agree that they are needed, although I don't think they should be. They way working tax credits are designed means that people who receive them actually turn down work so their tax credits don't get reduced. I have a colleague that regularly works overtime to help out, but who cant afford to fill in a timesheet and claim for extra hours worked because she would end up with less money than she gets for working her regular hours! How is that right?

Child tax credits are given to people who are out of work, so they are a completely separate thing. They are 100% a benefit. I appreciate that they sometimes help towards childcare costs, which is a good thing, but there are much more efficient ways of helping people with childcare costs. Which thankfully, the government realises, so finally something is being done about it.

curryeater Wed 03-Apr-13 16:26:44

What is sad about this is that people in unstable employment who try to save, but who keep suffering redundancy, could run through all their savings several times, and never get a deposit for a house together, or not within working range of a 25 year mortgage. This would not be a problem except that tenants are treated like such utter shit; and that so many industries are so unstable that occasional or frequent redundancy and a period of job searching is a fact of life. Each time it is fucking square fucking one.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 16:27:24

Ali We were forced as its impossible to survive without them.

We lived in the US for about 7 yrs, my DH did a job that here would be deemed hardly deserving of MW -and yet we needed no Governmental help. living quite nicely actually.

We also got back a nice little tax refund at the end of the year , a portion of that was purely for having kids!

Lots of countries give back to their people, the UK is not the only place that has back-up.

If they never raise MW , then people working for it will forever need help.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 16:30:27

There is a significant difference between giving back and giving out.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 16:48:41

When I said "giving back" I really meant it more of an expression. smile

There are perks in all civilized countries. The CTC is one that is here.

Well was , in some places...

The whole UTC situation is beyond horrible.

You know, at first I was in favour of "change" I'd like to work when my children are school age. In many ways I'd be a fool not to. I'm furious that the Government wants to sanction me if I don't find work during school hrs. There are no jobs round here in that time frame , that I (in a very rural area) could realistically do.

There are no after schools, no breakfast clubs.

Sorry ranting now...

FasterStronger Wed 03-Apr-13 16:51:01

feminine We lived in the US for about 7 yrs, my DH did a job that here would be deemed hardly deserving of MW -and yet we needed no Governmental help. living quite nicely actually.

so what's unemployment benefit like in the US? is it generous to people who need it?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 16:53:36

Just had another thought. What happens to those on interest only mortgages who have savings vehicles to pay off the capital sum at the mortgage end? I assume they will need to remortgage if they want to receive UC? Hopefully most people these days are on repayment mortgages.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 03-Apr-13 16:53:41

16 k does seem like a lot, and when I had over 4 k in the bank, I was not able to claim housing benefit, even though on a low wage.
I get that I didn't need the HB, even though 4 k is about 6 months rent, and that HB is for those who really need it, same as tax credits.

I suppose the thing that gets me though, is that this saving rule does shaft renters, whereas owners can use savings pay a chuck of their mortgage (thus increasing their investment).

Clouds statement about people "choosing" to rent, and renting having as many benefits as buying has made me laugh, if hollowly.
Sorry, but these days, renting IS a grim necessity.
It's shit.
You have no security. No tenancy can legally be longer than 6 months. You have to put up with horrible carpets, and creepy landlords, avaricious estate agents who charge you every time you renew your contract, and you pay thousands and thousands a year for the privilege.
That's why, given the actual choice everyone is desperate to get on the "property ladder".
My fantasy is living somewhere and knowing I don't have to move until they carry me out in a box, if I want. Knowing I have a place to live for my son, for ever, if he needs it.
If renting is just another lifestyle choice, and just as good, why don't all those homeowners sell up, go on a cruise, and rent a house instead??
That's right. Because it's shit.

curryeater Wed 03-Apr-13 17:07:32

I can't quite articulate this, but I really feel like something strange has happened to the relative value of money. I mean I know it is a classic old-git thing to be all "HOW MUCH? I remember when the bus was 2d!"* - but it is something more than that. We seem - collectively - to be constantly shocked by how little our money gets you. And in denial about it, perhaps because stupid electronic gee-gaws are so cheap. I think it is the necessities that are outrageously expensive, while the medium-priced-luxuries are actually weirdly deceptively cheap, relatively (although you might not have any spare money by the time you have paid for the necessities)

Housing = extortionate
Fuel and energy = extortionate, we have turned off the heating
transport = don't fucking start me
council tax = ouch
childcare = jesus wept
tiny little computer you can put in your pocket and access all the accumulated knowledge of the world (yet it is mainly used for looking at pictures of cats who look like Hitler = actually surprisingly reasonable, considering
Upshot = anyone who has no major responsibilities is constantly posting over exposed duckface selfies to the internet, while anyone who is trying to keep a family establishment afloat sobs and weeps, rolling starving in the gutter

In the light of all the above, £16k is neither here nor there, yet somehow the mind is so keen to go back to 1950s values when benefits are mentioned, people start jowl-flobbling as if you could still build a royal yacht with £16k and have money left over to colonially-oppress a small hot country

*I do actually remember when the bus was 5p to school and you could get 3 mojos for a penny. And pennies are easy to find on the ground, you will always find one if you look hard enough

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 17:10:58

faster unemployment cheques are grim in the US. Have you seen what happens when it really is impossible to source work there? Tent cities are real.

It is hell being unemployed in the states, we were lucky to never be.

Many, many of our neigbours were.

I think I know where you are going with your question. Its much easier to get work in the US if you are prepared to do it.There is SO much faffing about in the UK. In the US, you can go for an interview on the Friday and start the following Monday. This is if the economy is safe. When we were there things were very, very bad.

The US is geared up for work.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Apr-13 17:20:15

A major difference in the US is cost of living. That simply cannot be discounted because the UK can never model itself on the US paradigm due to this insurmountable difference.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Apr-13 17:26:34

Oh, and private renting. Excepting NYC and San Fran and possibly a couple of others, a vast proportion of rental properties, particularly flats/apartments and many townhouses/terrace, is owned by large corporations v individual BTLers or semi-amateur property portfolio types. It means a lot more stability in renting and a lot less variation - a Trammell-Crowe apartment in Houston will look pretty much the same in Denver and have the same stuff.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 17:31:16

Yes, that is true expat re: the houses.

We found the cost of living in the US much higher.

Apart from gas (obviously) wink

curryeater Wed 03-Apr-13 17:48:10

expat don't get your point about cost of living - is it more or less in the US?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Apr-13 17:51:52

curryeater I do agree with your post of 17.07 about the relative value of money.

But - the average salary is something like £22k a year. If you assume that person is paying 4% into a pension, they are left with slightly more than £17k a year, post tax.
We cannot in all conscience have a situation where people are allowed to sit with the equivalent of an average post-tax salary in the bank and still receive state help.

Wages need to rise, but they aren't going to for as long as they are propped up by state support. People don't want promotions because it means working harder and they will lose the equivalent to their pay rise. The whole set up is awful, and Gordon Brown should be prosecuted for messing with people's lives in the way that he did.

TheWrathofNaan Wed 03-Apr-13 17:58:37

If your children have been given money by grandparents etc can you really be made to use this money to live on when it has been given to your children and not you?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Apr-13 18:00:18

TheWrath - it depends how it is held. In an account which only your children can access, then it is theirs. If you are holding it in their names then yes it will be counted, because you could draw it out and use it at any time if you chose to.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 03-Apr-13 18:07:24

I am totally stealing "jowl-flobbling" curryeater.

This governement would LOVE a US model country. However, it has become clear to US citizens that their model only works in the good times. I lived there years ago. I made good money, although my healthcare insurance was $$$.
And there was loads of work, for a young, white, attractive(ahem) girl. Loads. If I had been in a depressed area (that is, the entire US now), disabled, unable to work due to an industrial accident that my insurance company refused to pay up for, unable to pay my rent, or keep my car going (and in a lot of the US there is no workable public transport) I would have had a completely different experience.
Their system is broken, utterly, and if this government has their way, ours will be just as scary very soon.

Happy247 Wed 03-Apr-13 18:08:50

When are all these changes starting? Just seems a bit unfair if you have saved some money pre children and gone without holidays and then being told to live off it if needed!

MsNobodyAgain Wed 03-Apr-13 18:09:26

It depends on the age and type of account as well. My Dd aged 9 has a savings account in her own name, only she can sign for it, but I couldn't bung 10k in there and call it hers because technically I could be asdking her to draw out money for me.

The best thing to do with any childrens savings or inheritance is have it in a trust fund, not accessible by either of you until that child becomes 18 and then it is paid solely to them in their name.

MsNobodyAgain Wed 03-Apr-13 18:10:30

My post was to wrath. Slow typer.

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 18:13:15

There is definitley an obsession in the UK with owning homes that there isn't in other countries. I've heard so many of my friends and others referring to renting as 'wasting money'. You have a roof over your head, somewhere warm to sleep at night - how can that be wasting money?

The obsession is apparent on this thread as people are offended that the government won't 'allow' them to save more than £16k if they want tax breaks/benefits/allowances/whatever you want to call it. I do wonder if people walk around with their eyes and ears closed. Yes, let's cut DLA by 20% even though the government themselves estimate fraud at something like 2.5% (I'm aware this is not a correct figure) but let people receive child tax credits with £16k in the bank...?

Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 18:22:48

It's wasting money, because paying a mortgage is often a smaller monthly payment than private rental.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 03-Apr-13 18:23:44

Happy the point of saving is so that you have money to live off if needed, isn't it?

The attitude revealed by some on this thread goes some way to explaining the current situation.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 18:25:54

People think renting is a waste of money only because they have seen house prices rise in years gone by so they see a house as a form of investment. Money they will get back. But they won't if they rent. This is only logical if house prices continue to rise. If they stay the same or even drop then it's a different story altogether.

Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 18:26:03

I'm a Guardian reading leftie, but if I had 16K in savings, I wouldn't bother claiming benefits if I found myself too ill to work or unemployed for a bit. I'd use my savings.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 18:31:24

The UK "obsession" with owning homes is based on people a tuly understanding where there interests lie.

Tenants don't have the rights that make it desirable to rent long term.

In countries where renting is considered an attractive option, landlords have what LL here would consider to be onerous responsibilities to their tenants.

As long as you can be fucked out of your home with 6 months notice, there are zero rent controls, you have no rights to modify your home, and rent is more expensive than paying a mortgage, people will remain "obsessed" with owning.

Because they are not stupid. And renting in the UK is a very bad deal.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 18:33:16

I swear to God, fucking autocorrect!

Sometimes it's its, sometimes it's their and stop turning proper words into bullshit.

Happy247 Wed 03-Apr-13 18:34:12

Nappies- Yes I agree a little but what about DC future? University, weddings, house deposit etc? How do you pay for that?

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 18:34:33

Instead of nazel gaving about owning properties, we could work towards more secure tenancies, tenants' rights etc.

mrsscoob Wed 03-Apr-13 18:34:55

Bunfags if you read the original post it has nothing to do with her being unemployed or ill. There are already limits in place for savings for people claiming JSA etc. This is about someone who is working full time.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 18:40:41

"we could work towards more secure tenancies, tenants' rights etc."

Yes, please!

But you're living in dreamland if you think a government full of landowners and landlords is going to go for that! grin

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 03-Apr-13 18:42:19

Viviennemarie. That's arse, if you don't mind me saying.
People want to buy because, one day, they will OWN a house, and they can leave A PLACE TO LIVE to their kin, that NO-ONE will be able to kick them out of.
It's really that simple.
I don't want to own a house because I want to accrue wealth. I just want my son to not have to move house anymore,(he has already moved 3 times)and I would like to NOT lose £100 of my deposit to a landlord every time I move.
Renting actively loses you money, what with the inevitable deductions, agent fees, the money you end up spending on the garden (I could cry over the plants I have left behind) and the paint to make a shitty place look decent. It all adds up.
It just makes me laugh how much you get people on here saying things like "oh, how silly, this UK obsession with buying, it's not like on the continent you know"
You can bet your left tit that these people poo-pooing the very idea that people want to buy, OWN their house.

Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 18:42:50

I did read the first post. blush

I was just saying that I wouold prefer to use savings than having to fill out forms and all that sort of thing.

As for whether it's wrong to have 16K and claim tax credits, I think it's fine. The upper crust are on the fiddle, so if people earning minimum wage manage to squirrel away 16K or more, good luck to them!

I honestly don't get worked up about benefits. Some people seem to be under the impression that there tax will go down if the government gets rid of the welfare state. They are deluding themselves. They'll just find other ways to take their money! Fwiw, I like the idea of communism, but it doesn't work in reality!

Bunfags Wed 03-Apr-13 18:43:44

Sorry for awful typing and grammar btw

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 18:44:19

The trouble is, I've heard people bleating their rights when they withheld rent because they're short on money as if it's their LL's fault! My auntie (who I adore) cannot manage money and has been kicked out of rental after rental for non-paying of rent. I don't see why she should have rights.

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 18:45:32

People want to own their homes and then not sell it to pay care home fees if the last thread was anything to go by................

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 18:46:35

Oh right, so you don't want people who rent to have rights?

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 18:52:20

Oh FFS, I did not say that! Don't be obtuse. I just think that people who deliberately don't pay rent are part of the problem.

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 18:53:55

P.S. my auntie did have rights which of course she should have done. She stayed by an extra 3 months despite not paying rent. I'm not sure what other rights people like her should be afforded?

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 18:56:19

People who don't pay rent are nothing to with the problem.

The problem is that property owners' have nearly all the rights.

That's why everyone is "obsessed" with being one.

Paying your rent is part of your contract as a tenant. So nobody has the right not to pay.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 18:58:18

Why are you trying to make out that your financially incontinent aunt is not just one irresponsible person, but a whole category of person that poor vulnerable landlords need to be protected from?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 19:10:36

People who don't pay rent are a huge part of the problem!

I'm all for tenants rights, but they need to be improved alongside landlords rights. A landlord has next to no protection from tenants that don't pay, or damage their property. Tenants might not have the right to change the property or get a new carpet when they fancy one, but they do have rights when it comes to getting certain things fixed that homeowners would just have to live with because they can't afford to fix. Their deposits are protected. Private tenants don't have the right to live in the property for as long as they want to if the owner wants them to leave, but social tenants are on to a very good thing.

I own my house but I'd give it up for a similar sized HA/council property any day. Someone else to pay thousands of pounds when I need my boiler replaced - yes please!

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 19:20:14

How can people who don't pay rent be a huge part of the problem that tenants don't have any rights to their homes?

They may be a problem.

But the problem of tenants having fuck all rights is nothing to do with them.

It is to do with making the ownership of property (and the extracting of rent) as worthwhile as possible.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 19:27:14

Non paying tenants are part of the problem because they leave landlords reluctant to allow them to have rights that they don't have to. Landlords would be more inclined to be generous over rights to things like redecorating if they didn't have to fear non paying tenants.

Bad tenants make all tenants be viewed more negatively than the majority of them deserve. And it works the other way too, bad landlords give all landlords a bad name.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 19:34:10

"Landlords would be more inclined to be generous over rights to things like redecorating if they didn't have to fear non paying tenants."

grin

Are you actually dumb enough to believe that?

You are really saying that the poorer, less powerful people in the relationship are responsible for their own exploitation?

FFS

Landlords don't want to give tenants right because it is inconvenient, expensive and reduces their profits.

They aren't offering to concede these right to the vast majority of paying tenants, are they?

I mean, I get that you despise anyone you think you can exploit for your own ends, but this is laughable.

grin

Ledkr Wed 03-Apr-13 19:36:46

Well we won't get universal credit and have no savings so think yourself lucky!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 19:55:26

Where do you find the bullshit that you talk AThing? The extent of it is actually quite impressive!

Let me spell it out for you. Tenants are not poor just because they are tenants. Tenants are not routinely exploited. Tenants are definitely not less powerful than their landlords. You may be aware of tenants that are all these things, but that has not come about simply because they are tenants.

Landlords don't want to give their tenants rights because they themselves would end up with even less protection from bad tenants than they already have. It is not because it would reduce their profit, or because it's expensive, or because it's inconvenient.

It is not inconvenient to have a tenant have the right to rent long term, nor does that reduce your profit, nor is it more expensive. If anything, it's the opposite.

It does not reduce profit if your tenant has the right to change the carpets when they want, or to let them decorate/make home improvements when they want. Nor does it reduce profit, nor is it more expensive.

So I realise I may be missing something here. If its not the right to long term tenancies that you want, and it's not the right to be able to make home improvements, what is it that you want tenants to have more rights to?

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 20:13:32

"Why are you trying to make out that your financially incontinent aunt is not just one irresponsible person, but a whole category of person that poor vulnerable landlords need to be protected from?"

Your ignorance is astounding. I work with people who, for a variety of reasons, default on rent. I work bloody hard with these people to address the issues which are often part of a wider problem. So, wind your neck in! I don't think LLs are vulnerable, so don't put words in my mouth, it makes your argument look weak. hmm

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 20:47:11

Just back to the thread, as I've been out AT WORK! I deliberately didn't frame my AIBU as should I be entitled to the money as I can see both sides of the argument, and I have no objection to calling WTC a benefit if that's how people want to frame it, but I must reiterate that I work. Full time.

If I don't get WTC then I will have to use my capital for living expenses because my full time wage is not a living wage and I will actually be be subsidising my employer's low wage out of my savings.

I don't live in an expensive area of the country, I don't have expensive tastes, my clothes come from the supermarket and my telly is deeper than it is wide. A full time wage should be enough to live on and it's not.

My capital that takes me over the threshold is an inheritance from my mother, including a savings account she set up for my DC. It may seem a lot of money, but now I 've lost my mum I feel quite alone and it doesn't seem much of a safety net against the world.

Also thank you to those who have linked to further info, especially propertynightmare I haven't had a proper read through yet but it looks a bit hopeful.

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 20:57:24

I should also have said that my situation and others who fall into this category is nowhere comparable to the plight of others illustrated elsewhere on this board who are being pushed into desperate measures by the benefit changes. I count my blessings every day and while me and my children are healthy and have a roof over our head I will continue to do so whether i have money in the bank or not.

My AIBU was more about lack of awareness for how wide reaching these changes will be.

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