to think that a girl called Jack should stick to budget cookery tips and NOT bash

(180 Posts)
LordElpuss Wed 09-Oct-13 16:58:49

people who are losing their child benefit

Guardian article

Goodness yes, she should get back into the kitchen hmm

LordElpuss Wed 09-Oct-13 17:05:18

oops posted too soon!

She writes "But you carry on, all 165,000 of you, because you clearly really need that £20 a week more than the seriously disabled woman needs £14 for a spare bedroom for her overnight carer"

Indeed. But the disabled woman isn't going to get her spare bedroom back just because the 165,000 "middle class" are losing their child benefit - which might be more than £20 a week depending on how many kids they've got. And how does she know if they need it or not?

Manchesterhistorygirl Wed 09-Oct-13 17:11:46

It's ok to bash the middle remember, they're the rich, so that's allowed.

Her whole attitude towards high tax payers is sneery and it's obvious she's set put to be controversial. It's also not benefit fraud to continue to claim cb, just so long as it's paid back through the tax system. (Although I strongly suspect that the whole thing will quietly collapse when the cost of administering the claw back and publicity costs are realised). It's not ok to bash those who clam benefits, but it's ok to bash those who pay large tax bills to find those benefits that are being claimed? She's just as bad as Cameron and co, it's divisive and utterly ridiculous, setting one group against another whilst those who quietly ship their fortunes offshore pay next to nothing.

NatashaBee Wed 09-Oct-13 17:16:22

I like her a little bit less after reading that article... I agree, it sounds very sneery. Until now I thought she'd done a great job of putting together some really good recipes on a realistic budget, and highlighting the struggles that happen so easily when someone loses a job and there's an error with benefits payments. I hope she isn't going to get too involved in the politics of it all.

bearleftmonkeyright Wed 09-Oct-13 17:17:32

She is talking more about the disparity of treatment between the very poor benefit claimants and the slap on the wrist finger wagging at the middle class who have lost their child benefit. She has a point. Any fine incurred will be paid. Sending in the form does not seem to be imperative, because the consequences can be dealt with.

ArthurCucumber Wed 09-Oct-13 17:23:11

It's worth remembering that with her blog she began as an anti-poverty campaigner. The recipes is what she's become well-known for, but that was a sideline. It isn't surprising that she's beginning to use the unexpected fame as a platform. It also isn't surprising that, to someone who has lived on such a reduced income, 50K seems like more money than it might seem to someone earning that amount. (I wouldn't know!)

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 17:26:41

well I think its fair. why spend loads giving people a benefit they dont really need

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 17:28:33

if you need cb on that wage then you are doing something wrong or are overstretching yourselves


GrendelsMum Wed 09-Oct-13 17:30:57

As ArthurCucumber said, she began as an anti-poverty campaigner, talking about her experience of living on a very low budget, with a strong political emphasis. The recipes are her sideline. So she is continuing to do what she has always done.

Manchesterhistorygirl Wed 09-Oct-13 17:33:35

I'll look properly later, but there's an academic article somewhere about everyone having. Vested interest in the social security system meaning a country runs better because everyone receives a monetary benefit and doesn't begrudge anyone else receiving a benefit, whereas this divide and conquer attitude drives a wider gap between rich and poor and creates a less cohesive state.

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Oct-13 17:36:38

I hope she isn't going to get too involved in the politics of it all

She is and always has been about the politics of it all.

Agree with bearleftmonkeyright

Tailtwister Wed 09-Oct-13 17:59:05

The majority of people aren't complaining about losing CB, they are complaining about the unfair way it's being done on a single earner basis only, not on a household income.

EduCated Wed 09-Oct-13 18:05:17

It's her personal blog, and quite explicitly states her anti-poverty activist-ness, so she can talk about whatever she wants really, and it's actually pretty relevant to her interests.

Darkesteyes Wed 09-Oct-13 18:12:34

i also agree with bearleftmonkeyright.

Pinupgirl Wed 09-Oct-13 18:18:55

People who are on 50 grand a year do not actually take that amount home as they pay 40% tax to subsidise those who others who don't.

We only kept our cb after they revised the amount you could earn. Its the only money I get that's actually in my name so yes we do need it thanks very muchhmm

Her recipes are shite as well-wouldn't feed a mouse in my house.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 09-Oct-13 18:19:22

I agree with mrs t p.

She should get back in the kitchen and stop worrying her little head about politics hmm

AmberLeaf Wed 09-Oct-13 18:23:07

Thanks for explaining how income tax works pinupgirl

<doffs cap>

AltogetherAndrews Wed 09-Oct-13 18:27:37

Well, as a human being, I think she generally has the right to comment on anything she damn well pleases. Do you only have opinions on matters directly related to your day job?

No one seems to think that Jamie Oliver isn't entitled to an opinion.

EduCated Wed 09-Oct-13 18:48:22

Her recipes are shite as well-wouldn't feed a mouse in my house.

Please tell me you're being ironic?

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 09-Oct-13 18:55:57

I love these threads. Nothing more heart warming that listening to earners in the top 10% whinging and explaining their "super valid" reasons for needing child benefit. grin

Opalite Wed 09-Oct-13 19:01:33

Even if you think her recipes are shit, cheap recipes like that are essential to poor people. They have helped me a lot and I think what she's doing is fantastic BUT I can't help thinking that it might make some people think 'see, they can survive on almost nothing, why do the poor need more than £10 a week for food when she manages' which is damaging

EduCated Wed 09-Oct-13 19:05:19

Opalite it's awful that advice and resources which are helping people survive can end up being used as a stick to beat them with. It's such a horrible Catch 22 situation, the advice is invaluable, but then people just point and say 'look, it's possible' angry

KurriKurri Wed 09-Oct-13 19:09:57

Why is a woman who expresses a political opinion categorized as a 'girl'?

And why is her name of any relevance at all to your argument - wtf does in matter what she is called, she's still entitled to express her views - or are you worried that because her name is Jack she's pretending she's a Man, so she can sneak up in disguise and have an opinion?

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:15:46

why is it the only money in your name?
do you not have a joint account?
is that not your choice?

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:15:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:15:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:15:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:15:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rushyswife Wed 09-Oct-13 19:16:04

Why shouldn't she get involved in politics? We are after all, last time I checked a democracy? Isn't the whole point that all of society's views be heard? Or should only 'professional journalists' be allowed to voice views?

As it happens I don't really agree with her on this, but I like the fact she is making herself heard, especially as many in her situation are often those we hear the least from in the media

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:17:01

obviously I was not trying to be a repetitive arsehole there, my phone had an unusual episode confused wine

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:19:05

kurri are you kidding? confused

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:19:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:19:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:19:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:19:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:22:15

gives up and turns sad phone off for the night

KurriKurri Wed 09-Oct-13 19:23:39

No I wasn't NotYoMomma - but rearange these words 'stick' and 'wrong end of' blush - apologies OP.

Latara Wed 09-Oct-13 19:28:53

50K is a dream wage for most people I know, I can see where Jack is coming from.

Kormachameleon Wed 09-Oct-13 19:32:26

Gosh the silly girl

She should know her place and go back to cooking and being a mummy


limitedperiodonly Wed 09-Oct-13 20:27:20

It's a free country; she can say what she likes.

If she starts bashing people for eating cheesy chips in front of big tellies I might feel inclined to step in.

Until then...

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 09-Oct-13 20:29:49

She is calling people fraudsters for not registering for self-assessment on time, though. Whilst there are penalties to be paid for missing the deadline, you are not fraudulently claiming anything unless you do not file your return and pay the tax by 31 January 2014. So she has written this article several months too early.

I registered by the deadline but only by luck. I assumed that, as I was intending to file online, I had until a few weeks before 31 January to get registered. Just by luck I went on to the HMRC website and saw the notice about 5th October on there. So I am not surprised people have missed the deadline to be honest.

KirjavaTheCorpse Wed 09-Oct-13 20:39:35

Not seeing what's so apparently inflammatory about the article confused - is it sneery? Where?

MellowandFruitfulSnazzy Wed 09-Oct-13 20:44:36

Oh, the irony of using a social media site for people to express their opinions about whatever they want, to criticise someone using their own blog - a social media space - to express their opinion on something!

Like Rushyswife I don't necessarily agree with her, but she has a perfect right to express her opinions on politics. As does anyone. Feel free to criticise her argument, her reasoning or her evidence. But it's her personal blog on which she can write about whatever she wishes. Do people seriously not grasp how the internet works, in 2013? hmm

bearleftmonkeyright Wed 09-Oct-13 20:49:06

The point of what she is saying is being missed because people have chosen to take this article as a personal attack on them. I have been late with child tax credit forms etc. The terms that are used for higher income people are different than for say, a person on long term sickness benefit. They need to be "helped" back into work. A young person who cannot find a job needs to help themselves. Because for those people its their fault. For those who have not filled out the forms they have missed a deadline. Its an oversight. Its not the same.

JustinBsMum Wed 09-Oct-13 21:00:09

Well, she must have received a good offer for her book rights. Her blog has a post in July of how she is looking for work and her benefits have not come through but would imagine she is well off now with the publicity she has had, even interviewed in Australia.
She might be another JK Rowling, turning her life around and becoming mega rich.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 09-Oct-13 21:13:16

I think she has a good point about the brutality of the recovery of benefits (often overpaid due to admin errors not any fault of the individual) to low earners versus the laisse faire attitude towards CB.

But I think she shoots herself in the foot a bit by implying that these people are fraudsters, when the reality is that they've failed to fill out one form to register, but would always have had until 31 January to file their return. I think her point would have been made more powerfully with a more subtle approach.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 09-Oct-13 21:33:03

She has always been a anti-poverty activist and I like those articles on her blog. I don't use her recipes because I'm very very good at cooking. And also I'm lucky that DH and I still have our jobs so we don't have to count our pennies.

But pinupgirl Her recipes are shite as well-wouldn't feed a mouse in my house. seriously? I guess lentils and beans aren't good enough for your family then? Just because your partner earns more than £50k, you don't have a right to be sneery about peasant food. hmm

fancyanother Wed 09-Oct-13 21:35:09

I was listening to Radio 2 the other day about this. Lots of people were ringing in saying how complicated and difficult it was to register for self assessment and how they had to fill the form in on their birthday etc etc. Now, I decided to set up my own business a couple of years ago and registered for self assessment for the first time ever. I don't recall it being massively difficult. I earn nowhere near 50k, so I would assume people that do are much cleverer than me. It seemed like a lot of people are deliberately finding something complicated and hard to understand to avoid having to pay back their child benefit.

mignonette Wed 09-Oct-13 21:44:44

Jack has always campaigned on politics and social issues.

She now has a weekly OPED column in the Guardian. I suspect she will continue to do good a la JK. I admire Jack greatly and she is well aware of the price she has to pay for the publicity and earning opportunities coming her way.

She has had people slagging her off for having 'glittery tiles' in her kitchen these being somehow 'proof' of her being inauthentic. as she points out, the interior decor of her landlord has nothing to do with her!

gallicgirl Wed 09-Oct-13 21:54:07

Funniest thing I've read all week.

Trills Wed 09-Oct-13 22:13:53

Her opinion is just as valid as anyone who writes for a newspaper's comment page.

bsc Wed 09-Oct-13 23:00:44

The Guardian is just a gossip rag these days in any case!

I think it is extremely important that people at all points on the economic scale receive something back from the system- people that do not benefit in any way will otherwise have no 'buy-in' and become less and less inclined to pay into the system, meaning everyone suffers.

Child Benefit isn't about the amount per week (and yes, £20 is a very small percentage of a £50k salary) it's about giving something universally to all (all who have children, mind you!) and keeping high-earners as stakeholders in the society pot.

The way the whole affair has been handled is shockingly poor- Lin Homer should be ashamed of her comments earlier this week, she shows a complete lack of respect for any taxpayers hmm

If families are to be assessed for benefits as a whole, then they should also be taxed as a whole, and thus those who can, benefit from 1 low/non-earner.

Paying money to one parent, and expecting another parent to pay it back through their tax bill is ridiculous. What if I choose not to tell my children's father that I've received it? He can be fined for another's actions? Outrageous really.

That's before we get to the inequity of two earners on £48k keeping child benefit but 1 earner on £50k losing it confused Which utter numpty thought that would be a good idea?

But no, YABU OP, because it is important that she does rattle cages. The poor have no power in this (or indeed really any other) country. You may not agree with her, but people are vaguely listening.

Maybe she is sneery, but we all need something to sneer at to keep us going, eh? wink

halfwayupthehill Wed 09-Oct-13 23:26:54

I am a single mum. My salary is nearing the 50 k mark. After tax and childcare my net income is 149 quid a week. My weekly train ticket is 43 quid a week. So i have to pay for everything else and support my two children out of 105 quid a week. My actual gross salary is ok, but the tax system is insane.

Tweasels Wed 09-Oct-13 23:36:45

The whole CB thing is ridiculous. I'm not against means testing it but do it fairly. The whole idea of basing it on one parent was bonkers enough but this tax malarkey makes it even more nonsensical.

However, I don't see anything wrong with that article. It's a fair criticism of how certain arms of the media report on the different classes in our society.

You've misunderstood the article although I'm quite sure that was absolutely your intention.

Notcontent Thu 10-Oct-13 00:14:48

I am in the same position as halfway. I am a lone parent earning more than 50,000 but live in London so after my mortgage and childcare there is not that much left. I feel really angry that I work very hard but get nothing back, no help at all, but a couple earning the same amount do!
I may earn a decent income but getting just a little help in my position would be fair.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 10-Oct-13 00:17:41

But she isn't criticising people for claiming CB. She's highlighting the double standard applied to poor people who claim benefits vs the better off who do.


HavantGuard Thu 10-Oct-13 01:42:20

I'm glad someone actually read the article Saskia. Agree completely.

What Saskia said.

Also, if not for Jack, DH and I wouldn't eat very much. Making sure the children eat well and healthily is costly - she's made it a bit easier for us. Pinupgirl's comments just show how ignorant a lot of people are about poverty though, and I think Jack is helping to highlight what it's really like (her blogpost "Hunger Hurts" should be compulsory reading imo).

LordElpuss Thu 10-Oct-13 05:58:49

Well if Jack is going to be credible she needs to accept that people earning £50k pa don't, as she claims, have £1,000 a week. They actually have £691 out of which they pay rent/mortgage, council tax, child care i.e. all the things that she (until she became a Guardian "columnist") had paid for her. And out of their remaining income they have travel and all the other bills which means that they might actually need the child benefit, especially if they have 3 or 4 kids.

So she should concentrate her attacks on the government and not the taxpayers who are not earning a fortune - £50k seriously?? - it smacks of sour grapes.

MrsKoala Thu 10-Oct-13 06:02:11

I love these threads. Nothing more heart warming that listening to earners in the top 10% whinging and explaining their "super valid" reasons for needing child benefit.

50k = £2996

£1400 rent/mortgage on 3 bedroom semi
£400 fares
£400 food & toiletries/cleaning stuff
£120 Council Tax
£80 leccy
£90 gas
£100 car tax/petrol
£50 phone/internet
£50 2 mobiles
£150 formula/nappies/clothes for dcs


Leaving about £150 for a family to 'live on' for a month and emergencies or dental appointments/prescriptions etc and what about yearly costs like MOTs? or a few presents at xmas/birthdays? - i know not essential but still something people do. And while i don't think the above is the bread line, or 'poor'. It's hardly rolling in it like people expect it to be.

ceeveebee Thu 10-Oct-13 06:37:53

Whether people agree with the policy or not, it is in place now and nothing can be d

ceeveebee Thu 10-Oct-13 06:40:31

Nothing can be achieved by deliberately not complying. Are these 165,000 failing to register as some kind of protest?
Personally I elected to stop receiving it back in January to avoid all this hassle

frenchfancy Thu 10-Oct-13 06:42:30

MrsKoala you forgot childcare costs.wink

merrymouse Thu 10-Oct-13 06:51:25

I think the problem with the article is that it is more likely that the 165,000 intend to pay on time but haven't got round to registering yet. This article would be relevant in about March 2014, assuming that a lot of people hadn't paid and the government could not track them down and charge penalties and interest. That would be fraud.

I agree with bsc also. Give according to ability and receive according to need. Means testing away all benefits from everybody except the most poverty stricken (and then presumably reducing taxes) creates a society where benefits are seen as something received by the incompetent and feckless.

MrsKoala Thu 10-Oct-13 07:00:13

French - there is only one earner on 50k in that family. (If it was 2 earners jointly bringing in 50k then they would still get CB.) So there is no need for childcare.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 10-Oct-13 07:14:04

No one seems to think that Jamie Oliver isn't entitled to an opinion.

On that point you are wrong. I for one, think that Jamie Oliver should keep his mouth shut. School dinner uptake has fallen by quite a lot since he got involved in the whole 'turkey twizzler' debate. He should stick to cooking.

I also agree that there is something in the 'wouldn't feed a mouse in my house' argument for Jacks recipes. It's not the content of the recipes but the portion sizes. If I have my kids one of her meal recipes they would presume its an appetiser and would want to know when the main course is arriving.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 10-Oct-13 07:15:38

French - there is only one earner on 50k in that family. (If it was 2 earners jointly bringing in 50k then they would still get CB.) So there is no need for childcare.

Unless it's a single parent household on 50k and then childcare is required meaning they might need the CB even more.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 10-Oct-13 07:19:25

The term fraudster would be applied to someone who had forgot to sign off. She is framing her argument around inequality and using the significant, relevant fact that tens of thousands of people have failed to sort out their cb. The reduction in people receiving cb has been headline news for months and there is no real excuse for not finding out what your position is. If this had been people claiming jsa they would have been called fraudsters.

MrsKoala Thu 10-Oct-13 07:20:40

Yes, agree totally NoRude. Sorry - very late here and i've had wine smile

HavantGuard Thu 10-Oct-13 07:24:42

She's not in any way attacking higher earners. She's attacking the attitudes towards those on low incomes receiving benefits.

merrymouse Thu 10-Oct-13 07:27:30

The difference is that people aren't due to pay back their child benefit for another 3.5 months, whether they have registered for self assessment or not.

There is no obligation for higher rate tax payers not to receive child benefit, just to pay it back on the appropriate date.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 10-Oct-13 07:34:00

Merrymouse, but those affected sstill should have registered for self assessment yes? And many have not done so. There are so many parallels I could draw with benefit claimants I don't know where to start.

merrymouse Thu 10-Oct-13 07:40:58

you carry on, all 165,000 of you, because you clearly really need that £20 a week more than the seriously disabled woman needs £14 for a spare bedroom for her overnight carer

I think that is attacking higher earners.

The reality is that people earning £50,000 also suffer from disabilities and/or are carers; £50,000 does not go very far if you have related additional expenses; many people earning £50,000 think the bedroom tax and other benefit cuts are wrong and can see through DM stories about 'scroungers'.

Trills Thu 10-Oct-13 07:41:23

Saskia it's even more than that

she isn't criticising people for claiming CB. She's highlighting the double standard applied to poor people who claim benefits vs the better off who do.

She criticising the double standard applied to people who claim benefits they are not entitled to.

It does however look as if she hasn't paid attention to the intricacies of the system - once the tax year rolls around and there is no outcry about all of the people who have failed to settle up correctly then her point will be more valid.

I can understand there being no fuss made yet - not because everyone knows you can pay it back later but because everyone can relate to not remembering/bothering to fill in a form.

merrymouse Thu 10-Oct-13 07:44:00

I can't see any parallels with benefit claimants (unless you are talking about people not really grasping the facts when they write about them, in which case I will agree that there are loads of erroneous, rabble rousing stories about benefit claimants).

Cat98 Thu 10-Oct-13 07:47:15

Well - I agree with her.
When there are children living in poverty in this country, no I do not think people on £50k plus should receive benefits.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 10-Oct-13 07:50:05

Yes, I think that's more what I mean merrymouse. That kind of reporting.

merrymouse Thu 10-Oct-13 07:56:46

but then she seems to to swapping one kind of not understanding for another - "you (higher rate tax payers) don't understand why bedroom tax is a bad idea, so I will deliberately misunderstand this statistic about 165,000 not registering for self assessment".

It undermines her argument. As said before she needs to wait until people have missed the payment deadline.

She's also missed the fact that many of those 165,000 (an official guesstimate) may not actually earn £50k any more. There are plenty of, completel, legitimate, reasons that this might be the case.

There might be a double standard in how people perceive the poor and the better off, but it seems that everyone wants to assume the worst of people whatever their income.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 10-Oct-13 08:11:46

I think you are right that until the picture becomes clearer and what kind of punitive measures are taken against those who continue to claim cb who are not entitled its difficult to draw a full comparison. I still think the nub of her argument is valid however. It is the catastrophic punitive measures that are taken against other benefit claimants that do not and never will apply to cb claimants and seems illogical in the face of government rhetoric that we are all in this together. I do think however, the cb policy is massively illogical.

Khaleese Thu 10-Oct-13 08:19:59

Child benefit was a universal credit not a benefit!

It's the only help the middle get, the middle who pay through the nose to ( rightly) support those who are without. you girl, we paid for you

She know's nothing about people's circumstances and should stay out of such debates.

The CB fiasco is stupid and unfair.

LifeofPo Thu 10-Oct-13 08:22:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I agree she's made her argument months too early. I also think she's being sneery and massively missing the point about CB. A benefit paid by the state overwhelmingly to WOMEN, it's now being removed from them because in very many cases they parent with a higher earning MAN. That's not universally the case of course but it is for the majority.
As a feminist I absolutely object that the state is now judging dh and I as one unit - but only his income counts. I've disappeared!
We have registered for self assessment. Looking forward to logging all our charitable donations grin We'll have to pay some or all back but for me it's really important to keep claiming it and I don't like being attacked for that.

Morloth Thu 10-Oct-13 08:27:21

I think means testing Child Benefit was a bit of a masterstroke actually.

Really divisive move and really pushed people into 'Us and Them' situations.


Khaleese Thu 10-Oct-13 08:31:45

How true two years time when they remove it for the next income bracket down. Do you think I will care?

God no they took mine!

In five years time those on the lowest income/ no income will get in rolled into their tax credits maybe a bit of it anyway because it will be no longer cost effective to implement.

Do you think I will care????

pointythings Thu 10-Oct-13 08:32:05

To be fair in the article Jack does state that she disagrees with CB being assessed on the high earner rather than on household income.

Her tone may have been a little ill judged, but she has a point - people on benefits have been treated absolutely vilely by the government and the gutter press, and the contrast with the lenient attitude displayed towards people who are late registering for self assessment is stark.

therumoursaretrue Thu 10-Oct-13 08:47:44

Very good point Northernlurker!

madmomma Thu 10-Oct-13 08:52:13

I think she's spot on.

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:56:55

I can imagine the arguments up and down the country

"I thought you said you would stop claiming the child benefit!"

"No, you said you were happy to self assess!"

shewhowines Thu 10-Oct-13 08:58:24

if you need cb on that wage then you are doing something wrong or are overstretching yourselves

They may not have been stretching themselves with the cb, but that cb was taken into account when deciding on mortgage size and outgoings. For some people, having it taken away, is going to cause problems. They would have taken different decisions, had they known in advance, that cb was not going to be available to them.

And yes it is the unfairness that a lot of people are complaining about. The disparity between single and duel incomes.

I can see all of the above, whilst still disagreeing with the carer/ bedroom bit.

It's not either/or, you know.

SoWhatSoWhatSoWhat Thu 10-Oct-13 09:16:50

BSC, I'm not sure about high earners receiving cb so they can feel they still have an investment in society - just 'all who have children, mind you!' and are getting something out of it, otherwise benefits will just go to the 'incompetent and feckless'.

So what about those who chose not to have children. If the above argument holds, should I feel disgruntled because I'm getting much less for my 'investment in society'?

As it happens, I'm very happy for my taxes to be spent on all your children, to be born in hospital, go to school, get medical care etc. I got all those things as a child myself. However, as I'm going to be on my tod in my old age after saving the government a packet by not having kids, it would be nice to know I'll get some help when I start getting a bit decrepit as I'll have no children to help me access the services that are left, cart me around the place, make sure I'm being fed etc. Yes, those services are theoretically there, but having helped my elderly mum and watching my cousin sort out care for her mother with dementia, I am getting slightly worried now about how I'm going to manage when I'm completely alone.

It's also been interesting since I've been on MN to see how some families manage their money. My DH and I earn the same and have no kids, so it's the obvious thing for us to have our own money we can spend on what we like, and contribute an equal amount to a joint account to pay all household bills. But if we had kids, it would be completely different.

But I'm amazed about the couples I've read about that continue to have 'my' money and 'your' money even after children come along - the husband earns 60K for example, the wife struggles on in a badly paid part time job or is completely SAH in order to look after THEIR children, yet they continue to pay equal amounts of their wages into the communal pot, with the result that the wife is near penniless, whereas the husband has plenty of extra money for trips away, hobbies and gadgets. Then when cb is taken away from couples like this, the wife is in trouble because it's seen as 'her' money and she is the loser. The husband in these families feels under no compulsion to make up the difference in the family budget from his high wage.

CB was brought in at a time when society was more unequal, so a deliberate decision was made to pay it to the mother because it was felt much more likely that she would spend it on the children, and she would be guaranteed to have some money she could call her own. It seems some wives of high earning husbands are still having to rely on cb to manage because their husbands don't see looking after children as a proper job, and think all the money they earn belongs to them to do with as they wish, not to look foremost at the needs of their family unit. So it perhaps some husbands' sense of entitlement to what should be joint resources needs to be addressed.

Morloth Thu 10-Oct-13 09:21:27

A suspicious person would think that that was the plan Khaleese.

So many people have utterly bought into the zero sum game logic of this government. It isn't us or them at all. It benefits this particular government to have everyone suspicious of everyone else and angry at anything they appear to have above and beyond the very minimum to sustain life. But it does not benefit society as a whole; it makes life worse for everyone.

People should stop sneering about other people earning £50k. If you want to earn £50k, there are ways for you to do this. And if all manner of crappy circumstances mean that you can't (e.g. because you can't afford childcare so you can train, or any of the myriad other ways that life conspires against people), don't get angry at those who do earn £50k. Get angry at the social systems and poorly structured welfare state that prevents you from being able to do the same.

Debates about who 'deserves' benefits and in what circumstances only serve to exacerbate the poor public perception of benefit recipients. We don't seem to have discussions about the purpose of benefits in this country (or the broader purpose of public services and the welfare state), we seem obsessed with categorising people as 'deserving' or 'undeserving'.

(FYI: I don't earn enough to lose CB)

shewhowines Thu 10-Oct-13 09:27:39

Your crystal ball looks as if it is in perfect condition. I fear it may be very accurate.

Morloth Thu 10-Oct-13 09:39:38

I am a suspicious cynic.

Am therefore very rarely surprised.

merrymouse Thu 10-Oct-13 09:55:40

if you need cb on that wage then you are doing something wrong or are overstretching yourselves

or you are a carer, or you have a disability, or you are a single parent and have to pay for child care etc. etc. etc.

Obviously people earning less than £50K also have these problems, but agree with morloth - divide and conquer seems to be the policy - how long till people who use public healthcare are portrayed as feckless layabouts deserving of second class treatment?

Presumably the penalty for non-repayment of child benefit will be the penalty for non-payment of all taxes - penalties, interest and eventually prison.

fancyanother Thu 10-Oct-13 10:14:35

I agree with sowhat. Some families with SAHM's seem to allow their DH's to live the life of riley on their high wages, just because it allows them the privelege of staying at home and looking after THEIR children. They really need to be sorting out their family finances if they need child benefit to live on, and it really is the only money they have! I have friends who are given 'allowances' by their DH's and when they ask for more, they are shocked that their DH's can afford to give then £1000 pm without even making a dent. And these are educated, intelligent women who have to go begging to their husbands for money. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone and probably won't apply to a single income couple on 50K living in London, but it is the case for most of the SAHM's that I know.

TheInquisitor Thu 10-Oct-13 10:16:08

Gosh, you're completely right. Blogger - KNOW YOUR PLACE! hmm

fatlazymummy Thu 10-Oct-13 10:26:13

Of course Jacks portions are small. You're not going to get very fat on £10 a week, are you? People genuinly on the breadline generally do lose weight, even if they do have to eat bread and pasta.
Regarding Mrskoala's list ,spending £400 /month on food and £150/month on nappies, formula and kids clothes is being pretty well off, IMO.

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 10:39:51

I personally class nappies/ and formula as part of the shopping so really 550 a month at the supermarket is a lot!!!!

and you still have disposable income left at the end

and a huge (unusually huge) mortgage rent

yet you are not well off confused hmm

no... your outgoings are too high

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 10:42:17

also don't understand the reference to disabled people earning over 50k?

this does not effect dla which is universal and what IS designed to help with those additional expenses

fancyanother Thu 10-Oct-13 10:43:24

And you need to go to Moneysupermarket to sort out your gas/electricity!

PeppiNephrine Thu 10-Oct-13 10:45:08

Apart from the fact that she can talk about what she likes, whoever she is, and its none of your bloody business, she has a good point as well.

TheInquisitor Thu 10-Oct-13 10:45:14

Regarding Mrskoala's list ,spending £400 /month on food and £150/month on nappies, formula and kids clothes is being pretty well off, IMO.

Oh good, not just me who thought that - £400 a month on food is definitely well off! That's a lot of money to spend just on food.
Especially when you have spare cash for new kids clothes every single month.

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 10:46:40

not to derail the thread but. I have just last week got my gas/leccy down to 76 pound all in shock

I am in a state of shock and delight

no doubt they will soon find some reason to up my bills and increase prices lol

Norudeshitrequired Thu 10-Oct-13 10:55:02

this does not effect dla which is universal and what IS designed to help with those additional expenses

DLA doesn't cover all disability related expenses in a large number of cases. Those with disabilities are known to be more susceptible to poverty due to the huge expenses incurred as a result of the disability.

Mobility allowance element - usually covers the lease cost of a vehicle, but the disabled person often had to fund any adaptations required to the vehicle which can run into thousands of pounds. Additionally, Often a disabled person will need a larger than average vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair or other equipment and a larger vehicle requires more fuel and therefore incurs higher running costs.

Personal care element- the disabled person might need to spend extra on washing, heating, electricity water etc. lots of disabled people suffer from body temp regulation problems and so have to keep their homes warm which costs extra. They might need to have the washing machine on more regularly than normal due to needing extra bed and clothing changes which incurs additional electricity and water costs.
They might need to pay for home help or a cleaner or meals on wheels etc. all of these things will be funded by their DLA so it rarely covers the cost of everything related to the persons disability.

So yes, DLA helps with those additional expenses but it doesn't always come close to covering the whole cost of those additional expenses.

Yes, £400 a month on food and cleaning stuff and £150 on nappies, clothes etc is a huge amount of money. But I suppose if you're used to it then it probably doesn't seem that way. I have 2 children and have £150 a month to spend on food, nappies, cleaning stuff etc. When the children need clothes we buy them, often from charity shops, but they certainly don't get (or need!) new clothes every month.

I think perhaps some people on higher incomes are so used to spending that kind of money that it's hard to imagine spending less. I know I was guilty of that when we had money (although nowhere near £50k, unfortunately).

The real problem here is that the government has very successfully divided the population and turned us against each other. Those lucky enough to have jobs are encouraged to resent those who don't, while those families desperately trying to make ends meet and find work are encouraged to resent those who (on paper) have a large income. People need to wake up to what's going on instead of sneering at each other.

merrymouse Thu 10-Oct-13 11:05:38

Whether or not you think £50K is alot to live on, the Conservatives would love to take at least £80K a week off the £1000+ monthly tax/NI bill of those on 'higher incomes' whether or not they have children, and probably quite a lot more off the bill of those who pay even higher taxes, and they would probably like them to use the money to fund their own private health care and private pensions and wouldn't be averse to them paying for private schools.

All this leaves the ideals of the welfare state - give according to ability and use according to need - in a bit of a pickle.

Thin end of wedge.

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 11:18:43

I bought dd an £8 Halloween costume from Asda last week and a £12 coat. this is probably her last for the next 2 months! abd I felt I was being a bit extravagant but she needed a waterproof!

LouiseAderyn Thu 10-Oct-13 11:41:57

People on a gross salary of 50k are nit realky bringing home that amount of money. I think it would be much better to stop talkibg sbout people's pre tax wage and start talking about what they actually receive after taxation.

As to whether it is a lot if money, that all hinges on where someone lives, how many dc they have to support on that wage etc. Pointless arguing over it because everyone has different circumstances.

She should remember though that fraud doesn't actually exist until the time has passed when people should have repaid cb and haven't. It's impossible to say that it has happened until after Jan.

sashh Thu 10-Oct-13 11:53:51

This is the woman who started a political blog and then added a couple of recipes. Yes she should go back to the kitchen, step away from the politics and turn the clock back 100 years.

We only kept our cb after they revised the amount you could earn. Its the only money I get that's actually in my name so yes we do need it thanks very much

Errr so you don't earn anything? Are you even looking for a job?

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 12:00:45

obvs she isnt, they have made a decision as a family and a life choice

and if it wasnt her decision and she isnt happy about it, there are a coupke of obvious solutions

I have sympathy for single parents in this situation, but not couples who choose to have one person not working.

oh to have that luxury of choice!

Norudeshitrequired Thu 10-Oct-13 12:06:28

I have sympathy for single parents in this situation, but not couples who choose to have one person not working.

What about couples where one has given up work to be a carer for a child with a severe disability or health condition?
What about couples who unexpectedly had a multiple birth and couldn't afford the childcare for the additional unexpected child(ren) and therefore had to give up work?
What about couples where one has been made redundant and been unable to secure more work which pays enough to cover the childcare bill or indeed any work at all?

Not all couples where one is a SAHP have chosen this way of life, some people have little choice.

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 12:11:53

well those people clearly havent chosen that then have they. confused

as I said o have no sympathy for people where they have chosen not to work (as in for a lifestyle choice)

I thought I made that pretty clear

Maybe it would be better if people did have a bit of empathy for others though. There's a disturbing lack of empathy all over the place here.

The way to address a lack of empathy for the poor and disadvantaged is not to sneer at those who are better off.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 10-Oct-13 12:20:46

Not yo mamma - what you actually said was:
and if it wasnt her decision and she isnt happy about it, there are a coupke of obvious solutions

My point is that it isn't always a choice and the solutions are not always obvious and sometimes there are no solutions at all.

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 12:33:49

Two kids child benefit is about £130, three children is about £185.

I absolutely agree that people on higher wages should not receive this money however!!!!!!!! I think that's a lot of money to lose, I don't understand why if its a "rich"person losing this money that the attitude seems to be that they are making a fuss over nothing.

If a "rich" person came on here and said £100 is nothing, it means nothing to me, there would be outrage!

The whole thing is a shambles anyway.

DH earns over the threshold and signed up for self-assessment. Problem: HMRC won't or can't tell him whether or not I claim child benefit because of data protection. We're at an impasse since they also won't talk to me because I don't earn over the threshold. I have the information but they won't accept it from me, and my savings account into which my CB may or may not go (depending on whether or not I claim it) is in my name and DH has no access.

So, you know, this is fun, and going around in circles.

NotYoMomma Thu 10-Oct-13 12:58:47

Rufus... well yeah, as a percentage of income it is a huge difference for someone on 15k a year compared to 50k a year iyswim?

I thought 50k was just the start of a sliding scale of removal anyway?

GinOnTwoWheels Thu 10-Oct-13 13:12:00

*People on a gross salary of 50k are nit realky bringing home that amount of money. I think it would be much better to stop talkibg sbout people's pre tax wage and start talking about what they actually receive after taxation.

As to whether it is a lot if money, that all hinges on where someone lives, how many dc they have to support on that wage etc. Pointless arguing over it because everyone has different circumstances. *

And how much lower earners receive in tax credits etc.

Upthread someone mentioned being a single parent, earning slightly less than £50k and having to pay childcare. While they earn well above the national average wage, they will not have a huge amount of disposable income, especially if they have to pay a lot in mortgage/rent.

Imagine a single parent of 3+ children earning £60k, who loses all their child benefit, and pays a lot out in childcare and rent/mortgage. Despite being a high earner, probably in a stressful job with lots of responsibilities, they will probably be much less financially comfortable than either a single parent or couple who work minimal hours so don't need to pay any childcare and have their £10-15k income topped up by a large amount of tax credits and child benefit.

This is why people are complaining about the loss of child benefit, in addition to couples who earn £99k between them and keep all theirs.

Pinupgirl Thu 10-Oct-13 13:38:49

Oh do fuck off with your sahm bashing.

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:54:58

not completely agree, it's just my pet peeve. It's happened now, we can't change it and I feel sorry for anyone struggling at the moment, you think you have a certain amount of money and you lose CB, or your housing benefit is cut or your pay is frozen or a massive bill comes's a shit situation to be in if you have cut your cloth to suit your means

pin not sure anyone is SAHP bashing, just rich bashing grin

LouiseAderyn Thu 10-Oct-13 14:35:04

There is sahm bashing because some people are taking a view that if a woman is able to choose to sah then she shouldn't be entitled to any financial help because she doesn't need it or else she would be out working. Never mind that working might not be financially viable or that being at home is supporting a hrt payer who might not be able to do a hrt paying job without someone at home ( who then loses cb despite paying for it in a 40% tax rate).

I am pissed off with the assumption that poor people are somehow subsididing the cb of hrt payers when in truth it is the other way around.

The tories are doing very well with their deliberate policy of divide snd rule

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:41:57

louise the bit about lower paid subsidising the CB for higher paid is straight from the politicians! No wonder some people believe it when Cameron, Milliband et al keep bloody saying it

sashh Thu 10-Oct-13 15:20:00

Will if your husband is over the threshold I thought you couldn't claim.

Why don't you just add him to the savings account? Or put CB in his name?

mignonette Thu 10-Oct-13 15:25:28

Commander if you write to HMRC giving them permission to talk to both of you about each others financial dealings, then your problem will be solved. We had to do this- two separate letters giving permission. Send them via recorded delivery, the address is online.

You can claim whatever you or your partner earns - but if either of you earn over £50,000 then you have to start paying it back through tax.

This is NOT a sahm issue but it is a feminist issue. I work full time but I still absolutely object to this policy. In how many relationships has one partner been put under pressure to stop a claim because the other partner will have to pay it back?

Sahm or wohm - CB was paid to a parent to help with the costs of bringing up a child. That very simple and supportive UNIVERSAL principle has been completely destroyed by the Tories and anybody who buys in to the 'well you don't NEED it anyway' is absolutely embracing the social division that the Tories thrive on. This article and the social division it inspires is exactly what the right wing want. Beats me why otherwise intelligent and politically savvy people are willing play that game.

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:53:27

Nicely put northern

Thanks smile

AnaisHendricks Thu 10-Oct-13 17:54:12

Child benefit has always been means-tested anyway. People on Income Support have it taken into account and they are the very poorest in society.

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:19:11

anais no it hasn't

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:32:49

Or do you mean that people on income support don't get it in which case I stand corrected

AnaisHendricks Thu 10-Oct-13 22:46:16

When I was on I.S ten years ago I received a letter which stated, "the government has decided that you need x amount to live on, but considering you get Child Benefit (for your child) this amount will be deducted from this figure and you will only be entitled to y"

I might even still have it. Mrs DeVere is the person to ask about this. I had forgotten all about it until she posted the same as I have fairly recently, so I know there hasn't been any change in policy since then.

Sadly, Google search results for "income" and "child benefit" are clogged with millions of pages regarding high-income citizens wanting to know the new rules.

AnaisHendricks Thu 10-Oct-13 22:59:24

Oh, and at that time child support was also deducted from what the government decided the R.P themselves needed to live on confused Thankfully the law changed.

Rufus44 Thu 10-Oct-13 23:01:50

Thanks anias thought you meant means tested as in people earning lots, not people on benefits. Shocking, absolutely shocking!

My bad!

utreas Thu 10-Oct-13 23:04:03

The problem with the CB cut is that the threshold for those keeping it still far too high. People on the income over the threshold have no need for welfare and if they think that they can't survive without it must not be able to budget or have accumulated large debts neither of which should be paid for by welfare.

AnaisHendricks Thu 10-Oct-13 23:06:23

Rufus smile

RubyRR Thu 10-Oct-13 23:09:29

£598 per week after pension contributions and student loan repayments.

MrsKoala Thu 10-Oct-13 23:45:10

Altho i don't think £92 a week on food and toiletries/cleaning stuff is massively hard up, I don't think it's extravagant for a family of 2 adults and 3 active kids who eat a lot, need lots of laundry etc.

The spare cash per month on the dcs clothes/formula/nappies in my list were a general idea of what you may need to spend for the kids over the year. So nappies are what? £20 a month for a baby, formula £30? All 3 dc fast going thru shoes and coats. Shoes and coats for the 2 adults as well as clothes/school uniform etc.

As i said, while it isn't breadline, it isn't rock star money as some people on here make out. And as someone pointed out if you were a single parent, childcare would also need to come out of it too, so you would have to massively cut back on everything. And then it would be tight and i think you would need the CB.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 11-Oct-13 06:47:59

CB should have remained universal for several reasons:
* means testing it is terribly expensive so the cost saving isn't that much.
* child benefit is a benefit for children and children have no income.
* means testing it has created a divide and animosity.
* the way it has been implemented is terrible - single earner household on 50k is affected but dual earner household on up to 98k might not be affected.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 11-Oct-13 07:04:13

I just checked and a family with two adults and 4 children on unemployment benefits with rent of £180 per week will be entitled to £30k a year in benefits (reduced to 26k under the benefit cap rule. Bear in mind that they will not be paying tax out of that or student loan repayments, dental charges, prescription charges, travel to work costs and school meals. So their income is not that far from the single income working household who is just over the child benefit threshold and going to lose child benefit.
BTW: I am not affected by the child benefit means testing, I just think the whole thing is unfair.

NotYoMomma Fri 11-Oct-13 07:32:45

2 adults and 4 children is nit the norm though :/

LouiseAderyn Fri 11-Oct-13 08:15:03

2 adults and 4 kids in my house and thinking about the families at the school gate quite a few have 3 or4 dc, so not that unusual.

pointythings Fri 11-Oct-13 08:22:08

They will be paying tax though, Norudeshitrequired, in the form of VAT on the things they buy.

pointythings Fri 11-Oct-13 08:25:16

Oh, and housing benefit - which will be the bulk of what they get - will be going straight into the landlord's pocket, not the family's. Leaving them actually not a lot to live on at all.

GinOnTwoWheels Fri 11-Oct-13 09:07:09

Pointythings, a person earning £60k has a take home salary of about £3.5k per month, less if they have student loan repayments, or are contributing towards a pension, which may or may not pay anything out when they are old. Lets assume their rent is exactly the same as the family on benefits, because people who work have to pay for housing as well hmm. No-one has any disabilities.

The unemployed family in the example above have an income of £2.5k per month, plus free school meals, free prescriptions for adults, free dentistry, while they do not have the costs associated with going to work, such as travel, childcare and smart clothes. They will not have student loan payments, even if they went to university. This could easily mean that the benefits family have more disposable income than the working family. Anyone in a £60k job will probably be working long hours, may need to travel and be on call out of hours etc, while the unemployed family can do as they please.

Can you, or the many others on MN who repeatedly come up with the same argument, please explain why the working family are ‘rich and privileged’, do not need child benefits, and should count themselves lucky, while the benefits family are ‘poor and vulnerable’ and deserve sympathy?

I think she mean not paying tax in the sense that the £26k is a net figure. Everyone pays VAT and other indirect taxes.

The 'it goes straight to the LL' argument is a bit of a red herring. Rent will go straight to the LL regardless whether you get money from the state towards it or not. Both the £50k family and the family on benefits could be handing a big pile of the money they get in each month straight to a LL. The family with a gross income of £50k may be handing it straight to a bank instead, but that might just be paying the interest on a mortgage and nothing else.

The gross £50k will often come out as £598 a week in the bank. The £26k is £500 in the bank. Both families still have to buy food, utilities, pay for housing and everything else. Much of the £98 is may easily get eaten up by the costs of working (not least of which is commuting, but also includes other costs). If the '£50k' earner is a single parent, the net figure will be slightly lower (assuming they can use child are vouchers) and there will be childcare costs too. And the £50k family don't get FSM, prescriptions and other help.

The £50k looks a lot less like an absolute fortune when you actually think about stuff like this. It really isn't the life of riley it gets painted on here.

All of the above is not to say that the family on £50k are 'poor'. Just that they aren't necessarily 'rich', as they're painted on here.

And, in all seriousness, the pension contributions the £50k earner pays (which reduce the salary s/he actually sees any of) are going to provide the only income they get in retirement. Anyone who believes that there will be a universal state pension when (if) people my age get to retire is ludicrously optimistic. Those of us who've made our own arrangements will get nothing from the state.

I wouldn't be surprised if we end up having to pay for our own health insurance too.

pointythings Fri 11-Oct-13 10:05:53

I am not saying that £50k = life of Riley. It's what DH and I earn between us, and until recently what with mortgage and childcare payments we certainly weren't wealthy. We don't receive CB because of DH's immigration status (US military, complicated).

But I have friends who live on benefits, for a variety of reasons. None have 4 children but one family have 3, and they definitely do NOT have a lot of disposable income. They have considerably less than DH and I had even at the height of our monthly expenditure. The sort of housing people on benefits are assigned are often of a poor standard and costs more to heat. People on benefits are unlikely to be able to access the cheapest energy tariffs because they cannot manage direct debits.

The Tories have done such a good job of divide and rule that no-one is focusing on what we have in commong - that is, being ripped off by this joke of a government. I am not opposed to means testing CB, but it should always have been done on household income.

Rufus44 Fri 11-Oct-13 10:12:24

You are right with your last post abritary, pensions will be means tested.

I may well be stuffed by that because although pre children I contributed to my stamp and the taxpayer have very kindly continued to do so while I have not worked, my pension will (I bet) be worked out on my husbands/household and I will get fuck all

My choice not to work full time and contribute to my own pension I know, before anyone says anything. And I am very happy with the choices I made regarding my home life

I agree with her. And she self defines as 'a girl' so get over it.

IceBeing Fri 11-Oct-13 10:42:06

I agree with her recipes being a blessing and curse in equal weight.

It is nice to have the advice but the amount of actual calories you get on some of the stuff is just very low. If you were trying to feed a family of 4 by doubling up her recipes you would all be very hungry a lot of the time. And it enables people to say that it is possible when it isn't really.

It is definitely worth pointing out that looking at people's gross salary is largely meaningless. I think people are sitting there thinking 'that's double my salary, they must have twice as much money as me'. But that's not the case.

To double a net salary, you have to do considerably more than double a gross salary. Discounting tax credits and CB, you'd need to go from c. £26k to around £65k to double what actually reaches your bank account. If you have childcare expenses and 2 children you might be getting another £150 or so a week from tax credits and CB. To double the amount of money that hits your bank account every month when you include this income, you'd need to pretty much quadruple your gross salary. That's just the way the tax and benefits system works.

The pricing in the recipes also really annoys me tbh. You don't buy stock cubes individually, or 2 tablespoons of oil at a time, or 100ml of natural yoghurt to cool your curry down (the stuff that comes out cheap for 100ml comes in big pots). The stock and oil might keep in you cupboard so you can benefit from the 'well I only used 2p worth' logic but the yoghurt certainly won't. You have to use 100ml of yoghurt in all your bloody meals that week for it to have actually cost 35p or whatever is being claimed.

It annoys me because it makes it all look much cheaper than it is when you fill up a basket to try to make a week's worth of such meals.

Trills Fri 11-Oct-13 10:49:13

If you look at her blog the pricing is actually reasonably sensible, She'll post one day that she bought a value bag of 3 aubergines, then post an aubergine recipe, then the next day post another aubergine recipe, to use them up.

Yes, but the pricing has displayed in the bloody guardian doesn't have the context of 'I bought a cheap bag of X and we ate it for a fortnight until we were heartily fed up'. No, in the guardian it appears that the curry (this week's recipe) just costs 60 or 70p a portion.

And the lack of context makes it appear that you'll be totally satisfied by this portion, because there isn't the explanation about how being poor means that you are often hungry even though you got some nutrients in to you today.

I think I'm more annoyed at the idiots at the guardian who genuinely don't see that by pretending you can actually source just 2p of oil anywhere, they're making it look like life is cheaper than it is. And ignoring the massive amounts of planning and effort it would take to manage to buy stuff so that your weekly shop comes in at £10 or whatever.

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 10:56:23

If you earn say £52 K , does she really think you get all of that money ? Someone earning that amount pays a lot of tax , 40 % on some of it i believe . Which is fine that is the rules , but still i think it is naive to think that you get a wage slip with £1000 in every week !

To get £1000 a week after tax, NI, student loan and pension contributions (which is what comes off many people's salaries in professional type jobs), you need to be earning around £100k. It would be much better if people understood quite how little of their gross salary higher earners actually have to spend on anything.

Sure you earn nearly £2k a week gross, but you only get about half of that in the bank. Yes, £1000 a week is still lots of money, but it is much less than the gross salary people seem to imagine you have to spend.

PeppiNephrine Fri 11-Oct-13 11:04:05

Why do you think people imagine you have 50k to spend just because they are using that figure?
We're not all that stupid. Even the poor folks understand about taxes.

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:05:28

Not everyone who earns over 50k is toff banker either , most of the people i know who earn that have worked their way up or spent a long time training to be able to acheive that sort of wage . Or work 60 plus hours a week !

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:07:14

Peppi , because in the link she goes on about earning a £1000 a week as though that is what you actually have to spend if you earn that amount , which clearly you dont . Not suggesting that the majority of people dont realise that smile

PeppiNephrine Fri 11-Oct-13 11:09:32

But you're assuming that she is thinking you have that to spend. Perhaps she is assuming that we all know that you have to make deductions from that.
It doesn't really matter in essence when its about comparisons. 200£ a week or 1000£ a make deductions from both, more deductions from the latter...but the basic fact is that one is still a lot bigger than the other.

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:14:43

I earn a lot less than the magic £50 k , about a fifth of that infact , so to be fair i dont pay an awful lot of tax . The thing that i have noticed over the years , since i was a poor single parent student , is that so many things have shot up in price that effect day to day living . For instance running a car , i mananged to keep an old little car on the road when i was a student , but the cost of petrol/diesel , car tax and insurance have gone up substantially . The cost of utilities again have shot up . Food shopping seems a lot more expensive , perhaps that is just me i am not sure . These are all things that eat away at the money you actually do end up with on payday .

Didactylos Fri 11-Oct-13 11:15:47

I didnt particularly like the article - I think shes falling into the divide and rule camp. I actually firmly believe that CB should be one of the few universal benefits - have you read some of the stories on here over the years of financial and emotional abuse, and people (who on paper would be financially stable if they had equitable partnerships) using this money to get them and their children out of such situations. And the social cohesion produced by

I am going to fill in a tax return and pay back part of the child benefit I recieve this year and am happy to do so if thats the current rules. I do earn a good wage - between 50-60 thousand this year so am not complaining about lack of money. But - I have an unstable job, change employers every 3-6 months and at the start of the financial year really have only a ballpark figure of my predicted earnings - and if any big changes occur during the year eg ill health & sick leave, maternity leave, paid and unpaid carers leave or even loss of job then the CB will be a comparatively larger part of my income and would be appropriate to claim during these times. All these issues have come up over the last few years and CB has variously gone from being barely noticeable contribution to 'depended on for groceries', depending on the month or circumstances. Also - speaking to a friend who had left the country with her children for a few years and thus not claimed CB, she had lots of problems accessing benefits for her children (uk citizens) when she needed to when her circumstances and needs changed partly due to the lack of the paper trail in their names.

btw - its probably not sexist and patronising to refer to her as a 'girl' since that is how she has titled her blog

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:18:52

Perhaps i am misreading her intention . You are right of course one is more than the other . I accept that my earning power is less than say someone who studied for 7 years to be a Doctor and i have no issue personally with them earning more than me , nor the people who started off in call centres and worked their way up to directors . Why should i be angry about them earning more than me ?

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:22:12

The thing is aswell those people over the 50k , will have to pay back that part of CB that is expected , so what if 165,000 people havent got round to signing up for self assessment , they will get fined and have to do it anyway , the tax office do not piss about when you owe them money !

womma Fri 11-Oct-13 11:23:22

Oh the poor middle classes! Boo hoo. You have
no idea do you?

Viviennemary Fri 11-Oct-13 11:27:53

I don't shed any tears for people losing child benefit. But I see why they are cross about it. I can't stand the Guardian and its sanctimonious approach to everything.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 11-Oct-13 11:30:26

2 adults and 4 children is nit the norm though :/

Even with 3 kids they would be getting around the benefit capped amount of 26k, especially if their rent is more than £180 per week.

And housing benefit going straight to the landlordhmm
The working person also has to pay rent or mortgage out of their income too - their housing doesn't come for free just because they are working.

I'm a big fan of the benefit system whether it be to support people in times of unexpected circumstances or to top up low wages. But it really gets my goat when people think 'oh but you don't need child benefit because you earn £50k, but I need it because I only get unemployment benefits'. When the reality is that disposable income might not be much different and both sets of people might equally need the child benefit to buy shoes or food for the children.
I think higher rate tax payer would be more supportive of the benefits system if they felt fairly treated and dint end up worse off financially for working (which can be the case once you factor in childcare and commuting costs). It's very difficult for a family who work many many hours and forego precious time with their children to feel happy about having their child benefit removed when the couple down the street don't work and have the same disposable income (or more in a minority of cases).

My household is not affected by the child benefit means testing so I have no reason to feel resentful of anybody. I just think the whole situation is a farce and set to breed resentment.

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:34:33

Am sitting here trying to work out what class i am , if i am middle or working ? I think i am elements of both , but it would depend how it is calculated ?

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:35:55

Womma , can someone start off in life working class and end up middle class ? in which case the middle class would have an idea wouldnt they ?

fatlazymummy Fri 11-Oct-13 11:41:33

Why are people quibbling over her pricing? It's pretty obvious you can't buy a single stock cube. However , you can buy a pack for 20p, as she states. I shop at Sainsbury's (mainly), as she does, and I find her pricing quite accurate.
Regarding her portion sizes, she states quite clearly that her child is a toddler. Common sense tells us that older children, teenagers and adults will need more. She's only sharing what worked for her, not dictating that everyone should eat exactly the same thing. Personally I quite like her recipes as I'm a vegetarian and I already cook with lentils and pulses.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 11-Oct-13 11:44:41

Research suggests that there are now seven different classes. Middle class is split into things like: emerging middle class, traditional middle class and upper middle class. There is also an underclass which is defined as those who don't work and have no desire to do so without good reason or are regularly engaged in criminal activity. It is more complex than that as there are lots of related factors that define class and status.

Middle class traditionally was defined by your education and job status, background, cultural awareness and housing status.
A teacher would be middle class because they are educated to degree level and in a skilled profession, likewise social workers, nurses etc.

I just don't think that class is clear cut anymore.

fatlazymummy Fri 11-Oct-13 11:46:42

trumpet it used to be defined by the occupation of the male wage earner, so as a child you would be defined by your father's occupation (manual labour = w/c ,etc), then by your husband's occupation if you married.
Of course there's cultural elements to account for also.

frumpet Fri 11-Oct-13 11:46:47

Actually i have decided i am upper class grin , if kate middleton can do it , i too will get a nice bottom and marry well !

There are loads of exclamations on here about how much money people on £50k must have, because thinking in gross salary means you don't see how much disappears before it gets to your bank account.

In fact, a bit of calculating based on my own personal circumstances indicates that (if I were a single parent), I'd get more money in my bank each month on £26k a year (plus tax credits) than I would on £40k (where I wouldn't be entitled to them). In both cases I'd still be paying student loan and pension contributions, but it would come out a bit more on the topped up income than the higher one. It might even itself out more based on taking childcare vouchers on the £40k salary, but I wouldn't actually be better off. I'd still have the same expenses too. The system is a bit of a mess, although I'm sure UC will make sure that the topped up income reduces significantly (because that's what the coalition is all about, making sure people are entitled to less hmm).

And the guardian article does claim that people on £50k have £1000 a week. You can't not pay tax and NI (certainly not on PAYE, and it wouldn't be advisable otherwise) so they don't have £1000 a week. People on twice that salary have about £1000 net.

And it all has nothing to do with my actual salary which is neither £40k nor £26k, and not high enough to lose CB.

The pricing this is more a rant at the guardian. Sure on jack's blog it's all part of a painful story of accumulating store cupboard stuff gradually and eating cheap stuff bought in bulk until you can't face it again.

But on the guardian it's contextless. It looks like a recipe that you could actually procure the ingredients for and make for that price. But you can't buy 2p of oil, or one stock cube, a teaspoon of dried herb or spice or a bit of a sainsbos value tub of yoghurt. You have to buy a pack of stock cubes, a bottle of oil, a packet of herb or spices, and the whole tub of yoghurt. If you're hoping that it will come in at the price specified, you'll be bitterly disappointed.

Jaçk has had to work hard to make sure that she can produce food at those costs. And a lot of meal planning must go in to making sure that you use up all the yoghurt before it goes off etc. in the guardian it's just presented as 'ooh, look how cheaply you can eat', which only encourages people to think that food poverty isn't really an issue.

merrymouse Fri 11-Oct-13 17:33:44

Re: arguments about the lifestyle you can expect to live on £50K and whether you do or don't need an extra £80 a month, that isn't really the point.

Plenty of people benefit from healthcare, pensions and school even though they could afford to opt out of the system and pay privately. Somebody on £50K a year pays about £14K in taxes. I am sure the Conservatives would love to make that tax bill at least £80 a month smaller, so either way, the higher earner is probably compensated in the end, and the pot available for benefits becomes smaller.

A system where we have universal benefits, universal support for the NHS and faith in the state school system depends on everybody taking part, both as recipients and contributors. (And we can all expect to be one or the other at various points in our lives).

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