The Benefits cap

(130 Posts)
sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 17:25:57

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violethill Sat 09-Oct-10 17:39:56

You can rent 3 beds for £800?

Bloody hell I'm envious. You'd get a flat for that where I am!

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 17:43:38

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violethill Sat 09-Oct-10 17:45:57

Yes, we need more social housing.

We also need people to limit their families to what they can afford, whether they buy,rent privately, or want social housing.We're in for tough times, and that's how it is.

huddspur Sat 09-Oct-10 17:47:30

I think the government is arguing that you shouldn't have a large family if you can't afford to provide for them yourself. I think it is designed to please those people who feel that some people only have children so they can get more benefits. Although its a bit harsh on those that already have large familys I guess.

violethill Sat 09-Oct-10 17:51:08

Decisions have to be made at some point though, and it's going to hurt. You can't just say, well, we'll bring in the changes in twenty years time, so people can plan for it and limit their family accordingly. It would be twenty years too late - and anyway, it wouldn't stop people breeding now if they wanted to. Unfortunately society has got to a point where many people think if they want something, they are entitled to it, and someone else should pay.

I would have liked 4 children, but it was a luxury we couldn't afford. Childcare for 3 nearly crippled us, 4 would have been the straw that broke us.

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 17:53:49

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violethill Sat 09-Oct-10 17:58:42

I don't believe people really won't have enough for food.

I think times will be hard, but there will also be some positive outcomes, because people who have lived in hugely expensive properties at the taxpayers expense, will be forced to live a more realistic modest lifestyle. Maybe their kids won't have a bedroom each, but tough tits, neither did I growing up and it didn't kill me! I also think people may need to be more creative about how they shop and cook, to make wholesome ingredients go a long way. We did it when the kids were small, our mortgage hit 15% and there weren't tax credits or subsidised childcare like now.

I think there will be some families who don't feed their children properly, and prioritise a packet of fags over an evening meal, or who send their kids down the chippy. But that happens now. It would continue to happen if you doubled benefits.

Bonkerz Sat 09-Oct-10 17:59:11

We own a 3 bed house, both work and bring in £22k a year combined income, i have just found out im pregnant with Number 3 (4 if you include DSD who visits every weekend) and we are going to have to make do with the rooms we have. DS has to have his own room (ASD) so it means thet DSD and DD will have to share with this baby. My sister on the other hand is on benefits, neither her or her DH work. She has 4 children and a 5th due in NOV and currently lives in a 4 bedroom council house. Once the baby arrives her HA have already told her she will be classsed as overcrowded and will qualify for a 5 bed house and the waiting list is 9 by Sept next year she will be in a 5 bed house paid for by HB......

what this governemnt is proposing is very fair.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 18:02:04

Well huge job losses from the public sector are coming very soon.

Families in large cities (esp london) will not be able to find accomodation in their local areas within the cap.

Children will need to be removed from schools, people will have to move away from their support networks and the people they support. Communities will be torn apart.

People will need to move to areas which are cheap - ie no opportunities and no way of getting out again.

Larger families will be told "tough you can only have enough money to feed two children" - what happens to the excess children. taking them all into care will be very expensive.

The savings made by this scheme are tiny in the scheme of things, it is ideologically driven, to punish the poor for being feckless. Or rather to punish the children of the poor for having parents that the govt disapproves of. This will tear communities apart and ruin the lives of thousands of families. Lots of people eg help out with their parents, their parents provide casual childcare, that sort of thing. Who is going to pick up all of that work? The savings made by this have been spent on a stupid and pointless married couples allowance.

What's not to like?

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 18:02:13

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Meglet Sat 09-Oct-10 18:05:23

Does anyone know if the benefits cap applies to the childcare tax credits?

I don't get housing benefit or anything but I can't work if I don't get help with childcare fees.

violethill Sat 09-Oct-10 18:06:07

TBH, it may not be a popular thing to say, but it's very easy to emote about these issues:

'Poor starving kiddies 'etc

I think we need to look at facts, not hyperbole.

I've taught for over 20 years, and have yet to come across a child who is undernourished because there isn't enough money coming into the house. I have, however, come across many children who have appalling diets, or arrive at school with a packet of chews for breakfast, having been dropped off in a car that's newer than mine, or by a parent who's smoking.

There are pupils I teach whose parents are on benefits who have iphones, expensive clothes, even laptops... frequently they have as much or more than the children of the teaching staff.

I have no wish to turn this into a '40 inch plasma' thread - but we need to be honest.

FranSanDisco Sat 09-Oct-10 18:10:29

I am sorry to say that what Bonkerz has described is true of where I live. I have spoken to too many mothers pregnant with no. 2, 3 or 4 saying they will have to be rehoused when the new baby arrives and expecting a certain type of home with a garden.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 18:11:42

I was in a primary school in a deprived part of london the other day and the parents we were meeting there had fuck all. One woman with 7 kids, 2 with SN and at the special school, desperately trying to see how she could get a job as with all of this they will be forced out of their home and moved to a different part of teh country.

But she can't get a job, can she, she's got loads of children to look after and one of them she has to be on permanent standby to rush into the hosp.

So she's fucked, isn't she. Just move her. Out of sight and out of mind.

She wasn't the only one. The parents want to work, they just have a shitload of problems in their lives which prevents it happening. You can use stick instead of carrot all you want but that's not going to solve the fact they can't read / write, have no qualifications and terribly difficult family situations is it.

All of this is pure tory selfish as fuck bollocks and it makes me feel ill.

Those who approve of capping benefits at two kids - presumably you would be crowing with glee if third and subsequent children were denied free school meals - after all why should anyone have to pay for someone elses children? Nice.

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 18:14:30

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Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 18:18:35

Why do people have 7 children?

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 18:19:02

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ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 18:19:04

Well this is what I want to know. How are the cheaper LAs going to feel about suddenly having loads of people needing housing etc bussed into their areas.

What is going to happen about support networks? Who is going to look after these people's parents when they are gone? What is going to happen to the mental health of vulnerable people when they are removed from the homes and put somewhere away from friends and family? Will there be spaces in the schools for their children? It's hideous.

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 18:19:56

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Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 18:20:58

I feel it's ecologically sound to only replace yourself, plus my DH says we can only afford 2, so that's where we'll stick.

Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 18:21:47

Could they not develop new support networks?

Bonkerz Sat 09-Oct-10 18:23:01

hopefully it will force people to look at ways to support themselves better. I have had many a conversation with a friend of mine who is a single parent, has a 3 bed council home and her youngest is 9YO, she says she is looking for work but is moaning about how the job center are forcing her into work. She has spent the last 5 months looking for school hours which are like gold dust...... i suggested that if she put her 9 year old in after school care at a cost of £7 a night she could extend her search for a job working from 10-5pm, the reply i got was WHY should she put her 9yo into childcare when she could stay on benefits.....she didnt care that she would be about £45 a week better off even after paying childcare and didnt understand my argument that it would be better for her son to see her working and contributing!
I had to work a horrid shift at work for a while year, relying on others to care for my 2 children inc my ASD son which played havoc with his behaviour BUT longterm it has paid off and i now have school hours.

huddspur Sat 09-Oct-10 18:24:02

I think to just have X amount of children and say that you had that many because you wanted that many is fine. However I don't accept that people should just have as many children as they like and expect the state to provide for them (I exclude people who have fallen on hard times and need the Government to provide for them in a time of need).

Meglet Sat 09-Oct-10 18:24:02

How on earth do you develop a new support network?! It's hardly easy.

Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 18:26:32

By going out to work and meeting people?

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 18:27:17

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Bonkerz Sat 09-Oct-10 18:28:34

surely the cap should be when you first go on benefits. My sister and her husband have been on benefits for 6 years now and in that time have had 2 more children (one due next month) Its this that is wrong......If they were told when they signed on 6 years ago that the benefits were capped at 3 children then they would have thought about having anymore whilst on it is those extra 2 children mean they can get a 5 bedroom house paid for and will have had extra 1400 in grants for baby equipment and also will have the extra benefits and TC and CB etc.

Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 18:29:06

I find my local netmums has a good meet a mum board grin

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 18:31:39

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violethill Sat 09-Oct-10 18:32:41

I think that while people think that if they want something they're entitled to have it, we're in trouble.

I wanted 4 kids, couldn't afford it, so had 3 and built a happy life around that. It seems unbelievably selfish to think it's ok to have 4,5,6 or more kids just because you want it

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 18:39:55

So eg DH has just been supporting his family through his mothers illness, my parents assist with childcare, we are here for DHs family when they need us, they provide babysitting, I expect to look after my parents and his dad when they are old (as much as poss).

If we had to move away, who would do all of those things? These are the "invisible" things which go to making people's lives that little bit easier. take it all away and it's whole groups of people who are effected, it's far-reaching.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 18:40:31

It's community that goes. Maggie said there's no such thing as society, this lot think there's no such thing as community.

Meglet Sat 09-Oct-10 18:45:15

I work but can't socialise with them as I have to be home for the dc's. Rather puts paid to getting to know anyone sad.

Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 18:47:03

If you're saying family is your support network our closest is 2 hrs away, the ILs, mine are 3.5 hrs away. I couldn't get a job closer to home when I graduated. I had to develop one.

Riven that's a shame that people are only looking for friends for their children.

Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 18:47:57

I meant I had to develop a support network of friends.

ZephirineDrouhin Sat 09-Oct-10 18:49:09

If they really want to save money on housing benefit they should raise the money through taxing second homes properly. Far more practical and far fairer, since it's the landlords that are the real beneficiaries of high levels of HB, not the tenants.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 18:52:55

I'm not sure what your point is willaby.

That you live a long way from relatives so no-one else should be allowed to if they are on benefits?

So if a family are looking after some elderly relatives who live nearby - and they are moved away - tough.

If a family have been looking for work on teh basis that a family member can do the childcare (very common) and that is removed - tough?

That it is perfectly reasonable to force families who depend on each other apart in this was on ideological grounds ie it doesn't actually save much money - to punish them for being feckless?

To deprive all of those children of close relationships with relatives?

All of that stuff is important. it's important to me. if we were suddenly forced to move away we;d be devastated. Doesn't it matter that children will have to be removed from schools - all of that stuff? No? I think it matters.

sarah293 Sat 09-Oct-10 18:54:01

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Frrightattendant Sat 09-Oct-10 18:59:10

The 'Married couples' allowance' makes a MOCKERY of their excuses that they need to make cuts

I mean WTF

seriously WTF

SpookyKalooki Sat 09-Oct-10 19:05:24

"I wanted 4 kids, couldn't afford it, so had 3 and built a happy life around that. It seems unbelievably selfish to think it's ok to have 4,5,6 or more kids just because you want it"

And if you can afford more kids, and then find yourself unable to support them through job loss or illness, then what?

BramblyHedge Sat 09-Oct-10 19:10:06

We live in a small two bed terrace house (mortgage), claim no benefits (well apart from CB for the moment) and can't afford to move. My boys share a room 8x6 foot and I am now expecting dc3 (not planned at all as we knew our house was too small). And we just need to get on with it as there is nothing we can do about it. This is just what these families will have to do. It isn't ideal and is technically overcrowded under social housing rules. It grates somewhat that we can't afford a larger house for our kids but we are paying taxes so that others can. I keep thinking that many families have it worse and I should be grateful we have a house at all.

Portofino Sat 09-Oct-10 19:15:05

Spooky, I think the idea is that when you plan your 5 kids, you THINK about how you will manage in the future, to include the possibility of everything going horribly wrong.

Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 19:17:17

Just that I don't have that support network and cope.

Admittedly not on benefits.

We do have to travel lots so our children have a close relationship with their grandparents, and we won't be able to look after them in their old age, but they've worked hard to save and will hopefully be able to get the help they need themselves. And 35 years ago my parents stopped at 2 because that's what they could afford.

I know quite a few doctors have been 'forced' to move for their jobs since that's the way the NHS works, but then they're not on benefits either.

Willabywallaby Sat 09-Oct-10 19:19:14

On the other hand my DH is one of 5, but his parents have always worked hard to support them.

SpookyKalooki Sat 09-Oct-10 19:25:14

portofino Surely by that logic no one should have any kids? Just in case

Portofino Sat 09-Oct-10 19:26:26

We moved 100 of miles from family and friends due to us both being made redundant from the same company. It has been hard at times. Emotionally if not financially as we are lucky to be both working. But you get on with it.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have family on hand to help out. Whilst I am really sympathetic to the need to keep communities together, sometimes it has to give...

Portofino Sat 09-Oct-10 19:28:46

But we are talking about maximum amounts here. 1, 2 or even 3 kids should be manageable with careful budgeting. Others above have already said that they live within in this.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 19:32:25

I am not a natural tory voter by any means, I years delivering the Socialist Worker but I think the time has come when people have to control the size of their familes. I am a higher rate tax payer and would never consider having more than three children as I know if something went wrong I could not afford to raise them. Infact I have one child after years of hard work and saving. I then worked for another 7 years to get myself in a position to have a second.

I don't think children are a right, but I am a tough cookie. No one has the right to have more than two certainly.

legostuckinmyhoover Sat 09-Oct-10 19:32:57

Funny how people think council tennants just get 'handed a house' with endless amounts of bedrooms? just where in the country does that happen? -I would love to know as it is not the experience of anybody that I know!

Also, it costs to move. It costs the deposit on a house, a months rent in advance and moving your stuff. That is thousands and an expensive job. Which bank will lend you that sort of cash when you are unemployed? what about if you have used the social fund already and besides which, would they really pay for you to relocate for that expense? how will you pay it all back?

Seems to me, many people are fortunate to have a mortgage [something to retire on and keep at the end of your working life] and seem jelous of someone who may never be a home owner, will be paying some rip off landlord [and probably more than mortgage repayments would have been] until their graves without a penny to show for it.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 19:36:59

I know people are not handed council houses.

Six years ago I was a single mother living in bed and breakfast accomodation who was told she would have to wait 8 years to get a council house and at least 2 years for a housing association place. My answer to that was to accept it was going to be a long time before I could have more children.

Bonkerz Sat 09-Oct-10 19:46:55

Lego, ofcourse people are not just handed a council house......BUT we would love to have a council house right now.
We are living in a house with a small mortgage, have about 40k locked up in profit in this house BUT we also have a boiler system that doesnt work and have to light it every time we want hot water and are lucky if it stays on for an hour, we have windows that have been smashed by vandals which we cannot afford to get fixed and the windows are actually 12 years old and leaky anyway, we need new fencing in the garden and need to spend money on new guttering and getting the roof patched up too BUT we cant afford to re mortgage or release any of the capital and cant afford to get this work done.
My sister has a 4 bed council house, paid for via HB and will be upgraded to 5 bed house within 9 months, they dont have to pay month in advance etc and will pay just to hire a van for a day to move.......
we cant afford to sell our house and cant afford to buy bigger, we will just adjust our spending and make do with what we have to accomodate our baby when it arrives. If we can do it then surely families on benefits can do it too????

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 19:50:34

But bonkerz you have £40K and you hopefully will not be paying your mortage in retirement.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 19:53:26

All the people who say anything more than 2 children is a luxury...

What do you want done with the surplus children of the feckless scroungers?

Bonkerz Sat 09-Oct-10 19:54:06

but we dont have 40k.........we have a mortgage and no way to access this money as we cant sell or remortgage so its stuck......yes i appreciate we will release this money in the future hopefully but with the house falling apart around our ears and no way of funding the renovations we are stuffed for the next 20 odd years realistically. we looked into selling up but would end up with a bigger mortgage than we have now. If someone said they would give us a 3 bed council house now and buy our home for 80k we would take them up on that offer.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 19:55:53

I think you can think that people should limit their families to suit their purse and still show compassion to those children whose parents don't show common sense or who fall on hard times.

There will always be people who have a ridiculous number of children but hopefully a cultural shift will limit that number in the future.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 19:57:39

Bonkerz I think we often think the grass is greener, we sold up so we could afford to look after elderly relatives. I would love - right now to be in your situation.

kentmumtj Sat 09-Oct-10 19:59:22

its interesting reading this thread, this cap has caused a ripple but i really think it is needed.

i have 4 kids and i have to work as does my husband, we had to move out of our council house many years ago to buy a bigger house to house our children, after all we chose to have them therefore it is our responsibility to provide for them.

There have been many many years that we have had to eat cheaper food than my friends on benefits, drive an older car (still do), and not have the luxury of holidays abroad etc, we do not smoke and live a modest lifestyle.
We both work very hard to provide for our family. I would love to be in a position to sit at home and be with my children but am not afforded that luxury.
We have no family as they live in Wales and we are in Kent ive had to pay loads of money to childminders etc over the years.

Maybe in the future i will have a home which is mine but someone in council will also have their home. As for benefits in my old age we will probably not be entitled to one as my DH will have an army pension if this happens the eldery couple on benefits will get free dental care and we will have to pay for it, they will get council tax bebfit we wont.
I really do think the welfare state should be used for its original purpose and that it is to help people who are in genuine need and it should be time limited.
I would not want to see a starved child but have to agree with an earlier post that i am yet to see a child who has gone without, and i work with many disadvataged families who sadly belive that it is their god given right to choose to have children and chose to not provide for them.
There is a culture now of people relying on benefits which i think is sad.
here are def people who do deserve finianical help and sometimes families may be in need of help but it should be time limited and capped. We do need people to change there mind set and take responsibility for the family they choose to have.

Bonkerz Sat 09-Oct-10 20:01:19

showing compassion is all well and good burgandy but at the expense of, NHS? something has to change and this is a start......obviously the people who are affected by this could help themselves and find work.....YES YES i know its easier said than done BUT if we take my sisters situation again her DH has been unemployed for 6 excuse, he has had many job offers and can do lots of jobs but chooses not too as he can get more on benefits.....its trying to sort out this benefit trap that people with large families find themselves in. TBH even capping at 25k will still mean that my sister with her 5 kids will still be better off than me and DH who both work!

kentmumtj Sat 09-Oct-10 20:05:36

plus to be honest even with the cap i think families will be able to manage after all if people saw how much weve had to live on per week/ month sometimes even im surprised

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:07:21

bonkerz the savings from this benefit cap are actually not much to write home about - these changes are purely ideological, nothing to do with the defecit.

In fact the tories have immediately spent all of the money that this cap saves, by introducing the married couples allowance.

Don;t be fooled that this cap is anything to do with the defecit, it is simply an opportunity for the tories to flex their muscles on something they believe in ie punishing the feckless poor (by punishing their children).

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:07:22

Bonkerz I am not disagreeing with you, I agree with the cap.

In 6 years I have gone from being on the sick in B and B accomodation thinking that was it for life. I may have worked my arse off to get myself out of it, but there was nothing I did that noone else could not - bar a serious disability. ( I actually am classified as disabled myself but accept that there are others with greater disabilities)

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:08:57

I agree there is an idealogical element to it, but not one I necessarily disagree with.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:13:31

But how can anyone say that they don't want to provide for more than two children? When those children have already been born?

I don't get it, honestly I don't.

All of these children from large families - the ones who have the worst life outcomes and the most chance of poverty - are going to have to be removed from their schools where they have their friends and built up relationships with teachers - and be moved somewhere completely different. At the same time their parents are going to have much less money to feed and clothe them.

I just don't understand why people think this is a good idea?

Portofino Sat 09-Oct-10 20:13:38

Me either. The alternative is what? Reintroduce SHAME?

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:15:37

So for you it's ideological, I get that.

Would you also be in favour of restricting other services to the first two children?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:16:41

I would like to see such measures introduced for all familes conceived from now or a fixed date in the very near future. I do not want to see families who already exist being placed in jeapardy.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:17:36

The sort of shame that meant that violence and abuse within the home were never mentioned you mean?

There has never been shame attached to having large families AFAIK.

Before benefits they just used to die, I suppose having your children die of starvation made you feel ashamed, is that what you mean?

I'm honestly a bit baffled.

Should people who have suffered bereavement or disability feel ashamed?

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:18:29

This is some scary shit on here.

What if people don't toe the line burgandy, what if the fecund bastards just keep having children. What then?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:18:45

No I would not ISNT. As I said I am not a natural right wing person who is out to punish the poor. I come from poverty and deprivation. I just think that we need a shift in culture about taking reposnsibility for the children we produce.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:21:50

ISNT I have a disabilty, I was the only child in my primary school to come from a single parent family and my Dad was in and out of psychiatric hospitals and prisons I know all about shame.

As I said before you can want people to take reponsibilty for their children without resorting to the workhouses and forced abortions. I don't have all the answers but we cannot continue the way we are going.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:21:57

But what if the buggers won't stop breeding?

That's the problem isn't it.

The tories have set out their stall. Why should society be expected to pay for families on benefits with more than two children? Why indeed. Compassion, maybe?

I wonder if they will cancel free school meals for third and subsequent children. What next?

The BBC says that this is the first time that a benefit of this type has been disconnected from need. it is very scary.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:28:02

I would not like to limit free school meals, children need to eat.

I think tbh the number of families who keep having children when the benefits stop will be very few. I have already said that I do not want to see such caps for the families that already exist. If people have more children than they can afford to feed they should not have those children.

I am in a position where I can afford 2, I could maybe afford 3. I earn too much to claim any benefits and do not claim child benefit or disability benefit. If I had 7 children that I could not afford and they were starving I would expect social services to be involved. I would not have more children than I could afford why should it be different for anyone else.

As a person with a disability I am also expected to limit my family. Why is OK that I have to go without because of a disability that i cannot control when others can choose to have kids they cannot look after.

I repeat again, I would not apply this to existing familes.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:28:40

Infact I would like to see more children getting free school meals.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:29:26

But these children already exist and the cap will apply to them.

So really, you don't agree with it, do you.

I don't want to get into this "future children" thing as it's a wide and extremely dodgy topic.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:31:22

I don't know if I agree with the cap exactly, I genuinely do not understand why the averae family could not cope on 25K. My family hae lived on a lot less. But I do not want to see existing children suffering.

I think we have to get into the future children thing.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:31:30

Basically you want to do something about the few people who are genuinely milking the system, without adversely affecting the vulnerable or disadvantaging "genuine" people. Who doesn't? This policy is not the right way to go about it IMO, it is overly punitive and will impact on children.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:34:04

I guess I do. I also think however that we expect too much from life, and people are not cutting their cloth. I do think that having a large family is a luxury and some of us just cannot do it. Just as someone like me just cannot have a large family because of an illness that is out of my control. Is it fair? No. I would love a huge family but I have to put the needs of my children and society above my own. More of us need to do that IMO.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:41:34

The problem with the future children thing is that people often won't do what they are told. What then? I know that there are people on MN who support compulsory sterilisation for certain "types" of people, and that is a discussion that I have had on here and I have no desire to have again IYSWIM.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:43:58

I do think that if people willingly have children they cannot care for it is neglect and appropriate action needs to be taken. I do think the number of people who will carry on to have children will be very small.

Good parents do as they are told if doing otherwise would harm their children.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:46:56

What action should be taken though?

And don't underestimate people not doing as they're told...

So would each child's conception have it noted whether the parents were on benefits at the time of conception, and if they were working those children would get support, but ones during periods of unemployment would have a cap or something?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:52:45

I think if children are starving they should be taken into care- it is neglect.

When my dd was tiny we lived in hostels and B and Bs. I lived for a while on child benefit and the odd hand out from chuch. My dd did not go without because I went without so she was safe. Different familes survive on different amounts of money. I would therefore not say that conceiving a third child would mean the child would be taken. But if you conceieve a child knowing that it cannot be cared for that is willful neglect. Just as - if I conceived a child that I could not care for because I am ill it would be neglect.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 20:56:34

So you remove benefits to the point where families are short of food, then tell the parents they are neglectful and take their children away?

That is a very expensive way of going about things.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 20:58:13

I am telling families in advance you can have this amount of money so plan your family accordingly - that is life for most of us and we manage not to have children that we can feed and clothe.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 21:01:34

And then when they have more children than that, and squeeze by in poverty, leave them to it?

And if they suddenly can't cope any more, simply take their children away?

Are you telling all families in advance, or only ones on benefits? Are you checking which children are conceived when they are working and which not?

Or would you have a different way of making sure that maximum family size was enforced? Would this apply to everyone, in case their circs change in the future and they go onto benefits? So if DH and I had 4 children, and he died and I couldn't work, then I would have 2 of my children taken away? That sort of thing?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:02:27

Infact I think it is patronising to think that people on benefits for whatever reason cannot control the size of their family. The present system allows people to keep having children. As I said I was the single mother with a disability on benefits, I was able to plan my way out.

spiritedaway Sat 09-Oct-10 21:04:27

well I'm pregnant with number 4 and have just decided to seperate from my partner...due to him becoming more abusive and appearing to be mentally ill but refusing to get treatment. I'll be on benefits, though i hope to go back into teaching in near future.
He has an extremely wellpaid job but is self employed.He already pays very little tax and for the sake of the CSA they are satisfied that he earnes 6k per annum because that is what is declared. The rest he pays himself in dividends which they won't touch. That means he's got to pay us a bout £40 per week. Should i go back to him until I am financially independant?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:04:45

I would tell all familes in advance.

As I said before I am sure that if I, as a higher rate tax payer with a disabilty that affects my abilty to parent, had more children than I could cope with social services would get involved.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 21:07:58

Take people's children away? Because they can't afford to keep them?

Bloody hell.

And it's really really expensive to keep children in care anyway. I can't see how this is a good idea.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:15:02

You are looking at it the wrong way round. If people have children they have no hope of feeding is that not at best irresponsible and at worst neglect. I do think this would apply to very few people.

If I had a child that I could not care for and that child was going to suffer would it not be right for social services would step in.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 21:16:48

No I think you are looking at it the wrong way around!

If you were a loving and caring parent, and all that was short was food, why is it a good move to remove your children? At a much bigger expense than just giving you the means to feed your children?

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 21:17:57

At the moment SS are supposed to support families who are struggling, to keep them together where possible. Your idea would be a total reversal of that.

I think it would be terrible. And where are we going to put all of these children?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:19:55

If you were a loving caring parent you would not have more children than you could afford.

As I said I love children, all my life I have dreamed of having a large family. I even chose my career around having that large family. My DH does not even have a child of his own which breaks his heart. We accept though that our family will have to be small because of my illness. That is shit - I hate it but it is what responsible parents do.

Would you have children you could not afford to feed?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:21:11

I do see taking children away as the last straw but if children are in danger because of their parents decisions it has to be an option. Again I repeat this would not be a widespread issue.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:24:06

It may be that we use the extended school system to care for such children - providing breakfast, lunch and tea.

As a teacher I have paid out of my own pocket to feed and clothe children as their parents could not do so. Maybe schools will need to do this on a more formal basis.

spiritedaway Sat 09-Oct-10 21:25:34

I can't believe some of the stuff i've just read. Come back Jeremy Bentham, all is forgiven. How do you spend anytime being thankful for what you've got if you're too busy obsessing about those other people getting it for nothing? Have you visited any countries with no or inadequate welfare systems? Cardboard cities, shanty towns and multi geneverational poverty traps...massive crime and drugs rise. Sounds like heaven.

How about significantly raising the minimum wage to make employment more attractive for some? Instead of steadily dragging down the standard of living for the poor. Feckless or not. Everyone in society doesn't have equal intelligence and equal advantages and can't achieve equal goals. Education and investment can help massively but the mark of a civilised and egalitarian society is the ability and apptitude to accept and provide for those in need.

ISNT Sat 09-Oct-10 21:28:04

Good post spiritedaway.

burgandy I don't know what to say. People's circumstances change, things happen, children are born for reasons good and bad. you can't go around taking people's children away, when they love and care for them, you just can't.

If DH died and I couldn't work, is it right to take my children away? Surely that heaps suffering upon suffering.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:30:26

I don;t spend my time obsessing about other people getting things for nothing, far from it. I have spent my whole teaching career working in areas of deprivation and spend hours every week doing voluntary work. As I said earlier you can want people to take responsibilty but have compassion.

I agree with raising the minimum wage, that has always been my issue with tax credits - they allow companies to pay low wages.

I am happy to provide for those in need but don't think it should be done through a benefits system that encourages people to be in need.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:34:28

I don't want to take children away because a husband or wife has died, I don't pretend to have all the answers. But you can't plan a benefits system around the chance that someone might die or that someone might be in a violent relationship. The state needs to put extra help in for those people but that can't apply to everyone. I am not sure I am being clear here.

It would be a lovely place if we all could have as many children as we wanted - but that is not reality.

Of course I would not want to see children taking into care all over the place but if people keep having child after child that the cannot afford it has to be considered. Before then social services, extended schools etc would need to step in so we could keep families togther which is humane and cost effective.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:35:27

But if you loved and cared for a child would you bring it into a home that already cannot afford children?

spiritedaway Sat 09-Oct-10 21:40:48

I realise you don't have all the answers but to talk about removing children from families is it supposed to be punitive? Because it certainly couldn't be cost effective to bring children up in care.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:42:46

It would be a very very last resort, just as now it is a very very last resort.I agree that some families need help, but throwing more benefits at them is not the answer.

spiritedaway Sat 09-Oct-10 21:51:59

But sorting out education so kids born into certain types of environments don't just get stuck..replicating the problems throughout generations might be. As might revolutionising the property market so a home isn't some kind of unattainable luxury to support the boom and bust economy.
Shouldn't people be getting pissed off about the amount of money spent on arms instead of the comparably piddling amount doled out in benefits?

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 21:55:40

I agree with you about the property market, we jumped off the ladder a few years ago as I said above and I am relieved. I agree about education as well, that is why i teach in the kind of school I do and work in the way I do.

I would not say that I am pissed off about benefit claimants. But you can be concerned about more than one issue.

spiritedaway Sat 09-Oct-10 22:00:18

Well as a teacher in disadvantaged area you must know that this is where our biggest failure lies. And our biggest hope for change.

burgandy Sat 09-Oct-10 22:06:12

I agree that education is they way to bring about change, that is why I teach. I escaped deprivation because people provided me with an excellent education and they did not make allowances for me. That is how I teach, I give the kids I teach my all but I am firm and make no allowances.

A number of our staff feed children at our own cost, we buy them clothes, we buy books pens provide days out. I am not heartless but I am a realist.

CardyMow Sun 10-Oct-10 11:41:07

To those people who say that ultimately social services should pick up the slack from those with large families that would no longer be able to feed some of those children. Do you actually realise that the costs of taking them into care would be much greater than paying things like CB/CTC to their parents? You have the FC allowance. The costs involved in employing the social workers. THe costs involved in employing the therapists to deal with the emotional problems caused by wrenching a child away from its parents and siblings. I bet that costs a huge amount more than just paying CB& CTC to those families....

SpookyKalooki Sun 10-Oct-10 11:43:31

Hey, maybe we should fine people for having more children, and if that doesn't work, we could force them to have abortions. It's worked so well for China. hmm

SanctiMoanyArse Sun 10-Oct-10 11:51:17

So what are we saying here?

Are wwe talking about the supoer huge famillies the DM loves to 'expose'

or famillies like mine, whjere not one child was conceived without a good job in the family, but where 2 X Autism and a redundancy has pushed us into temporary need (of the low paid working famil variety)?

I would really like it if people would clarify this.....

burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 11:55:33

I think it is a huge ridiculous leap to go from capping benefits in the future for familes that are yet to be created to enforced abortions.

I repeat again that 99% of familes will limit their children to what they can afford. Unless spooky you are saying that all families on benefits are so feckless that they cannot do limit their families.

Of the remaining 1% there will need to be extra support, perhaps through extended schools or social services providing food and clothes. If despite this help being provided a family choose to continue having chid after child which cannot be be cared for even with this extra help then social services would need to be called in. This would be a tiny number and woul not result in a huge increase in children being taken into care.

As I said above extended schools/social services/ the charity sector are already picking up the slack. Every summer when I buy my dd unform I buy another five or six complete uniforms for the children I teach. Whenever I buy a coat or a pair of shoes for my dd I often pick things up for children I teach. Every Friday I take home bags of washing from my pupis, every morning I bring n breakfast and most lunchtimes I will buy food for pupils. Many other teachers do the same and we also as a school buy uniforms etc from or hardship fund.

SanctiMoanyArse Sun 10-Oct-10 11:56:41

Oh wrt to SSD

I don;t know about non SN care especially but I know thatc are for a child with SN tops the £2k a week amrk

And that foster carers (whcih most children seized under this suggestion would utilise) in both short in demand and pays the carer in excess of 2 3 hundred pounds a week.


Certainly not when you study the outcomes for chidlren who ahve been in care: benefit dependency isn't really even the start of it!

Oh and when people say 'you can't change the system for a person who has been absued etc'


Anyone can design a system that allows for large groups to be considered

It takes a real talent to enable the smaller ones to be supported and that's the people who should be given the role.

I've worked with aprents of alrge famillies who ahve been rehoused to areas where they know nobody (as a safety measure) after time in a refuge; the one I am thnking of especially was an incredible woman, quite the ebst mother I can imagine. Penalising her as a by product of penalising those who deliberately set out to strip the state of resources is ridiculous.

Peanalising people like us who continue to pay NI but ahd a bad run of it is wrong.

Penalising any child for the sins of the aparent is very very wrong.

SanctiMoanyArse Sun 10-Oct-10 11:59:51

How can these famillies be yet to be created?

Yes soem will be; but unless we are expecting 4 year olds to get a job, many will already be complete, no?

The huge publicity on this sort of case ATM is designed to make us forget the veryt many deserving people on benfits: the whole they are scroungers ethos that the darling MP mentioned on TV the other day. Is my ds3 a scrounger, that his disability may render him unable to work? Are we scroungers when we tackled redundancy and caring with full time retraining and setting up our own business but need top up help as I cannot currently work? Is a public sector worker amde redundant a scrounger? A pensioner who ahs lost their pension?


burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 12:03:11

I am talking about the kind of familes that I teach, parents have never worked and they have child after child who are malnourished, sometimes starved, wear dirty clothes and crammed into tiny dirty houses. The children at our school arrive in the morning grey and starving. I watch them when they come to my room for breakfast in the morning, they will hide food away so they can eat it later. I have bought children uniform only to find their parents have sold it to buy drugs or drink. I teach 11 year olds who drugdeal on the premesis and if they do not make a deal they do not get fed and often get beaten. I have taught children who earn their keep working as prostitutes, passed around the neighbours in return for drink, drugs even pirate DVDs.

Although in reality I am not talking about these children because I think the cap would only apply to families in the future.

I would never want to see help withdrawn from familes who are acting as carers.

It is easy to pretend that the world is a nice place and that children are never treated as cash cows if you don't see it with your own eyes day after day.

I was a cash cow child, I rarely ate at weekends, I worked from age 12 and was hardly sent to school. Quite frankly you would have done me a favour to have taken me out of my home.

burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 12:07:36

I would only like the cap to be in place with regards to children not yet conceived. I have dedicated my whole life to working with children in deprivation, why would I want to add to the problem?

I am not labelling anyone on a benefit a scrounger, I have been on benefits myself because I have a disability.

SanctiMoanyArse Sun 10-Oct-10 12:08:20

I am not head in the sand; I worked for HomeStart, I know what's out there as much as anyone- I grew up on the estates and went on to be working towards my MA, an MA which will lead me to SSD training: trust me, I am far from naive.

But people mixing a thread with @I would never wish to wothdraw help from....' and comments how we can;t legislate for abused famillies etc: somewhere in that mix a lot ofm vulnerable people get left out.

burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 12:09:15

I did not say that the state cannot care for those who are victims of domestic violence or disability but you cannot plan a welfare state that pays everyone out week in and weekd out at a certain level incase of violenc or disability.

AmpleBosom Sun 10-Oct-10 12:23:13

Some parents do have more children for the money they bring in benefits. Why should these families be able to have £2000/£3000 a month coming in every month without having to work at all for this money. For the record i see this alot at work so i know it does happen.

I think that we need to rethink how we give people help in times of need. I have seen parents being given hundreds to buy a washing machine which then gets blown on other things. Or parents who spend the money on cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. Don't get me wrong i know not every family does this but i see alot who do.

I have no problem with families being given help regardless of how many children they have as long as they are spending it on feeding and clothing their kids and bringing those children up to be functioning members of society. Sadly alot of the families i see don't as they have alcohol or drug issues or in alot of cases just no idea how to prioritise the children's needs over their own.

If there was an easier solution somebody more intelligent than me would have thought of it i'm sure. Sometimes it feels that i'm a complete mug for working full time as does my DH whilst earning less than alot of the families i work with do in benefits.

How can that be right?

burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 12:27:51

Tbh I am not driven by saving money or even a sense of personal injustice but wanting to see children getting the best start. I may not have all the answers, infact I am sure I do not but the conversation needs to be had.

betelguese Sun 10-Oct-10 12:53:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spiritedaway Sun 10-Oct-10 13:23:19

burgandy it sounds like you do so much to help people on an individual level. Taking in washing, buying them shoes etc. I imagine you make an enormous difference to the lives of these children. You sound like a truly lovely person....apart from advocating the forced removal of infants from their birth families. hmm

thedollshouse Sun 10-Oct-10 13:36:14

I have no answer to this problem. I wouldn't know where to begin. There are people like Sanctimoanyarse who need all they help they can get and then there are people like my cousin and her friends who have 4 children (all planned) have never worked, complain that their social housing is too small whilst actively planning a 5th child. The benefits system needs to distinguish between the two but I don't know how.

I wanted 4 children but will be stopping at two because we live in a 2 bedroomed house and wouldn't be able to afford to feed and clothe more than 2.

burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 14:17:23

I was talking about as a very final action which is not so far from where we are now. If despite help being given people continue to neglect their children social services would step in.

I have never ever once on this thread said that if someone on benefits has a third child we should take that child away. I know of a woman who has 6 children on a very low income, she manages to house, clothe and feed these children and they are all thriving. I however have a relatively high income but due to my own needs could not cope with more than one at the moment. If based on my current situation I were to have six children they would be neglected and I would expect social services to step in. If despite their help I still could not manage and went on to have another child I think it woul be reasonable for that child to be taken away - for the sake of the child.

I was asked above what would happen if despite the cap and further help from the state people kept having children they could not care for. In this tiny number of cases children may need to be taken.

I was a child conceived for benefits I wish to hell someone had taken me out of that situation.

sarah293 Sun 10-Oct-10 17:25:01

Message withdrawn

SanctiMoanyArse Sun 10-Oct-10 17:33:07

Absolutely SSD should step in for neglect; yet there is a council ATM considering privatising it's CP services and minimisingthose it takes into care; that would leave such children without a safety nety.

And never fear that benefit reduction would stop big famillies: Dad was born pre welfare state, child 15 / 16 to an alcoholic and a disabled Mum who was bedridden. At five he used to go knockk up neighbours to see who needed shopping and coal brought abck from the shop in his barrow, that's how he provided his dinner. Given that my AS DS1 has been in trouble this week for touting his (beautiful) home made jewellery at school to classmates who have been buying with their lunch money becuase he saw the news and me upset, then I wonder how far we really are from that situation.

And laugh in the face of the people who have tried to tell me that DH and I must have a poor work ethic to be poor over the last few months (usually on MN); clearly we have passed soemthing of one on to ds1.

burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 18:26:54

Of all the budgets that have to be cut I least want it to be the social services front line budget, this is even more important when times are tough.

sarah293 Sun 10-Oct-10 18:52:34

Message withdrawn

SanctiMoanyArse Sun 10-Oct-10 18:52:47

And yet it is ahppening.

I am supposed to start training as a SW in 2012 (whenDH graduates so can take over childcare around his working from home)- also when I complete my MA in Autism.

I will do it becuase I care enough; I am not convinced there will be a job for me.

burgandy Sun 10-Oct-10 18:54:58

I know it it happening. I am no tory poster girl, I have never voted tory in my life.

spiritedaway Thu 24-Jan-13 18:42:44

Families in social housing do not get a bedroom each. My 3 share 1 room, number 4 has little room and i have a sofa bed downstairs. I had 4. So judge me. They have every right to exist. Their dad has no contact, is wealthy but self employed and lying to csa. Where is the criticism of non paying parents? I am at home looking after them. I am a qualified professional and will go back when baby is 2.

NC78 Fri 25-Jan-13 16:35:06

zombie thread

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