do "we" have the right to say what benefit claimants spend the money on?

(329 Posts)
DizzyHoneyBee Tue 02-Oct-12 21:01:59

In the news today, a think tank suggests that many would support restrictions on what benefit claimants can spend the money on.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19792066

What do you think?

SunWukong Thu 04-Oct-12 10:28:35

Everythings a scam.

Unemployment is just an opportunity to make money, service providers train the unemployed that cost a damn sight more then college and don't give you a recognised accreditation at the end just in house crap, slavery to big names passed off as work experience. They'd love to give MasterCard a licence to get their sticky fingers in the pot too.

And as long as they make out that the poor are the enemy, laughing at the hard working,tthey will be able continue handing out tax payers money as much as they like, even if the people know just how much it all costs and just how popointless it all is they will be happy to give cash to A4E and tesco to make people's lives a misery because they are so fucking spiteful.

This is what Thatcher was talking about, no such thing as society, just selfishness, greed and jealousy.

NellyJob Thu 04-Oct-12 10:38:40

you do have a point there, Sun.

MrsBucketxx Thu 04-Oct-12 11:17:37

would you rather us all live in a communist state then sun.

SunWukong Thu 04-Oct-12 11:32:37

Wow talk about missing the point. I'm not even going to dignify that with a proper response highlighting the obvious, no point people like you never change.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 04-Oct-12 14:13:10

oh dear mrs bucket, even my 13 yo knows what a communist state is.

GuybrushThreepwodWasHere Thu 04-Oct-12 14:15:36

I agree with most people that a 'voucher' scheme penalises the poor but it does sound like it would be a good option for people with children who have addictions (such as drinking, gambling or drugs) to make sure that the children have guaranteed access to food and clothes.

But it looks like computer access for all will be something that will happen in the future because of all the opportunities it brings. I'm surprised there isn't an e-petition for it already smile

littlemisssarcastic Thu 04-Oct-12 14:59:40

Have read the whole thread, and other posters have said the same as I would have, so wont bother repeating, but garlicbutter , I was told by my landlord that UC will pay the housing proportion of UC direct to the claimant in a monthly payment, along with the rest of the UC. It will then be up to the tenant to pay their rent.

Personally, I think it will cause a lot of problems for many people who perhaps have struggled to manage their money, and rely on housing benefit being paid direct to their landlord, but that is apparently the way it is going to be.

aufaniae Thu 04-Oct-12 15:05:23

People who are seriously addicted to drugs will simply sell what they buy for cash to get drugs! Or trade the vouchers.

Junkies are nothing if not inventive when it comes to ways to get money for drugs.

This won't do anything to stop the serioulsy addicted frittering their money away on drugs.

Addiction is an illness, not a choice and should be treated by doctors IMO.

GuybrushThreepwodWasHere Thu 04-Oct-12 15:13:44

aufaniae

Good point

Vouchers do sound like a good idea to the uninformed. It would be interesting to see proper data and a thorough examination on what people living on benefits spend money on to quash some of the blatant stereotyping that people have of claimants.

FrothyOM Thu 04-Oct-12 15:53:25

"Vouchers do sound like a good idea to the uninformed. It would be interesting to see proper data and a thorough examination on what people living on benefits spend money on to quash some of the blatant stereotyping that people have of claimants."

Most of it goes on rent, food, utilities and clothes for the growing kids. It couldn't go on much else without the kids being neglected.

The so many % of people (that were surveyed) who think benefits shouldn't be spent on booze, fags, designer trainers and holidays are ill informed - If only!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Thu 04-Oct-12 17:06:50

I should imagine that people don't suddenly turn in to drug taking alcoholics with a 60 a day habit, just because they've happened to lose their jobs and are reliant on benefits for a time. I point this out because the average person on unemployed benefits is likely to have been in work prior to claiming benefits, and will be on benefits for no more than a year.

garlicbutty Thu 04-Oct-12 20:04:23

Thanks for that info, * sarcastic*. Bummer sad
I hope the charities will get it changed before UC comes in! My unwise spending sprees are currently limited to what I can get from catalogues (and return, if I come round soon enough) but I've spent the rent money in the past, when my LA refused to accept me under 'vulnerable' rules.

It's all very well sitting in a comfortable home or meeting room: secure, well fed & clothed; ranting on about what other people "should" do. To an extent, this is inevitably coloured by the speakers' ideas of what they'd do in certain circumstances. The problem is that claimants aren't able to do what the speakers would do - because, if they were, they'd be doing it already! I'm a very mild case of disability (too mild for DLA, grr) and there are thousands less able than I am. But I can't always handle the stress. Many of the even-less-able turn to drugs instead of shopping, can't cope with cooking so need takeaways, borrow from doorstep loan sharks, fall for scams; all sorts of errors. And this close to the edge, a single error can push you into total destitution.

This sounds like an argument in favour of vouchers. It's not; it's an argument for flexibility. It would be jolly good if every single low-budget household had access to a qualified and empathetic adviser (like the mental health care worker who got my HB sorted) plus life skills training; group support and childcare; grants for things like home maintenance; vocational guidance. But that's not going to happen. Since effective support can't and won't be provided, the very least 'society' could do would be to recognise claimants are not a homogeneous mass and afford some degree of necessary personalisation. Blanket rules make things worse.

Hmm ... fuck dignity, I might start a thread about the realities of life at the bottom!

lj73unique Thu 04-Oct-12 23:38:27

pahahahahah.i love you all!!! dont hold back ,beat about the bush or limit swering to *&^%.splendid.its like inside my head with other opinions-cool.Anyhow-as it goes-who thought that up!!!!!!arses.have they read the living on 85quid a week section on this?or tried it?..how do you budget\\in ours that quite alot means deprive or at least reduce the amount of one (ideally)necessity in order to fund another...you cant do that wi vouchers.its hard enough.Bloody commi bastards thats what...one miss piggy short of the muppets....whilst..ensuring those in captivity--ie crinimals/jail are PUNISHED with no bills,constant supply of warmth/electricity/RDA foods/education FFS they can take theyrew own bedsheets in some places...Mrs thatcher if your reading-THIS is what you raised.god will getchu.

achillea Thu 04-Oct-12 23:49:22

If the alternative to benefits were a job with security, good pay and decent working conditions I would say, YES. The reality is that low skilled jobs are soul destroying. So, NO. Let Cameron try an underclass apprenticeship for 3 years and see how he gets on.

Build up a decent working environment and stop blaming the poor for the failures in your own economic policy.

MrsBucketxx Fri 05-Oct-12 08:18:55

those sort of jobs take training first no employer in their right mind would employ someone with no experience, or training hmm

like a student has to study first, business is there to make money not give well paid jobs just to anyone

a few years of pain a lifetime of rewards

Latara Fri 05-Oct-12 09:32:12

I'd like to see HB paid direct to landlords because: a local landlord who houses tenants no-one else will house (mainly men who are addicts & linger at the bottom of the housing lists for years) says that he is now finding that their HB gets spent on their addictions rather than their accommodation; he's a businessman not a charity, so has to evict rent defaulters; but doesn't feel good about that because these men end up living (& dying) on the streets.

Obviously many HB recipients are responsible & use it for rent; but paying direct to landlords would save the more vulnerable people from eviction & worse.

Latara Fri 05-Oct-12 09:34:03

I disagree with other benefits being given in voucher form though.
I unfortunately have to claim some benefits now; one thing that is forgotten is that people are individuals, with indivdual needs.

Latara Fri 05-Oct-12 09:36:12

Vouchers for food to use at supermarkets would be stigmatizing; people gossip so everyone locally would know who is on benefits & for how long.

Latara Fri 05-Oct-12 09:37:39

Back to the old Victorian assumption that the poor are responsible for their own poverty. sad

MadBanners Fri 05-Oct-12 10:25:38

"Vouchers for food to use at supermarkets would be stigmatizing; people gossip so everyone locally would know who is on benefits & for how long."

Oh yes, how I remember having to queue at school for my school dinner vouchers, in a nice long line with all the other poor kids, at half eight every morning in the hall where everyone else walks past. Then using them at the till in the canteen. A fair few of us were bullied solely for that reason, how I would love for others to have that same lovely feeling as adults.

NellyJob Fri 05-Oct-12 10:31:42

but paying direct to landlords would save the more vulnerable people from eviction & worse
ah but paying rent direct to landlords leaves the system open to widespread abuse from unscrupulous landlords, as it was before.
Direct payments are available on request for vulnerable people, but there are very good reasons why it is in the hands of the claimant.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 05-Oct-12 10:43:19

The fact that is in the hands of the claimant and that some do spend it on things other than rent is a strong deterrent to taking HB claimants, as has been demonstrated by many other threads on this subject. There would be more porperties available to HB tenants, if the landlord was paid direclty, and indemnified from frauduelnt claims made by the the tenant.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Fri 05-Oct-12 10:50:09

When I lost my job a few years ago, I claimed HB for a few months and then got back into work. The landlord was never aware I was temporarily unemployed, and would have been reluctant to keep me as a tenant had I informed him. I'd be against paying HB direct, unless the tenant requested it or had a history of falling into arrears due to a chaotic lifestyle etc.

People can squander their wages as well as their benefits and fail to pay their rent.

NellyJob Fri 05-Oct-12 10:53:04

There would be more porperties available to HB tenants
the landlord doesn't need to know you are claiming, that's the point.

NellyJob Fri 05-Oct-12 10:53:43

as catkins said....

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