Why are so many people on MN so anti benefit bashing?

(383 Posts)
Bearbehind Thu 04-Apr-13 19:09:19

Genuine question- although I am well aware I will probably get flamed for this.

Osbourne's comments in the wake of the Philpotts's about benefits supporting lifestyles which are disagreeable to most tax payers today has touched a nerve with many for varying reasons.

I've always been of the opinion that benefits should be sufficient for the basic necessities but shouldn't cover luxuries like cigarettes, alcohol, Sky, mobile phones or holidays, as they shouldn't be an alternative to working (obviously only for those people capable of working) yet so many threads on here say its none of our business to question what benefits are spent on?

Why is it so many people are happy for their taxes to fund the luxuries listed above for others when they can't afford some of them for themselves after paying tax!? Am I missing something?

YouTheCat Thu 04-Apr-13 19:22:25

True fact, Wannabe.

Bear, it is bad because it is bloody nasty, that is why. Does there need to be any other reason?

And of course it doesn't stop at those unfortunate enough to be unemployed, the bashing continues about carers, the disabled, pretty much anyone who receives some financial support.

Bearbehind Thu 04-Apr-13 19:22:41

sauvignon I explicitly stated that my views only applied to those capable of working.

I totally agree that I shouldn't have used the term 'bashing' as I meant why do so many tolerate their taxes being used to fund lifestyles that they themselves might not be able to afford.

BitBewildered Thu 04-Apr-13 19:23:27

I would rather things like MPs expenses were reduced. I think it's unfair to tar all benefit claimants with the Philpot brush.

Do you really begrudge people having a bit of autonomy over their household budget?

Lucyellensmum95 Thu 04-Apr-13 19:23:56

I think the reason why a good proportion of the poster on here disagree with benefit "bashing" or berating people on benefits, whatever you choose to call it are intelligent and compassionate enough to think "there but for the grace of god" They will know that there will be inscrupulous people in any walk of life who will play the system, be that by knocking out a few extra babies to get an extra bedroom or by finding the appropriate Tax avoidance scheme if they are a high earner. Thankfully, these people are in the minority.

Emilythornesbff Thu 04-Apr-13 19:24:25

Benefits vary a great deal.
Child benefit, income support, housing benefit, tax credits, state pension etc. .........- all different.
So, many people (almost all parents) are/ have been in receipt of some kind of benefit. so much criticism of peole's "subsidised" lifestyles is misinformed.

some ppl take the piss and cheat the system.
Some very hard working ppl might be better off financially if they weren't employed, and that really shouldn't be the case.

But"benefits bashing" seeks to demonise ppl who receive benefits as undeserving, lazy, scrounging, and costing the "brasher money.
It's the politics of envy.
And, IMO it is related to the mentality that saw the Nazis gain power in Germany.

YouTheCat Thu 04-Apr-13 19:24:37

So you mean those capable of working who through no fault of their own are unable to find work?

There are so few jobs out there, what would you suggest people do?

FreyaSnow Thu 04-Apr-13 19:25:03

'Freya But IMO that comes under 'not available for work' for a finite period, not spending your whole life on benefits.'

I don't know what that means. Most people who are of working age who claim benefits have a job. Most families have one or two people working and claim benefits. Some people who claim benefits and have a job get more money in benefits than people who claim benefits and don't have a job.

The vast majority of people who claim JSA do so for a finite period of time. They may, however, spend their whole working lives on benefits because they have an occupation that is poorly paid.

EllieArroway Thu 04-Apr-13 19:25:13

The problem is that, in spite of what certain newspapers would have us believe, the vast majority of people in receipt of benefits are in situations that the welfare state was founded to help with.

Very few indeed are claiming because they can't be arsed to get a job. And lots and lots (probably the majority) actually ARE working, they just can't earn enough.

I'm very proud of the welfare state & that we as a nation care for each other (or did until this fucking government showed up). Yes, we have to put up with the scroungers but I'd rather do that than dismantle the whole thing, or make the genuine claimants feel like scum.

Bear in mind, Phillpot only got the money he did because of the children and I don't begrudge them a penny.

poppypebble Thu 04-Apr-13 19:25:22

You know what it is fucking awful surviving on benefits and people who are in that position do not deserve to be treated like scum. Life is hard enough.

Stop believing everything this contemptible excuse for a government tell you. Anyone who can use the deaths of 6 children to score political points is the one you should be bashing.

HoneyDragon Thu 04-Apr-13 19:25:40

<<gently removes Wannabe's head from wall>>

Tell you what Wannabe. Do you want to help me load this trebuchet with goats and sling them where necessary?

You can should FIRE! if you like?

Emilythornesbff Thu 04-Apr-13 19:25:47

Sorry, brasher not "brasher.

Penelopee- sorry to hear that.
You are right though- it can only be to assert some sort of superiority over others which is a bit cheap and horrible.

I've been on both ends of the stick myself so would NEVER make ridiculous assumptions based on somebody's current income or lack thereof.

What I can't understand is a flat out denial that there is a minority of people for whom a life on benefits "is" a lifestyle choice and the debate that should be ha around that.

Personally I feel that a debate on the billions of pounds being tax evaded or leaving this country through loopholes would be more appropriate. As opposed to the minority of people who have been ground into thinking a life on benefits is any kind of desirable.

Also, the majority who are in need should not be punished for the actions of a few.

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 04-Apr-13 19:26:11

Educate yourself. I'm on benefits but we can't afford those luxuries ffs sometimes we can barely afford to eat. When a real disaster occurs we're screwed and now up to our eyeballs in debt to Brighthouse because we don't have the option of cheap credit.

You can look down your nose at me and others like me but one day it could be you in my position and I would hope that people wouldn't treat you like I am treated. Sometimes you need that little luxury to make life bearable if its cigarettes a can of larger or a bar of chocolate sometimes its the only thing that will keep you going.

You might not think me worthy of your respect because I fell on hard times well had the misfortune to suffer various mental illnesses but please don't make it so obvious at least allow us our ignorance.

FairyJen Thu 04-Apr-13 19:26:46

I think the op is actually referring to the minority that actually just don't want to work full stop and claim benefits

Greythorne Thu 04-Apr-13 19:26:52

OP - if you think being on benefits is so great, why not resign, get put on a waiting list for social housing, claim all these generous benefits and then sit on your bottom watching Sky on a plasma telly and going to Florida on holiday.

Or don't you think it works like that?

WestieMamma Thu 04-Apr-13 19:27:48

why do so many tolerate their taxes being used to fund lifestyles that they themselves might not be able to afford.

Because we understand that those for whom it is a lifestyle are a tiny, tiny minority. A minority who will find a way to exploit the system whatever the system is. And most importantly because we understand that attempting to stop that exploitation of the system will cost way more than it will ever save and will also penalise the majority who should be getting what they get and make their situations worse.

MaryPoppinsBag Thu 04-Apr-13 19:28:21

When my DH was made redundant in 2008, I was already pregnant with DS2. He was out if work for 16 months (I was on mat leave for 12 months of that and almost 2 months was spent waiting for his subsequent job to come off) we went on holiday it was essential for our mental health.

I'm not talking package holidays, I'm talking a long weekend sharing a static van with my parents or a static van for a week paid for by him DM for his birthday.

Long term unemployment is soul destroying.

hugoagogo Thu 04-Apr-13 19:28:31

First take disabled people and their carers out of the equation:

The idea that benefits should be at a basic level of food and heat would be fine if there was full employment and if wages were at a level that could support the average family.

As there is not full employment in this country and wages are not at a level that can support a family (as evidenced by the government subsidising wages in the form of tax credits and the like) then benefits cannot be viewed as short term emergency relief.

If the minimum wage was increased and measures were taken to produce full employment, then and only then could people look down on those not working and call them scroungers.

YouTheCat Thu 04-Apr-13 19:28:54

I think the OP is referring to the '10s of thousands' alluded to in the Fail.

Which is utter and actual bollocks.

Bearbehind Thu 04-Apr-13 19:29:14

I understand the 'there but the grace of God' theory'. I know I'm fortunate not to be in the position of having to survive on benefits.

Some of the replies are enlightening and are answering my questions.

I guess, like so many things, the minority adversely affect the perceptions of the majority.

I'm anti 'benefit bashing' because I know we are just one unlucky turn away from having to rely on them. Very few people choose it as a lifestyle, despite what the papers want us to think.

SirChenjin Thu 04-Apr-13 19:29:40

It is perfectly possible to bash both bankers and people who live off benefits with no intention of ever working when they are perfectly able to - they are not mutually exclusive.

poppypebble Thu 04-Apr-13 19:29:44

What about those people who are too disabled to work but are being forced onto JSA because of ATOS assessments?

Who decides who should be 'bashed' and not? Should we have a conference? Perhaps at Wannsee?

MrsBW Thu 04-Apr-13 19:30:08

wannabe totally agree there are more important debates to be had...

And agree with your example too.

MP expenses is another.

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