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?

You did, OP, I stand corrected.
However, those 'capable of working' may find their circumstances suddenly through no fault of their own.
Do you suggest that benefits should only be paid in vouchers to be used in government sanctioned shops that do not provide any luxury goods?

GrowSomeCress Thu 04-Apr-13 19:31:16

OP, I think mumsnet is a particularly left-leaning site - and it doesn't always mirror the opinion of society as a whole.

Oh HoneyDragon, the poor goats, will noone think of the goats grin

YouTheCat Thu 04-Apr-13 19:33:52

You don't have to be left-leaning to have some bloody compassion and empathy.

PeneloPeePitstop Thu 04-Apr-13 19:34:06

Wannabe I barbecued my goat...

Bearbehind Thu 04-Apr-13 19:35:25

Thanks fairyjen, I am referring to the minority who chose to remain on benefits rather than looking for work

We had to rehome ours.

Thank god theres no Goathouse on MN. I would have been flamed badly for that!

PeachActiviaMinge Thu 04-Apr-13 19:38:58

If you earn £15k P.A then £812 of your taxes will go to welfare and pensions but if you have one child then you receive £1055.60 in child benefit p.a.

Also in 2010 just under 1/3 (28%) of all benefits paid out went to people on above average incomes.

OP

The minority who choose to remain on benefjts is so small that honestly tbere are more important issues. Can you not see that?

Unemployment. Inflation. The crisis in Europe. The situation in N.Korea.

These are all this that will directly or indirectly affect us. They need discussed and this govt needs to do something.

Instead they are talking about scroungers and wide screen TVs while their mates are rolling in the bucks an sending them offshore.

Get it yet? Its a distraction.

So, bear behind, have you had children? Did you receive child benefit? Any maternity benefits like smp?

GrowSomeCress Thu 04-Apr-13 19:42:05

YouTheCat I didn't say you did. But it's fairly obvious that mumsnet is left leaning and that explains some of the general views on here, which are not always mirrored amongst the general public.

I didn't even express an opinion on benefits.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 04-Apr-13 19:42:40

OP..because they aren't heartless bastards who believe everything they read in the Mail perhaps?

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Apr-13 19:43:51

Many people on MN are so anti benefit bashing because they class anything that isn't a liberal left opinion on benefits as bashing. Discussing anything about the benefit system and disagreeing with any element of it is seen as bashing. Which would be fine if it were actually 'bashing'. Or if it was criticising individuals without any knowledge about them. I would be against offending people for no reason too, but most of the time, it isn't. It's just a discussion. A discussion that is nearly always labeled wrongly, as bashing.

It's very silly.

Bearbehind Thu 04-Apr-13 19:43:52

Freddie those aren't the benefits I'm talking about, those are for a finite period, they are not in lieu of working for the majority of your life.

SirChenjin Thu 04-Apr-13 19:44:17

Child benefit and SMP? Are you deliberately ignoring "the minority who chose to remain on benefits rather than looking for work" comment from the OP? If so, why?

Bearbehind - a number of reasons. Let me explain my perspective.
Firstly, the media seems to me to be (cynically and for the most vile of reasons) using the Philpott case to smear the reputation of people on benefits. This is, it seems to me, to be a highly immoral thing to do. Philpott is no more representative of people on benefits than (to quote Owen Jones I believe) Beverley Allitt is of nurses, Shipman was of GPs, or Hitler was of failed artists. I believe that the motivation for this kind of bracketing is to demonise people on benefits and justify treating them as criminal and subhuman.
In fact people on benefits have no more in common with each other than people in work - they are a class and within that class each individual circumstance is unique.
As for your personal opinion about what benefits 'should' be, well to turn your question on its head, why would you think that everyone should share what is - it seems to me - a very small minded, narrow and mean spirited, even inhumane, way of looking at your fellow human beings? All this talk of food stamps, the bare minimums, no alcohol?? It's nasty jealousy and envy and forgets that the people who will suffer most are th CHILDREN. Not to worry though, because they are only the children of welfare. Not actually PEOPLE or anything.
I am not interested in prescribing the 'luxuries' that other people on benefits should or should not use their money on. It is, bottom line, not my business. Benefits are set at a pretty minimal level and most people I know who claim benefits are - SURPRISE! - struggling to get by.
FWIW I have never claimed benefits ever, though I have been in receipt of child benefit and I also had a student grant a gazillion years ago.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 19:45:51

I dont know if mn is left leaning I just think they shout the loudest.

FarBetterNow Thu 04-Apr-13 19:45:54

There are many 'state benefits' paid to rich people too, ie Maternity Pay and Child Benefit.
Why bother giving money to people who really do not need it?

It isn't just the poor and jobless who receive benefits.

There are many tax avoidence schemes set up for people on 40% tax.
Oh and then we have the Philip Green's of the world.

DevonLodger Thu 04-Apr-13 19:45:57

Slightly OT but why are people on here (and Sky/BBC) referring to "Mick" and "Mairead" as if we know them and we can use their familiar nicknames or their Christian names. See post above "Mairead worked". Mairead Philppott is a child killer. Michael Philpott was a dangerous evil man. Benefits are irrelevant here. No one used the familiar "Maxine" or "Ian" (Huntley) or "Myra" and nor should they have in those cases or this.

GrowSomeCress Thu 04-Apr-13 19:46:17

SirChenjin because then they wouldn't be able to use their ad hominem and straw man arguments

So sorry. I read the op and took my time to post and x-posted with the clarification.

So, it's certain benefits you disapprove of, but not all.

What ones in particular are allowed and what ones are not allowed?

sandberry Thu 04-Apr-13 19:47:52

Because I don't judge other people out of envy and self righteousness and I don't think the only value in a person is what they earn
plus adults can make their own decisions on what to do with their money. If they choose to shop and eat cheaply in order to go on holiday, why is that my business?

Also because increasing poverty especially child poverty ultimately costs the country more money in health care and criminality this far outweighs the marginal amount spent on reasonable benefits. Keeping benefits deliberately low is political point scoring and appeasing jealous people for votes, it will not make even the tiniest dent in the deficit and ultimately is likely to lead to a slower recovery from recession.
Personally I would prefer the government to focus on something useful.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 04-Apr-13 19:48:49

OP

Your last paragraph asks what you are missing. I don't believe you are missing anything, nor do I believe you are really asking a question.
I also believe you fully understand that many tax payers aren't happy to fund other peoples lives on benefit, because these boards are full of such comments.
It is my opinion that you are purposely trying to goad.

expatinscotland Thu 04-Apr-13 19:49:01

'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?'

FFS.

We are working poor. We don't and cannot afford luxuries.

We live in a HA maisonette and so all our neighbours are working poor and/or on benefits.

The only ones who have Sky, fags, booze all the time, all that crap are on the fiddle, and, as pointed out, plenty of us are in work, albeit low-paid.

poppypebble Thu 04-Apr-13 19:49:20

Most spending actually goes on pensioners, JSA accounts for around 3 per cent of welfare spending.

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