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.

What do you think?

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Tue 02-Oct-12 21:06:24

I think that not all benefit claimants spend their money on booze, fags, drugs, gambling etc.

The idea that they do, quite frankly fucks me off.

When I was on full benefits, due to a nervous breakdown and loss of my job through to ill health I regularly had to decide between gas or electric payments.

David Cameron and his cronies are so far removed from reality it is embarrassing.

Wonder how much Mastercard would be paid if the 'card' spoken of in the article is introduced hmm

princelypurpleparrot Tue 02-Oct-12 21:26:36

Just did a search to see if I needed to start a thread on this!

I am shocked and disgusted by this type of thinking, and at how prevalent it seems to be in this day and age. There is a certain twisted logic to it, after all, it's our taxes that pay for these benefits so why should the claimants get to spend them on whatever they fancy?

So, let's dehumanise or infantalise them by telling them what they can and can't do with OUR money, that they can only buy fruit and veg, and not frozen pizzas. That they are not allowed a cheap bottle of wine. Or even to buy a lottery ticket, as the lottery is gambling, you know. They lottery fund would pretty much collapse overnight, as it's probably the biggest tax on the poor that there is.

Why why why does "the average person in the street" find it so hard to understand that most people who claim benefits do so because they are in work but are earning such pitiful wages that they need help? Or because they are disabled/ a carer, NOT because they are feckless wasters who want to do fuck all and live the high life?

I am sooooooooooooooooo angry!!!!!

princelypurpleparrot Tue 02-Oct-12 22:06:36

How is this thread so slow? This is the kind of topic that usually gets MN going like the clappers!

edam Tue 02-Oct-12 22:31:36

Good grief, of course 'we' don't, any more than we have the right to tell pensioners what to spend their money on, or the local bobby, or the local doctor.

usualsuspect3 Tue 02-Oct-12 22:33:17

Fucking hell. There are no words really.

emmapenny Tue 02-Oct-12 22:34:40

hi im new here and didnt know where else to ask this question.
here goes sorry if its long!

i am in the middle of a mutual exchange to another area in my town everything my end was approved yesterday and today the other girls housing officer told us both we could move and on thursday could we come and exchange tenancies. then this afternoon i received a phone call from my h/o saying that the other h/o had said that he is refusing on the grounds that i dont need a 3 bed because i have 2 boys. it is a 3 bed for a 3 bed swap. my h/o said to get a letter from my doctor which i have stating that my youngest is disruptive at night and keeps the eldest child awake half the night making him tired for school which he does and is already in his own room. my doctor stated this in a letter which i have to take down 1st thing in the morning to my housing executive then my h/o will sort it with triangle housing.
i am so worried as they said yes then a while later no! i have an appointment in the morning for the new school they were supposed to be changing to and i just dont know what to do. sad and could cry i want this so badly

edam Tue 02-Oct-12 22:37:21

wiki page on Demos suggests they were running out of cash and people - perhaps they are desperate to catch some headlines and generate some interest?

'Over the summer of 2008 Demos cut back its workforce (from 23 full-time staff in January 2008[9] to 17 by September 2008[10]) and did not attend any political party conferences, leading to speculation that it was in financial difficulty.[11][12]
Following his appointment in 2010 as Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Richard Reeves stepped down as Demos' Director and was replaced by former Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Kitty Ussher. She then left Demos and the new director is David Goodhart.'

Meglet Tue 02-Oct-12 22:37:44

Oh that means I would get a budget for work clothes then. Because I might receive tax credits, but I hold down a job too.

Are we allowed to spend money on cars, or will we have to ride our goats?

expatinscotland Tue 02-Oct-12 22:38:29

Do we get to tell pensioners who never worked outside the home how to spend their state money, too?

edam Tue 02-Oct-12 22:38:32

emmapenny, you need to start a new thread. Go to the top of the page on the left, where it says 'Talk', click on 'All topics' and choose the one that seems to suit your question the best. I think there are property topics...

Whitecherry Tue 02-Oct-12 22:44:31

And those on benefits.... That includes everyone who claims any child benefit of working tax credits..? Don't forget, these are 'on benefits' too

Tressy Tue 02-Oct-12 22:46:19

Someone told me years ago that they did this in Canada. Gave vouchers that could only be spent in certain shops instead of cash. Some countries have bottle stores and booze, fags are separate to supermarkets.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 02-Oct-12 22:47:09

In general, no i probably wouldn't support this, but I would be lying if I said that I agree with people on benefits (especially those with children) who spent a significant amount of their income on fags, alcohol and drugs. And it happens, and despite what the collective on mn might believe, I don't just think its the odd person here and there.

StaceeJaxx Tue 02-Oct-12 22:47:25

Jesus fucking christ, yet more shite from are millionaire tory government friends! angry We're on full benefits atm, as DH was made redundant back in July. Should we not be allowed to buy little luxuries like chocolate or pizza? God forbid we might save up and buy some christmas presents for the kids, or even shock horror buy them new boots from Primark. hmm FFS!

StaceeJaxx Tue 02-Oct-12 22:47:41

our not are blush

Tressy Tue 02-Oct-12 22:49:28

I think it would apply to 'out of work benefits' where families are wholly reliant on state money and unwaged.

expatinscotland Tue 02-Oct-12 22:50:48

Many pensioners are wholly reliant on state benefits and many never worked outside the home.

So why aren't they included in these plans?

Tressy Tue 02-Oct-12 22:51:23

Stacee, more likely the vouchers won't buy booze and fags, rather than chocs and boots.

usualsuspect3 Tue 02-Oct-12 22:51:25

It's very scary, even more scary that some people think this is a good idea.


tittytittyhanghang Tue 02-Oct-12 22:51:40

Sorry, i should have made it clear, I mean the long term out of work benefits, but as this would be impossible to police, then theres nothing to be done about it other than accept it. I dont consider someone who is working but still needing to claim benefits to be able to afford a basic lifestyle the same as someone who chooses not to work. (And because this is mn, i mean people who choose not to work, not those who are unemployed and actively looking for work but just haven't found any, or the disabled, and those unable to work).

Whitecherry Tue 02-Oct-12 22:53:26

Well it shouldn't tressy

All claimants should be treated the same.....

Whitecherry Tue 02-Oct-12 22:54:29

Ok.... Where are all these people choosing not to work? Where?

expatinscotland Tue 02-Oct-12 22:55:15

Oh, here we go again! The 'choses not to work' line.

Leithlurker Tue 02-Oct-12 22:56:27

See the only way this could work, and I am not saying it is a good idea in fact I think it is almost akin to a police state not just telling people what to do, think, buy, eat, etc. They would also have the means to check up that you were obaying the rules as each card or voucher unlike individual notes or coins could be traced back to the individual and a check kept on what it was used for.

But that is not my main point, which is the only way this could work in practice is if the vouchers were only redeemable in a telco or asda or aldi. As well as the obviouse things like food, milk, nappies, etc. You will also need to allow people to buy things like, lightbulbs. Plates, cutlery, medicines like pain killers or threat lozenges. Sanitary wear, condoms, birthday cards, phone top ups.

It will only be the large stores that could supply the range of things, plus have the ready made technology to cope with people buying a range of items off one card. It would still prevent booze, lottery, and smokes. So my real point is this. The tax payer becomes the biggest customer of Tesco, thats not a free and open market, nor is it going to promote competition for everyone. So we subsidise the big companies and watch every single independent shop die or only exist in very rich areas.

usualsuspect3 Tue 02-Oct-12 22:57:38

I'm sure some posters will come along to tell us about the family up the road with 3 cars and 4 holidays a year who haven't worked for 20 years.

Leithlurker Tue 02-Oct-12 22:59:53

Sorry predictive text is such a pain

Tressy Tue 02-Oct-12 23:01:34

Not saying I agree with it, but that I've been told it happens in other countries. The models of which, the tories inspire to.

It does break my heart when I hear of children going hungry, in this day and age, in Britain when state benefits provide at least enough money to feed your family, tight but doable.

garlicbutty Tue 02-Oct-12 23:01:38

Marking place ... using the internet some over-privileged twerp probably thinks I shouldn't have.

Whitecherry Tue 02-Oct-12 23:02:27

Thing is, the system is set up so you don't have the option of not working... Unless

You are a:

Lone parent with an under 5

Those are the groups not required to actively seek work

Is that ok with everyone?

Whitecherry Tue 02-Oct-12 23:02:43

Have I missed a group?

ParsingFancy Tue 02-Oct-12 23:06:27

Vouchers worked so badly last time they don't even do this to asylum seekers any more (except those who have failed in their asylum application and are being made deliberately almost destitute to persuade them to leave).

The vouchers could only be spent at participating supermarkets. So not on the bus fare to the supermarket, then, which might be in the next town. And not on laundrettes. Not on phone calls, or toilet roll from the corner shop.

And asylum seekers have no vote and are already treated as the lowest of the low. Things have to pretty bad to be considered not good enough for asylum seekers.

Besides, I'd specify your child benefit was paid in vouchers for organic veg. You might not like that.wink

tittytittyhanghang Tue 02-Oct-12 23:06:30

yes, those on jobseekers who usually (a) dont want to work and make this possible by (b) becoming completely unemployable. Thats not saying everyone on jobseekers is like this, far from it, but your bloody niave if you don't think they exist.

LineRunner Tue 02-Oct-12 23:07:00

I think that where there are systems of welfare vouchers, eg the USA, there are also black markets where they are sold on at a loss for cash. Often on a 'doorstep shark' basis.

Not helpful.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 02-Oct-12 23:14:11

The Nazis spread their hatred by convincing normal people that the 'unwanted' are evil in some way, that they don't deserve to live the way they do. The 'unwanted' become ostracised as more and more people are brainwashed into thinking that they are scum. Their jobs, their way of supporting their families, are taken away or rationed, then they are moved into gheto's. Hatred is building all the time until, finally, no one bated an eyelid when those poor people were murdered. This Government have reduced benefits, causing hardship and stress for those who are already vulnerable. Now they want you to think that this is OK, that they can dictate to the poorer members of our society by telling them how to spend their benefits. You can judge a society on how it treats its most vulnerable. The UK is shit!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 02-Oct-12 23:17:49

im wondering where and how they found the 2000 who took part in the survey.

its just a bad idea

LineRunner Tue 02-Oct-12 23:19:34

The best voucher invention ever was probably money.

Whitecherry Tue 02-Oct-12 23:22:46

titty so you are talking about a minority group there then? You know.... A few workshy wasters! Yet a voucher system needs to be brought in for everyone else because of the odd one or two??

Ha ha... Good luck with that

BertieBotts Tue 02-Oct-12 23:28:51

And what happens when you've spent your allocated money on your allocated food and you have a child or family member with an allergy, so they can't eat half of it. And you can't buy more, because you don't have any actual money, just the card. Best case scenario, everyone ends up with a skewed rather than balanced diet.

LOL at the idea of getting a diagnosis for an allergy just so you can get an exception on the card, BTW. They can't even sort out their disability criteria properly so good luck with that one.

Or let's say you have mental health problems (10% of adults suffer from depression) and on a down, struggling day it's all you can manage to open the freezer and chuck something in the microwave/oven for the kids. Which is fine, until it goes on for three days and all the food in the fridge goes out of date meaning your family can't eat until the next allocated food date comes in. I'm sure that makes you feel great and helps you see the bright side of life.

Plus all the excellent points made by others.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 02-Oct-12 23:32:37

Well perhaps a minority proportionally, but i dont think speaking in figures its just one or two people like this as many on mn would like to believe, but rather a figure that runs into thousands.

UdderlyBanal Tue 02-Oct-12 23:33:39

No, no, no. It is absolutely not the job of the state (or church, or whatever) to tell individuals how to live.

Not dissing the details above though ;).

LineRunner Tue 02-Oct-12 23:34:07

I can believe a couple of thousand out of 60 million. But I wouldn't to form policy on the basis of that.

LineRunner Tue 02-Oct-12 23:34:24

wouldn't want to

garlicbutty Tue 02-Oct-12 23:35:20

Umm, I smoke on benefits. Since that takes up too much money, I don't buy any other 'treats' like coffees out or going anywhere. Would this voucher scheme allow for any discretionary spending at all, or be exclusively redeemable at Tesco as Leith very astutely predicts?

I'm also not heating my home yet, despite being sedentary due to illness. It would be jolly interesting to see how official busybodies would like to apportion other people's spending without knowing anything about their lives ... apart from the fact that we're all workshy scroungers, obv.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 02-Oct-12 23:35:37

Actually if you had read what i had written, you would have seen that I don't actually agree with a vouchers system.

garlicbutty Tue 02-Oct-12 23:36:00

redeemable at Tesco - of which my nearest is 11 miles away.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 02-Oct-12 23:47:00

IS there 60 million on jobseekers allowance? I think 1.5 million is more the accurate figure. And i dont think there are any official statistics on how many of these people on jobseekers view it as a 'lifestyle choice' so to put it but personally i think between 5-10% of this figure is my guess.

CommunistMoon Wed 03-Oct-12 00:44:14

ah, a guess, always a good basis on which to form policy, as the Omnishambles clearly shows. No, there are approximately 60 million people in the UK, not 60 million on JSA. I think LineRunner might have been talking about, um, the nation ^as a whole - y'know? Rather than just focusing on people on benefits like they are some kind of sub-species?

Ah, forget it.

LadySybile, it is horrifying how true your post is.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Wed 03-Oct-12 01:28:09

Ahh that well known Tory mouthpiece the BBC again.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Wed 03-Oct-12 01:30:34

There are some people on this site who are so obsessed and (irrationally with no basis in reality) jealous of the mythical huge amounts that claimants are suppossedly getting that i would say its morphing from an obsession into a fetish.

justbogoffnow Wed 03-Oct-12 01:38:41

Thin end of the wedge........if this is allowed, there'll be something in the future benefit claimants will have to sew on to their clothing so other know their economic status. A whirlwind of resentment and hate towards those on benefits is being whipped up and it is deeply, deeply disturbing sad.

Want2bSupermum Wed 03-Oct-12 01:44:59

If they are so concerned about the nutritional health of people then why don't they do food stamps. I quite like the idea of a supplement being provided to ensure those who are without are getting help affording food. Here in the US there is only the requirement that food stamps be spent on food. Other benefits such as tax credits are separate to food stamps and those funds can be spent on anything.

However, then there is the WIC program which is Women, Infants and Children program which provides funds for those without to buy nutritional foods. They have a list of approved foods which is very specific. I think it is a good idea though because the aim of this program is to provide additional assistance to the food stamps to ensure those who are pregnant and children under the age of five have good nutrition.

Having said that I was surprised to learn that you can't buy potatos with the WIC program but you can buy sweet potato!

monsterchild Wed 03-Oct-12 02:02:23

I think that if we're going to do that, then we should have a say in how the elected officials spend their incomes as well!

I'm paying for their income just like those benefits, why don't I get so keep them from spending it on all sorts of unsavory things too?

BeetrootJuice Wed 03-Oct-12 02:28:28

Do you all not understand that 20-30 years ago many of us earned a low wage?
I certainly did. But we did not claim top-up benefits, tax credits or whatever you get these days - we simply went out and got a second job. I worked nights in one job and days in another - not ideal but it paid the bills.
And the jobs ARE available - maccyd's, care homes, factory/gang work etc etc for those who choose to work rather than sponge.

Far too much sense of entitlement these days and far too much sponging off the state for one excuse or another.

BeetrootJuice Wed 03-Oct-12 02:36:18

That is why, 20-30 years down the line, we do object to benefit claimants spending the money on fags, booze and lottery tickets.
And don't tell me it's a fallacy - I see them every day in town as I'm going to & from work. In the town centre, crowded round the chippy with their buggies and a fag on, latest mobile phones and a gross dispaly of tacky but expensive tatts on most of 'em.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 03-Oct-12 02:49:34

Oh God no. No no no no no more dehumanising ostracising cr*p.

Would you like to tell me what disability aids i can buy, what essential dental treatments I can have done? Or whether I can buy tampax this month? Or whether I deserve to be able to get to my hospital appointments this week? Or eat? Or spend on incontinence products?

Why not eh? I am already less than human, so deserve to have any self agency, or human dignity stripped from me... After all tax payers might have to pay for my dignity right? Or maybe they'll be a special allowance for the hideous underclasses to kill themselves in the easiest way to clean up? That would be sensible.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 07:41:00

'We' already dictate what some benefits can be spent on. Housing Benefit, for example, can only be spent on housing. Council Tax benefit can only be offset against Council Tax. There are quite a few others. Those who don't receive benefits get a sum of money each month and decide how it is spent 100%. Benefit claimaints are already restricted. So, whether this idea ever gains momentum or not, the precedent is there.

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:07:22

Ffs I've been on full benefits before. I wish I had enough money for booze and lotto! So yeah give them all a card don't let them buy anything that's not approved, no extra money for a birthday cake for the kids let alone a present, no extra food for Christmas dinner and certainly no presents for their dc. After all only the right type of people can use eBay or have a bottle of wine, or a takeaway now and again.

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:09:51

How are you supposed to buy electric with no money? You can't use a card for a pre pay meter machine on my shop, what about a phone bill or Internet, or are benefit claimants not allowed to have Internet to help with the job search. Anyone who thinks benefits are cushy needs to go live on them!

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:12:25

And what about bus fair to get to the set supermarket your allowed to shop at. What about kids stuff like shoes and uniform? Urgh this makes my blood run cold that so many people think this way about claimants!

littletingoddess Wed 03-Oct-12 08:13:00

I don't know how I feel about this. I have never been in a situation where I have had to rely on public assistance. However, a friend recently shared an online article that has an interesting view of just this topic. It appears that in the US, some politicians are trying to propose the extreme in that they want people who have 'modest' cars to sell the car before they can get any sort of food assistance. I'm posting two articles, one the opinion piece and one that covers the car proposal.

littletingoddess Wed 03-Oct-12 08:15:51

I meant to add that in many parts of the US, there is no form of public transportation (apart from school buses for children), so I have no idea how these people are supposed to look for work if they live miles and miles from town and have no means of transport...

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 08:16:43

Whatever this think tank has been suggesting, the reality in the form of the Universal Credit starting next year actually goes in the opposite direction. In future claimants, rather like salaried employees, will get a fixed amount of money depending on various criteria and it will be entirely their responsibility to decide how to budget it, not even having it conveniently parcelled up into Council Tax, Housing, School Meals or whatever. Some groups are already throwing their hands in the air saying that benefit claimants are incapable of financial planning and are guaranteed to end up in difficulties.

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:30:53

I actually quite like the idea of a monthly payment, living hand to mouth week to week was tough. Least with a monthly payment you could budget properly and buy bigger sizes for more value in things like washing powder and toilet roll. I get some benefits working tax child tax n child b and get it all monthly already.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 08:30:54

benefit claimants are incapable of financial planning
Actually, Cogito, this is true of me during my 'bad' times. I have a mental illness; it's completely unrelated to my class, education or intelligence. Atm I elect for my rent to be paid directly to the landlord. I'd be surprised if this isn't possible with UC as well.

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:37:00

Oh god yes, Ineedabrandy. No more charity shops, boot fairs and eBay for second-hand clothes - all to be bought new from "participating stores".

Never mind the impact on the individuals, vouchers would kill off whole swathes of the economy in less wealthy areas - corner shops, second hand shops, markets, boot fairs, small chemists and independent shops of any kind. Swimming pools and any children's activities that charge even a nominal amount. Big impact on eBay sellers.

All to be poured into the coffers of Tesco and other "participating stores". Nice work if you can get it.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 08:39:44

'Do you all not understand that 20-30 years ago many of us earned a low wage?
I certainly did. But we did not claim top-up benefits, tax credits or whatever you get these days - we simply went out and got a second job.'

Really, they did? That's funny, plenty of them claimed family allowances and married persons allowances rather than 'simply' working other jobs.

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:41:01

Er, many claimants are salaried employees...

weegiemum Wed 03-Oct-12 08:41:52

This is more dehumanising Tory crap. Don't get me started on disability payments .....

Here's a thought! If we can specify what benefit claimants spend "our" tax on, can we specify what the government spends the rest on? So if I'm anti-trident replacement and don't want us involvedcin the middle east militarily, do ingot a discount on the tax dh plays but I can't cos I'm disabled

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:47:37

"20-30 years ago" = 1980s and three million unemployed.

So no, unless you were lucky in where you lived, you couldn't simply go out and get a second job. Or a first.

And we're forecast to be back at three million unemployed next year.

But obviously any poverty will be caused by individual moral failing and a culture of entitlement.hmm

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 08:50:15

This is simply a way of trying to punish those on benefits. And frankly I dont care if someone on benefits buys a can of beer to drink in the evening.

I remember reading a woman on benefits in the USA talking about the restrictions on what she was allowed to spend her food stamps on. So she couldnt buy even a simple cake for her child's birthday as that was deemed "luxury" food.

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 08:57:16

I don't mind the idea of making benefits be "food and bills only" in priniple, but the reality is that the government then choose where you can shop. So instead of being able to go to the local cheap veg shop and buy a load of root veg you have to travel to a supermarket (for me this is a £6 bus fare) and buy more expensive food.

So just make benefits be "enough" for food and bills and hope that people are sensible. Those who aren't, will suffer the consequences of their own actions.

And I thought that the Tories were supposed to be for smaller government and more personal freedom? Maybe if someone could save £1 a week they could start their own microbusiness or something, can't do that with vouchers.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:00:39

i do think that benefit money should not be spent in cigarettes and alchohol, smart phones or whatever luxury they seem to be spending it on.

its not fair on our country that's drowning in debt and its gaining daily. WE all have to suffer, and if that means vouchers for food so be it. we can't have it all ways.

its the usuall mn left wing, marxist tripe. Wake up people.

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 09:01:06

I don't mind the idea of making benefits be "food and bills only"

Really MrsHoarder? Are you a nudist?

Don't you wash? Shave? Cut your hair? Phone NHS Direct?

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:02:31

eats brains, nut i bet you'll fare when income tax and fuel duty is raised, its all related.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 09:04:50

'its not fair on our country that's drowning in debt and its gaining daily. WE all have to suffer, and if that means vouchers for food so be it. we can't have it all ways.'

Yep. Biggest slice of the 'welfare' pie are those state pensions, an amount that keeps growing. And nowadays, people on them were not all lovely WWII vets (few are, in fact) who worked their little fingers to the bone. Plenty of them never worked for wages at all. So do they get to use vouchers, too? Since we can't have it all ways.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:05:57

when a person goes on benefits, they already have clothes don't they? i think it would be spilt somehow anyway. luke some for food, bills, clothes, etc like the rations in the war.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 09:06:09

BTW... 'the tories' aren't the story here. It's a poll commissioned by think tank Demos and, quoting from the article, "Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, an aide to shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, said she backed the idea, in principle"

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 09:06:23

Oh asses.. Food, clothes and toiletties only then. You notice I then point out the problems with choosing exactly what people can spend money on.

And no I don't pay for hair cuts.

RumBaaBaa Wed 03-Oct-12 09:08:30

This is nothing more than 'jobs for the boys'. MasterCard already stepping in offering their ( v expensive) pre paid cards as the perfect vehicle for controlling spend.

It is no secret that the Conservatives are in huge support of big business and what better way of making good on all those Bullingdon type boys 'I'll scratch your back' type agreements than awarding huge contracts to corporations like MasterCard. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if MasterCard were involved in some way in funding the research.

Unethical doesn't even come close to describing what's going on here.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:08:57

we don't live in a communist state. we can't carry on paying for someone to get pissed and smoke.

Paintyourbox Wed 03-Oct-12 09:09:41

My experience of working in one of the country's most deprived areas taught me a lot about life on benefits.

And yes, there were a lot of people who put buying booze/fags/hair extensions before the basics like food and clothes for their kids.

We regularly had mothers coming in asking us for boiled water to make baby bottles as they'd spent the electric money on "going out".

People who got their nails done every week but whose children had shoes with holes or were walking around in short sleeves in winter because their parents had not bought them winter coats.

I think there is an arguement for better financial education for everyone. On benefits or otherwise. If we want to treat ourselves then fine but surely the food/gas/water should be paid first? There is a culture where people think "sod the essentials, I would rather have a smartphone" and its the innocent kids who end up suffering.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:12:32

they can choose when they get a job and earn the money.

if it was me you would be made to work for it anyway like community service, cleaning street, washing graffiti off etc.

what happened to work ethic.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 09:12:50

Paint - Yes I have met parents like that too. But if you work with people like that, you also know that they will get round a system of vouchers. They will find shopkeepers that will accept food vouchers for alcohol.

In the end it would be the honest and raesonable people in benefits who would suffer from a system like this.

I don't smoke or drink but I still resent being told what could spend money . What happens if dx need new shoes will they be allowed what about coats or school uniform

What about paying for school trips ?

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:14:45

even better idea give employed, self employed etc (everyone who pays tax) some sort of card or code so its only them who can smoke or drink.

Let's talk about all the OAp claiming winter fuel allowance that's given no matter what pension you have coming in

Maybe that should be cut back , means tested maybe tied to pension credits

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 09:19:20

'even better idea give employed, self employed etc (everyone who pays tax) some sort of card or code so its only them who can smoke or drink.'

Yeah, because I really want the government interfering in my life like that.

Mrs bucket well that idea be find since I don't do either bug people that do spend all their money in dags booze will just use the card buy meat etc and sell it to buy said fags and booze

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 09:20:19

'Let's talk about all the OAp claiming winter fuel allowance that's given no matter what pension you have coming in

Maybe that should be cut back , means tested maybe tied to pension credits '

We can't because of the erroneous belief that all those people worked their socks off for decades and decades and when really, plenty of them didnt'.


IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 09:20:41

mrsbucket but what would happen to the people who already clean the streets ect- you know the ones whose job it is

ariadneoliver Wed 03-Oct-12 09:20:48

Yes Cogito, reading the story this is a left wing think tank carrying out research and presenting its findings at a Labour party conference fringe meeting, the approving quote is from a Labour MP, so this doesn't appear to be a Tory plot.

Interestingly this seems from the poll to be most popular with 18-24 year olds and younger voters tend to lean more left than older ones.

Elfontheedge Wed 03-Oct-12 09:21:27

You jest mrsbucket surely!

Yup I know yet quite a few really don't need it as they get good private pensions I'm sure be easy enough to actually tie it means test . Cond on they means test for everything else

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 09:22:03

Mrs Buckets, would you like to explain how the present governments policies which from your posts I assume you are broadly in agreement with (although i get the sense they do not go far enough for you) are delivering the property, debt reduction, safer happier people, a more unified populace?

Only after you tell us how this is being achieved will I treat anything you say as anything but the ravings of a right wing loon, who frankly has not the slightest idea about life for people on benefits. But is quick to draw conclusions based on only seeing people in the street.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 09:23:05

If this was implemented the reality is:

1. The tiny number of people who spend most on their benefits on alcohol, cigarettes, etc would find a way round the system. For example, small shops putting alcohol through as food in vouchers.

2. The vast vast majority of people who rely on benefits and are raesonable would be punished. They would no longer be able to buy cheap fruit and veg and food from local market stalls. Simple things like cheap toys for children's birthday and xmas presents, school trips, etc would become more difficult to pay for.

This would be a disaster for millions of people.

Then let's talk about carers or disabled or will we be deemed the worthy poor and excused from some pratt grand scheme

Btw mrs Buckets carers are actually deemed to be working by the state thigh below tax threshold , well 37 hrs a week for £54 says it all

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 09:24:25

And I really dont see the issue with someone who relies on benefits buying a can of beer. I dont think that because you rely on benefits you should never drink alcohol.

maillotjaune Wed 03-Oct-12 09:24:43

People who want to will find a way round vouchers, so it will end up penalising the people (vast majority) who already make the "right" choices bug might sometimes choose to spend small sums on a lottery ticket / drink etc.

When asylum seekers were paid in vouchers for supermarkets, I took part in a scheme (church run) to buy these vouchers in return for cash. This meant that people could get to local shops that sold ethnic food more cheaply, as opposed to walk 2 miles to Sainsbury because they had no cash for the bus. And as you pay loads more in cash fare than oyster card the whole system was grossly unfair.

Even a card system could be treated like this - you buy me these items from Tesco that are allowed, and I'll give you cash. Some people might use that to fund their drink/drugs/gambling, but more would do it because there are other essentials not covered by the rules. Pointless waste of money setting the whole thing up. angry

Paintyourbox Wed 03-Oct-12 09:25:28

Eats I totally agree with you! We regularly had mums trying to exchange milk vouchers for makeup and abusing us when we said no.

I know I am talking about the extreme here but I do think we need a way of protecting the most vulnerable members of society. We are talking about people who can't read or write! What difference is a card telling them what they can or can't spend on going to make?

Will crime rates rise if people don't readily have access to money to buy what they want? It's one thing to say limit benefit spending to food but many of the people I worked with already had criminal records for shoplifting etc to find their drug addiction.

maillotjaune Wed 03-Oct-12 09:25:43

Cross post with Eats!

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 09:26:05

Yy to the poster who said the mothers who do spend it all on going out and getting their nails done would find a way round it. It would most definatly be family's who would use it properly would be the ones to be hurt off it.

This is a terrible idea, it makes me sick that the govs war on benefits has made attitude like I've seen on the thread. Why don't all of you who think being on benefits equals getting smart phones and manicures go and live on these benefits!

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:37:05

what makes me think is why want to be on benefits, i would be doing all in my power to retrain start my own business, that doesn't mean having a loan either selling Avon a stall anything.

Because some of us don't have a option but hey ho I'm deemed worthy poor well till consertives got in and changed it

Want to argue UC do you know that if your a carer but also disabled your be told sorry you can only be one or the other

Now you want to tell me how to spend it to .

I buy Fron a market stalk most my fruit and vedge cheaper than supermarkets what happens then .
What happens to corner shops or to the small local butcher as people can't buy from him anymore . So he be along with rest of us queuing up with his vouchers in hand

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 09:43:23

As I said you have no clue Mrs Buckets. Do you really think it is as simple as people getting up one morning and saying right I will sell avon, or go through the massive paper chase of asking for help to set up their own business?

Some people may be able and well enough equiped as humans to do that, they though like the scrounging minority the right wish to see everywhere will be a very small number.

Lol Avon sorry but don't think they take vouchers either

Think how many small independent shops and traders the voucher scheme would put out of business

Also maybe the person set up own business on eBay what about them when people don't buy Fron them .

GolfOscarLimaDelta Wed 03-Oct-12 09:45:54

Oh this is just ridiculous.

What next? Calling all council housing 'Tax-Payer Funded housing..?'

Oh, wait, they have already suggested that.......

I can't help feeling that this is all just part of the hate campaign designed to make it easier to cut more from those who need it the most.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 09:47:50

openly wonders if some people are really as stupid as they sound when spouting uneducated bile.

GolfOscarLimaDelta Wed 03-Oct-12 09:48:29

Would charity shops accept these vouchers I wonder? I buy most of our clothes and household stuff from them. And carboots.

But if I was forced to shop exclusively in big name supermarkets? It would be much harder to stretch it out.

Whether this has come from the tories or not, these headlines and dehumanising ideas all serve the same purpose.

They take anger and blame away from the government, whose plan hasnt worked, and turn it on the most vulnerable in society.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 09:55:34

I just want to be clear on one thing. For me the people who are most trapped and find themselves unable to go out and start selling avon, or open a stall selling coffee, are not the poor they are the middle class who have been silly with their money. Took on massive debts called mortgages on the understanding that life will never change and things will remain sweetness and light for ever more. They then cannot find enough paid employment to cover all their needs and so sit on benefits because it is better than being homeless or in bed and breakfast. So yea the middle classes, the lemmings of the human world.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Oct-12 09:56:05

This would never work. The majority of people are good parents and spend their money whether it be benefits or salary in a reasonable and responsible way to look after their family. If there was some sort of voucher system then some people would just abuse this and sell the vouchers on some sort of illegal market.

Whitecherry Wed 03-Oct-12 09:56:16

Avon? Who buys that these days? You wouldn't make enough to live off. Daft comment!

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:57:27

I'm sure I'm not the only one who see's people wasting money that is esentially borrowed (government borrowing) going on stuff that doesn't need to be spent on.

it pains me that there are some out there (some of my own family) on benefits who have a big chunk.of disposable income. which they waste on bingo drinking and smoking, if only i had that option.

Whitecherry Wed 03-Oct-12 09:58:19

All benefit claimants are eligible for budgeting loans..... Up to £1500 interest free ( depends on circs in how much you are offered)

So they can use that to fill the wine cellar!!

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:58:45

there are lots of start up businesses you could do thats the point i was making.

thedogsrolex Wed 03-Oct-12 09:59:05

Encourage healthy eating?

Market fruit shop v Asda for example:
Five apples £1 / £2
Box raspberries 50p / £2
Box strawberries 50p / £2

Well, you get the idea. I can get a huge bag of fruit and veg far fresher than supermarket stuff for about £6 from the market. That wouldn't be possible with a card or vouchers.

Whitecherry Wed 03-Oct-12 09:59:18

Do you claim child benefit, mrsBucket ? tax credits?

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 09:59:22

'I'm sure I'm not the only one who see's people wasting money that is esentially borrowed (government borrowing) going on stuff that doesn't need to be spent on. '

No, you're not. I see this government taking on more and more debt and wasting it on wars we don't need or want, foreign aid being paid to corrupt governments, allowing too many at the top to go without paying tax, all kinds of waste that cost billions.

thedogsrolex Wed 03-Oct-12 10:00:06

sorry, dont know why that came up as a link!

Whitecherry Wed 03-Oct-12 10:00:19

Start up businesses? How do you live in the meantime then?

Where dies the 'start up' money come from?

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 10:00:29

another thing that annoyes me. loans for people on benefits, paid back pennies a week. more debt fir the government.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 10:02:47

Drop in the ocean, MrsBucket, compared to the billions they spend on wars in other countries, aid to foreign governments . . .

But keep falling for their wag the dog bullshit.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 10:03:08

cb no and tc dh and i earn too much to qualify, i don't need too.

we both work for ourselves, i have no qualifications etc and i still did it.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 10:03:46

MrsB are you actually George Osborne?

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 10:04:46

BINGO, I claim the prize, she said "I did it everyone should have to too.!"

Does anyone have the figures for how many "business start ups" are still trading after their first year?

And at what point they turn a profit?

Im sure its not very high.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 03-Oct-12 10:06:47

This is a vile idea; another way of dehumanising people on benefits.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 10:07:52

so that should stop you? or even trying?

no I'm not george osbourne either.

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 03-Oct-12 10:10:07

No, I don't think we do.

My Dad chain smoked and was out of work for a year or so. This was clearly a stressful time.

There was much debate as to whether to up sticks and return to our Northern home townie wait until a job came up in one of the local factories.

I think Mum wouldn't have minded moving, but DDad, me and DSIS are country kids at heart and would have hated it.

This is not the atmosphere in which to try and stop smoking.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 10:12:32

Yes it would bloody well stop me fort far too many reasons to go in to. But you have bought lock stock and barrel the idea that people are unemployed because it is their fault. They are lazy, stupid, unworthy of help, that is just so full of shite as a philosophy it is as bad as the flat earth believers.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 10:13:52

think of all the nhs bills we would save its a win win.

star you dad could have dealt with his stress with exersize, gardening running etc.
smoking IS NOT essential.

I have to prioritise MrsBucket.

Where will I live while I start this business which is more likely to fail than succeed?

Who will feed my family?

Where do I get the money to start this up? You already stated you dont agree with budgeting loans.

And no, I cant save from the benefits. They dont even cover living.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 10:15:35

lazy maybe stupid and unworthy. no.

billions of pounds if wasted skills, there for the taking

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 10:18:28

so your sat there wannabee, while you could be doing something, anything. to make a better future for yourself and your family hmm

MadBanners Wed 03-Oct-12 10:21:13

oh ffs, why don't we just bring back workhouses then and have complete control over people!

No way should anyone be able to "control" what others spend money on, and this just serves to feed the idea of feckless benefit scroungers who spend our tax money on widescreen TV's , fags and booze while their poor children busk on street corners.

The majority of people, and yes shock horror even those who are out of work and hence on more benefits are just normal families, who love their children and are trying to make the best of it. To then add extra controls onto these law abiding, normal families just like the rest of us is quite frankly going back hundreds of years and is such a shit idea I cannot believe it is even being discussed.

dotnet Wed 03-Oct-12 10:22:24

Some years ago I had a casual job for a few weeks, interviewing people on a local housing estate about how they wanted a lump of 'improvement area' money to be spent (maybe on building a community centre, that sort of thing.)
The estate was deemed 'deprived'. One thing I noticed - I'd read about it, but never actually seen it face to face - was the really high level of ill health or dodgy health in the people I interviewed. About one in three had something wrong with them. POVERTY and POOR HEALTH go hand in hand.

Going a little bit off topic - I really like the new thing of offering cheap rate fitness training at the gym for obese people. I know one of them - she's a West Indian pensioner, huge - and she's really enjoying her gym classes, they're doing her loads of good and it looks as if she may not need the NHS for anything much, now, for some time to come.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 10:23:31

billions of pounds if wasted skills, there for the taking

For the first ever, Bucket, I agree with you. Such a pity our nation's funds are being channelled more and more intensely into foreign-based corporations, instead of being made available for SME start-ups and development.

No Im sat here pregnant.

My DP lost his job in August. Hes put ads in local shops. Applied for every job going. Put his add on gumtree. He has more qualifications than you could shake a stick at. But there are no jobs.

And before you even say it, I got pregnant when he had a 3 year contract. So I didnt just fecklessly reproduce to get benefits.

weegiemum Wed 03-Oct-12 10:23:49

I teach the sort of people the government are targeting,

Young single mums so failed by the "system" that they come to our classes with a reading age that's so low as to be unmeasureable.

We teach literacy and numeracy by teaching things such as budgeting, menu planning, shopping skills.

This sceme would undermine so many of he skills I'm teaching. How to shop around. How to prioritise spending. By taking all choice away.

it infantilising and demonising, increasing rather than decreasing dependency, enforcing underclass status. How long till Tesco participating stores make it own brand only, or value-range only?

The Tories say they want small government, less state control. Only, it seems, of "approved" people:bankers, millionaires. But there's increasing talk of state control over the poor, the sick, the disabled.

It worries me. I teach on a voluntary basis as I work for a charity which has lost funding under this government. I'm doing he job the schools aren't. I'm part of Call-Me-Dave's "Big Society". So far I've been rewarded (by the government - the job itself is immensely rewarding) by the threat of losing my child benefit (and therefore pension protection) and the DLA that pays for my taxi (bus stop too far when I need walking aids in the house).. Thanks, Dave!

Oh those budgeting loans they are very very tricky to get and you have to justify what it's for and no guarantee your be allowed it

KoPo Wed 03-Oct-12 10:25:25

Just had a conversation with my DS (sister) and D?Bil.

Bil being the cockroach that he is is rubbing his hands together in anticipation of this. (his words) His thoughts were.

1) I can buy these cards of the food from them at a knockdown price.
2) I can go but shitloads of fags and cheep booze and trade it for the cards or food from cards at a rate good for me.
3) I might even get the chance to sell some of that food back to ppl who have cocked up their budgets and just less than supermarket price but more than I payed.

Took his all of 1 minute to come up with a scheme to profit from it sad. Thanks D?Bil for showing another reason why this is a potential fuck up in the making.

HerOffTheInternet Wed 03-Oct-12 10:33:52

when a person goes on benefits, they already have clothes don't they?

this is my all time favourite quote. Ever grin

MadBanners Wed 03-Oct-12 10:33:59

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:12:32
they can choose when they get a job and earn the money.

if it was me you would be made to work for it anyway like community service, cleaning street, washing graffiti off etc.

what happened to work ethic."

And what are people meant to do with their children while they are cleaning the streets for their benefit money, as it is impossible to afford childcare on the money you get for benefits? And what about people who are already employed to do the above? Do they get to stand and watch all these people wash and scrub for a pittance, or will they all get laid off, have to claim benefits, then clean the street to be able to keep their benefits? Oh and community service...what like people convicted of crimes!?

At least try to have given it some thought eh?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 10:40:14

"It worries me"

Again, this is a poll run by left wing think tank Demos gauging public opinion and coinciding with the Labour conference where some support for their ideas in principle has been expressed. The Coalition, by contrast, is well down the road of introducing a Universal Credit whereby people who receive benefits will get one single payment - rather than the current system of multiple claims - and can spend it however they see fit. I know it's fun to tory bash but this story isn't about the tories....

BeetrootJuice Wed 03-Oct-12 11:03:22


"20-30 years ago" = 1980s and three million unemployed.
So no, unless you were lucky in where you lived, you couldn't simply go out and get a second job. Or a first."

That's rubbish. I worked two jobs throughout the 70s & 80s and so did loads of other people I knew.
My daughter is strapped for cash and is doing the same - she's had no problem getting casual work to fit in alongside her full time job. It's not pleasant casual work - it's either been gutting chickens or packing veg etc, working alongside East Europeans. But the work is there if you have the nous to go out and find it.
The truth is that people these days have little sense of personal responsibility and a huge sense of entitlement.

Yes, we did claim family allowance back then but people still get that today.

losingtrust Wed 03-Oct-12 11:10:44

No. It's simple. Enough of the granny state. Free school meals for all on benefits with the responsibility for a cooked meal and a breakfast possible also an evening meal if facilities available at an after school club but that is all. Completely agree about giving any more money to Tesco and Sainsburys by using vouchers when some of the small grocers who may not be able to accept the vouchers are actually cheaper and better quality.

maillotjaune Wed 03-Oct-12 11:12:16

MadBanners they will have to take their children with them to clean the streets obvs. Why should the children get time to be children, they might grow up to be lazy scroungers too hmm

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 11:57:40

Depends entirely where you were, BeetrootJuice. Unemployment was very regional because it was (partly) caused by the the death of traditional heavy industries.

That's very nice for you if you lived in one of the lucky regions. But to suggest everyone in say Tyne and Wear just "got second jobs" in the 1980s would be... odd.

Or maybe the people of T&W just suffered a strange, localised lapse of moral fibre which happened to coincide with the closure of the pits and shipyards.

Ok so what happens when my kids soil themselves more than normal, it's raining so I have to use the tumble dryer (which I avoid at all costs)?

What if I haven't got enough electricity coupons for that?

The costs relating to disability aren't that simple to judge. I shop at markets for the majority of my groceries, the remainder at the cheapest possible supermarket that week (and I look online to check which that is) so that I can meet unexpected costs as mentioned above.

That wouldn't work under a coupon scheme.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 12:19:31

a tumble dryer is a luxury. airers and radiators come to mind ffs even i don't use mine its bloody expensive.

HerOffTheInternet Wed 03-Oct-12 12:22:55


unless you've invented a radiator that runs on fresh fucking air then you are talking nonsense

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 12:23:59

mrsbucket do you have any idea how many rental houses and social housing still only have night storage heaters?

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 12:24:41

A tumble drier is pretty important in damp rented accomodation. Especially as drying clothes indoors is often in breach of tenancy agreements. Its also important if someone has limited mobility.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 12:25:16

MrsBucket, you're making me laugh.
Thanks, I need cheering up.

losingtrust Wed 03-Oct-12 12:25:48

I never use a tumble dryer either despite having one as waste of money. I have an airer and the top of doors which seems to work quite quickly but otherwise Glitter I agree with you.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 12:27:48

That think tank can go do one.

Fucking idiots, another scam to make the rich richer, oi! You poor person here is your tesco ration card for the week, what's that you say you need new shoes? then go to a larger tesco that sells clothing, you got legs, walk it. What's that, the shoes are cheaper in the charity shop?. Tough now get out of my sight you useless dog.

losingtrust Wed 03-Oct-12 12:27:58

Sorry if this would breach your rental agreements. It is also not good if your kids have asthma supposedly.

losingtrust Wed 03-Oct-12 12:29:53

Also secondhand clothes shopping. I have just picked up a brand new pair of leather boots at Oxfam for £6.99, still with the packing. Tesco could not compete with that! I am not on benefits but if I lost my job, we would have no choice.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 12:35:28

I have an airer and the top of doors which seems to work quite quickly

How lovely smile Your house must be well-ventilated, warm and dry. Unlike mine and most other cheap accommodations.

MrsEdinburgh Wed 03-Oct-12 12:38:27

Using the oven is more bloody expensive than using a tumble dryer & so is using an electric shower (more expensive than TD.)
Have a look at your energy usage meter when using above appliances if you don't believe me. (Obviously difficult when in shower but get DP/DC whoever to look.)

Btw use we use airers when weather to rubbish to put clothes on line.
Don't use radiators as cause condensation when drying clothes which can lead to damp problems.
And we use the Tumble Dryer when we have run out of airers.

Perhaps we should make people who receive benefits have a goat too......

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 12:43:47

Why, Mrs E, to eat the damp laundry? grin

losingtrust Wed 03-Oct-12 12:46:50

It is nicely well-ventilated thank you and sorry yours is cheap acommodation. I have previously lived in homes without any heating at all and it took for ever for things to dry and bloody freezing so used the launderette then. Vouchers would not cover that though!

MrsEdinburgh Wed 03-Oct-12 12:52:22

Garlic, couldn't resist the 'goat' quip.

But hey the goat could dry the laundry. Just tie it to a rotary dryer (obviously inside) & get DCs to chase the goat round.
Washing spins & the rotation of the air helps the washing dry. grin

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Wed 03-Oct-12 12:56:50

MrsBucketxxWed 03-Oct-12 09:00:39

i do think that benefit money should not be spent in cigarettes and alchohol, smart phones or whatever luxury they seem to be spending it on.

So if someone on benefits wanted to buy cosmetics from you as an Avon rep if you were doing Avon which after all is a suggestion you made on this thread you would refuse to sell to them on principle i take it!

AGoldenOrange Wed 03-Oct-12 13:01:17

I get CB, I would rather shove the £20 note up the arse of whoever thought of this then use fucking vouchers.

Anyway if some people want to spend money on booze and fags then they will do regardless. My local shop takes the milk vouchers for payment on anything.

GolfOscarLimaDelta Wed 03-Oct-12 13:08:19

AGoldenOrange! Don't be so bloody ridiculous.

Everyone knows there's no room for a £20 note up any politicians arse. It's already crammed with a silver spoon or Some corporates nose!

Do you all also have three disabled children who regularly soil? Daily?
I try to use good ol' fresh air. I wouldn't have enough radiators otherwise though.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Wed 03-Oct-12 13:10:08

MrsEdinburghWed 03-Oct-12 12:52:22

Garlic, couldn't resist the 'goat' quip.

But hey the goat could dry the laundry. Just tie it to a rotary dryer (obviously inside) & get DCs to chase the goat round.
Washing spins & the rotation of the air helps the washing dry.

I litterally nearly psmled at this. This has to win the MN funniest comment of the week award.
I cant get the image out of my head of kids chasing a goat around a flat/house.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 13:13:05

Nicotine is the best anti depressant in the world, someone who's been long term unemployed and is depressed and sees no future, getting insulted by middle class idiots all the time and old farts endlessly saying that in their day they walked 500 miles to work and ate horse poo pies, should get the bloody stuff on prescription.

So what if the get cancer and die, less pensioners to feed in the future, or more accurately less to leave yo freeze to death.

Wordsmith Wed 03-Oct-12 13:15:51

Why don't we just paint all unemployed people green and make them wear a sticker if we want to humiliate then?

Well I used to be classed as 'employed' as a carer, albeit on 32p an hour.
Not now though, oh no. Carers are evil shits who sponge.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Wed 03-Oct-12 13:21:00

What happens with food stamps in the US? Do people buy food with them and then swap the food for fags?

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 13:21:24

No paint them black and make them stand in the street with a dynamo torch in each hand, it will be the ultimate in green energy.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 13:27:32

People are so damned judgemental, I wish everyone would mind their own fucking business.

I remember the looks we used to get in the pub on a Friday, oh look at that lot of 20 somethings in casual clothing drinking at 3pm they must be scroungers or alcoholics tobe in their so early. No sir, we started work while you where still in bed and are as intitled to an after work as anyone working thread mythical 9 to 5, I've never known anyone who works 9 to 5 Monday to Friday.

Want2bSupermum Wed 03-Oct-12 13:35:31

MrsSalvoMontalbano From what I understand the food stamp program (now called SNAP) is used to provide funds to households to buy food. Online it says you can't buy cigarettes, alcohol, household supplies, pet food, vitamins and medicine, hot foods and foods that will be eaten in the store with your SNAP card.

My friend was getting them while she and her DH were unemployed two years ago. They got them in addition to unemployment. Their income was around $4000 a month from unemployment benefits and they qualified as their rent was very high compared to their income. They could have bought whatever they wanted with the $4000 a month.

Want2bSupermum Wed 03-Oct-12 13:37:50

Also - smoking isn't as popular in New Jersey at least compared to the UK. I am surprised when I go back to the UK that so many people still smoke. Beer is popular and a case of PBRs will set you back $5.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 13:56:42

i remember recently watching a documentry about many of the issues resulting from food stamps in the usa,things like increased fraud not just by the claiment but also by shops. impact on the spending habbits of people using them.

all in all it didnt present the suituation in a decent light and the only people who really benefited from them were the bigger shops who accepted them

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 14:23:44

Vouchers would be a ridiculous idea, for all the reasons mentioned on this thread: they would take away choice, infantilise the recipients, and subsidise large corporations at the expense of small businesses.

Also, I'm puzzled by the people who say that the people they see out and about during the day are on benefits - how do you know this? Do you ask them? Or do you have some kind of inbuilt claimant detector? Also, has it ever occurred to you that as you are also out and about during the day, these people might think you're a scrounger too!?

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 14:33:36

The whole idea is offensive. It says people on benefits can't be trusted to spend money properly so must have their money controlled.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 14:51:22

How would vouchers work anyway? Surely money would still have to be given so that folk could pay their bills? Or would you force people on benefits to have pre-payment metres that can only be bought with vouchers?

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 14:55:59

So just make benefits be "enough" for food and bills and hope that people are sensible. Those who aren't, will suffer the consequences of their own actions.

Ok, so people on benefits can't celebrate birthdays or Christmas, and if their washing machine breaks down they can't replace or get it fixed. They can't run cars, take their kids for days out, buy ice cream from an ice cream van, get fish and chips at the sea side. Oh and almost forgot, they can't buy clothes. Also, which bills would they be allowed, gas, electricity and water are a given but what about TV license, phone bill? What about life insurance, home insurance?

MadameOvary Wed 03-Oct-12 15:35:22

Glitter - you have the internet? On benefits?? Be careful or you will incur the wrath of MrsBucketHeid.
Us benefit scroungers are not allowed such luxuries as t'internet y'know.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 16:32:35

If they do give everyone tesco vouchers, they will have to build more prisons for all the people who don't pay off their debt, because they can't, unless they get payday loans from tesco finance.

CPtart Wed 03-Oct-12 16:40:48

There's many pensioners claiming benefits and perks that they may be entitled to but genuinely don't need. This governenment seems scared of tackling this issue for fear of the age discrimination argument.
Note not all........many.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 16:50:42

That'll be okay, Sun. The prisoners can work in call centres for Mastercard, Tesco can get the contract for prison food and the prisons are going to be run by G4S, despite their Olympic cock-up. This will put all that pesky benefits money neatly in the pockets of the government's favourite companies smile

Even better, G4S and Tesco will be getting loads more workers for free (the ones on ESA, unregulated) so they'll benefit from benefits whether claimants are in or out of jail. Genius!

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 16:55:56

See, SmellsLike I don't think people on benefits should be given money to afford all those things. Yes people should not be in fear of loosing their home, the lights going off or not being able to eat, but that doesn't mean that the taxpayer should fund luxuries*. Your argument looses a lot of strength if you think everyone has a right to fish and chips at the seaside.

*Also think that incapacity benefit (or whatever its now called) should be higher than JSA: one is to provide an income for someone who can't work, the other is to provide a short-term income for someone who can.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 16:57:03

God no what a terrible attitude

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 16:59:10

benefits are meant to be short term thing not for years and years.

this is why the internet is a luxury, you can get what you need on your phone now without the need for broadband.

its shocking that people on here think its acceptable live on hand outs. when you are capable to work (that doesnt include disability benefits i might add). the whole system should be squeezed so that claimants can jyst about get buy therefore ensuring more people would have no choice but to earn money which everway they can.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 16:59:56

btw i dont sell avon. whoever suggested it.

LineRunner Wed 03-Oct-12 17:03:25

You did.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 17:05:00

Well that's a bit of an oversight there would be no one to work in the call centres if g4s are charged with watching them, might as well rent the empty sells out as luxury apartments.

LineRunner Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:03

Benefits - the nation's welfare budget - include pensions, disbility payments and various allowances such as winter fuel.

So it would appear that they are actually meant to be for years and years.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:37

grin Sun!

hoodoo12345 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:08:20

And so the dehumanising of the poor continues......

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 17:09:42

Cells with a c fucking tablet.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:09:44

the whole system should be squeezed so that claimants can jyst about get buy

Yes, because £71 a week is such a lavish disposable income. No wonder all the lazy shirkers lounge around in online poker rooms all day, necking champagne and having their Lamborghinis valeted.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:10:13

omg i have heard it all, its now entitled to treat your kids to fish and chips at the sea side once in a blue moon.

a mother on here the other month got slated because she couldnt even afford to take her kids to the beach for a day out. the company she used to work for went bust she had worked all her life was on contribution based jsa.

if anybody said that to me in real life i would probally tell them to fuck the fuck off to the far side of fuck and when they get there fuck off a bit more.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 17:14:04

Mrsbucketxx if you are so determined that benefits, that everyone pays for should be a temporary thing until you get a job, no matter how many years you have paid into the system. Do you get tax credits and child benefit? If so when are you going to go get a job?.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 17:14:08

"its shocking that people on here think its acceptable live on hand outs. when you are capable to work"

MrsBucket Firstly, people aren't getting 'handouts', they are receiving benefits they are entitled to due to paying tax and national insurance.

Secondly, I don't think it's acceptable for people to live on benefits, I just don't choose to bash those who are forced to. I reserve my anger for those who have systematically screwed up the economy over the last 30 years or so and then try to cast the blame onto the victims of their policies. You may think it's ok to kick people when they're down, but most people on this thread can see the bigger picture.

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:16:52

I didn't say it was entitled to do so, I said it was unreasonable to expect JSA to cover all of that. Plenty of people in work fret about affording things like that. If you hadn't given a great long list of things, then yes it is reasonable to be able to save a pound here or there to afford the odd treat (which is why vouchers are a bad plan), but not to have a treats element to what should be a safety net.

And I can't believe I'm on the same side of the argument as Hyacinth Bucket.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 17:17:30

Oh and another question, bucket did you name change from xenia?

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 17:20:11

SunWukong I was wondering that too!

^^ What Saskia said.

I took my DD to the aquarium today. Its her last few weeks of having me all to herself before baby comes along.

Was that wrong? Because I am currently on benefits should she miss out?

I worked for years. As did my DP. His profession caused him to pay higher levels of NI. We both fully intend to work again asap until we are of pension age. So why are we made to feel like scum because the state of the country has us on our knees?

aufaniae Wed 03-Oct-12 17:20:52

It's a terrible idea. It means benefit claimants wouldn't be able to buy anything with cash - so that rules out anything second hand - no car boot sales, charity shops, second hand book shops, jumble sales or school fairs.

It also rules out shopping at many local shops or the local fruit & veg market, or - like the poster above says - the local chippy.

And I suspect ebay would be no-go.

This would make it very difficult indeed to make your money stretch.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:22:12

Who are 'we' anyway? I am sure those making the decision on who can buy what would have to have a change of heart if they were unfortunate enough to need benefits themselves

LineRunner Wed 03-Oct-12 17:24:55

You wouldn't be able to sell on clothes or games on ebay because you wouldn't be able to buy postage stamps to send them.

That's just crackers.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:29:27

i didnt give a great long list that was someone else i just commented on you targeting fish and chips and the sea side

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 17:30:10

i have savings to cover that if we have a bad month or so we use that. i dont and have never claimed a thing not even cb i dont need to dh and i work for ourselves.

i have in the past done ironing, dog walking, factory jobs, podium dancing, promo work any thing to make money.

this has always been my username too.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 17:32:12

See, SmellsLike I don't think people on benefits should be given money to afford all those things. Yes people should not be in fear of loosing their home, the lights going off or not being able to eat, but that doesn't mean that the taxpayer should fund luxuries. Your argument looses a lot of strength if you think everyone has a right to fish and chips at the seaside.*

It's probably cheaper to give a bit extra money to afford small luxuries in life than it is to deal with the consequences of subsistence living.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 17:32:43

wannabe you should look at earning the treats for your child the state should not be paying for this

KaraStarbuckThrace Wed 03-Oct-12 17:33:04

For all those who are banging on about feckless, work shy, benefit scroungers, I suggest you read this article How many people are unemployed in the UK

'Counting every individual in each of the main categories above gives a total of just under 6.9 million people either looking for a job, or claiming they would like one – though some are in some form of employment.

This is without including whichever people working multiple jobs are job-hunting, or the under-employed.

Such figures help to explain the huge application ratios many jobseekers report experiencing in a way just comparing the headline 2.67 million unemployed figure to 476,000 vacancies might not.'

So 6.9 million people applying for 476,000 jobs. Do the maths. Then shut the fuck up about feckless, work shy benefit scroungers. There probably ARE a few. But in the light of these statistics, I don't think it really matters. In fact I say good for them, less competition for the rest of us who do want to find a job grin

The restrictions idea is terrible, it will simply stigmatise benefit claimants even more than they are already by the press.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 17:33:41

And what if that bad month turns into a bad six months, or a bad year? How long will your savings last? What if you or your DH have a serious accident or develop a chronic and debilitating illness? Will your savings cover you for that?

Seriously, you are either extremely naive, or an astroturfer for the Taxpayers' Alliance.

LineRunner Wed 03-Oct-12 17:33:47

Did you claim child benefit when you were podium dancing? Or did you not have children then? <nosy>

PiggyBankMum Wed 03-Oct-12 17:33:58

Just because a focus group full of resentful squeezed middle tax payers think it is a good idea doesn't make it one in practice.

I would hate to see this introduced. I live in an area with a high ratio of claimants. Burglaries and muggings would go up like a shot.

Why don't they just jump straight to putting people in a workhouse? And take total control over their lives and lifestyles?hmm

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 17:34:12

no no no where is the insentive to work then hmm

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 17:36:29

So you think in this day and age with on avarage 15 people chasing every vacancy, you or your dh would be able to get a job in a month or so? Good luck with that unless you have connections or training in a special field it's very hard, took me 11 years get my first job.

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:38:19

so people on benefits can't celebrate birthdays or Christmas, and if their washing machine breaks down they can't replace or get it fixed. They can't run cars, take their kids for days out, buy ice cream from an ice cream van, get fish and chips at the sea side.

This is the list. I picked the last one. And what are the effects of sustenance living on people who have access to children's centres, museums, libraries, schools, parks etc for free?

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 17:38:33

"wannabe you should look at earning the treats for your child the state should not be paying for this"

Wannabe I'm a tax payer, feel free to use my contribution to treat your daughter, and I hope you both have a lovely time smile

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 17:41:21

MrsHoarder Where I live, we've never had a museum, the library closed down six months ago, the park consists of a bowling green and cricket pitch and anyone under 60 is not made welcome. And going to school is a right, not a treat.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:42:54

wannabe you spend your money if it is obtained legally and claimed correctly anyway you want.

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:46:57

You haven't explained what the effects are though.

I'm not saying those on benefits should be prevented from spending money on treats, just that the amount given should be intended to live on. That doesn't mean that with careful budgeting treats can't be saved up for.

School is a right, but it is also something which enriches children's lives and is free for them.

As for the park, stuff the over 60s and have a fun around.

And yes, Wannabe, have a great time.

LineRunner Wed 03-Oct-12 17:49:05

I would like to stipulate what my taxes are spend on, actually.

I would cancel trident and spend it all on metaphorical fish and chips for kids at the seaside.

Want2bSupermum Wed 03-Oct-12 17:50:24

I find the culture in the UK towards those without has shifted. Policies are not helping resolve the issue of lack of employment. Labour did no one any favours by creating government jobs. The business environment has not allowed small and medium sized businesses to flourish for more than a decade. Instead we have a horrible concentration of jobs in the South East while the rest of the country makes do with low income jobs.

What I think would be a good idea is for benefits to have a supplemental food program for those in need. Here in the US they have the WIC program for pregnant women and children under 5. There are strict guidelines around what you can and cannot buy. Food stamps is a program that is in addition to the other programs out there to support those on low incomes. The amount of benefits paid out to people is not a lot and child benefit doesn't properly support a child in a low income household having a proper diet with fresh fruit, veg and decent meat plus all the other expenses associated with raising a child.

In addition, I would like to see is a shift to creating real jobs, supporting families and supporting the less fortunate. I think it is appalling that the government want to introduce quotas for women in the workplace yet are doing nothing to address the issues preventing women getting ahead in the first place. If Cameron was serious about helping women he would have introduced state provided childcare for all families regardless of income. It is sad that I would need to earn GBP50K a year to be able to stay in work with two preschool children. That is far too high a breakeven point. Don't get me started on the appalling way that disability is handled in the UK either..... The current set of policies make me ashamed to be British.

Yes its obtained legally. Thanks Saskia smile

And MrsBucket, we did earn that treat. We have paid our taxes and NI just like you have.

Try getting a job nowadays without access to the internet.

This is a terrible idea.

We have healthy Start vouchers for pregnant women and children under 4 in the UK.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 17:57:08

"As for the park, stuff the over 60s and have a fun around."

I can't do that! There are dozens of them, and they're armed with cricket bats and bowling balls, and some have those mobility scooters - what if they turned nasty and started chasing me?

As for the effects of subsistence living, I would guess that the main one would be the effect on the mental health of people who have to do it long term. Yes, it might be ok for a few week or months, but year after year with no let up would be extremely depressing which puts more stress on the NHS. And of course, people with depression often neglect themselves physically too, so that would lead to physical illnesses as well.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:58:10

well then wannabe its your money not the states, you are taking out of a system you have paid into thats what its there for

Thats how I see it sock.

MrsBucket sees it as scrounging. We are lazy according to her.

MadBanners Wed 03-Oct-12 17:59:40

"MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 16:59:10
benefits are meant to be short term thing not for years and years.

this is why the internet is a luxury, you can get what you need on your phone now without the need for broadband.

its shocking that people on here think its acceptable live on hand outs. when you are capable to work (that doesnt include disability benefits i might add). the whole system should be squeezed so that claimants can jyst about get buy therefore ensuring more people would have no choice but to earn money which everway they can."

Most people do not think it is acceptable to live on hand outs if you have the option of being able to get a job, if you can.

But the majority of good people would think it is disgusting and going to far to start controlling what and where people can spend their money. So you want people to "just" about get by....well, fucking wake up, most people do just about get by living solely on benefits, squeeze them much more and they will give up there and then. And yes they can get the internet on the phone, but in your little world were the poor come bowing and scraping I am sure they would not be allowed a phone that has internet, they can all have nokia 3210 and play snake, and that shall be their sole source of entertainment, as tv is a luxury, so get rid of that, books - no they cost money and god forbid you read for enjoyment, burn them for heat to save on electric and to boil your water over to have your asda price t bags.

And people will have to resort to anything to earn money anyway they can, anything..really? Literally anything!?

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:00:48

I don't know much about the US but frankly I wouldn't want a safety net system that in any way resembles the system in a country that has 6 million homeless children, many living in cars, a country where many people have rely on charity health clinics.

That's not a good example for anyone and the US should be ashamed of how it fails the poor.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:02:13

i am insured for serious illness several times over, if i got ill (god forbid i wont) i would be better off, i would have no mortgsge and a larger income than i do now. i also have other assets i can sell.

i didnt have dc when i danced. i was working full time in the week too.

Sorry but can I just say, my dignity is worth far more than I could earn "dancing."

You dont come across as sensible or prudent MrsBucket. You come across as greedy.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:06:58

unless ofcourse your illness isant covered and youve allready sold your assests

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:07:53

i wouldnt have picked the word greedy

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 18:09:46

This is the list. I picked the last one. And what are the effects of sustenance living on people who have access to children's centres, museums, libraries, schools, parks etc for free?

It's subsistence living, not sustenance.

Also, while being poor does effect people (poor mental health, more general health problems), it's the economy I was actually thinking of. Welfare spending has a strong multiplier effect you see.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:11:22

It's all sweetness and light and fuck youlot I'm alright, until it all goes pear shaped and then you will be moaning about all those out of touch judgemental fuckers calling you a sponge and treating you like criminal.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 18:11:52

The multiplier effect.

''In the context of government expenditures, the multiplier effect refers to an increase in national income and consumption greater than the initial amount spent''

The site refers to the US but it still applies over this side of the Atlantic.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:13:16

Like a criminal. This tablets trying to make me type all Yorkshire like, treat you like criminal after years up mill.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:15:48

MrsBucketxx You do realise that insurance policies of that kind are notorious for not paying out? You might think you've covered yourself, but should the worst happen it's very likely that your claims will be disallowed due to clauses in the small print.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:16:43

mad banners has not heard of libraries then psssst there free.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:20:40

They are also getting closed left right and centre and have waiting lists for the computer, hardly useful if the jcp has just told you to apply for a job that finishes in a few days, not to mention the masses of anti virus stuff some places have all over their pc's that render it impossible to download application forms or apply for anything that opens things up in a pop up window.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:20:49

"Welfare spending has a strong multiplier effect you see."

This is true. People who claim benefits tend to spend all their money because they don't have enough to tuck away for a rainy day. They also tend to spend a greater proportion of their money in local businesses because they don't have the option to travel very far to do their shopping. They also pay more than average for gas and electricity because they tend to be using prepayment meters.

Also, people who are unemployed or single parents are more likely than the average person to provide unpaid care for elderly or disabled relatives, or free childcare for friends who work for low incomes. That alone saves the economy a huge amount!

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:21:36

saskia im not stupid i read small print and consulted the right people when i took them out.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 18:22:46

Wow mrsbucket you deserve a medal.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:23:38

thank you gold of course ;)

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:23:50

"mad banners has not heard of libraries then psssst there free. "

And they're closing down at an alarming rate ... what are people supposed to do? Look through the window at an empty building and imagine it's full of books?

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:25:30

Internet is vital, it has been for many years, you walk into a high street shop to hand out cvs and spec letters and they will just refuse to take them and tell you to look st the website, not to mention the cost of printing the cvs, would you really begrudge people something that costs as little as 7 quid a month that can be used to save money, find the majority of jobs white cvs and cover letters, teach you a vital skill for the modern age?

You need internet and a phone to find a job, simple as.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:26:27

mine arent. infact they opened a huge brand new one not far from me a few months ago.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:27:54

I was rather surprised, Bucket, when my multiple and very expensive insurances stopped paying out. Upon reading the necessary paragraphs of small print I found my insurers were, indeed, entitled to stop paying after 18 months or two years (the mortgage cover turned out to be one year). Also that my second-to-top-level BUPA limited the number of claims payable which, once the ceiling was reached, entitled the insurer to reassess my policy as a new application - excluding my ongoing conditions from cover.

I had thought that throwing money at potential crises would cushion me from disaster. It did, but the cushion was only good for slowing the decline: it was more of a leaky air mattress than a trampoline.

I never had such an arrogant attitude as yours, but was still shocked to find myself unable to prevent a violent change of circumstances. It will be interesting to see what happens if you have to discover you're more dependent on good luck than foresight.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:28:05

Well good for you, tell us all where you live so we can direct all the unemployed people there.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:28:13

sun, libraries have the internet you can use for free.

weegiemum Wed 03-Oct-12 18:28:14

I teach mums and babies on benefits who have been failed by the education system. Mainly when they got pregnant, you know, that thing you don to get a house and all ..... hmm

Most of them come to our charity as they have a reading age that is frighteningly low. Half of this years intake read at a 4-5 year old level or below . The Sun or the metro is targeted at age 8 RA or so.

Since the Tories came to power it's much harder to fundraiser (and I do it through trusts mainly). Some of the organisations I ask for money from were set up specifically to fund charities like us. But they're not giving the grants any more - not to the women I work with. And they are the poorest of the poor. It's frightening how many of the women are underweight. From not eating because the price of food has increased so much. About half of them smoke. At least it suppresses the appetite.

That there is anyone who thinks a scheme of vouchers is good in this country then I'm disgusted. Before my current work I did work with destitute asylum seekers. I don't want to see the families I teach going down that route. We should be proud to be a society that can support the needy.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:28:33

MrsBucketxx I'm not going to make the obvious retort to that ... suffice it to say: a lot of people take advice when they buy them, it doesn't mean the advice is good, or that they haven't been misled.

And anyway - why is it acceptable for you to claim on an insurance policy you have paid for, but not acceptable for people to claim benefits they have paid for?

I agree Sun

I work for JCP and those who have no internet access (or can only access it once a week from a work club) are seriously disadvantaged in finding a job. Nearly all employers expect you to e-mail a CV and covering letter to apply for jobs, the rest are online applications and electronic/downloadable application forms.

You also need an e-mail address that you can check daily to see which companies have replied/offered an interview. And a phone number with voicemail/answerphone in case they call you for the same purpose.

MrsBucket where is this utopia in which you live? This place that has no knowledge of the hardships this country is facing?

I might use my scrounged money to get a bus there.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:31:42

Sun - The govt wants to make UC available by internet only. It has been strongly explained that not everyone has, or can access, the internet. Last time I looked, they were suggesting access points in jobcentres. Very handy for those who can't travel, the blind, the mentally disabled, those in isolated villages, and so on.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:32:17

mine will pay my mortgage in full if i have any life threatening ir life limiting illness, and a pension there after. i pay more now but its worth it.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:32:38

MrsBucket where is this utopia in which you live? I might use my scrounged money to get a bus there.

grin wannabe

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:33:49

"We should be proud to be a society that can support the needy. "

This, exactly ^^

Libraries are closing down every week here.

You have to queue for 30 min slot on a PC if you are lucky enough to have an open library within walking distance. It has to be within walking distance as you can't afford the fares to get there otherwise.

And you need to be job-searching every day in order to be successful in finding the usual retail/labouring/warehouse jobs most people are looking for. Because they are gone in a day as everyone is applying for those types of work.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:35:20

I don't know why jcp, don't Havre internet, get rid of those stupid machines that tell you fuck all about the vacancy and just give you a print out yo take to the advisor and replace them with pc's, you have to sit around in there for hours anyway might as well do something useful, on your way out or to your appointment there can be some guy on a desk to ask you what you've applied for today.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:35:29

any life threatening ir life limiting illness

Have you checked what they mean, exactly?

I've got depression - Not allowed for more than X treatments
and CFS/ME - Not recognised as life limiting

The rules will have changed since I fell foul of them but, believe me, the clauses will be there. Insurers exist to make profits, not take care of you. Don't be so smug.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:35:49

Wannabe grin

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:36:56

libraries have the internet you can use for free

Er, some libraries do. Where there still are libraries, that is. The one in my town charges £2.50 an hour.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:38:46

Mine does free slots but they have to be booked weeks in advance and they fill up fast.


There are plans afoot to have internet-enabled PC's installed in Jobcentres. We first heard about this last year and are still waiting, was supposed to be September.....

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:40:41

My library no linger exists, and it's a 20 mile round trip to the nearest one, and the bus fare is nearly £7. Imagine making that journey, 5 days a week on JSA. In fact, don't, it's not possible.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:41:41

My sister got pissed off by the libaray cos half the time the printer doesn't work and you can't put discs or anything in them, she used to write her cv out fresh evetytime until I pointed out to her how to save it on the email account.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:46:26

Good I hope it happens tho knowing them it will be a restricted pile of crap made more for putting more cash in the hands of approved vendors then helping people find jobs.

weegiemum Wed 03-Oct-12 18:46:31

sunwukong you make a valid point.

The women I work with - some have smartphones but none have home internet. They are ridiculously unsavvy about the Internet, despite being on average about 21. Because they can't afford it.

Personally I'd give a laptop and Internet access to every teenager in the uk. They might look for porn or drug dealers, but they also might look for jobs or inspiration. I'm sure cancelling trident would pay for that!!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 18:47:41

My local library is now a muddy patch of ground sad. We have to use the main library now located in the town centre and they charge for computer use.

I have BT Broadband.

I use it on my phone as wifi because I cant afford a laptop. And payg internet is 1. slower than treacle and 2. extortionate prices.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:52:43

Maybe someone should start charity, tonnes of perfectly good computer gear gets chucked out every year, donate them to the poor, they can be canablised to make working models, fitting with a nice ubuntu something, desktops can go to oap homes and the like, job seekers can borrow laptops and be given cards that entitle them to free WiFi at hot spots, as long as they provide proof every two weeks of the jobs they have applied for on it they get to continue to keep it.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 18:54:25

If it magically vanishes off the face of the earth tho they should pay a fine tho and be banned from being given one again.

Sun theres a charity near me that does that. Even the ubuntu stuff.

They send them to Africa.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 18:59:29

I like the idea of providing computer equipment to people who need it. Really, anyone who doesn't have home internet access is at a huge disadvantage.

I'd go further and say there are a lot of people (like me) who could share their technical knowledge, teach others how to use a computer, how to use the internet, and skills like using a word processor to create a cv. Also how to find useful stuff online - jobs, cheaper deals, training courses, etc.

That would be brilliant Saskia

I'd have a queue a mile long for that kind of 121 help.

SunWukong Wed 03-Oct-12 19:02:25

Well there you go, judging by the levels of emails from African banks people in the UK get they are clearly using the skills gained from those computers to make businesses for themselves.

Saskia...Im almost sure thats what the JCP is meant to do grin

Acumens100 Wed 03-Oct-12 19:05:21

We only buy food, knickers, and medical supplies (gloves and bedpads etc) new. If we had to buy everything with vouchers we couldn't buy...anything. No furniture, no clothes, no appliances, no wheelchairs...nothing.

It's just another way to funnel money to Tesco. Like workfare. And people will cheer it on because they hate us that much they will do anything, anything, to press us down just a little bit further, to abase us just that little bit more. There's no end. I have despaired.

weegiemum Wed 03-Oct-12 19:05:25

Sakis - just google local charities working with illiterate mums.

If it's mine I'd snap you up!

(thinking of starting it in my area now .....)

LineRunner Wed 03-Oct-12 19:08:36

I would like to know where the library is that recently opened near MrsBucket.

MadBanners Wed 03-Oct-12 19:09:29

"MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 18:16:43
mad banners has not heard of libraries then psssst there free."

As is having a social conscience and some compassion for those worse off than you, something that seems to have completely passed you by.

FrothyOM Wed 03-Oct-12 19:09:38

I think this is more demonise the poor bullshit.

The fact that so many people think this is a good idea just proves how dangerous some of the shit in the media is. I despair that there are so many fucking gullible idiots in this country.

Anyone who agrees with this is a twat. HTH smile

wanna we are advisors, not tutors. I am not qualified to teach someone how to use a PC. And seeing as I only have on average 20 mins to spend with each customer, not enough time either.

hzgreen Wed 03-Oct-12 19:21:01

God everything is so bloody cut and dry when you've actually got the means to get by isn't it?! thanks to this government i lost my well paid job and despite looking really hard for a new one it took nine months to find apart time job that paid half of what i was on previously.

life on benefits can be fucking hard, you're treated like dirt when you go to the benefits office to get help, most people assume that you're not working out of choice, loving every minute of it AND are quite well off as well. the reality is things were already bad employment wise in this country but in the last couple of years things have gotten ridiculous. the job i am lucky enough to have now had 147 applicants - 147 people wanting a job, wanting to earn a living not wanting to be on benefits and (at the time of me getting the job) 146 people still out of work.

People who make assumptions that working is always a choice and unemployment is due to laziness or not planning for the future (seriously how are you meant to save if you're on the breadline already FFS?) are conveniently ignoring that this is a real and insurmountable problem for many people.

P fucking S: Wannabe, i know how difficult it was for me trying to treat my DS to even little things when i was out of work, the aquarium sounds like a lovely idea and hope you both enjoyed every minute of it. xx

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 19:22:47

linerunner google the hive in worcester.

we have lots if really good ones in worcestershire, maybe there better funded here somehow.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 19:24:10

KatieScarlett & Wannabe I thought it was something JCP provided, but then my BIL was made redundant last year and discovered it wasn't routinely offered. He's in his 50s, and had never used a computer in his life - he had no need to - but suddenly he was expected to use one to find a job. DH and I were able to help him out, but not everyone has that option. That really seems like a big oversight.

"weegiemum* I'm in South Yorkshire, happy to help if you're near by!

I think I'll have a Google and see if there's a local group who might need that kind of help <<happy to have found a use for nerdiness emoticon>>


We can signpost to places that offer courses, but we don't have a basic "How To" one for beginners locally. It depends on what is available in the local area, really.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 03-Oct-12 19:34:55

Katie That's very wrong - definitely not blaming you! I know you can only work with what you're given. There should be a national policy of providing courses.

Nowadays not having basic IT skills disadvantages someone almost as much as struggling with literacy or numeracy. It's akin to not being able to read a newspaper thirty years ago.

LineRunner Wed 03-Oct-12 19:40:38

That link says the Hive is a reprovision and relies on University money to exist.

SuoceraBlues Thu 04-Oct-12 07:32:49

Where somebody is determined to prioritise their personal treats over their childrens' needs they will find a way.

Selling WIC products, like babymilk, food vouchers etc is hardly unheard of in the states that already has a model of restricted spending.

You also have to take into account the costs of implementing restricted spending as opposed to single payments.

I understand the frustration of knowing children are going without basic needs while their parent/s feed their wants. But restricted spending schemes aren't going to change that reality for the hardcore wasters who couldn't put their kids first if their lives depended on it.

The only thing to do there, and I'm sure it will stick in the throat of many, is to have an additional emergency fund so if sure start, SS or school is aware a child is being deprived due to parental priorities being put of whack extra non parent directed funds can be focused on where the specific need is. Like suitable clothing, additional nutritous food to be distributed and eaten on site (so it can't be resold), stuff like that.

I know that looks like rewarding the parents who fail to parent well at the expense of those who succeed even in the worst of circumstances. But the kids with the crappy parents have such an unlevel playing field from the onset, and that needs to be acknowledged.

freetoanyhome Thu 04-Oct-12 10:21:05

ah Worcestershire. The idyll where disabled people are being forced into residential care. MrsBucket, you lack compassion and also knowledge. If you deveoloped a serious disability or one of your children did, your insurance company would drop you lke a hot potato.

NellyJob Thu 04-Oct-12 10:26:42

it has to be said tho, there are families who choose benefits over work, and single mothers who have never worked in their lives, I have met them.
and yes the money does (sometimes) get spent on drugs etc.
I have also been on benefits but would rather work so see both sides.

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


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? do you budget\\in ours that quite alot means deprive or at least reduce the amount of one (ideally)necessity in order to fund cant do that wi vouchers.its hard enough.Bloody commi bastards thats 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....

garlicbutty Fri 05-Oct-12 12:25:22

I'm not advocating automatic HB payments to landlords! I'm saying HB should be paid direct on request. It isn't at the moment - I had to 'prove' I'm vulnerable - and apparently won't be available at all under UC.

Bucket, have you not thought that no employer in their right mind would employ someone with no experience, or training extends also to employing someone with a long-term health problem or disability, someone over 35, someone with shabby clothes/shoes/hair, someone dependent on public transport for an awkward commute, someone who can't afford wraparound childcare, someone who's been out of work for longer than six weeks?

Your statement that education & experience bring a lifetime of rewards is exceedingly smug. And wrong. Only a tiny proportion of the long-term unemployed are sub-literate, etc. Unemployment is caused by an insufficiency of jobs not a fucking lifestyle choice.

On the subject of long-term unemployment: did you know that only 0.3% - four thousand JSA claimants - have been claiming for 5+ years? (source: ONS)

morethanpotatoprints Fri 05-Oct-12 17:00:42

No we do not have any right to say or even know what anybody spends their money on, benefits or not.

Mosman Tue 09-Oct-12 00:47:52

I actually do think the freedom to choose lottery, alcohol, fags etc is no longer yours when you ask the government to support you. There are insurance schemes that people could pay into that will help them cover mortgage and income should they loose theirs so if you choose not to take responsibility for yourself those who then do have the right to ensure you look after yourself and your children rather than waste it on crap.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 08:37:20

"the landlord doesn't need to know you are claiming, that's the point."

If you lose your job while housed, then you can get away without telling your LL.

However if you need to find a new place it's very, very difficult indeed, as your new landlord will ask where you are employed, and many lettings agents won't even consider you.

I helped a friend on HB flat-hunt this year in London. It took him months to find somewhere (which meant he overstayed past the date his landlord had asked him to leave), he faced rejection after rejection simply because he was on HB. Another friend rented him a room in the end, but that was only temporary (while they were renovating their house). He'll be in the same position again very soon. Homelessness is a very real possibility.

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