So, how many Mumsnetters "Aren't working enough"?

(136 Posts)

Guardian article here

First the weak, the sick and the disabled. Now people who work.

The next plan for Universal credit is to look at people who get Working Tax credit and assess whether they are working enough. If they're classed as such, they will need to find extra hours or they'll have their benefits cut.

Considering that a lot of low paid work is done by women, is it becoming a feminist issue?

What annoys me the most (getting onto my soap box here) is that they've been forcing sick and disabled people into work by screwing them over with ATOS. The only work that many of them can get is low paid or part time due to their disabilities / illness. Now they will be screwed over again by this policy if it comes in.
GRRR.

eretrew Mon 09-Sep-13 23:32:00

I don't see the issue with this, the Government should push everyone towards full time work.

gallicgirl Mon 09-Sep-13 23:41:20

But the intention is to penalise people who are unable to find more work and there's no consideration for circumstances as far as I can see.
I have a part time colleague who has school age children and cares for disabled parents. Unless there is allowance for situations like this, then families will suffer.
Also too many companies exploit zero hour contacts. Thousands of employees would love to work more hours but their employer refuses.

ChubbyKitty Mon 09-Sep-13 23:48:31

Well, apparently neither me or DP are.

Ill let the DWP explain that to my company. They might listen and give me enough hours to bloody live on then.

Darkesteyes Tue 10-Sep-13 00:29:11

Employers also refuse to let their employees who are on zero hour contracts, find extra hours with other employers.

Its those magic words "must be available for extra hours IF need be.

They basically want you "on call" but not to pay you for being so.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 10-Sep-13 07:36:33

Working Tax Credits already stipulate a minimum number of hours worked for qualification. A single person working less than 16 hours a week, for example, doesn't qualify. Not news, surely?

If they want to put this into effect, they need to ban zero hours contracts as well. As Darkesteyes said, you can't get a second job to top up your hours if you're on one of these contracts, but it's highly unlikely you'll get more hours.

More ways for the Tories to punish poor people, which sadly is becoming unnewsworthy in itself it happens so often.

I am not working enough. I would like more hours but my employer doesn't have the hours available. I doubt with 4 degrees it is due to lack of training. Yes I could try to find another job but my current job is such that some weeks I have lots of work others I have none. I'm not on benefits (other than CB), as dh eatns enough but I have lots of sympathy with those in this position. And what about jobs which only need someone for a short period of time - e.g. lunchtime supervisors in school. There is no need for them to start at 9, they are needed between 11:30-2. It would be a waste to employ them for longer but someone needs to do the job. I can see that a 22yr old with no dependencies choosing to just work 16hrs a week and claim benefits might need some incentives to give up 5 days off but surely there must be easier ways of doing this.

eatns earns - though he does eat enough too!

ChubbyKitty Tue 10-Sep-13 09:07:22

Darkesteyes that's the problem for us! We're not actually on zero hour contracts (luckily) but 4 hour contracts and we've basically been told we can't have another job. No one starts work until 5/6 in the afternoon so I don't see a problem with working during the day. But nope. Not allowed. Got to be 'dedicated 100% to the company' - the company who couldn't give a crap about its own staff.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 10-Sep-13 09:11:28

Not sure about this one. Gut feeling is that tax credits shouldn't be there to allow you to work part time as a lifestyle choice. If you genuinely can only find part time hours fine, but if you could work more than that and choose not to but take take credits then that is a bit cheeky.

ttosca Tue 10-Sep-13 12:40:19

> I don't see the issue with this, the Government should push everyone towards full time work.

Why?

ttosca Tue 10-Sep-13 12:41:52

Scarlett-

> If you genuinely can only find part time hours fine, but if you could work more than that and choose not to but take take credits then that is a bit cheeky.

But many people in full-time work get government assistance because we live in a low-wage economy and work doesn't pay enough.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BOF Tue 10-Sep-13 12:45:39

" I don't see the issue with this, the Government should push everyone towards full time work.

God, that's just about the stupidest thing I've ever read.

<turns mumsnet off for rest of day>

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 10-Sep-13 12:48:40

No the government shouldnt push everyone ir indeed anyone to full time work. The govt have no business dictating how many hours a person should work. The government should only have a say in how much financial assistance will be provided by the welfare system. Hours of work are irrelevant- the amount of money earnt/required is the issue. I could work 5 hours a week earning £100 an hour- who are the govt to tell me i should work more?

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Tue 10-Sep-13 12:50:31

Ah so they want people to work more by doing these invisible imaginary jobs then?

Do they think that all of a sudden all these extra jobs are going to magically appear hmm

Madlizzy Tue 10-Sep-13 12:53:50

I don't work enough, but it's not for want of trying. I've managed to claw up from a 10 hour to a 20 hour contract, and to be honest, in retail there are very few full time positions. I would be most screwed if they brought this in, as I do a shift pattern too, only knowing one week in advance what my hours will be. Eretrew, where are all these lovely full time jobs that the government want us to have? In very short supply, that's where!

MadameLeBean Tue 10-Sep-13 12:55:52

So let me get this straight. They refuse to properly support working parents eg will not consider allowing 100% of childcare to be deducted from gross income, or properly subsidise it, but then refuse to accept that some people may need to work part time? This really takes the fucking biscuit.

ChubbyKitty Tue 10-Sep-13 12:57:07

And not to mention DP who does work ft hours, but after tax only has about 900 a month. His company's contracts don't go above the hours he does for his position. I don't really understand how he is meant to work anymore hours without a second job...which will then be taxed to buggery so given the hours he would be able to do he wouldn't see any of it anyway.

Maybe better to raise minimum wage a bit more? That wouldn't really cost the government because it would be the employers who have to pay it.

ClaraOswald Tue 10-Sep-13 12:57:30

Businesses, especially retail, do not have the hours available.

They have a set number of hours to work with and HO are not just going to suddenly say "Here, have another 16 hours a week". But you have to be available for extra hours at short notice as well, thus leaving no real options available for extra hours.

My store is lucky- we have no staff on less than 16 hour contracts at the minute. We could do with an extra 8 hour contract to be frank, but the hours aren't being made available by Head Office.

lougle Tue 10-Sep-13 12:59:44

The most frustrating thing about this policy is that it will not be about 'how much you work'. It's about 'how much you earn'.

If someone is a contractor, earning £300 as their day rate for a 10 hour day, they will be deemed to be working 'enough'.

If someone is earning minimum wage for 10 hours per day, they'll be deemed to not be working 'enough'.

noddyholder Tue 10-Sep-13 13:00:46

Not everyone is suited to full time work. WHich is just as well looking at the job statistics in the UK

lougle Tue 10-Sep-13 13:06:36

Also, who will fill the voluntary roles?

I am exempt from all this because I get Carer's Allowance for DD1. However, I also:

-Volunteer at DD2's primary school
-Volunteer at DD1's primary school
-Am a School Governor at DD1's primary school
-Am part of the Children and Young People's scrutiny committee
-Am just about to be a panel member in Independent Admissions Appeals
-Am just training to be an advice line call handler for IPSEA (an educational charity)

If you look in the Guardian jobs section, there are masses of voluntary roles which need to be filled.

If I were working full time I wouldn't be able to volunteer as I do.

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 10-Sep-13 13:07:03

I agree lougle- they need to rethink their terminology but of course they wont because 'not earning enough' doesnt help them reinforce the idea of those workshy scroungers in the way that 'not working enough' does.

MadameLeBean Tue 10-Sep-13 13:11:10

I understand that they would want to close the loophole of people working part time + tax credits instead of working full time. Not sure what the best way of doing that would be though and some people can only work part time because of the cost of childcare. Tax credits should never have been introduced - they should have forced the min wage up instead to living wage.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlwaysWashing Tue 10-Sep-13 13:21:22

WHY should the Government push everyone towards working full time hours eretrew?

I have no intention of ever working full time again - I shall LIVE to my means. I'm sorry but there is more to life than work.

I hate being a consumer but know there's no way out of it - but hell I intend to live my life as fully as I can and that doesn't involve spending the majority of daylight hours working for someone/a company who really doesn't care about anything other than its bottom

lougle Tue 10-Sep-13 13:23:28

The other thing with benefits as they currently stand is this:

My DH works 30 hours per week. He is a caretaker for a school and has a second job as their crossing patrol man. He was talking about trying to find some more hours.

However, for every pound he earns, this is what happens:

£1 earned.
£0.20p Tax
£0.13 National Insurance
£0.05 Pension
Net: £0.62

But it doesn't stop there.

£1 earned = £0.41 deducted from Tax Credits.

£0.62-£0.41= £0.21

Of that 21 pence that is left, Council tax benefit deducts at a rate of 20% and Housing Benefit deducts at a rate of 65%. The council allow for half of pension contributions first, though.

0.185 x 0.65 = £0.12
0.185 x 0.20= £0.04

£0.21 -£0.12 -£0.04 = £0.05

DH will bring home 5 pence for every £1 he earns. That means he will bring home around 40 pence per hour for any extra hours he manages to secure.

Would you do it?

Meglet Tue 10-Sep-13 13:27:08

This has been bubbling under for a couple of years now and it terrifies me.

I'm a LP and intend to work part time until I pack my youngest off to Uni. There isn't a chance I'm working full time with teenagers at home, I will be there to support them with their school work and keep them on the straight and narrow.

I was the child of a LP who worked full time. Needless to say I never made it to uni (despite being bright) as I was too busy being bullied or self harming until mum got home to pick up the pieces at 6pm. I'm certain all the tax my mum paid went towards my considerable CAHMS costs. She is equally worried that I will be pushed to work full time and her grand children will suffer and history will repeat itself.

The tories don't have a clue how hard life is for 95% of the population. angry

lougle Tue 10-Sep-13 13:32:10

If I work and earn over £100 per week after tax and NI, I lose my carer's allowance (£53).

Look at the figures for that:

£100 earned
£0 tax
£0 NI

41% deducted from Tax Credits

£100 x 0.41 = £41

£100-£41 = £59

Housing benefit deducts 65%, council tax 20%:

59*0.65= £38.35
59*0.20= £11.80

59-38.35-11.80= £8.85

So, I'd lose my £59.75 carer's allowance and gain a total of £8.85.

That works out to be around 50 pence per hour.

eretrew Tue 10-Sep-13 13:36:46

AlwaysWashing- The Government wants to push people towards full time work because it maximises their productive output which in turn strengthens the economy and increases prosperity within the country.

sisterofmercy Tue 10-Sep-13 13:39:35

I think:

- The government should push (or nudge) employers towards offering people enough work for them to do full time before punishing people for not doing the hours.

- People should be paid a living wage and the government should stop subsiding employers who pay poverty wages or nothing at all (interns etc.) They are the biggest scroungers in terms of money spent on them.

- Zero hours employers should not be allowed to make people work exclusively for them if they cannot offer full time hours - or as many as the employee needs.

- people in desperate situations whether employers or employees shouldn't be made to feel like they are falling over a cliff. It's obscene.

But then I'm an 100% economic communist according to that online quiz thing.

Weegiemum Tue 10-Sep-13 13:40:10

I'm probably not working enough but dh is, so they ignore me.

I work 10 hrs doing literacy work for a charity. I volunteer 5 hours for a different group.

My dc are all at school and I am home t 4 for them.

I only claim DLA, but still feel ashamed.

LadyFlumpalot Tue 10-Sep-13 13:42:24

Question - does anyone know if the wage figures quoted are gross or net? I work 21 hours a week (childcare costs would just annihilate us if I worked full time) and my take home is just under the cut off figure that article quotes.

usualsuspect Tue 10-Sep-13 13:45:36

Eretrew, where are all these full tome jobs?

usualsuspect Tue 10-Sep-13 13:46:02

Time*

ShadeofViolet Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:22

Its all very well to say that people need more hours, or better paid jobs, but somebody has to do the poorly paid jobs.

Where would we be without hospital cleaners, dinner ladies, carers, shop workers? And how many of these employers are willing for their staff to be flexible and fit their employment around other jobs?

Owllady Tue 10-Sep-13 14:05:50

I used to work as a retail manager and quite frankly, people who work in retail will be fucked because nobody wants to employ full timers. they want a flexible part time work force as it makes more economic sense

queenofdrama Tue 10-Sep-13 14:11:25

I can't find work to work around childcare. All the jobs around here are part time evenings & week end shifts. Dh does shift work (ridiculously long&awkward hours) so can't help with childcare or logistics really. I want to work. But there just aren't any jobs going that are full time 9-5. Wtaf am I supposed to do? Ihave 2 young dc so I can't retrain. I have absolutely no one to care for them in my absence.

Basically the govt are telling mothers: if you are highly educated, own your own property, work like a slave, then you have every right to have a family If you don't aren't those things then fuck right off, you're a lesser being. The govt are an idealistic bunch of twats.

usualsuspect Tue 10-Sep-13 14:12:37

I don't know anyone who works in retail who has full time hours.

The majority are on short hour contracts.

Owllady Tue 10-Sep-13 14:33:16

even a lot of deputy managers wont be on full time hours either, usual. the only person full time will be the store manager in a lot of cases (from my experience)

reelingintheyears Tue 10-Sep-13 14:37:50

Me.

ClaraOswald Tue 10-Sep-13 15:07:26

That's what it is with us, Owllady.

Manager on full time, I have a 30 hour contract so technically full time. We have one 24 hour supervisor, 1 x 16 hour supervisor and 3 sixteen hour advisors.

This scares me, right now I can't work, but hopefully more treatment and a sympathetic employer will one day make it possible for me to work again. But will I then find myself penalised for not doing enough?

And it is a fair point that the workers most likely to be penalised will be women, either due to having work around childcare or through doing low paid "womens" jobs.

expatinscotland Tue 10-Sep-13 17:17:09

Well, that's us even more fucked then.

They need to ban zero hours contracts that require you to be available 24/7 for this to work.

expatinscotland Tue 10-Sep-13 17:19:27

Well, that's us even more fucked then.

They need to ban zero hours contracts that require you to be available 24/7 for this to work.

NiceTabard Tue 10-Sep-13 19:30:33

It says they will be penalising people who work the equivalent of full time at just under minimum wage - so that would be what 34 hours a week at min wage?

Are they saying they want people on minimum wage / just under full time hours to take second jobs?

I don't really understand this confused

NiceTabard Tue 10-Sep-13 19:31:31

Why is it being based on income rather than hours worked?

It's not people "not working enough" it's people "not earning enough" and whose fault is that?

Wereonourway Tue 10-Sep-13 19:44:46

After having ds I made the decision to cut my hours from 40 to 24 to spend time with him.

I was then offered a new job and had a choice to work 20, 24, 30 or 38 hours. I chose 24.

I'd like to spend some time with ds, I'll never get these years back.

However I'd chosen to work 30 or 38 hours I actually be no better of at all due to childcare costs.

I do get approx 55% of my costs back from ctc at the minute if I worked 30 hrs it would reduce to something like 20%

The 35% difference is a days work, so if I worked the extra six hours it would be paid directly to my sons nursery.

Does that make me a bad person? For me it was barely worth consideration. Unless there is a financial incentive for me to be away from my son and to have him in childcare I'm not gonna do it

Weegie flowers

Where are all these sodding full-time jobs meant to come from? Employers are offering insanely low hours / zero hours contracts at crappy wages, which is why so many people need to claim tax credits and the like.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:42:35

The welfare state is in a complete mess and perhaps there wouldn't be so much of a need to cut benefits from the really needy if we didn't pay out so much in tax credits to those that deliberately stay under the threshold by working part time to keep their benefits and salary at the optimum.

Darkesteyes Tue 10-Sep-13 23:09:18

scarlettsmummy how would you tackle an employer who has you on a zero hours contract but wont give you extra hours and wont let you get those extra hours with another employer.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 11-Sep-13 08:29:22

I'm not working enough hours or earning enough money, but I don't claim benefits so I'm assuming I won't be affected.

In theory, I don't have a problem with policies like this but as always, the reality doesn't work. There needs to be a way of differentiating those who genuinely can't get more hours and those who don't want to work more hours because their tax credits (working or child) enable them not to bother.

I think people choosing to work less hours is a big problem that needs to be tackled somehow. I have a lovely colleague who often does overtime, but she doesn't fill in a time sheet to get paid for her extra hours because it would mess up her working tax credits claim. I don't blame her for doing that, the system leaves her with little choice.

Zero hour contracts are also a big problem, but there are people that they work well for so they need to be protected at the same time as protection being given to those that it works very badly for. At the very least, if someone isn't given a certain number of hours each week while on a zero hour contract, then they need to be free to look for work elsewhere.

Chunderella Wed 11-Sep-13 09:59:27

We need legislation to deal with the zero hour contract situation. I could be tempted not to ban them, because they do suit some people, but one of two things needs to happen. Either:

a) Employers can require people on zero/limited hours contracts to be available for more than their contracted hours, but must pay an hourly retainer for any hours they have reserved that the employee does not then work.

b) Employees are free to take as many zero hour contracts as suits them, with no obligation to be available for anything other than their contracted hours.

Basically, if employers want someone available, they can pay. Perhaps half minimum wage, for hours an employee hasn't worked but has been available. Hopefully this would avoid the need for an outright ban.

blibbleflop Wed 11-Sep-13 11:36:16

It boils down to this:

The government wants to make it everyone's responsibility to earn £950 a month, which is 35.42 hours per week at minimum wage. This is not an unreasonable desire from their perspective.

There are barriers to this goal, namely the lack of (nice) jobs offering these hours, the prevelance on zero hour contracts which stipulate no other job and finally childcare.

Childcare - The current system allows those with young children to work much fewer hours than those without children to qualify for tax credits 16 hours for single parents, 24 hours (combined) for a couple or 30 hours for those without children. It would be impractical for a single parent to be expected to work 36 hours a week and to be able to afford childcare. With a couple you have more leeway, you can try and get work in opposing patterns so that there is always someone around when the kids need looking after, it's not ideal but when you're on the bones of your arse needs must.

Zero Hour Contracts - These need fixing through legislation, the company shouldn't be allowed to prevent you seeking extra work (or punish you through reduced hours for doing so) if it isn't prepared to give you a minimum number of hours per week (I'd argue that that 35.42 number would be good).

Jobs offering full time hours - These DO exist, they're just not necessarily doing what you want to be doing. My DP has been trying to upgrade from 20 hours per week to full time and is applying for (and getting interviews to) a variety of jobs such as kitchen porters, laundry assistants, cleaners, warehouse packers etc, basically any job going because we need the money. She might end up having to work weekends and we'll end up spending less time together as a result, but at the end of the day you've got to take responsibility for yourself and make the best of things.

Location is going to be a huge issue to people and is going to become worse over time. There are certain areas of the country that no amount of regeneration money is going to fix, nobody is going to open up new retail areas if there's no money in the area. One of the worst things that home ownership has done is lead to an immobile workforce. There are towns and villages around the country that grew up around industries, the industries didn't move to the people, the people moved to the jobs. This needs to happen again.

Darkesteyes Wed 11-Sep-13 14:23:58

How the hell can people move to jobs People in HA properties have the same problem bibble Do you know how long it takes to organise a move and thats after you have successfully bidded for a place And moving costs money And in lots of cases people cant afford to fork all this out for the sake of a minimum wage job and no job security And thats if the employer has been willing to wait all this time for you to move. And because of the lack of job security you could end up having to go through all this again What about the affect it should have on childrens schooling.

And im going to pre empt the tirade that will inevitably arise from this post "Well those with out children can do it" because i dont see why the childless should get the shitty end of the stick all the time.

A recent survey showed that 42% of childless people feel discriminated against at work and are fed up with their appointments for things like dentists etc coming last.

There is enough division in the workplace as it is without creating more.

blibbleflop Wed 11-Sep-13 16:10:42

@Darkesteyes

I never said it would be easy, just that it's the only viable solution long term. There needs to be some sort of mechanism from moving people where there are no jobs to areas that have them.

If you're in an area with 50% unemployment then long term, staying put is not an option as you're unlikely ever to find work. It's an unpalatable truth, but what other option is there?

Chunderella Wed 11-Sep-13 18:51:28

There is no area of the UK with sufficient work, and the existing job vacancies are simply not enough for everyone to be employed. So while facilitating people's ability to move around more easily would be welcome, it still won't solve the current problem. The fact of the matter is that people can be as proactive, hard working and well qualified as you like- but some of them are still going to be unemployed. There is no getting round this.

78bunion Wed 11-Sep-13 20:31:48

It is certainly true that home ownership makes job flexibility harder. Easier to move if you rent although those with homes could rent them out and move and rent where they move to so I am not sure it is such a huge barrier. Plenty of us have moved hundreds of miles for work as did our ancestors. People always have moved, even moving countries in the past.

ShellyBoobs Wed 11-Sep-13 23:59:36

After having ds I made the decision to cut my hours from 40 to 24 to spend time with him.

For me it was barely worth consideration. Unless there is a financial incentive for me to be away from my son and to have him in childcare I'm not gonna do it

That would be fine, if you didn't expect the subsidy of ctc to facilitate your choice of not working as many hours as you could be.

williaminajetfighter Thu 12-Sep-13 06:28:14

Agree with Shelleyboobs. There will be a large %ge of people who need topping up of their income but there are a smaller percentage of people who will be working out how many hours to do a week by visiting 'entitledto.co.uk' and calculating what are the optimum hours to work.

I suppose what the govt wants to do is for benefits to support people's CURRENT situation as a kind of emergency measure and not for benefits to be a consideration for FUTURE financial and life planning.

At my work I've seen loads of women make the decision to give up permanent, solid jobs ( the ones that people on this thread say no longer exist) to go part time or significantly reduced hours. That's fine and completely their perogative but in that situation they really shouldn't be considering what kind of govt support they'll get to justify their choice. I think this is the kind of thing that the govt is trying to clamp down on. It would be foolish for people to make life plans based on the kind of handouts they might get from the govt anyway --- since it's not a given that said handout wil exist next year.

Deathbyladybirds Thu 12-Sep-13 06:48:41

I hate this government so much. How much more damage can they do? It's so frightening.

merrymouse Thu 12-Sep-13 07:00:40

The Government wants to push people towards full time work because it maximises their productive output which in turn strengthens the economy and increases prosperity within the country.

Easier said than done. At the moment it seems that the government are busily counting everybody who has even a paper round as somebody they can knock off the unemployment statistics.

Plenty of people are taking part-time work because full-time employment isn't available. It's a bit like the bedroom tax. Whatever the theoretical rights and wrongs of the policy, it's a complete waste of time to try to push people into doing something (enable reallocation of housing stock) if the practical resources aren't there (lack of suitable housing stock).

Unless you are just trying to spend less money, and don't really care what people do.

78bunion Thu 12-Sep-13 09:35:20

It is correct that women give up well paid full time jobs because the state will top up their earnings to the same level by tax credits. It is not the women's faults. It is the system that needs to change.

Chunderella Thu 12-Sep-13 09:44:13

I think a more important point is that we ought not to be in a situation where one full time job and one part time job isn't enough to support a small family. A fucked up housing system is responsible for a large part of this.

Letsadmitit Thu 12-Sep-13 19:19:36

It is a bit better or worse than that, depending on your particular circumstances. What is true is that again, the most vulnerable will be the ones more affected:

You can continue to work part time as long as you are working more than 16 hours a week and having a weekly income of what you would earn working full time in a minimum salary.

If you don't fit the above, the job centre will call you to accept interviews with other prospective employers, if you don't attend, the credits are cancelled. If you attend and get a job you will need to leave the previous job even if the new one is a short term contract.

But, in these times of high unemployment I will eat my hat if they are able to enforce it. Frankly, I am just assuming the conservatives will be out of power by the times these measures are ready to be implemented.

I guess the first priority would be to employ the unemployed than given those interviews to people who are more or less better off.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Thu 12-Sep-13 21:12:11

It's great if you have a choice, my workplace has had to reduce the hours that we all work to avoid a lot of financial hardship. We are all working such odd hours that we couldn't get other work to fill the short fall. What are we supposed to do? It's OK but we're not qualified for any other work - I have a degree in my area of work and have done nothing but that for the past 14 years.

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 12-Sep-13 21:34:11

" I don't see the issue with this, the Government should push everyone towards full time work."

Bit of a Gove-ism there. Belongs in the same category as "people using food banks are crap with money." (not a direct quote)

Some people are just a bit out of touch.

williaminajetfighter Thu 12-Sep-13 23:01:25

"It is correct that women give up well paid full time jobs because the state will top up their earnings to the same level by tax credits. It is not the women's faults. It is the system that needs to change."

That's right - we live in a world without personal choice. It's not our decision, we're forced into it! The system is wrong. Give me a break - is this how adults think? ?

MadameLeBean Fri 13-Sep-13 03:51:10

Willemina you can't expect people not to optimise their work:life balance with whatever financial support is available (just like using your entire ISA allowance is not morally wrong) the system exists and if it subsidises people "shirking" then the system is flawed

Letsadmitit Fri 13-Sep-13 08:13:19

Well... I think that tax credits and other benefits are there to level the ground with other people but I confess I feel outraged when I heard people who as me are getting some financial help but who keep turning down jobs because they want to spend more time with their (healthy) children, walk the dog, etc. These are not options most people who are not in benefits will have. So I don't see how choosing to work less while you can while you are in benefits can be ok (unless you are a carer, of course).

Having said that, i did work several years part time, admitedly, i am a single parent with no family around (none whatsoever), i don't have any help or prople to rely on. But that's not the reason I was working part time... The reason was that despite constant job applications and efforts to get more work, I couldn't find any at the time.

I have 2 jobs now and still surviving as a single mother, my son is ok, we don't see each other between 3:30 and 6, I'm exhausted most of the time, but the world has not ended, and most importantly, our world will not end when all these benefits end when he turns 18.

DownstairsMixUp Fri 13-Sep-13 08:24:15

I really do wonder if they are on drugs when they come up with this bollocks or just live on a different planet! I would LOVE to work more hours, I work 16 a week at the moment and my little one goes to nursery 15 hours a week, I just can't afford to pay childcare! In the holidays I still get charged as they don't count the 15 hours funding either during the holidays, why do they do this to?! How many jobs out there are really that flexible you can have the half terms off? It's a real battle where i work to book the holidays because of this, no one can afford the ridiculous childcare costs! How about they start focusing more on helping with childcare issues and not just making it seem like all of us are lazy arse holes who can't be bothered to do anymore work?!

Also where are all these full time jobs going to be?! And the ones that do exsist, a lot don't pay enough. My other half recently got made redundant, it wasn't an unskilled job either but he was still only taking home 900 a month on the minimum wage so it was soon swallowed up especially in the holidays when we were hit with childcare fees. I had always worked full time up till my son was born usually in the care sector but it is actually impossible for me now, not at least till he turns 11 and can get himself to and from school so i can work full time again!

williaminajetfighter Fri 13-Sep-13 08:52:26

Madame your logic is pretty crazy. It's the govt's fault if they don't help but if they provide assistance that can be abused that's the govt's fault too.

I still think its poor planning and morally wrong for people to future plan based on the benefits they may get. Benefits are there to help people in a difficult situation not to give mummy the freedom to go from full time to part time work because she can't bear to be away from Oscar or Ruaridgh.

She has a choice and the woman making that choice is taking funds from those who do not.

78bunion Fri 13-Sep-13 09:31:21

Not much difference between taking the benefits to which you're entitled and setting your pension payments against tax and using your annual tax free allowance. The system has to change not the people choosing to structure their lives around a system which is set up in a certain way. However I would caution those who do fewer hours by choice to be with children more that longer term it tends not to pay off so although it may feel financially better off at present over a long career it may not be the best choice.

MadameLeBean Fri 13-Sep-13 09:46:29

Not crazy at all. They need to design a system with the right incentives; there is no point expecting people to choose a worse quality of life for the sake of feeling "morally superior".

Viviennemary Fri 13-Sep-13 13:04:05

I don't care how few or how many hours people work. That's their business. But can't expect taxpayers to subsidise their life choices.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 13-Sep-13 13:08:24

I agree the system has to change, bit isn't that what the government are trying to do? Yet they are getting a huge amount of criticism for the benefit reforms that they are putting through. They aren't doing everything perfectly, but then they never will do everything perfectly in everyone's minds.

I think they need to scrap tax credits completely. Support for those with children should only be given through free childcare and child benefit, which is enough to help but not to raise a child on. That way people will be discouraged from having children if they don't work, and they will have no reason not to return to work after maternity leave unless they are independently wealthy or have one partner earning a very high wage.

There is an unfortunate need for working tax credits, but I think they should be paid through employers, and employers should be obliged to do the admin for it if they want to employ anyone on a low wage. That way it would be easier to adjust the benefit payments if an employee is able to do overtime at certain times, and it would get the country out of this bizarre system where the majority claim benefits.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 15:10:32

Agree with Chunderella’s point. A family being able to choose for one parent to work part time (which can be for a myriad of justifiable reasons, which the DWP has no idea how they will determine) and exist at a basic level, is entirely reasonable. The fact that it doesn’t is the issue. Clearly a basic living should mean just that. For two people working lots of hours and earning good wages to be merited with little more than a basic existence is what the real issue is and where the discontent lies.

Perhaps we are better off looking at why the cost of living is so outrageous and doing something about that. Starting with the cost of housing.

And Viviennemary, are you saying you don't care how many hours people work (and are tax payers) but if it is not enough for a basic living, yet they are held by contracts which don't allow them to work in addition, you think that's their look out?

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 13-Sep-13 15:53:37

As tax payers, surely we are subsidising everyone's life choices. Schools, hospitals, roads, refuse collection etc. etc. Isn't that what a civilised society does?

IMO if two people are both working full time and struggling to keep their heads above water (us and most people we know at the moment) it is the system that needs to change. We can't work more hours, we can't earn more, we need to live above just existing or what's the point?.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 13-Sep-13 16:20:28

The point there TheImpossible, is where you say 'as taxpayers'.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 17:30:55

I agree with your free childcare ideas broken, and also for employers to take more responsibility around paying low wages. But, when you say:

they will have no reason not to return to work after maternity leave unless they are independently wealthy or have one partner earning a very high wage.

Do you mean full, or part-time? Because I think it's the part-time bit the co-allition are having a dig at here, isn't it? And where the DWP will have most difficulty, along with the free-lancers, shift workers and other self-employed folk (particularly seasonal workers) and those with generally fluctuating income, who present an even more interesting quandary.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 17:39:28

Blimey what an error! That should say:

I agree with your free childcare ideas broken, and also for employers to take more responsibility around paying low wages but not in isolation

Letsadmitit Fri 13-Sep-13 17:40:04

Wellington Brokensunglasses, would that apply to widows and divorcees who do not receive any child maintenance or should w ask thm to drown their kids?

PharaohHound Fri 13-Sep-13 17:47:07

I'm a LP and intend to work part time until I pack my youngest off to Uni.

Oh, for goodness sake.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 17:59:01

Would you like to also respond to the other points made in the same post, namely:

I was the child of a LP who worked full time. Needless to say I never made it to uni (despite being bright) as I was too busy being bullied or self harming until mum got home to pick up the pieces at 6pm. I'm certain all the tax my mum paid went towards my considerable CAHMS costs. She is equally worried that I will be pushed to work full time and her grand children will suffer and history will repeat itself.

or just cherry pick any other points in isolation to make your point, which was what exactly?

BrokenSunglasses Fri 13-Sep-13 18:10:02

Pizza, that depends on what each individual earns.

If someone's work is worth enough that they can afford to live while only working part time, then they should absolutely be able to work part time. If they can't earn enough to live on by working part time then they will have to work full time, and full time work should pay enough to live on, even if it has to be subsidised by the government through the employer.

Letsadmitit, that's really a different thing. Children of people who have died that only have one parent left should of course get government support, as well as free childcare to enable the surviving parent to work. That is exactly the type of situation the welfare state should exist for, not for people who just fancy working part time.

Non resident parents are another matter. We need a CSA that is fit for purpose, that has the power to make parents pay for the children they created. And if NRPs refuse to pay, then the state will have to give money to the RP if they need it after working full time. Any money that the state gives to lone parents on behalf of the other parent should be the same as any other debt. Legally enforceable with the threat of bankruptcy if you don't pay. And the debt should remain until it's paid off, even if that means taking it from their estate when they are dead.

expatinscotland Fri 13-Sep-13 18:22:25

Yet nearly all the new job creation is zero hours contracts, part-time, seasonal/temp.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 13-Sep-13 18:37:40

Only in the lowest paid jobs expat. There are loads of full time jobs, they just aren't for unskilled manual work.

expatinscotland Fri 13-Sep-13 18:43:04

'Only in the lowest paid jobs expat.'

Not true at all. Many, many quite skilled jobs in areas like IT and healthcare are now temp/agency, 'PRN' (per request needed, in other words, zero hours).

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 18:57:39

I kind of get what you are saying Broken, but even the DWP admits some need to work part-time,and they've no idea how to work that out:

Not all of those will be forced into jobcentres, with individuals with caring responsibilities or other constraints preventing them taking on full-time work highly likely to be excluded.

The DWP said: "There isn't any real clear, definite plan as to how this [part] would work."

Which brings me back to looking at why both a full and a part time wage together, even at the lowest end are not enough. Do you accept that if the cost of living was less, then people wouldn't need to lean on the state as much?

Viviennemary Fri 13-Sep-13 19:18:47

I don't agree with zero hour contracts and think they should be made illegal. I am objecting to people choosing to work part-time in the knowledge the state will top up their wages. And will not do extra hours because they will lose benefit.

I blame the labour government for all this. Though I voted for them. But won't again. This has encouraged firms to pay out ever lower wages and give people less hours.

ubik Fri 13-Sep-13 19:30:57

It's just empty platitudes - of course people want more hours. Whenever overtime is offered at work, people put in for it and there isn't enough to go round.

I work 20 hours which suits me, but I still may work 5 9-hr shifts consecutively - 45 hours. I am also required to be 'flexible' - basically on call 24/7.

I know many people who have 2/3 jobs on the go because they cannot get enough hours in one job.

ubik Fri 13-Sep-13 19:32:55

And TBH - why doesn't Cameron get his thumb out of his backside and start creating some jobs? Why is it always the fault of the low paid, and folk on benefits?

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 19:36:18

Not sure if we x posted there Vivienne.

I know some take the biscuit. But we have to be mindful of the genuine cases where people can only work part time, for whom these plans will be detrimental to.

Chunderella Fri 13-Sep-13 20:16:31

However many people any of us know who have chosen to work part time, there still aren't enough job vacancies for everyone to work full time. Even if everyone wanted to be full time, not everyone could be.

Expat I agree that there are a lot of quite skilled healthcare jobs that are PRN, but many of them still fall into the poorly paid bracket. For example there are people working as 'self employed' home carers who aren't paid for travel between jobs, so they end up earning less than NMW. A shocking dodge.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 13-Sep-13 20:23:23

"full time work should pay enough to live on, even if it has to be subsidised by the government through the employer."

Why the fuck should public money be used to subsidise companies to pay less than a living wage?

That's the real scandal here.

"Profit-making" companies paying dividends and massive salaries to executives who aren't paying their staff enough to live on.

When that particular piece of subsidy ends, then I'll start worrying about parents working part time so they can look after their children (i.e. work AND provide a useful social good to society)

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 21:36:50

Well, quite.

grin

BrokenSunglasses Fri 13-Sep-13 21:41:57

Join, they already do it in the form of tax credits. It's unfortunate, but tax credits are a part of too many people's lives for them just to be taken away.

If employers were administering it, at least they would bear the cost of that.

I know that part time jobs cover many industries, but expat, you are coming across as if you believe the only jobs that are available are part time ones, and that simply isn't true.

Do you accept that if the cost of living was less, then people wouldn't need to lean on the state as much?

Of course I accept that. But to me it seems it's like a vicious circle that has to be broken somehow.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 22:04:27

But then tax credits have become the lifestyle choice of corporations, don’t they?

Perhaps employers could only claim them to pay their employees during start up or critical phases, rather than relying on them all the time?

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 13-Sep-13 22:22:14

"Perhaps employers could only claim them to pay their employees during start up or critical phases, rather than relying on them all the time?"

Good idea.

And while a company is claiming state aid to underpay its employees, there should be strict caps on dividends, executive pay, and profit margins.

Corporations shouldn't be making the lifestyle choice to live high on the hog with massive pay at the top, generous dividends to shareholder and the ability to hoard massive amounts of cash (which many of our top companies are currently doing) while public money is subsidising their wage bill.

They should have to answer regular questions about why they are not able to pay a living wage and show that they are taking steps to achieve that. And without clear evidence of a genuine intention and effort to be self-supporting, they should have their benefits cut.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 22:55:42

YY, and perhaps social enterprises and environmentally and family friendly companies ethos could have better rates!

<waits for someone to piss on fireworks>

grin

Wereonourway Fri 13-Sep-13 23:09:43

Just caught up with this thread.

I posted about working part time as a choice, being a lp with a 2 yr old ds.

My 3 choices are this

1- work full time and earn approx 1k per month after tax, and then pay 700 childcare, 100 travel costs and have 200 left for clothing, groceries, rent, amenities.

2- don't work at all. Claim income support and child tax credits- net monthly income- 576. No travel costs or cc costs leaving 576 for all of above.

3- work 24 hrs per week. Receive approx 60% of childcare costs via ctc. continue to earn and stay in workplace. Be able to afford to get to work and to feed and clothe me and ds as well as keep a roof over our heads. And continue to do this until ds is in school and childcare costs much lower.

Believe me I've done all of the sums many many times, since the day I found out I was pregnant. Do I feel bad fr choosing option 3? No, not really.

I've spent valuable time with ds but continue to pay taxes, as I've done since the very day I left school.

In utilising the help available to me. If childcare costs weren't subsidised via ctc I'd imagined there would be a few hundred thousand people unable to work and a few thousand childcare providers out of business.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 23:15:20

Good for you, Wereonourway

I wonder what your options would look like under the proposed changes.

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 23:18:57

preposed

dialpforpizza Fri 13-Sep-13 23:19:33

no, right the first time, am going to bed now.

Wereonourway Fri 13-Sep-13 23:31:01

The article mentions lone parents as being "too committed to work" I assume that means more hours.

I work with whatever the circumstances are at the time. I took 6 months maternity pay because I couldn't afford to survive on smp, I'm sure many have been in the same(or worse) situation.

I'm not work shy at all, I studied for over four years part time for a degree whilst working 50 hour weeks, I've had 3 days off sick in the last ten years(chicken pox as it happens).

I don't receive regular maintenance from ds's father and although I have family around me childcare from them isn't an option.

I come from an area which is in the top ten most deprived areas in the country. I'd say 50% of the people I went to school with have never paid a single penny in income tax.

People who have never had any intention of working or of bettering themselves and it doesn't feel great to be considered morally wrong for working part time until ds goes to school and until childcare is affordable

Judybluey Fri 13-Sep-13 23:43:37

I work as support staff in a school several hours a week,I have 2 children school age between myself and my husband we scrape enough to live I also suffer from MS which is something I have not disclosed but I refuse to make myself a victim. I have always worked and I want to instill that work ethic in my kids.

Judybluey Fri 13-Sep-13 23:46:29

I'd love to work more but my husband fears for my health..we claim child tax credits and a tiny amount of working tax credits.

williaminajetfighter Fri 13-Sep-13 23:57:39

Wereonourway. Are you saying that you took home £1k working full time? That means you were only on 14k pa? (That's the monthly net income on 14k for 2013/14 taxation).

If you're working part time on that salary you are unlikely to be paying income tax at all.

You may therefore want to adjust your statement that you put money into the system.

I am raising this because I get frustrated when people claim 'I pay my taxes, I deserve something back' and discover they've put in nothing or £500 per year.

Wereonourway Sat 14-Sep-13 00:16:05

williamina my salary when full time ranged from 12k to 20k(from 3 different job, pre ds) I'd worked full time for 11 years before I had him.

And I do pay tax, and NI currently. I don't actually say anywhere that cos I'd "put in I deserve stuff back". But I do contribute. I work and always plan to, and will increase my hours when it is a financial possibility to do so.

If I worked full time in my current role the amount of help I'd get for ccare would give me the amounts left in example 1 I gave above.

Without childcare costs or any form of tax credits I simply could not work, part or full time, or if I could I'd be crippled with debt within a very short space of time.

As an aside I recently moved back in with my dad to save for a deposit towards a house. I cut back wherever I can and will still be able to save very very little.

Tax credits don't give me a life of luxury, I don't think "sod working more, I'm laughing here", they enable me to continue working and to pay for childcare for ds whilst I do.

Actually looking at the sums again I'd be better off NOT working at all yet this will never ever be an option for me

expatinscotland Sat 14-Sep-13 00:31:19

Think the problems of: zero-hour contracts (especially those that don't allow you to take on other work), temp/agency outsourcing (a lot of my friends in banking, not low-paid or unskilled, have been made redundant and rehired as agency workers), extremely high cost of living (basics like power, housing and transport) and the very, very real issue of non-resident parents who do not pay to support their children need to be addressed before we start punishing people for not working enough.

Letsadmitit Sat 14-Sep-13 05:00:34

You know, I'm a lone parent with two part time jobs, by working full time, I only get about £20 more a week than what I would get in tax credits if I worked only 3 days a week. But it is a matter of principle, there is no justification for me to stay at home when my child is at school. Yes, it would probably make my life easier but it would still be wrong for me to turn a job down, at the end of the day there are a lot of working parents who do not receive tax credits and they don't have this choice.

I don't buy that idea that is better for children of loneparents to have a parent at home. Going to breakfast club abd afterschool club, only means that my child is playing with other children for 2 hours after school ends in a supervised environment instead of being perched in front of the TV or the computer at home or playing in the street while I am at home. The tax credits pay for 70% of the cost so it is not that all my salary is going in paying for childcare.

I still think that tax credits and benefits is a subsidy that you get in order to help you to the place where you can survive independently, not money to rely on as a steady salary for years to come.

Letsadmitit Sat 14-Sep-13 05:03:00

I obviously understand there are exceptions where is better for a lone parent to stay at home or work part time, but if the children are healthy and relatively happy there is no excuse.

78bunion Sat 14-Sep-13 09:14:44

The system is at fault, not the people using it.

No one pays any national insurance contributions until they earn about £7748 a year = £149 a week. So those earning less than that a week are not paying direct taxes (although they are likely to be paying some VAT on some goods they buy so contribute in that way).
No one pays income tax until their pay is over £9440 a year - £181.54 week.

Labour deliberately made everyone with children earning up to about £60k a benefits claimant (tax credits) as socialists want everyone depending on the state. The Coalition has not really been able to change this except tinker at the edges for the highest earners in that bracket.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 14-Sep-13 10:54:05

A system that incentivises parents (mostly women) to stay at work part time while their children are small, as Wereon has chosen to do, seems a very good thing to me.

I don't think our society is is any position to cope without any of the unpaid work traditionally done by women - housework, caring for elderly, caring for children, volunteering at various social institutions.

But it is not good for women (or any parent, but it is still mostly women) to drop out of the jobs market for years when their children are small.

There are lots of things about tax credits that are problematic, but offering flexibility to working parents of children seems something entirely worth paying for.

woollyideas Sat 14-Sep-13 11:40:01

To respond to a previous poster... The notion that zero hours contracts are only offered to unskilled workers, this is really not true at all.

Universities use zero hours contracts for visiting lecturers, research assistants, etc.

I do wish the coalition would focus on the (IMO) immoral use of zero hours contracts, rather than constantly blaming the unemployed/ill/disabled/low earners for this country's economic woes.

YoureBeingADick Sat 14-Sep-13 11:54:43

wereonourway childcare element is part of working tax credit not child tax credit. you also don't seem to have included Housing benefit in your total figure of option 2 yet have said you have rent to pay from your figure in option 1.

Wereonourway Sat 14-Sep-13 12:01:46

yourebeingadick I've not included housing benefit as I pay rent(or board) to my dad as that's who we live with.

Does this make a difference to my circumstances?

My dp doesn't.

He works 7 days a week, when he isn't in work he's helping me care for our two kids who have sn........so we get shedloads of tax credits to get by.

YoureBeingADick Sat 14-Sep-13 12:09:49

ah yes- that makes it clearer. I assumed rent = private rent to a LL.

Wereonourway Sat 14-Sep-13 12:17:05

Sorry, my circumstances have recently changed. I was renting privately(not claiming HB) but chose to live with my dad to attempt to save a deposit so I can eventually own my own house as well as it meaning me and ds are in a safe secure home without threat of us settling and being sold from under us

YoureBeingADick Sat 14-Sep-13 12:26:45

very understandable- I am in private rented and live in constant fear of a phonecall saying he's selling up or wanted to move in himself.

Wereonourway Sat 14-Sep-13 12:33:17

It's crap isn't it.

I am on the council list, in the hope that a decent home becomes available which I could eventually own but its not likely and I'd like to get somewhere of my own doing if that makes sense.

I'm very lucky that my dad has room for us and his circumstances mean he is happy to have us here too.

YoureBeingADick Sat 14-Sep-13 12:37:50

good luck with it. smile

ttosca Sun 15-Sep-13 17:23:22

Tory policy: Destroy the evidence

In April 2013 Iain Duncan Smith's woefully mismanaged Department for Work and Pensions furtively cancelled the collection of data on the reasons they have been referring people to food banks.

Prior to the introduction of "bedroom tax" and a range of wide ranging welfare cuts in 2013, the DWP food bank referral form included a section to indicate the reason for the referral (benefit delay, benefit change, refusal of crisis loan). After April 2013 this section was removed.

These referral statistics had been used by the Trussell Trust (one of the UK's largest food bank networks) to utterly demolish Anthony David "Lord" Freud's ludicrous claims that the soaring number of people reliant upon food banks had nothing to do with his welfare reforms (here's an article outlining some of the Trussell Trust's statistics).

What is even worse than their efforts to bury these inconvenient statistics is the frankly disgusting rhetoric coming from high profile members of the Conservative party. Who could forget Freud's ludicrous claims that the ever increasing numbers of people relying on food banks are just idle people scrounging "free commodities". Then there's Michael Gove and his revolting "blame the victim" narrative that families turn to food banks because of "poor financial management".

According to the Tories, three straight years of wage repression and countless welfare cuts have nothing to do with the ever increasing numbers of people using food banks. Instead, we are supposed to believe that the numbes of scroungers and financially incompetent people have grown by some 900% since the Tories came to power! How riddled with right-wing confirmation bias would you have to be to accept such transparently ludicrous claims?

The food bank referral boxes are far from the first time that inconvenient statistics have done magical disappearing acts under this government. In August 2013 it was revealed that there had been an alarming 23,400 spike in the official death rate, with the over-80s particularly badly affected. Literally within days of the statistics reaching the public, it was announced that the death rate statistics would no longer be collected.

We can look to Iain Duncan Smith's department for another shocking example: In 2012 some official DWP research found that 10,600 people had died within weeks of being stripped of their disability benefits as a result of Atos administered Work Capacity Assessments. This alarming number didn't even include the number of people stripped of their disability benefits entirely! No data on their fate was collected at all, but there are several examples of people to have died within days of being declared "fit for work" (such as Brian McArdle) to suggest that this data should be collected.

Instead of launching an official inquiry, trying to confirm whether there is any kind of causal link between the WCA regime and these deaths and widening the scope to check the fates of those declared "fit for work" too, the DWP decided to make sure that the research was discontinued.

A government that gives a damn about the civilian population would surely want to find out more about why people are dying, and why soaring numbers of people are living in "food poverty" in one of the richest countries in the World. Instead, the Tories are intent on actively burying evidence that makes them look bad, by discontinuing the collection of "inconvenient statistics" and what is worse, making up grotesque "blame the victim" narratives in order to deflect blame away from themselves and their rotten policies.

anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/destroy-evidence.html

WrenNatsworthy Thu 26-Sep-13 10:38:25

amazing post Ttosca.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 00:16:50

This will make it worse. And even more impossible to increase hours.

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/383342225926524928/photo/1

losingtrust Fri 27-Sep-13 19:44:45

I work 30 hours. No benefits apart from CB but am very lucky to earn enough to do that. I am a lone parent with two kids and would not be sane if I worked full time. With two kids to get out to school in the morning plus homework, housework and no relatives near by I would end up full time on benefits. Kids do need a parent to be around as much as possible. Parents who are making the effort to work should not be further penalised.

Frodosmum Sat 28-Sep-13 02:57:08

Under the new PIP system, if its own software does not destroy it (the government is having terrible software problems), if you get any benefit at all, even a few pennies, you will have to be earning 37 times the hourly minimum wage per week (which is about £6) – i.e., 37 x £6 = about £222. Otherwise you are ‘not earning enough’.

If you earn less than this per week, you can be hauled into the ‘job’ centre for political re-education for the number of hours up to 37 which you are not working.

For example, if you work 32 hours a week but earn less than £222 per week, you will have to go to the job centre for the other five hours to be ‘helped’ to find another five hours work per week to get your earnings up to £222.

I foresee trouble.

Three weeks’ work should pay £666.

The really, really weird thing about this is the fact the policy document mentions an intention to extend this to people not on benefit. God knows what that means.

Frodosmum Sat 28-Sep-13 03:09:52

There needs to be some sort of mechanism from moving people where there are no jobs to areas that have them.

It would have helped if the Tories had not abolished the job relocation allowance in 1980. Under Old Labour you could get relocation expenses and the deposit on your first month’s rent for accommodation in the new area in which you were about to start your new job. This was available on the grounds that unemployed people usually do not have the funds needed to move.

Frodosmum Sun 29-Sep-13 04:05:58

I suspect that the Tories’ end game is a standard six-day working week. That’s where all this is heading.

Ironically, I recall that when the Solidarity trade union ousted the Communist dictatorship in Poland in 1989, the first thing on the agenda was the negotiation of a five-day working week, instead of the six-day week everyone had to do previously for decades, apart from a brief period in 1981.

Perhaps we should all start writing to our MP to ask whether he/she supports the five-day week.

whatshallwedo Mon 30-Sep-13 21:10:03

I had two jobs prior to going on maternity leave as my dp and I wanted to buy our own home. I did this for four years before we made the concious decision to have a baby.

I returned to my main job once my maternity leave ended and requested to go back on three days a week. I was only offered 2.5 days as they wanted to be able to give the other 2.5 to a new recruit.

I worked out the finances and we could afford this drop in hours.

By the time I started back at work our office was fully staffed for the first time in years (NHS) but if anyone was to leave the hours would be taken away.

All going fine until my dp decided he wanted to leave us. All of my careful planning based on twp salaries went out of the window and I have now had to apply for tax credits.

Obviously I have not chosen this as my life plan but right now I don't see how I can be expected to increase my hours in a job that takes any spare ones away and only gives tge option of 5 days or 2.5.

Should I have made dp stay with us so as not to become a drain on society???

Chipstick10 Tue 01-Oct-13 13:53:51

You can't be working hard enough if you are british because let's face it we are wet behind the ears. Thanks for that jamie Oliver. Luv ya.

somewherewest Wed 02-Oct-13 19:37:11

We get the credit. DH is working less than full time for a few years to retrain as a clergyman. I'm working very part time and we split caring for our toddler between us. We also both volunteer, I do unpaid work to keep up with my old (and hopefully future) career and DH works far more than his on paper hours in connection with church stuff, including supporting a number of people with MH issues connected with our congregation. But are we 'working enough'? Probably not sad.

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