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Universal Credit implications for long-term SAHMs??? Help please!

(803 Posts)
CSLewis Fri 01-Feb-13 09:39:21

Hi, I've just read the Mumsnet summary about Universal Credit, and read that parents of children aged 5-13 will be required to seek work during school hours, though I think those with a baby under one may be exempt.

Does anyone have any further details about this? It feels to me that a parent of young (primary-aged) children is being forced to return to the job market, regardless of whether they judge it to be in the best interests of their family hmm

Rockchick1984 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:38:25

I believe (although am not certain) that it's only for those on a very low household income eg currently eligible for working tax credits.

From my own perspective though as a SAHM who is in receipt of a small amount of tax credits I actually can't help but agree with the policy - you wouldn't need to be paying for childcare as its only within school hours, you have already had 5 years of subsidy at that point to stay at home with your children and in all honesty can't expect the government to indefinitely fund your choices - for me personally my DH is studying to hopefully earn more so I can stay at home longer, however if this is not possible then obviously I will expect to work once DS is in school!

Love to know where all of these school-hours jobs will appear from though hmm

StormyBrid Fri 01-Feb-13 13:08:03

What's worrying me is the four year gap there. "parents of children aged 5-13 will be required to seek work during school hours, though I think those with a baby under one may be exempt" - what about parents with children aged one to five? Are single parents, and both members of a couple, going to be obliged to jobsearch with a toddler in tow? And will they be exempt from workfare? There's a definite lack of concrete information out there at the moment

I have also read that as a parent you'll only be able to limit yourself to seeking jobs within school hours if you can prove that such jobs actually exist in your area. Although don't quote me on that, because hopefully that was a proposal that's since been scrapped (been reading a lot of late and they do change bits randomly so who knows?).

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 01-Feb-13 16:07:39

Women on maternity leave go back when their child is one if not before so its not unreasonable to put conditions on benefits where a child is over one.

SAHM's can continue to stay home if their household income allows, if they need to claim benefits to do so then quite rightly benefits dont pay for this luxury and they will be expected to work although only if the child is school aged.

It would have been nice to see the conditions applied from age one to make all mums equal rather than some having 9 months maternity pay and others getting state help for five years.

ineedaspartame Mon 04-Feb-13 21:32:49

it makes me sad how people come out and say that being a stay at home mum is a luxury. it shouldn't be. I am not blaming anyone individually because this train of thought is nailed into little girls heads from day 1. If a woman has children they should be and should be allowed to be her first priority. it seems that women's job commitments matter more in this day and age than her commitments as a mother. feminism has screwed us over. it is dissolving the family unit bit by bit. Daycare attendants cannot be trusted. At the end of the day you do not know who you are leaving your children with.

I would like to know this too as I am a stay at home Mum also. I will eat one small meal of toast a day or even eat from supermarket wheelie bins (they throw out some edible stuff) before I put my child into a daycare centre when she is under school age!

Sorry if I didn't answer your question but this has been troubling me recently. I would like to know that if my partner worked full time on a low paying job and I stayed home looking after our daughter what the implications would be.

SizzleSazz Mon 04-Feb-13 21:38:57

Ineed - if your family cannot support a SAHP then both need to work. My mum & dad both did and my DH and i both work. It is our family, our responsibility, not the State's.

It is a luxury in the sense that you need to have 'free cash' which you choose to spend on one parent staying at home rather than holidays/new car etc

ineedaspartame Mon 04-Feb-13 22:15:02

There are ways of getting around having to live on one wage. We never go on holiday, we don't drive and we live in a place with extremely cheap rent. If things got even more tight I would just eat less. I would also stop using the bus all together and I would walk everywhere. If a family cannot support the mother staying at home then they just have to cut down. I think we could all cut down somewhere in our lives.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 04-Feb-13 22:48:38

" If a family cannot support the mother staying at home then they just have to cut down"

When there are two adults in a household, both capable of earning a living, why should one of them just opt out and force the family to live in poverty?

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 04-Feb-13 22:53:13

The country is broke, it can't afford to subsidise stay at home parents or any other group any more.

Also I don't agree that the MOTHER should be the one who necessarily stays at home - nothing wrong with at stay at home father. But it is a lifestyle choice, and if you can't afford it, then both will have to work. Sad fact of life.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 04-Feb-13 22:57:19

OP - only if the staying at home is being propped up by tax credits currently.

HappyMummy - there is sufficient research to show the benefit of toddlers being cared for by one or other parent in the home environment to make enforced return to work by all except the reasonably well-off undesirable. Not to mention the enormous strain it would place upon the childcare system.

ineedaspartame Tue 05-Feb-13 18:52:40

Men don't breastfeed from where I am standing, so a baby is better off with his/her mother for the time being. I don't believe in blurring gender roles.

stargirl1701 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:54:49

If you don't get any benefits then it won't affect you.

ineedaspartame Tue 05-Feb-13 18:55:15

Plus most people in the UK don't know what true poverty is. To them having to cut off sky and not have a car for a while is poverty. People must have more and more and more. To children having love and nurturing is more important than lots of material things. All my best childhood memories were free.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Feb-13 21:19:34

Love and nurturing is all very well but kids need clothes, shoes, food to eat and so on. You might be able to survive foraging wheelie bins but it would be neglect to expect a child to do the same just because you think you can opt out of working for a living.

taketheribbon Thu 07-Feb-13 16:34:46

This is the government's way of stopping Working Tax Credit for couples.

If one of you is working and the other is either a SAHP or working very few hours, and you currently qualify for WTC, the new rules say that unless the SAHP either finds a job or increases his/her hours, no Universal Credit will be paid.

So the parent increases his/her hours or finds a job, and therefore the couple do not qualify for the working tax credit of Universal Credit anyway.

The government is quids in. Doesn't have to help out, either way.

I'm not entirely sure what the consequences of this are going to be yet - hard to predict - but one thing is certain, and that's that many more schools will have to provide 'wraparound care' and anyone thinking of setting up a holiday club to look after children during the school holidays would probably find themselves doing very nicely, thank you. Doctors surgeries will find that everyone wants appointments after school/work and many of the little local toddler groups will find themselves rather less well-attended since all the mums will be working and all the toddlers will be in daycare.

Hey ho. Bring down the price of houses and maybe then many of us could afford to live on one full-time salary. Alternatively, maybe employers could think about paying a liveable wage?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 07-Feb-13 16:55:14

". Bring down the price of houses and maybe then many of us could afford to live on one full-time salary"

Hate to butt in on the sob-fest but some of us are lone parents who take great pride in the fact that we manage on one salary and raise happy, healthy kids at the same time. If we had the luxury of able-bodied partners, rest assured we'd be sending them out to work to supplement the family coffers, not encouraging them to sit about doing nothing! 'Staying at home' really isn't an option if you can't afford it and I don't see why, just because someone is part of a couple, that should cease to apply.

catladycourtney1 Thu 07-Feb-13 17:06:48

It only applies if you're claiming benefits to stay at home.

It does seem silly to me, though. Forcing both parents to work full-time is going to cause a lot of problems for a lot of families , and surely having everyone's children brought up in nurseries can never be a good thing! I'm sure most nurseries and day care facilities do a great job, but what's the point of having children if you're only going to see them for an hour in the evenings before it's time to put them to bed?

I'm not sure if this will apply to my family at the moment, DP works full time and I work part time, and we're expecting a baby but not sure how much tax credits we'll be claiming when she's born. I'm on maternity leave currently from two jobs, and I'm only planning to go back to one of them because I don't have anyone who can take care of our daughter at weekends, but if I'm going to have to "sign on" every week and be forced to leave my job for one with more hours then I'll have to go back to both (As I understand it, a couple has to earn the equivalent of 60 hours at minimum wage between them to not be forced to look for more hours?).

I understand why the government has to do something like this, but surely it's better that people are in work, even if it is PT, and claiming tax credits, than out of work and claiming JSA, housing benefit, council tax benefit, free prescriptions, etc etc.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 07-Feb-13 18:13:24

"whats the point of having children if you will only see them an hour before bed"

Firstly many parents work and see there children for far more than an hour a day and secondly the question could be turned around so say why have children that you cant afford without other tax payers assistance.

Nobody who is physically able to work should be able to chose not too if expecting the state to pay for that choice. Same goes for part time work, why should the state pay the extra because somebody doesnt fancy more hours or believes having children renders a person incapable of working.

Love to know where all of these school-hours jobs will appear from though


There are already not enough jobs to go round. I'm not saying that the change isn't right, tax credits is a flawed system.

catladycourtney1 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:10:56

HappyMummy okay, that sounded a lot worse than I meant it to. But I work in a nursery, and there are parents who drop their children off before 7am and pick them up at 6pm, and as these children are 6 months to 3 years old, I'm guessing they pretty much get home, give them their dinner and a bath and put them to bed. That's five days a week, and then if their parents works weekends too they'll be looked after by family or childminders then, too. Saying "What's the point..." was wrong of me, but I'm sure nobody sees this as an ideal situation! Some of them even send grandparents to pick the children up because they won't be there in time. I always wonder what they plan to do when they start school.

catladycourtney1 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:20:29

Also, if the plan is for all parents to work full time and therefore all children to be in nursery care, then we're going to need a lot more nursery nurses, not to mention actual nurseries because they're constantly shutting down due to rising costs. They're already talking about raising the child-to-staff-member ratio in nurseries, which can only lead to lower standards of care, and in a lot of places, staff are paid the bare minimum already. The reason a lot of parents don't work is because childcare would cost more than they would earn, but if the government wants to take tax credits (and therefore childcare vouchers) away too, then this is just going to be a problem for lots more parents.

Startail Thu 07-Feb-13 19:27:59

"Love to know where all of these school-hours jobs will appear from though"

So would I especially living in a rural area where almost any job is 1/2 hrs commute from school.

Ie. I need a 9.30-2.50, Term time only Job that pays my petrol.

Except for jobs in schools there is no such thing!

SizzleSazz Thu 07-Feb-13 19:41:48

My job is part time, but i have to start at 8 (some days) and finish at 5 (some days). School is 45 mins away and afterschool club finishes at 5.

So, i have a babysitter, afterschool club, adhoc nanny, holiday CM plus DH on one day. Between us we juggle it. No, its not easy and is a PITA but i need to work so we do it.

I absolutely agree term time school hours jobs don't land at your feet, so you have to make other arrangements, however cobbled together they may be (like mine)

AnAirOfHope Thu 07-Feb-13 19:58:25

If you have no family to help out school age children will need cm to drop off and pick up and then help with homework untill the child is 12 yo then they can walk back home and stay on their own untill you get home at 6 - 8pm.

How is that benefital to the children?

I agree with the statement "other tax payers should not pay for your life style choice" but something about this doesnt sit well for me. I think it makes me feel like a slave as my choice of having children is taken away because im poor.

thesnootyfox Thu 07-Feb-13 20:05:37

Ineedaspartame, most bf babies are not bf beyond 6-12 months so can't see why the responsibility of staying at home should fall to the mother.

You see that you would cut back on food rather than put your child into a nursery. A working mother is surely better for the child than an under-nourished mother.

thesnootyfox Thu 07-Feb-13 20:06:02

Say not see.

ineedaspartame I bf my DD until 19mo and went back to work full time when she was 7mo. Two of my full time colleagues also continued with bf after returning to work. One of them is getting close to 2yo now! Not sure why you assume working mums can't bf. In fact studies say older and better educated mums are more likely to bf. They are the ones more likely to return to work presumably.

MummytoKatie Sat 09-Feb-13 00:09:39

Yep - I went back when dd was 11 months and carried on breastfeeding until 27 months.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 00:21:05

Full time work and breast feeding are not incompatible.

Rummaging through wheelie bins?

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 00:31:57

So many posters seem, inexplicably, to see children as a luxury add on to go with the Sky box and the second car rather than an integral part of society. What the hell is wrong with a child being cared for by a parent? Not everyone has their own parents nearby to provide free childcare and there is nothing at all to be gained in one parent spending all their earnings on farming their kids out to a nursery.
Yes when the kids are school age a theoretical argument can be made, but ROFL at the idea of all these school hours, term time only jobs that exist just waiting to be filled by lazy SAHPs.
Some people really don't live in the real world.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 00:37:55

I propose that those two income households where the second income pays for childcare with money to spare for holidays etc give up one of the jobs to free it up for someone who is being forced to find one or starve. Sounds fair?

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 00:38:42

Gaelicsheep - so many posters? Really? I can't see a single one on this thread who is 'farming out' their child so they can have Sky.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 00:42:36

I'd rather not give up my job for someone else. It can't be filled in just by anyone, I like my job, I'd get bored at home while the kids are at school and I love my holidays. I can expand on the reasons but I'm guessing we'd both be wasting our time.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 00:43:34

What I mean is that children are discussed in the same vein as Sky and other non essential luxuries. Can't afford to live on one income in order to bring up children? Tough, don't have them then. That attitude is prevalent and wrong.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 00:48:00

Even if someone else needs it more than you Aftermay? If that person then can't find a suitable job do you agree their universal credit should be cut, to allow your two income lifestyle to continue? You being meant here in the broadest sense, not personal to you specifically of course.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 00:57:55

Don't be silly. I've worked for years for my 'lifestyle'. I've made the most of my brains. Why would I give it up? Choose to subsidise a stranger over giving me & mine a holiday? I already pay taxes, give to charity etc.

I wouldn't like to live in your world where women would be forced to stay at home.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 01:04:14

Who said anything about women being forced to stay at home? Simply that when there aren't enough jobs to go round it seems unfair that some families keep hold of two well paying ones whilst others are lucky to get one at minimum wage through no fault of their own, then get berated for it by the double earners? Don't you think?

Let's ALL have one, two, or even may be three kids and all the mums AND dads stay at home to look after them. After all who's to say Mum or Dad could do the better job? And who's to say which class could do the better job?

Ooooo....hang on...wheres all the money coming from....oh yes that big pot in the sky that just refills itself.

You have babies, you stay at home, you go to work, whatever, you just cut your cloth to support your need. The benefits system exists to support those in dire straits, not to support lifestyle choices. I don't get why that is such a difficult concept to grasp.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 01:11:02

I don't see anyone being berated by double earners. If anything, I see double earners being berated for 'farming out' their children do they can go out and earn that double income. Or maybe that's just your worldview?

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 01:13:31

Currently the benefits system is required to prop up incomes of normal families because of rises in the cost of living fuelled by two income families. Where are the jobs to allow every family to have two earners? I foresee a flurry of new childminders - just swap kids in the morning. Job done grin

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 01:27:23

" Why would I give it up? Choose to subsidise a stranger over giving me & mine a holiday?"

I'm not picking a fight honestly, but don't you see how someone in the reverse position might feel they shouldn't have to find a crappy job that only just covers the childcare costs just to save you some tax?

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 01:31:24

Gaelicsheep - the swapping childminders would in effect be paying the govt. to be able to do their jobs. Income would be straightforward 'swap' but they'd still need to pay taxes on their income and everything else.

I don't buy your logic about the cost of living rising because educated people - including women! Some of them even mothers! - choosing to work. It's not the 1950s.

You may be on to something there Gaelic. However a lot of "propping up" in my experience (people who I know who get TC) means they get a holiday abroad every year, which is lovely and not too outlandish, but not really necessity is it. And something I have to work 45 hours a week for. Its quite soul destroying when people are in the middle of ticking off the back of their prescription as "Income Support" then answering their iPhone.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 01:34:34

'just to save you some tax'? Err, you mean some more tax. I'm already paying quite a bit, rest assured.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 01:47:07

Are you sure saladcreamwitheverything? I think I see the same thing, but it depends on which end of the spectrum you're at. If the TC in question is a few hundred quid of CTC that really doesn't make up for not having a second salary coming in with its second tax free allowance. But I think this proposal is about the WTC end of things and I think the odd perverse outcome shouldn't colour the argument about the potential hardships faced by the majority.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 01:52:27

House price inflation really took off when double incomes could be counted for mortgages. Which came first I don't know, I'm not an economist, but they are surely linked. That also had a knock on effect on rents of course, making any kind of decent housing unaffordable for many normal working people, hence an increased reliance on benefits.

Sure about what?

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 02:06:33

Are you sure that the anecdotes you mentioned are really that common? Because it's bloody hard running a household on a single income, even a notionally good one.

I'm not at the end of any spectrum. Actually we are probably the VERY squeezed middle! I have a good job, but I have a divorce behind me. No legal aid. My DH has a ex-p who is the worst woman in the world, has come up with all kinds of untrue bollocks so we have spent in excess of £20k through courts sorting that out so he can access to gain access to his DS again. Again no Legal Aid. I gave birth to my DS in Jan 2012, i was back at work doing a 45 hour week two weeks later. I am very bitter towards people who get something for nothing.

"anecdotes" Yep that's all they are, I wish!

Chubfuddler Sat 09-Feb-13 03:02:07

Without wanting to come over all Xenia, the way to get school hours part time work in my experience is to he really, really good at your job so that when you go on maternity leave for the second time and your eldest is coming up to school age, your employer agrees to cutting your hours rather than risk losing you. Not drop out of employment for five + years then cast desperately about for a convenient "mummy job".

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 03:20:34

Saladcream - you would hate me then. I am on Income Support and have an iPhone.

I am on income support because I am a lone parent with 4 DC's. Three of them are disabled. I am also disabled. There is NO childcare for two of my DC's (an autistic 14yo and a 2yo with multiple life threatening allergies that every Nursery, preschool and childminder in my entire town has refused to be responsible for the risk to his health). Childcare for my third DC with SN's would cost at least double standard childcare.

I get DLA for my disabilities.

Why do I have an iPhone? Because my mobile is my only phone (no house phone as I would have to pay a £300 deposit as I'm unemployed), and on Pay as you go, I was spending £75-£80 a month phoning 0845 numbers. (Will explain that in a minute)

My phone broke. I didn't have any spare money to buy a new phone at that point, as it was only a few weeks after my ex had left me. My phone company offered me an iPhone for nothing, plus 3 months free usage, if I got a pay monthly iPhone. I now make MORE 0845 phonecalls, yet never spend more than £45 a month, with it being down to £36 on a good month.

All the consultants my DC's see, and I see, are based on 0845 numbers, as my hospital's switchboard is an 0845 number.

All benefit helpline numbers are 0845 numbers.

All my utility companies are 0845 numbers.

My Housing Association repairs team is an 0845 number. As is their helpline that I have to report my neighbour's ASB to.

I could go on.

Plus my iPhone enables me to do my shopping online, set reminders for my medications, carry my diary in my pocket so that I don't double book DD's medical appointments with mine, or DS2's with DS3's.

I have an iPhone and I'm on income support. SFW. It actually SAVES me money. Therefore I guess, in your eyes, it saves YOU money.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 03:22:13

Saladcream - I'll swap you your DS's health and your health for my iPhone. I know which I'd rather my family had...

Why are you all on here judging and berating each other when the real problem lies with the government, businesses and the economy? They are baiting us against each other and people are falling for it.

There arent even enough jobs for one partner in every family to go to work, let alone two.

Businesses are paying ridiculously low wages. No one can be expected to meet the cost of high rents, high bills and childcare on the typical wages.

We need people to have children, otherwise there will be no workforce to support us in old age. Since when did having children become a privilege only open to the rich?

The fact is, SAHMs will be forced out to work to pay most of their salary in childcare fees, so nurseries can up numbers but keep fees the same and still pay their staff a pittance. All this is going to do is put more money in the pockets of the rich, while everyone works for nothing and gets to see their kids for an hour a day. It wont help families and it wont help the kids.

JakeBullet Sat 09-Feb-13 06:43:27

Saladcream.....I can almost echo Merrtmouthycow's post.

I only have one DC but he is autistic and has many challenges and difficulties. Prior to March 2012 I worked for 30 years (am quite old really). I have an iPhone 4 which I got while in work and is paid for.....but you wouldn't know that if you were stood behind me watching me tick the box for free prescriptions. Instead you'd be making a cats bum mouth and judging me.

Not sure how old you are but am betting I was paying taxes while you were still in school and benefitting from them.

How about remembering that everyone has a story before judging them for daring to be poor while owning an IPhone.

I am sick of people judging me without knowing anything about me.

In a way though I don't blame them....this Govt has done a good job of demonising everyone who needs to claim anything. The papers are full of it, the TV is full of it......not surprising really that those who are too dim to see through it judge people like me who have worked all our lives.

Can you read my post upthread about benefits system existing for those who need it not a life style choice before I get flamed for being anti-disability???

For the record, I don't HATE anybody.

These threads always turn out the same.

Don't worry, i've learnt my lesson. You've won. I'll keep my gob shut.
<leaves thread and continues to be a silent seething lurker>

But why are you seething and bitter at people just trying to get by salad?

People put their families first and do what they have to do to keep a roof over their heads. You cant blame someone for worrying about their own existence before they think of the bigger picture. Thats just human nature.

And your bitterness will hurt no one but yourself in the end.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 08:28:59

Wannabe - regarding there not being enough jobs. Someone said up thread that they wouldn't want crappy jobs. Which is then at odds with you saying they'd do anything to keep a roof over their heads. It's all complicated.

I agree with you, however, about how divisive the whole issue is.

JakeBullet Sat 09-Feb-13 08:36:35

I am not accusing you of being anti disability saladcream,in fact I am as sure as I can be you are not. I am just pointing out that everyone has a story. If you were behind me in the chemist the likelihood is I would not have my son but I would have my phone with me in case the school needs me. It might be me you see answering my phone while ticking the income support box......which you have already said you make a judgement about.

As for UC, I will get this for a while until I can go back to work properly, I am already about to start a part time job.....I don't want to be a burden on society but I do want to be treated fairly and for people not to necessarily judge me because I have something they think I shouldn't. I also have a flat screen TV....again bought in good times and I pray it lasts the distance because no way can I afford to replace it.

When someone says crappy I take it to mean so poorly paid that you wouldnt be able to afford to work. Which is possible. But again, whos fault? Should Joe Bloggs risk being made homeless but feel ok about that because atleast hes working?

As it happens, there is a cleaning job in my town for 10 hours a week which I cant apply for because it requires a cleaning qualification. hmm

I dont even get replies to my job applications. DP is the same. He was supposed to be starting a job on Monday, but isnt now because the JC found the employer someone who had been on JSA longer and was on a scheme. So that person is cheaper.

Crappy jobs? Where are they? We will do them.

LabelsGalore Sat 09-Feb-13 08:48:18

My issue here are two folds;
1- where are the jobs? With the level of unemployment that we have atm, I can't see how asking more people to find a job is going to work....
2- what about childcare? the cost of childcare is such that if you have to accept whatever job is given to you, it is quite possible that it will NOT cover the cost of childcare. In that case what is the point?

Completely agree that the system is such that it will push people into not claiming UC.
Unfortunately, it will also stop people trying to develop their own business and will put the poorest of us in an unsustainable position (eg having to switch job on a regular basis depending on what the 'job center' will find them with all the issues with childcare etc...).
I do have a BIG issue with the fact that all people receiving UC (or WTC ...) have their 'lifestyle' subsidised. It seems to be so far from the truth....

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 08:55:58

Actually I agree with lots of the posts on here. The subsidised 'lifestyle' choice I think is used because of idiotic pronouncements about what mothers should be doing, i.e. staying at home and breast feeding. That makes it sound like a lifestyle choice rather than necessity, needs must etc.

As with everything, choosing your words and trying to see the other side would lead to more understanding.

Good luck with looking for jobs. BIL is in this situation at the moment.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 09:50:12

Yes by crappy job I meant a dead end job with no training or prospects that does not cover the costs of childcare and associated expenses. That is a lose lose for parent and child.
For the record I'm a WOHM.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 09:56:56

And I breastfed while working full time. I've no axe to grind here. I have a DH who stays at home with our toddler. It is choice we have made, it is funded entirely from my salary with a few hundred quid CTC a year and our family income, despite my good job,is considerably below average. If my DH took one of the jobs available locally (which are like hen's teeth) we would we financially worse off.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 09-Feb-13 13:28:38

"I propose that those two income households where the second income pays for childcare with money to spare for holidays etc give up one of the jobs to free it up for someone who is being forced to find one or starve. Sounds fair?"

Why should they? People work for many reasons not just financial. Working should bring the nice things in life as well as the essentials hence children fare better when growing up with a good work ethic installed.

If somebody is now being forced to find work under the new UC system then they should thank their lucky stars that their choice of being a SAHP was funded at all in the first place. Children are the responsibilty of the parent/s not the state, welfare should only kick in as a safety net not a lifestyle choice.

Theres nothing wrong with suggesting people should only have children that they can afford and its nothing like extras like sky. Children are costly so come with a huge financial commitment. If people cant afford to have them, then they change their lifestyle, take extra hours etc until they can rather than believe its their right and that the state should pay for that choice.

Tax credits are boosting low wages.

Make the businesses pay fairer wages and then maybe the state wouldnt have to pay.

JakeBullet Sat 09-Feb-13 13:37:35

Only the rich should have children, everyone else should have implants innit? angry

What about those who lose jobs after planning for their children?

What about those who cannot find work after these changes kick in?

nkf Sat 09-Feb-13 13:42:02

My understanding is that you can be a stay at home mother until your youngest turns 60. Unless... you are claiming a benefit of some kind.

I love how rich people dont have to have a work ethic.

Work is about more than money? Well then why isnt every SAHM working? Even the ones who dont claim benefits. Contribute to society ffs.

nkf Sat 09-Feb-13 13:54:21

Is it the case that tax credits allow employers to pay less? I can understand that it might work like that but does it really? There is so much myth around benefits.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 14:00:50

nfk - ok, so the changes are not too bad if you can SAH till your youngest turns 60 smile

The government knows NMW isnt enough to survive on. Hence tax credits. Presumably because employers would kick up a fuss if NMW wage raised to a level which enabled people to live without tax credits.

nkf Sat 09-Feb-13 14:04:12

But people who aren't on minimum wage also get tax credits. I can't help wondering if the prices of things would fall if there was less support. For example, I know someone who gets housing benefit. Her rent is very high. Ultimately, who benefits from that? The house owner surely. Perhaps he can only charge such a high rent because of housing benefit.

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 14:04:46

Oh, but think of Business. And The City. Can't be pissing them off.

Well yes. Its landlords too. And energy companies. And childcare providers.

In my local private nursery they were advertising for staff who had to have NVQ level 3, paed first aid, food hygiene, and another one I cant remember.

Pay? NMW.

So go to college, get your qualifications, try to better your life. But we wont pay to reflect that.

The profits go to big bosses (in that nurserys case, a multimillionaire) and the government have to top up wages to an acceptable level.

ubik Sat 09-Feb-13 14:12:24

They should have universal free/heavily subsidised after school childcare already in place. It should be good childcare, qualified staff, well paid, homework supervised, games and activities.

There should also be good quality childcare available for very young children - it should be free/heavily subsidised.

Both parents should be entitled to some parental leave every year. You have to accept that if you going to claim benefits you will have to find work when your child is old enough to start school.

Mosman Sat 09-Feb-13 14:27:08

The reason for not staying out of the workforce for five years should be bleeding obvious, beyond maternity leave the gap in the CV isn't good. Getting into the routine of getting up and going somewhere for a set time might mean more reception kids arrive at school on time having slept properly, going to nursery means the child gets lunch and a healthy snack. All things some take for granted but some would be amazed to hear doesn't happen in every household.
Just as a parent at home might be good for some children, a working mum might benefit others.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 22:38:58

Please can we stop with the antiquated assumption that the SAHP aka workshy layabout who should be "contributing to society", whatever the hell that means, is always the mother?

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 22:48:30

wannabeadomesticgoddess - if they are not taking your taxes ( and frankly even if they are) who do you think you are to determine how someone else lives their life? Who are you, or any of you on this thread with the same opinion, to determine what does and does not constitute "work" in line with your idea of a work ethic?

If all SAHPs went out to work who would be volunteering at the after school clubs, attending the daytime fundraising meetings at the schools, doing all those things that some of you deem worthless because they are unpaid?

And once again I ask the question that's the elephant in the room here. Where are the jobs? And furthermore where are all the jobs that provide guaranteed hours, to satisfy the government, and regular hours, to make childcare even remotely possible.

Perhaps someone who is criticising SAHPs of any flavour might care to answer.

Finally, folks who claim they would be bored at home, ergo every SAHP must sit around on their arse doing nothing, reveal much about their lack of curiosity and intellect.


If you had read my other posts you would have detected the sarcasm in that post.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 23:12:17

Oops, sorry. I had read your other posts but it all became a bit of a blur. Ignore the reference to you then, but others do seem to hold that sentiment so my rant still stands!

Contribute to society ffs

There are indeed MNers who hold this belief.

And once again I ask the question that's the elephant in the room here. Where are the jobs? And furthermore where are all the jobs that provide guaranteed hours, to satisfy the government, and regular hours, to make childcare even remotely possible.

Precisely. I am lucky that I can replace any lost Tax Credits without having to take a job that someone else needs.

My point was that it only seems to be the poor who are expected to contribute.

While the rich think that tax from one half of a couple absolves them of the responsibility they expect of others.

No one says there shouldn't be SAHP. The US has lots of them without any sort of tax credits. The problem is why should the tax payer be supporting it? There is a limited pot and we can't give money to everyone.

As for the ach

No one says there shouldn't be SAHP. The US has lots of them without any sort of tax credits. The problem is why should the tax payer be supporting it? There is a limited pot and we can't give money to everyone.

Damn phone...

The tax payer is supporting it because the government refuse to address the issues of low wages and high housing costs.

Not just this gov either. Labour did the same.

Take issue with the government. Not families trying to get by.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 08:48:36

If they genuinely can't find a job then that's it, end of conversation, having satisfied the JC that they've tried they can do no more.

The point is it is not the poor that don't get to be stay at home parents, it's people who've been at university, carved good careers for themselves who've been shafted over the past 10 years. I have had cousins openly laughing at DH and I when he was made redundant because as they rightly said if instead of buying a house we'd applied for a council place house - and they were available then - nothing in our world would have changed as a result of DH loosing his job, no strain, no stress, scrimping, worrying.
Certain sections of society have had their feet up, suffered no consequences when they've made poor decisions when others have as a result of their actions and it's basically their chickens coming home to roost. The party was always going to end to think otherwise is very naive and yet it's unsurprising so many didn't foresee it.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 08:51:01

the government refuse to address the issues of low wages and high housing costs.

Do you not think this will address it then ?

Because people can't pay with money they haven't got, Tesco's et all will have to increase wages otherwise they will suffer the consequences. It'll have to be employers increasing wages because there will be no more government money in their tills.

And you think people who live in council housing wouldnt rather have bought their own home?

People dont go around making bad decisions and being lazy to get a council house ffs. Some people are never given the chance to go to university. Their lives have been blighted with poverty and lack of choices from an early age.

And you think they are lucky because they have a council house?


No. It wont.

It will see the people on the street starving before it will ever affect tesco.

JakeBullet Sun 10-Feb-13 09:01:40

Mosmam sadly I have to agree with's awful that you have struggled as a result of redundancy while your relatives have been fortunate enough to be in social housing which gives them security.

I have long thought (and people will not agree with me) that in reality most people cannot afford mortgages...not unless they can pay them both in work and out. People should have a secure roof over their heads as a right...not as a privilege.

I have done the mortgaged property, the privately rented property and am now in social housing which I only got as my son is disabled. At the time of the mortgaged property it was 1998 with low house prices, redundancy was not a disaster as we managed on one wage, being in privately rented accommodation was a nightmare though. Only now do I feel really secure and I am in social housing which I am so so grateful to have. Believe me ..really really grateful for it. It will never be mine though and shouldn't be...when I no longer have need of it then it will rightly move to another family. It might be DS if he cannot live independently (jury is still out about this) or it might be a new family.

Help should be there equally for everyone and nobody should be crowing at someone who has tried to succeed in an unfair society if they fall in difficult times.

Yes Jake. More help should be available for everyone.

But walk a day in the shoes of someone who lives in a council house before you decide they are all lazy and havent tried was my point.

JakeBullet Sun 10-Feb-13 09:05:40

They are not being kind to Mosman need for their comments.

I would rather be back in my mortgaged property which would now be paid for. Yes most people would love to own rather than rent but reality is that some people do not get the breaks or have the necessary to attend university or whatever.

I am a big believer in the need for social housing.....however it can be done. Everyone needs to know that when the chips are down they can rely on a roof over their heads.

JakeBullet Sun 10-Feb-13 09:07:37

Agree wannabe

I worked for the past 30 years.....I am in social housing though and likely to remain there. I haven't ever been lazy on the terms people discuss here. I have always worked (apart from the past year) and will work again. Not everyone in social housing is lazy.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 09:14:59

My relatives had every opportunity to go to university and got pregnant at 17, her mother begged her not to try again, promised holidays, cars, driving lessons but oh no she would not be told.
I doubt she's the only one.
And no she isn't lazy as a result of her actions she will have to work harder than most but only because she'll be forced to, left to her own devices she would be sat at home which is a waste of her talents and not going to do her any favors in the long term.

What ever we think of council housing/state support there is now more of us demanding it so there will be less to go around. Everyone needs to get used to that. Private business will have to take on the burden because the state will not.
I can't say I believe there will be scenes of starving in the street but I don't have a crystal ball so who know's but I do know if government money isn't in Tesco's till's they will be affected and will have to take action according. From a business perspective it is better to pay their staff more than slit their own throats.

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 09:20:23

^gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 01:27:23

" Why would I give it up? Choose to subsidise a stranger over giving me & mine a holiday?"

I'm not picking a fight honestly, but don't you see how someone in the reverse position might feel they shouldn't have to find a crappy job that only just covers the childcare costs just to save you some tax?^

See this comes from a mindset that all earned money is by right the governments to do with as it pleases and it's the governments decision how much people should get. It's not that way round for most people. Most people don't feel the money they earn is the governments by right - it's theirs, they are giving some of it up to pay for things they believe as a society we should pay for. The government has no money, it is given some money from individuals who are working to pay for things collectively that we agree as a society we need/want that's easier to do collectively than individually.

It relatively easy to convince a working person that they should give some of their money to pay for police to keep them safe, for an NHS to look after them if they get ill etc. But it's a very hard sell that someone who works should give up some of their money they have earned in order to allow someone else to chose not to work. Your looking for work and can't find any? OK, I'm happy give you money to live off while you try to find a job, we don't want you to starve. But you don't want to work? Why should I fund your choice?

for those saying "where will all these term time only school hours jobs only come from?" are missing the point, they changes won't mean you have to work, just that you have to look for work and apply for jobs that are suitable. In the same way many unemployed but childfree people might prefer to actually not work, we insist as a society that if they want money from the rest of us they have to show they are trying to get a job. If not, that's fine, but fund your lifechoices yourself.

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 09:33:30

"When there are two adults in a household, both capable of earning a living, why should one of them just opt out and force the family to live in poverty?"

This is asking the wrong question IMO!

Going back to the first half of the last, families were expected to survive on one wage. One spouse (the DH in those days) went out and worked, one stayed at home. The working part of the couple was expected to earn a living wage to be able to support a family (often with many DCs).

The idea that both parents should be out working and sending their DCs to be looked after by paid childcare workers is a new thing.

What has gone so wrong that one person's wages now cannot support their family in so many cases that state top-ups are needed?

We should be asking why wages are so low, and why house prices are so high, and what can be done about it?

Because driving wages and conditions down even lower, and encouraging the idea that a mother wanting to be there for her DCs is a luxury is only one possible solution.

There are many other ways to tackle this problem. The one this government is going for however is the one which benefits big business at the expense of the people. That's you (unless you are very rich indeed!)

Please ask yourself, wouldn't it be better for most people if rents were lower, to focus on just one issue? There are all sorts of things the government could be doing about this (and the last one could have done too) but they are choosing not to.

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 09:43:54

"The country is broke, it can't afford to subsidise stay at home parents or any other group any more."

No, we are not broke. We're in a better position than many other countries. We probably will be broke by the time this lot have finished with us though. They are using the recession as an excuse to drive through policies based on ideology, not evidence.

You are all aware that the Tories are actually driving us deeper into recession and are costing us money, right?

All this talk of belt-tightening is spin to get policies through which are designed to systematically pick apart the welfare state.


"Chancellor George Osborne should ditch an austerity programme which has resulted in a "malnourished" British economy, a former Bank of England rate-setter warned ...

American Adam Posen, who served on the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee until September, spoke out after years of frustration over the Coalition's "self-defeating" deficit-cutting strategy and failure to encourage investment.

The outspoken criticism is an embarrassment for the Chancellor coming ... Mr Posen said: "For two and a half years, the Coalition Government's economic policies have focused on the wrong narrow goal, been self-defeating in pursuit of that goal, and in so doing have eaten away at British economic capabilities and confidence. It is past time for me, and far more importantly for the Chancellor, to say so."

Mr Posen attacked the Coalition for failing to encourage capital investment, in contrast to international rivals such as Germany, France, Japan, and the United States ...

He also labelled the lack of competition in the banking sector in the UK market as "extraordinary" ...

He warned: "It is not enough for Messrs Cameron and Osborne to claim that they have done what they promised to do. Their policies have left the British economy malnourished, and indeed made parts of it quite ill. There are alternatives available, and the British Government should switch to these now."

The economist also had a broadside for the Bank for "scaremongering" over the need for spending cuts, adding that the committee risked feeding "the policy defeatism and austerity cycle" damaging the economy."

From this article

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 09:48:00

This is one of the real problems. We should all be up in arms about this, not benefit fraud, which is absolutely negligible in comparison the effects of low wages on our society.

"Spencer Dale, the Bank of England's chief economist, warned of more wage pain to come after official figures showed average growth in salaries remains at 1.8 per cent. This is in effect a real-terms cut for workers when the consumer prices index inflation benchmark stands at 2.7 per cent.

Mr Dale said wages had fallen 15 per cent in real terms compared with the pre-crisis trend. He warned: "Although real wages have fallen sharply, it seems likely there is still a little further to go in adjusting to the shocks that we have seen so far."

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 09:54:37


"Because people can't pay with money they haven't got, Tesco's et all will have to increase wages otherwise they will suffer the consequences. It'll have to be employers increasing wages because there will be no more government money in their tills"

No mosnam, the government policies will drive wages down not up. There will be many more people than jobs. Even more in fact once the government declares part-time workers as "underemployed" and brings so many more into the jobs market.

It's simple supply and demand. If there are lots of people desperate for jobs, the employers will be able to get away with paying less.

You also seem to be confusing Tesco with the government! <shudders at the thought> It's not their role to ensure people in society have enough money to spend in their tills! That's the job of government (a job this one is failing at).
Tesco exists in many countries with lower wages than us! If we're less well off as a society they'll simply adjust their product ranges, not up their wages! (If only!)

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 10:12:24

The government has been putting money in the tills of tills, weatherspoons, McDonalds etc. Remove that money from circulation that lowers the profits of such organisations the only way to bring those profits back up will be to fill the gap left by the government money.

aufanie, you speak so much sense. And say what I think much more eloquently.


By the time the lack of money makes an impact on big business people will already be starving.

If profits are down why would anyone raise what they pay their staff? That is so illogical. Pay will go down further. Along with quality of product. Prices will go up.

You think tesco or McDonalds have a social conscience? They dont. They are profit driven like any business.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Feb-13 10:59:20

While there are people on this thread happy to hold onto a job they don't need while simultaneously criticising those who need one and can't find one, I fear any sensible discussion is impossible.

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 11:09:37

Oops, that should have said "Going back to the first half of the last century! blush

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Feb-13 11:10:44

And finally, before I go because once again this thread has got me so angry, I really want someone to explain this. If a family is not supporting itself through state benefits, then why is there more virtue in a parent going out to work in a job they hate, that brings in no extra money after childcare is paid for - perhaps even costs them money to do -, making life more difficult and the family miserable, than there is in that same parent choosing to stay at home, occupy their time in useful and interesting ways, be happier and have their children be happier? Why do some people think there is something wrong in that? It's not as if any significant tax revenue will be raised by the first state of affairs - it seems more like a puritan view that everyone should be equally miserable. Why is the second option not also "contributing to society"? Although frankly contributing to "society" in some collective sense is far less important than yourself and your family being happy - we only live once.

I totally get that where a family is relying significantly on benefits to support one parent being at home then that choice is not legitimately open to them, but there are not enough jobs to go around so it's rather a pointless argument to be had anyway.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Feb-13 11:12:24

I think it is very very sad that so many people think their only value and purpose in life is to be tax-paying monkeys.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Feb-13 11:16:33

Actually I am reminded of the mindset that led to the Highland clearances. The southern Scots thought the Highland crofters were lazy, despite the fact that they were supporting themselves and their families perfectly well without relying on anyone else. They had time for music and dance, they worked as much as they needed to and no more. That wasn't enough, they were sent to "really" work in the factories and farms of the south, and disaster resulted.

Sorry for multiple posts, that's it now.

Your point is valid gealic sheep.

The problem is that the choice (SAH/WOH) is effectively being taken away from the poor because wages are being topped up by the state.

No one should ever think that being a SAHM is not contributing to society. But once tax payers money comes into the equation, people feel the need to judge Mrs Bloggs instead of the government who are taking her choice away.

Sorry. Gaelicsheep..

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 11:46:16

Gaelicsheep - I don't think anyone is arguing that it's more morally acceptable to work than not work if the net effect on the family is the same, however if the non-working is only the same effect on the family finances because you need to take money from other working people to make up the difference, then it is unfair and unreasonable.

If there were less people claiming benefits and smaller amounts needed to be collected via tax, then those working could pay less tax. Government money doesn't magically appear, it comes from other working people. If at the next election the majority of people think it's better to pay more taxes to have more generous benefits then Labour will win again. Unfortunately once times got hard, most working people got less generous and at the last election voted for a party who have made no secret of wanting to wherever possible keep more of your own money with you to spend rather than taking it to give to others.

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 11:51:17

Interesting point about the Highland Clearances gaelicsheep. Please don't apologise, keep 'em coming!

wannabedomesticgoddess thanks! smile

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 12:01:46

Don't we need unemployment of 5% to make capitalism work ? So we are agreed that there will never be full employment.
However at the moment, landlords are topped up by housing benefit, Tesco's etc are topped up by fruit and veg vouchers amongst other things.
Remove those top ups and the natural market value is found.
Now I don't doubt that shop lifting will go through the roof if it hasn't already, on my last day in the UK i saw a bloke with a frozen chicken up his jacket.
But without the tax credits top ups people will not have disposable income, the profits of Tesco etc will drop or alternatively they will have to pay their staff more and incentivise them to spend it in Tesco's.
I don't have a crystal ball so can't make any promises that it'll pan out that way but it's at least as likely as people starving in the streets.

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 12:22:22

"If there were less people claiming benefits and smaller amounts needed to be collected via tax, then those working could pay less tax."

If fewer people were claiming benefits then the burden on the tax payer will be lower, yes. (Whether that will translate into lower taxes is another question entirely!)

So how should we go about making sure fewer people are claiming benefits? There are many ways we could do that.

Wouldn't it be better to cut the benefits bill by creating jobs and doing something about the housing benefit bill that didn't involve making people homeless or driving families further into poverty?!

Here are some positive things we could do:

a. create more jobs, thus bringing down the numbers claiming benefits as people in work claim no or fewer benefits than the unemployed.

b. do something about the high rents. Building more council housing would be a good start as -if well-managed- it would be an investment for the tax payer (i.e. it would make us money!), it would mean fewer people on benefits as they wouldn't need top-ups to pay extortionate rents, and would have a knock-on effect of bringing down rents in the provate sector (simple supply and demand). It would mean that for those on benefits, the HB money was at least coming back into the public purse, rather than going to private LLs. Once people were no longer on benefits their rents would be adding money to the public purse. The transfer of public money to private pockets via HB is a massive waste of our money IMO.

c. follow sound economic principles designed to get us out of recession

d. enact policies designed to support and encourage decent wages and working conditions.

But, the government is doing none of these things.

The Tories are not engaging in any policies designed to actually create jobs AFAIK, and they are driving us further into the worst recession for decades.

They are creating lots of virtual sticks to beat people with, to "incentivise" them into work, but if there are no more jobs overall (or fewer even) then do the maths! It doesn't matter how desperate those without jobs are, if the jobs don't exist we're not going to get benefits to come down that way.

I can't see how the Tories plan will save us money. Sure, many will have their benefits cut, but, crucially, Tory policies seem to be spelling disaster for the economy, and when the economy shrinks, or stagnates, there will be fewer jobs. And therefore a bigger benefits bill. Borrowing is also going up under the Tories.

The effects of their policies will be to make living conditions worse for all of us (unless very rich), and so create a more desperate workforce which benefits big business.

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 12:23:45

Mosman - I think yes, the assumption is unemployment of around 5 - 7% is the only way to avoid wage inflation getting out of hand (but that assumes the system is closed and it not being easy to import cheap labour/easy to outsource work to cheaper parts of the world if the costs of producing things in the UK get pushed too high.)

However, it doesn't require that 5% to be the same 5% all the time. It does assume you have to have long term unemployed, just around 5% of those available for work to be unemployed at the same time. The system also only works if those people are available and capable of doing the jobs others are doing and prepared to do them for the price currently being paid to people working.

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 12:35:19

Mosman so your idea to improve conditions is to make everything so intolerably bad for everyone that people can't afford to buy enough food (even the budget range) to keep Tesco turning a profit.

You think that with people starving in the streets (as that is what you are talking about!) that Tesco would say "actually, if we pay our own workforce better (kind of like a "Fairtrade" agreement) they will have more money to spend in our shops".

Can you not see a few holes in that?!

Hmm, let's see:

- Tesco etc are not a charity, they are a profit making enterprise. They would not see themselves as the cause of the problem. They would simply look at how they can keep making profit.

- a huge part of the population would have to be actually starving before a supermarket would consider it might want to play a role in changing society. (Is this something we want to aspire to?!) But even then, if things got that bad they would probably simply bugger off to a more profitable market, not stick around trying to change the one they're in. They're in the business of making money, not changing society!

- If Tesco were handing out money to employees at above the going rate for jobs, hoping it would come back to them, they would be spending money here, which would eat into their profits. It would cost them money, they wouldn't do it. The maths doesn't work.

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 12:42:01

Nobody will be forced to return to the job market. They just won't be subsidised by the tax payer to stay at home and look after children. I think it would have been more sensible to say parents of children over five should seek work and not parents of children over one.

mumblechum1 Sun 10-Feb-13 12:49:04

Nobody will be forced to return to the job market. They just won't be subsidised by the tax payer to stay at home and look after children. I think it would have been more sensible to say parents of children over five should seek work and not parents of children over one.

This sums up exactly how I see it.

olgaga Sun 10-Feb-13 12:54:10

The message is pretty clear "Don't have children if you can't afford it!".

Of course the reality is there are no jobs, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is the message. State subsidy of child-rearing can no longer be taken for granted. If you want to have children, you need to have a salary coming in that you can manage on - whether there is one of you or two of you.

That's always been the Tory philosophy - stand on your own two feet. So I don't know why anyone would be surprised at these developments!

I do wonder where all these jobs are that fit in with school hours though. Unless things have changed dramatically in 10 years, the only ones I know of are those in schools!

Or as self-employed cleaners, childminders etc.

Perhaps someone can enlighten us as to where all these school-hours jobs are.

ouryve Sun 10-Feb-13 13:09:13

The message is pretty clear "Don't have children if you can't afford it!".

I'm sure most people can afford it when they make a decision to start a family. There is no guarantee that they will be as financially comfortable 5 or 10 years down the line, though. I expect that there's a fair few families with 5 year olds who have seen their finances contract since their children were born, through circumstances completely out of their control.

If the torys want people to stand on their own two feet then they need to give them the tools to do so. Create jobs. Lower rents. Everything aufanie suggested.

Taking away peoples safety net isnt going to make them work if there are no jobs.

The tory assumption is that no one wants to work. Thats wrong. The want is there. The jobs arent.

Infact, IMO they are undermining the job market with "work experience" and limiting who can apply for jobs by age with 18-24 schemes and 50+ schemes.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 13:39:12

My mention of people starving in the street was in response to another poster claiming she/he thought that would happen if government support is removed.
Clearly this is nonsense, long before it gets to that point, when there's a dip in profits the likes of Tesco's change their marketing tactics to ensure they are still profitable and therefore people do eat. This happens already and will continue to happen if things aren't turned around.

What the Tory's want is a shift in mind set and like it or not that's what the voting population wanted, whether they regret it now it's starting to take shape we will see at the next election but I wouldn't bank on it, plenty of people aren't affected by this at all and will enjoy the benefits of whatever tax breaks the tory's have up their sleeves for their core voters.

There are many things tesco can do to increase profits before paying their staff more will be a consideration.

People are already skipping meals. How much further do you think they can be pushed?

aufaniae Sun 10-Feb-13 14:14:04

"when there's a dip in profits the likes of Tesco's change their marketing tactics to ensure they are still profitable"

Agreed, of course they do.

What's absolutely incorrect is that they would increase their employees wages in response to falling profits as a marketing tactic.

I'm not going to argue this point anymore as it's so way off reality - it's in the realms of total fantasy!

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 14:28:17

And starving people in the streets is a reality in 2013 all because some SAMP are asked to try and get a job in school hours ?

You need to look at the bigger picture Mosman.

olgaga Sun 10-Feb-13 15:15:56

I expect that there's a fair few families with 5 year olds who have seen their finances contract since their children were born, through circumstances completely out of their control.

Try telling that to the likes of Iain Duncan Smith! What do they care about the "little people" who aren't able to cope with unforseen circumstances. As far as they're concerned, all benefit recipients other than those on State Pensions are scroungers, pure and simple.

What the Tory's want is a shift in mind set and like it or not that's what the voting population wanted, whether they regret it now it's starting to take shape we will see at the next election but I wouldn't bank on it, plenty of people aren't affected by this at all and will enjoy the benefits of whatever tax breaks the tory's have up their sleeves for their core voters.

Mosman you just hit the nail firmly on the head.

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 16:20:22

The point is all this scaremongering about starving people in the streets isn't helping anybody. It's just nonsense. In the early eighties things were a lot worse than they are now. And no tax credits for part-time workers. Most people want fairness in the benefit system. And that doesn't mean the option to work part-time and have your benefits topped up so you earn the same amount as the person working full time. I disagree with that I'm afraid.


I went through six months last year skipping meals, sometimes not eating for whole days (while pregnant I might add) so that we could make sure DD was fed. We were illegally evicted twice in four months.

If you really think that these measures wont plunge people into impossible situations then you need to open your eyes.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 16:30:49

all because some SAMP are asked to try and get a job in school hours ?

Is that all it is? They are being asked to apply for jobs and do their best to get school hour jobs? Once their kids are in school? If they currently receive benefits? That's it? And if there are no jobs or they don't get the ones they apply for, no benefit cut?


They are going to be made to apply for any job.

So that means if it is far away and would cost to much to get to, and you dont apply or turn it down, sanctioned.

If you have a 16 hour permanent job and you turn down a 35 hour temporary job, sanctioned.

Its a lot more complex.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 16:34:44

And I'm sorry but the stuff about tax paying monkeys is a bit much. I mean, really. How else are the big things to get financed? Unless you want a no tax system and everyone takes care of themselves. Pays for schools, hospitals etc.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 16:35:58

That thing about permanent staff being made to take temporary jobs was firmly scotched on an other thread. There was a quote from the relevant document that specifically said that wouldn't happen.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 16:36:27

And how far away is far away?

How long is a piece of string?

Our next town is ten miles away. But there is no bus route.

A job there would involve four buses a day. Or a taxi.

Neither would be appropriate due to the times taken to get there. I would have to pay an extra 4 hours childcare on top of my shift.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 16:50:08

And all those people hankering back to the good old days when Daddy's salary kept a whole family going, who wants to live like that? Those were grim times. That was when bright girls were shafted from grammar school places and told to become nurses never doctors.

Nobody has to work if they don't want to. They can forgo the benefit. Tough decisions, I know but it could have been a lot harsher. It's only school hours for a start. And only once the children are over 5.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 17:10:39

Sorry, I've been reading the thread slowly - where is all the stuff about toddlers coming from? It's parents of school age children who are going to be affected?

I think the point was that one salary used to be enough to support a family without benefits. No one was suggesting we should go back to when the father went out to work and the mother was forced to be at home.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 18:39:20

Well, one way or another, those days are over. There was a time when the average middle class woman did not look after her children or work. She had servants. Why hark back?

sydlexic Sun 10-Feb-13 18:51:14

Tesco will increase wages when the legal minimum wage increases. Looking at the amount of profit they made they could afford to do so.

I fear the result of making people work unless they have a child under five will result in many having another baby to get around it.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 19:13:18

Do you seriously think people will have another baby in order not to have to work school hours in order to keep a benefit? Really?

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 10-Feb-13 19:13:53

Sydlexic, i think that will happen to although IS is stopped at age five and changed to JSA so its not really that different. They could stop it by stating that having a child whilst relying on benefits wont mean any extra, after all those that are sensible and work out if their salary will cover a child dont get a payrise for every child.

Some are just to quick to blame politics, many families could improve their circumstances by either upping their hours or not expecting the luxury of a parent at home not working. Many have multiple children then complain it renders them incapable of working or moan about costs of such children.

The Tory stance of wanting people to stand on their own two feet is the right stance. There should always be a welfare state to catch people between jobs or those physically unable to work, it should never have got so out of hand that people could choose not to work or do very few hours and enjoy a lifestyle better than some of the taxpayers funding that choice.

People wont starve, thats scaremongering. Comply with the rules and no sanctons will happen.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 19:17:40

I am beyond shocked that people so casually agree that people will have a baby to keep tax credits and avoid work for a few more years.

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 19:33:50

Nobody in this country needs to starve. Sorry but it's just simply not going to happen. If I have to eat my words then I will.

But someone tells you that they were staring homelessness and starvation in the face and what? They are lying?

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 19:46:41

Why would somebody be staring starvation in the face. That is why we have a generous welfare state. Generous in comparison to a lot of countries that is. I am not without sympathy for people who are hard up. We've had friends who have gone through very difficult times but they didn't starve. I will not accuse anyone of lying. But I cannot see why anyone in this country needs to starve. Eat cheap food yes. Starve no.

mumblechum1 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:51:36

Where is the Mumsnet link to Universal Credit please? I just asked DH if he'd ever heard of it and he hadn't hmm.

We are of the generation a little ahead of a lot of posters on here, (we're 50 with 18 yr old DS).

When we were in our 30s & kids were little there were no such things as Tax Credits etc, so never got any handouts except for CB but we didn't have the same struggle to afford to buy a house, and always earned decent money.

It's all a bit swings and roundabouts, and it makes me wonder whether history will repeat itself and in another 20 years or so the benefits will mostly have been withdrawn but people will find it easier to be independent because they're earning decent money without state handouts. The more people get in TCs or other benefits, the less incentive there is for employers to pay them a living wage.

We moved house (after being threatened) with £5 to our name. DP had lost his job. Benefits took weeks to come through. We didnt eat that day because the two weeks before we had used all the food feeding DD.

We didnt eat the next two days. DD was at her Dads. We then got £10 from our new LL to put on the elec. We used that for food. Still no benefits. No crisis loan because we were between offices.

Two months later that LL evicted us because he had a wedding to go to and wanted a deposit despite never asking for one before. I was a week away from my due date. We had three days to find somewhere and move. The local council put us on the "emergency list" and then said they had nothing for us. We were out on our own with a toddler and me ready to give birth. No money then either because we needed it for petrol to move/get DD to school/get to the housing offices. No crisis loans because we had no address.

We were lucky. A charity put up a deposit. A charity. NOT the local authority. NOT the safety net you all speak of.

DD2 had a small stomach measurement because I wasnt able to eat properly. Her tiny body had to use its livers fat stores to get energy to grow. It was serious. Not just that we felt hungry. DP was rolling around in pain with his IBS because he couldnt eat regularly.

In our situation, the state did nothing.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 20:08:39

But that is the sort of situation that the benefit system should be able to deal with. Where speed and cash makes all the difference. That it failed is a scandal. But with all due respect, it has nothing to do with people being told to apply for school hour jobs when their kids are in school. That's not a crisis. You know when your last child is going to start school.

No, perhaps not.

My point is that people think it could never happen here. The welfare state deals with cases like that. We are a developed society. People wont starve.

But it does happen. Every bloody day. And when people are sanctioned what the hell are they going to do? Its all well and good saying that if they comply they will get the money. But thats putting peoples lives in the hands of a decision maker. Usually someone who is not seeing all the facts.

Its the sanctions that utterly terrify me. No one can look into someones life and tell them what job is suitable. Or what disability is real.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 20:26:52

The point about the decision maker - isn't that the problem with benefits for many people? This massive area of your life - your income - is vulnerable to governments, officials etc. We are all vulnerable it's true. Working isn't exactly secure these days but at least people in work have up to date skills and experiences. And borrowing power if they need credit in an emergency.

The problem is that the government are slowly eroding away the welfare state but are doing nothing to help people live without it.

Its entirely preferable to not rely on the state. So why arent the government doing something about why people are reliant as discussed upthread, instead of worrying about how they are reliant.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 20:42:12

Yes, they are. MN could be very helpful here. Because I think women have traditionally been very resourceful when the chips are down.

olgaga Sun 10-Feb-13 20:47:46

So why arent the government doing something about why people are reliant as discussed upthread, instead of worrying about how they are reliant.

Well they know why they're reliant. They're not interested in that. What they're interested in is stopping those who are reliant having children who in turn become reliant!

It's called social engineering.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 20:48:55

Surely people are reliant for different reasons.

nkf Sun 10-Feb-13 20:50:08

They want a smaller welfare state. And presumably lower taxes. Though there seems less talk of that.

We are just going round in circles now.

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 21:27:04

There is no doubt that the benefit system does fail people in their hour of need when they are most vulnerable. That is because it has grown far too large. And instead of targetting people in real need like you Wannabe because of red tape and cumbersome rules it fails people when they most need it. Benefit shouldn't be a way of life, it should be for people in need.

MummytoKatie Sun 10-Feb-13 22:19:48

The problem is that most of us know someone who seems to live a surprisingly good life despite never having worked. And most of us know someone who, through no fault of their own, has fallen into difficulties and there seems to be no safety net for them.

I really don't understand how both of these things can happen simultaneously. And yet it does.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 23:14:35

And all those people hankering back to the good old days when Daddy's salary kept a whole family going, who wants to live like that? Those were grim times. That was when bright girls were shafted from grammar school places and told to become nurses never doctors.

Plenty did still become Dr's though the difference was their salary then allowed the mortgage to be paid off early, the family to have cars, holiday's, nice clothes, it kept the economy turning and that is what we need to get back to rather than two salaries required to pay the bills.
I do think if being a stay at home parent is important to you then people need to look at the earning potential of their other half, it's no good marrying a supermarket worker and then being cross you can't manage on his salary for 5 years, that was never going to happen at anytime in history other than the last 10 years with tax credits.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Feb-13 23:39:29

Supermarket worker, maybe not. But on a professional salary of £30k plus it bloody well should be possible to support a SAHP and two children with a reasonably decent standard living. And it is, just about, but it is really really hard. And it is only possible because we are lucky to not live in an area of expensive housing, we only have one car and we take no holidays. Things have got totally out of kilter and I just wish something could be done to stop everyone having to climb on the treadmill of neverending work for no reward, but I fear as a society we have gone beyond the point of no return.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 06:34:58

There you are then. It can be done. And yet the tone of your post suggests you feel poor because you have only one car and never take holidays. Previously when one salary supported another adult and children, I doubt people would have felt so hard done by. Our expectations are much higher than previous generations. And we expect food to be very cheap and jobs to be very rewarding. Even though many people are no better educated or harder working than previous generations.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 08:05:40

Not poor no I don't. Yet it's amazing what is apparently "essential" to life according to the average person. I'd refer you to the results of that quality of life versus income survey, which reckoned more than £36k is necessary! I disagree btw, we do just fine, but as I said if we lived in the south east, for example, it would be impossible to survive on my salary and I think that's wrong.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 08:06:38

The point was not "poor me", simply that it is only just possible even with a good career.

SizzleSazz Mon 11-Feb-13 08:40:48

When I was born in the 70's dad was a civil servant on ok salary, although by no means huge and he had to pay commuting costs. Mum was a sahm for 5 years and we barely scraped by - no holidays, one car we couldn't always put fuel in and meal plans like no ones business. When I went to school age went back to work (generally not well paid) as that life was not sustainable. She worked until 63.

I know house prices are out of kilter (although food is cheaper) but I cannot agree this is a 'new' phoenomenon where 2 parents have to work to support their family.

I didnt take "poor me" from gaelics post.

Fact is, the government has set benefits at a level that we need to live on. For a single parent of one child, before housing costs, thats around £8000 per year. As the numbers of people in the household increase, whether that be a partner or more kids, the money increases. A family of four with two kids around £12000.

A family of four then, on £30k a year, should feel more comfortable surely? But the feeling of comfort gets eaten up by housing costs, childcare, running two cars.

Thats not right. But instead of realising that its the fault of high living costs, everyone cries "benefits are too high!!" "its the benefits!!" I see it all the time on here.

£30k is a lot of money. It should feel like it. But it doesnt.

expatinscotland Mon 11-Feb-13 09:00:05

Housing costs have gone way out of kilter to wages, especially those who are in the private-sector rental market. People don't 'expect' cheap food, and again, the cost of heating and power, which are taxed rather a lot of course, have risen far beyond inflation and wages. Ditto petrol, which affects us all even if you don't drive via higher transport costs, higher food prices, higher goods prices.

But it's easier to blame it all on the populous and scorn them than seeking any real change for everyone.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 09:17:53

I didn't take "poor me" as in pity me. I thought she sounded as if she thought she was scrimping a bit. That's all. If I misread it, I apologise.

And this idea that £30k per annum is a lot of money. That is classic wrong think about salaries. It's so easy to look at the annual gross amount and think "Wow, that is a lot. Surely that should buy me..." But you don't have £30k. You have that less tax divided into months. I mean, we all know this but the annual salary way of thinking has led many people to think that they are better off than they in fact are.

£30k is doing a good job in this case. It is supporting four human beings. I just googled average salary in the UK. Last year it was £26,500. So the above salary of £30k is buying in the poster's own words a "reasonably decent standard of living." Kind of what you'd expect really.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 09:20:28

In fact, she sounds better off than Sizzle's one income family in the '70s.

In the 80s and 90s my father supported us on £13000 take home pay. A family of four. My mum was a SAHP and she saved the CB for school uniform and xmas presents.

Admittedly, we didnt pay rent because we lived in my uncles house which had no central heating and the roof leaked. We were really quite poor but they still managed to save thousands.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 09:32:21

Again, what you might expect. We now have examples of one income families from 70s, 80s, 90s and nowadays. And it seems to have been tight but doable in all those times.


But now its impossible. Whats your point?

We could not live on 13k take home. Its just not feasable.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 09:37:39

It is doable. That's my point. GaelicSheep says she does it. Your parents did it. One income families are not new and they have probably always had to struggle a bit unless the one income is very high.

NMW is £12800 before tax.

That is not doable.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 11-Feb-13 09:56:26

Has it ever been doable to support a family on one low wage? My mum worked. So did my grandmothers. £13k was not a low wage when I was growing up.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 10:00:39

Well, I expect the families on very low wages often went hungry in the past. And some will go hungry now. Wrong in both eras.

All I am querying is the idea of some golden age where a happy prosperous family existed on one average salary.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 10:02:27

Actually, scrap "happy." But prosperous and comfortable on one salary.

It was atleast possible to survive.

Now its not.

The average price of a house in 1990 was around £55000.

Living on an income of £13000 was doable.

Lots of families in the 1970s onwards were two income family particularly in the working classes but often helped out by extended family with free childcare. You also had children a lot younger being latch door kids.

In an ideal setting it would be great if the state could allow for their to always be a parent at home (should they choose to do it), but it is not an ideal world. Cuts have to be made and most of them aren't fair but that is life.

It is important to remember that the wtc cuts are for those who have children at school and aren't looking for work/not making themselves available for work. As the post suggests, if you can't find work during those school hours then you'll keep your wtc.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 10:32:42

It does depend what one means by reasonably decent standard of living. I don't want to make this about me because we are not badly off by any means, but by reasonably decent I mean the kids get fed and clothed, they have one pair of shoes, wellies and one winter coat. We worry about heating the house, being off grid. We don't socialise, we don't eat out, we don't go away at all, we can't save much. It is very very tight.
That detail is just to be sure we are comparing like with like. smile

TheFallenMadonna Mon 11-Feb-13 10:36:13

That is how I was brought up in the 1970s. Dad a gas fitter, mum worked in a nursery. Not professional jobs, not lowest paid though. A two income family.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 10:40:04

By comparison, when I was growing the 70s, with my dad on what I believe was an equivalent income, we had a big house (our kids share a room), two cars, at least one holiday a year, music lessons for me and DB, etc etc

My point being that single income living these days is a precarious place to be.

And yes wannabe's point about the amounts paid in benefits is very valid. They are not too much, they are absolute bare minimum imo, and very probably not enough. And that is down to the cost of living, plain and simple.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 11-Feb-13 10:48:37

I'm not sure I understand completely.

You have a professional salary which doesn't go as far as your father's did, but is sufficient to live on. I agree that is the case.

However, we are talking about lower than median income, surely?

And families on low incomes have in the past relied on two incomes. No choice re SAHP.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Feb-13 11:03:56

Everyone where I grew up in the 1970s... smart working class housing estate... came from two-job households. The women might have worked part-time in a shop or office and the men worked in factories but no-one starved and no-one flashed it around either. I didn't meet a SAHM until I was about 14. He was a well-paid factory manager, they lived in a massive detached house, and I remember being amazed that she had three teenage kids and still pottered about at home all day doing very little.

In Denmark you know nearly 90% of parents, all genders, go out to work assisted by state subsidised nursery care. Male employment only slightly higher than female. I think that's far healthier

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 11:06:04

Maybe that's what we're proving then, that there was no "golden age"? But my rent is £500 a month, that's the important point I think. If we were in a more expensive area, no chance.

I think the point of my posts is that the income at which there is a choice to SAHP is getting inexorably higher. And, more to the point, in our case it's essential to have a SAHP because we couldn't afford the extra costs (second car etc) should DH take a local part time job.

I lived on a similar estate Cognito and most of the women stayed at home. My mum could choose whether or not to work and if she didn't like a job she just walked out! We had really good holidays abroad from the very early seventies.
My dh works a 40 hr week and i am jobshare and we are skint in comparison.

I think a lot of the men did shift work that paid well and any childcare that was needed was usually done within the families.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 11:10:35

Which is where I came in basically, saying that it can actually people money to have a second earner once all additional costs are factored in. Therefore the UC policy is fundamentally.flawed.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 11:13:56

From what I can gather is.

to be entitled to UC, in other words to keep FTC a long term sahm will be required to sign on, the same as unemployed.
The official line is that they are expected to work term time when dc are at school from 5 years onwards.
The reality is you will not actually work as there aren't the jobs to be had. However, the ruling is clear and doesn't take into consideration what You, I or anybody else feels is in the best interest of their family, unfortunately.
So for those committed to be a sahp they stand to lose.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 11:15:56

Sorry, let's try that again.

Which is where I came in basically, saying that it can actually cost people money to have a second earner once all additional costs are factored in. I think that has changed in the last couple of decades - cost of petrol, no public ttansport, scattered families, cost of childcare. Therefore the UC policy is fundamentally flawed imo.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Feb-13 11:17:29

"So for those committed to be a sahp they stand to lose"

But it's always a personal decision, isn't it? If you have all the information, do the maths and then decide that you're still going to be a SAHP regardless then that's your perogative. Someone else might take the exact same information and reach a different conclusion. Personal responsibility and choice rather than a benefit system steering people down a particular path.

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 11:32:59

Why should working mothers who may well want to be a SAHM have to pay to allow other mothers to SAH when they can't?

It is really, really that simple.

I am frequently gobsmacked by people who think they are somehow entitled to SAH and not work even though they can't afford it. You ain't . Get over it.

Why should working mothers who may well want to be a SAHM have to pay to allow other mothers to SAH when they can't?^

They aren't.

If it is as simple as "go and get a job:, where all these jobs are going to come from?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 11:37:36


Yes, you are right. I worked for a while and it cost me a fortune and I hated it as I had always been a sahm. I ended up working for minus money and there were no more hours to be had and no promotion prospects by nature of the job. I was teaching and fully qualified.
The UC is flawed in many respects and imo indirectly responsible for lessening our basic Human rights.

Cognito Yes its a personal decision, but its laughable that so many people believe that being a sahp is a luxury that they themselves couldn't afford. In doing the maths we will be no worse off, the only change will be a humiliating visit to job centre etc. We still get the money, but get treated as second class citizens. I really don't want my dd to have to see some of the dregs of society who attend our job centre and I don't have people to mind her while I attend. I hope they are going to clean them up a bit.

No one is saying that SAH mothers should be paid for.

Read the thread.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Feb-13 11:38:37

Why would you have to go to a Job Centre? If you've decided you're staying home, aren't claiming benefits, and you've taken yourself out of the job market then you don't have to go anywhere, surely?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 11:39:36

They are being required to look for a job. And apply for them. And to take one one if it is suitable. Or if they don't want to do that, then lose the tax credit. It just doesn't sound particularly punitive to me.

They are being required to look for a job. And apply for them. And to take one one if it is suitable.

I've not looked at all the detail, but surely they have to take a job if it is offered, not if it is suitable? I assume they have to apply for a certain number of jobs in a given time frame so some will undoubtedly be unsuitable but applied for out of necessity. How exactly is the "look for a job" criteria monitored?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 11:46:12

Blimey. Dregs of humanity at a job centre. That is a bit strong. Are you sure you mean that?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 11:47:33


Previously Tax credits claimed as a couple didn't require both parents to be working or actively seeking work. The new UC states that they do, so in order to keep the UC a sahp will need to seek work (that doesn't exist) in order to keep the UC.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 11:51:32

I don't know either but there is nothing to stop someone from looking for a job they might like. Or which suits their skills and experiences. Or not look for a job and do without the benefit. I just can't buy into the shock and outrage. Parent of school aged children expected to try to work (school hours only) in order to keep a benefit. Why is this seen as so unreasonable? The OP seemed shocked that she might have to get a job. Even if it was just a wind up post, the thread still shows up some odd reactions.

And before someone says, "there are no jobs," then presumably nobody can be sanctioned for not finding a job that doesn't exist.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Feb-13 11:53:54

My SIL has obviously got this one sorted. Her DS will turn 5 in September and she's expecting DC#2 in August.... great timing, eh? 40 years old, she's never worked a hand's turn in her life and clearly has no intention of starting. smile

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 11:55:06


No, I don't mean that all people at job centres are dregs of society. However, there are a certain element where I live that fall into this category and it is not a place I would like to go to myself, let alone take my 9 year old dd.
I'm talking about those that don't want to work and benefit is given straight to landlords of the nearest pub. Unfortunately we have a lot of those in our town.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 11:55:07

I can see that there has been a change but I don't find the change particularly shocking.

I was shocked at the "dregs of society" comment too.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 11:56:28

You don't have to go there though do you? You can find a job by another method. Or you can not bother and forget about the benefit.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 11:58:28

Glad it wasn't just me.

There must be some mechanism of proving you've applied for jobs though. And if no suitable jobs are available where you are, what happens? If there are none to apply for, do you apply for unsuitable ones and hope you get rejected?

I was shocked by the "dregs of society" comment until I read it properly and realised she was talking about a specific group of people at her local job centre rather than everyone.

Thats my understanding NotADragonofSoup.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 12:00:55

I expect you keep records of your applications. And I would have thought you aren't expected to apply for things that make no sense. Like jobs that require certain kinds of licences or qualifications that you don't have.

There are similar people at my JC.

But I wouldnt use that term to describe them.

Well, obviously you can't apply for things you aren't qualified for but how about jobs that actually cost more in childcare and travel than you would earn?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 12:02:43

People who don't want to work and drink. That's what she means by "dregs." As opposed to not wanting to work because you hate it. Like herself. Still don't like the comment.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 12:04:48

I don't know how that works. Maybe you are expected to be out of pocket. Or work to break even. Or maybe not. Does anyone know?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 12:08:31

Its not so easy to forget about the benefit though when you are have one min wage coming into the household. In our case we would lose the money we rely on. I have never seen it as my money but the families, so its families losing out not a sahp.
As I believe from unemployed friends, when you attend an interview you are given a stamp on a card or failing this jc check up to see if you attended. The unsuitable element does exist also. One friend was treated quite badly at one interview as she was clearly unsuited to that work, but had to attend to meet jc/ benefit requirements. Employers must be really annoyed at this as it must cost them financially and waste their time.

MoodyDidIt Mon 11-Feb-13 12:08:56

<marking place as worried about this>

hoping i am working or have a young baby by the time this comes in.....

I have said before. Who decides if a job is suitable. From what I have read I get the impression that if a job is offered that the JC deem is suitable and you turn it down because of childcare availability/costs etc then you will be sanctioned.

jellybeans Mon 11-Feb-13 12:13:19

'she's never worked a hand's turn in her life and clearly has no intention of starting'

It annoys me when people say that about SAHMs. Presumably the kid didn't raise itself? Have childminders never 'worked' either?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 12:13:20


I am sorry if you don't like my term dregs of society. But I really believe you would call these people the same.
I am not talking about respectable people here, I am referring to drug addicts, wasters, those that get up 30 mins before signing on. Those having no families to support, just their own habit.
Why am I so bad not wanting my dd to see these people, having to listen to them etc.
However, it was pointed out to me that I would not have to attend anyway so crisis averted.


What makes YOU any better than these "dregs" at the JC?

I have fucking heard it all now. Atleast the other posters calling claimants scum have the decency to do it from their office desk.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 12:13:38

I understand that people will have some tough choices. To go to work. To look for work. To be broker than before. I can see that it is tough. I can see that if you have been out of the workplace for a while, your confidence can be shot. That some employers are shits and some jobs hard to come by. And childcare is difficult to source and expensive. The difficulties are very real and I can appreciate them. To be honest, anyone who works can appreciate them.

But what I still can't get my head round is the idea that it is outrageous for a benefit not to have some of limitation on it. That it is reasonable to expect that it will always be handed out.

jellybeans Mon 11-Feb-13 12:17:17

' Her DS will turn 5 in September and she's expecting DC#2 in August.... great timing, eh? '

maybe she just wanted another kid?

I have a large gap like that and am SAHM (although luckily DH on good wage). We didn't plan for large gap, we had problems ttc and also previously had 2 stillbirths and 2 miscarriages. Stop being so judgy! SAHP don't just have more kids so as not to do paid work! Paid work is probably much easier for many!

Viviennemary Mon 11-Feb-13 12:32:43

It does indeed annoy me this 'humiliating visit to the job centre.' God forbid anybody should be sullied by that. Oh no. Collect your benefit in a rose scented envelope. Some people really do need to get real. Benefits aren't an entitlement which allow you to make life choices like staying at home. Stay at home by all means but don't expect other tax payers to subsidise it. Nobody is forced to sign on.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 12:33:41


I live in a deprived area in NW, we are the first to trial the new UC. Our job centre and benefit office are the same building, same door but separate areas. There are muggings, stabbings and a Police prescence every Tuesday, mainly to protect old people drawing pensions in the area.
It is not a nice place and there are many that I would defy anybody to come up with a better term for.
Crime is really high amongst the drug addicts, alcoholics and those having never worked.
If I offend somebody with my terminology here then my sincerest apologies. However, it is a shame that many associate all unemployed and benefit claimants like this in our town. I however am not one of these people as suggested above. I do bring my children up properly, don't take drugs and wouldn't dream of spending their money in the pub scoring drugs.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 12:37:29

I had a baby right on top of DH being made redundant and us having several debts (car payments etc). And even worse he was unplanned! Nobody else knew we had been told we would never have a baby.

DS was a true blessing but just came along at a difficult time. I didn't plan to avoid payments or claim benefits.

In fact DH found new work very quickly so benefit claims were minimal for us but pepple could have judged and probably did.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 12:39:02

Sorry Vivienne...but if you have always worked then the visit to the job centre can indeed be humiliating.

Visiting the job centre was the most depressing soul destroying part of being made redundant.

Going to the JC isnt pleasant.

But to refer to people as "dregs" is disgusting.

I am not even going to get into it because it will make me angry. But those "dregs" have probably had to put up with the kind of shit in their lives that you couldnt even begin to imagine.

No one chooses a life living in poverty and addicted to drugs because its fun. But it makes you uncomfortable for 30 minutes on a Monday morning. Well boo fuckimg hoo for you.

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 12:53:54

This is all a bit alarmist imo. How many jobs are there that fit in with school hours? I would imagine that, as now, if you can't find one, your credits won't be stopped. You just have to demonstrate that you're looking for work.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 12:57:22

Well, exactly Mirry2. That's what I've been trying to say. However, I think some people are scared they might actually be offered a job and then, gulp, have to do it. Otherwise, what are they worried about?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 13:00:15


I'm glad you feel it fine to subject one of your children to this, I don't. Our dc will see enough of this when they are older but every Monday morning even for 30 minutes isn't acceptable imo.
There are many people having to put up with shit in their lives and believe me I met enough when I was teaching. Many of them were the dc of the dregs I referred to. I helped to turn their lives around and give them hope of employment. However, they don't behave like their parents, thank God.
Finally, I have no problem associating and communicating with people from all walks of life, but subjecting my 9 year old to what you couldn't even imagine as you don't live where I do, is not something I intend to do.

Yes. Bring my parenting into it.

I give up.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:02:14

You just said you don't have to go. "Crisis averted" were your words. So stop being such a drama queen. You can't get all hot under the collar about something that isn't going to happen.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 13:02:29

Its not about that though is it? I have worked for the past 30 years and as my child is disabled it wont affect me. However, if there are no jobs what then? Not everyone claiming benefits or tax credits are work shy people.

Though, why isnt your 9 year old in school?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:05:53

No so why the anxiety? If you are ready and willing to work while your kids are in school, why the big angst? Then again, I think the original post was a wind up now. And that most people were probably intending to find work once their youngest was in school.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 13:07:00

perhaps the lack of jobs which people can do is behind the anxiety.

If you read my post (two infact) about decision makers then you would understand.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:08:00

We've been through that. You can't take a job that isn't offered or doesn't exist.

FWIW I am currently job hunting. My youngest is 12 weeks.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 13:09:41


I was replying to assumptions made about my post and terminology I used that was deemed inappropriate. I am hopeful I won't have to attend, but believe me only out of necessity to protect my dd.


My parenting was being brought into when I stated that drug addicts, alcoholics and people not wanting to work, muggings, etc. were not what I wanted to show my dd on a Monday morning. In suggesting my attitude made you angry, I proposed obviously you wouldn't mind taking your dc.

Read it properly.

If a job is offered that the JC deem suitable but it isnt suitable because of childcare costs or availability etc and you turn it down you will be sanctioned.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:13:31

And then you started making daft comments about other people thinking it's okay to put their kids in front of drug dealers. You blew it with the dregs comment. Sorry but you did. You could always just stop digging.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:13:53

What are the Government now offering in terms of help for childcare costs, anyone know? Didn't the limit used to be something like £750 a month for people on full WTC if they both worked 30 hours between them? Is that changing as well.

I can see there could very easily be a situation where people need childcare that costs a lot more than they can get back in help, then you have all the hassles of transport to think of which could easily cost £100 a week or more.

I really do wonder what the point of the exercise is. The Government will still be giving "handouts", but they will be going to childcare providers instead of the parent (unless, as I ask above they plan to reduce/stop these in which case WTF are people meant to do?) It's unlikely anyone who's being targeted by this policy will be earning a great deal more than the the LEL, if indeed they even reach that given that the imaginary jobs would be school hours only, so the tax revenue will be minimal.

So what is going on here? Seems like an exercise in humiliation and misery-making to me.

Again. Why isnt your DD in school?

My 4 year old has been to the JC. <shrugs>

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 13:14:55

I am people will get JSA instead of UC if they are eligible. Is that right?
In which case it surely doesn't matter becauae people won't be worae off Am assuming here that any job offers will be realistic.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:15:25

OK, sorry, the logic in that post is very very flawed as it is aimed at those with school age children. (Although there does seem to be a grey area in the 1-5 zone).

Please ignore!!!

Oh and her father is a recovering addict. Im clearly scum. smile

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:16:27

Where's the delete post button MN?

<goes back to concentrating on what she should be doing>

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:17:08

Well, it's at that point that people decide what they're going to do. Sometimes that's when the good stuff kicks in. You find childcare that can work out. Or it's only for a short time while you are on probation. There might well be an interim point where it gets worse before it gets better but the idea that you shouldn't be expected to try to find suitable work - that I am still not convincd of. Are people seriously saying that they should carry on receiving benefits and not expected to look for work at all?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:18:14

In the absence of a delete button, think of that post in the context of SAHPs of pre-school children (who have also been criticised on this thread). I bet that's where the policy boot is headed next anyway.

The reason that I am worried about the decision maker thing is that it was suggested to DP to apply for a 20hour job in a town 30 miles away at a time when we had no car. It was a dead end job too so it couldnt even be called career progression.

Im worried that the job offers/suitability wont always be sensible.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:19:56

I'm saying that the Government should not be in the business of poking their nose in and social engineering (and yes I do know that's what they do every day). I'm saying if there is no net gain to the taxpayer of enough significance to offset the potential harm to individual families, then they should stop wooing Daily Mail readers and leave people alone.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 13:20:00


My dd is home educated. I don't think you would take your 4 year old to our jc/ benefit office. There's a few square feet near the extractors that are pretty stench proof.
I'll send you directions though and I'll take my dd if you bring yours, lol grin.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:22:01

That's a good point actually. What if the DC is home educated? What does the UC policy say about that I wonder. No doubt the answer is to ship the kid off to school so their parent can return to the factories.

Brilliant post gaelicsheep.

I am in NI morethan Im hard as grin

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:25:56

You see all this is very weird to me. The idea of a job being suggested to me that is clearly unsuitable. The idea is that you go and look for a job that works for you. There is a sort of implied passivity in that post.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:28:21

A leave well alone government is not likely to go hand in hand with a generous welfare state.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:29:07

By nkf, if someone is deemed not to be trying hard enough because they can't find suitable jobs (of which there will be very few) the worry is that they will be forced to apply for/accept highly unsuitable jobs or sanctions will apply. Civil servants are not renowned for their common sense.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:29:36

But nkf

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:33:42

So you're saying it's right that the Government should make people's lives difficult merely to satisfy their voters? Obviously there is already a precedent for this with the attack on disabled people so it's no surprise. But what seems to lie behind all this is a sour grapes attitude. It's displayed on this thread time and time again. Why should people on benefits get to have a SAHP when I have to work? That's the bottom line, whereas actually in many cases (not all by any means) the family chooses to have a second earner to maintain a certain lifestyle.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:34:19

I can see that there is scope for things to go wrong. But I don't accept that fears that it might go wrong are a good enough reason to say that there should be no limit on benefits. I also think that people who have been out of work for a while often have a greater number of fears around work thant those who have been in work.

And I still maintain that you are better off if you can keep state intervention in your private life to a minimum.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:35:08

Was your last question aimed at me?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:36:11

Yes, in response to your point about a leave well alone Government.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:37:57

I don't see what is so difficult about looking for a job during school hours. And trying to make it work for you and your family.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:39:46

No, that was my response to the person who thought the government should leave people alone. I think the sort of government who leaves people alone probably doesn't preside over a welfare state. There are plenty of countries that have hardly any taxation and no benefits. To be honest, the attitude smacked of "give me the money and shut up."

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:39:53

If there is no net gain to the family, and in fact it may cost them money, then they may well feel there are much better uses of their time and energy. It is their decision to make, especially if there is no real advantage to the Government either.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 13:43:57

But is it their decision to make? Once you take money from an organisation, you usually lose something. And that is usually some say over how you use your time and energy. Personally, I think when too much of your income comes from benefits and not from salary, you lose out more than if it's the other way round.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 13:44:29

Got to get back to work now, but it was me who said the Government should leave people alone. Their role here is to get value for money for taxpayers (obviously it's more complex than that) not to make people behave in a certain way to suit a certain small-minded section of society. If they are not going to save on expenditure or gain tax revenue from this policy then they should mind their own business and let people decide what is best for their families. Now as it happens, they probably will save money as my original analysis of costs versus savings forgot that the policy only applied when children would be at school. But the basic principle still applies.

parques Mon 11-Feb-13 13:53:54

Am I missing something here? Do people (mothers) get paid to stay at home??? Why do I bother going to work????? shock

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 14:08:32

Currently you get tax credits on a sliding scale parques.

It isnt THAT great....I brought in far more when in work which was why I went. Only when it became impossible did I begin to rely on tax credits and other benefits.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 14:10:20

Parques - no, you were right the first time with "people". Only you can answer your question, probably because society has so devalued the role of parent/homemaker that you think you have to, whether it's in your family's best interests or not.

DontmindifIdo Mon 11-Feb-13 14:22:11

Re home educating - sorry but again, I don't see why anyone should be subsidised to do this - the state offers a free place in a state school for all children, if you decide to go elsewhere, you have to fund that decision yourself, i don't see why the state should anymore fund someone's choice to home ed than they should fund their choice to use a private school.

The point here isn't that you won't be allowed to have a SAHM, or a home educated child, or anything else, it's just that you won't get any extra money to do it.

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 14:40:38

I'm sorry but I think some posters on here are coming across as workshy.
If you can only work between, say, 9 and 3 (including travel time) because of school hours and you have no other form of child care, those are the hours you will be deemed available for work. If you can't find work to fit in with those hours you won't lose your tax credits.....or are some posters saying they don't want to work or even look for work?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 14:41:56

What are these riches we are talking about then? Anyone know? Bearing in mind there is already an adult earner. What is the maximum big fat salary being paid to these people?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 14:45:45


I don't think its as simple as that though. I'm not sure if everyones TC works like this but we claim as a couple. The money is paid because dh works, not because I don't work. So according to the calculator we will be slightly better off. This is because the new UC covers most benefits and the assessment will now include council tax discounts. We haven't applied for this before as the application form was so difficult it didn't seem worth it. Now people are automatically assessed for this and could be better off.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 14:48:58

Who said anything about riches?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 14:52:46

I don't believe there are women who work because they've been brainwashed into not valuing parenting/homemaking. That sounds really unlikely to me.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 15:01:00


Why does that sound unlikely. Society is always changing, its not so long ago that single parents were completely frowned upon by society. When I grew up your mother was bad if she worked especially if there was no extended family for childcare, as it forced latch key kids.
Times change and now people are brainwashed by spin doctors, the same as society has always been.
The proof is how wrong assumptions are made about sahps being a luxury, how sp's on benefits are having nails done every week. Now maybe this type exist and so what if they do. Whose place is it to say what we can and can't do, and what is acceptable. There is a huge increase in women devaluing the role of parenting/homemaker, its come from somewhere.

When I grew up, most of my friends' mothers worked. Same as I see cogito says upthread. I was born in the 70s. morethan you either grew up in a completely different class, or in a very different times.

I hate it when people keep saying the good old days where mums stay at home and wait for their children to come home. There is already more than a generation of children who has grown up with their mums working. Women aren't devaluing the role of parenting. Just look at how many mums are working part time. Obviously most think it's a great balance of work/family or they wouldn't have chosen it. I feel what women has valued more now is the role of self. That we are more than just a mum and wife.

anotheryearolder Mon 11-Feb-13 15:18:03

Onelittle totally agree - most mothers worked when I was growing up - 1970s . They juggled and we were looked after by Aunties,Grannies etc.

I loved going to my Aunties house - she made gorgeous cakes grin

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 15:21:13

one littletoddling.

I grew up in late sixties, and seventees and none of my friends mums worked. It was as stated above, oh and my dad was white collar worker, we lived in a working class town. I'm sorry if you don't like this for some reason. I do believe that being a sahp, sahm in particular has been devalued. Obviously it has unless everyone would be doing this. I also think that government spout lots of rubbish to play off one part of society to another and we end up with terms such as workers and shirkers.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 15:25:34

OneLittleToddlingTerror - you say women value themselves more than "just" being wife and mum.

Firstly there are many more ways to do that than working on a supermarket checkout or similar.

Secondly, is that why when people are talking about workshy SAHPs almost everyone assumes they are referring to women?!

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 15:29:23

There are many many areas of society where being a non working mother is highly valued. Whole newspapers given over to praise of them with many a snide attack on mothers who work. Whole cultures and religions that prize the "traditional" family unit.

I think that if you personally value something and it seems that the rest of society doesn't, you work very hard to make sure that you can have the thing you value. And you ignore the gainsayers. And nobody is saying women can't be non working mothers. This thread began with a question about UC. And how if you are in receipt of it, you will have to look for school hours work once your kids are in school. From that to society doesn't value motherhood is a big leap.

Owllady Mon 11-Feb-13 15:29:59

surely it doesn't mean school hours, it could mean evenings, nights and weekends too?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 15:30:52

And I agree - it is no-one's place to say what you can and can't do. So long as you obey the law, you can do what you like. Why do you think you are being told otherwise?

gaelicsheep I don't like asking someone else if I could buy myself a coffee, a new paperback, or some new clothes. I didn't like it when I was a teenager. I longed for the day when I could earn myself a designer bag. And now I'm earning my wage so I don't have to answer to anyone how I sepnt it.

A couple of weeks ago, wife of a colleague rung during lunch whether she could get £50 to fill up a car. I found that very demeaning. But to each their own.

Agree with nkf too. I simply see everywhere praising the "traditional" family unit too. And hence my other posts about this "golden age" which is thrown around everywhere. I have even been told in my face that I should have stayed at home for my DD. Well, I simply told them my mum worked ft and I grew up ok, tyvm.

StormyBrid Mon 11-Feb-13 15:38:04

"There must be some mechanism of proving you've applied for jobs though. And if no suitable jobs are available where you are, what happens? If there are none to apply for, do you apply for unsuitable ones and hope you get rejected?"

"I expect you keep records of your applications. And I would have thought you aren't expected to apply for things that make no sense. Like jobs that require certain kinds of licences or qualifications that you don't have."

I have to laugh when I see people making comments like this, because it's that or weep.

Reading this thread, I'm getting a very strong impression that a lot of people are expecting a degree of reasonable and sensible behaviour from the DWP. If we could rely on that, then no one would be worrying, because as the above quotes highlight, how can you be expected to apply for jobs if there are none suitable? Unfortunately, the DWP is not currently applying reason or logic to benefits decisions. You can be sanctioned for not applying for a job that requires a driving licence even though you don't have one. The rules don't explicitly state that you can be sanctioned for such reasons, yet it happens - all it takes is one jobcentre adviser who for whatever reason decides you're being difficult. There are targets for how many claimants should be sanctioned, whether they've broken their agreement or not. You can be sanctioned for missing an appointment due to a sick child. I'm surprised no-one's yet been sanctioned for looking at their adviser in a funny way.

I've nothing against the idea of parents going to work when their kids are in school. The problem comes when the suitability of the work available isn't assessed by the parents in question, but by someone who is being paid to find spurious excuses to cut off people's benefits.

Oh and gaelicsheep I forgot you were one of those who told us to give up our jobs so our men can have it. It's basically saying the same thing in a different way. And no you didn't say men specifically. But it's the norm where the mum stays at home and the dad goes out to work. If you look at any preschooler books depicting family roles, that's what you'll see. (Don't start me on that "I love my mummy" cardboard book I saw in Asda the other day).

Thank you Stormy.

That was my point. Sometimes I wonder how I got my A in GCSE english because I am shit at explaining things grin

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 16:10:45

No, I suggested that second earners in families who don't really need the money might give up their jobs to free them up for SAHPs who are about to be sanctioned because they can't find suitable work. Unsurprisingly the " I'm alright Jacks" won through

aufaniae Mon 11-Feb-13 16:14:36

"If you can only work between, say, 9 and 3 (including travel time) because of school hours and you have no other form of child care, those are the hours you will be deemed available for work. If you can't find work to fit in with those hours you won't lose your tax credits"

It's nice that you have such a rosy view of the Job Centre as being reasonable to deal with, but please let me assure you that for vast numbers of people that isn't the case!

I will eat my hat if, when this system comes in, parents aren't required to apply for jobs which affects their ability to pick their DCs up from school.

I wonder for example if travel time is being taken into consideration? I haven't seen this written down anywhere, have you? I suspect what will happen is that the government will issue an amount of hours which parents are expected to work. Job Centre advisers will then interpret the guidelines as they see fit. Especially with targets to meet, I would be very surprised if parents aren't asked to do impossible things by Job Centre staff and then get sanctioned for not complying.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 16:15:40


I agree with you entirely, there's nothing like having your own money.
You don't have to work though. FTC is my money, part of dhs money is mine. I have never had to ask for money and find the idea amusing.
We tend to look at it as the families money not his, hers, the kids. This to me is an alien concept and would hate to think I had to ask my dh for money.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 16:20:17

I think it's quite clear on this thread who has and hasn't ever had to deal with the DWP.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 16:25:36


I fear your comments will be confirmed. I have heard first hand of the treatment of my friend a sp on DLA and another acquaintance a long term patient having kidney dialysis. They were both treated diabolically. The latter having to job seek for the alternate days he was not on dialysis as he was considered fit for work. The poor man was so sick on these days he could hardly move, let alone attend jc meetings.


"No, I suggested that second earners in families who don't really need the money might give up their jobs to free them up for SAHPs who are about to be sanctioned because they can't find suitable work. Unsurprisingly the " I'm alright Jacks" won through"

That is just the same as telling us to give up our jobs. I earn as much as my DH, so one of us quitting will be halving our household income. A lot of middle class would be in trouble on losing their second income even if on paper they are affording quite a bit. We have a very large mortgage to pay because we didn't have rich parents to bankroll us and couldn't afford a deposit till our 30s. We bought a tiny house in the catchment of a good primary school. What if we all lose half our income? Who will we sell our houses to? There aren't any SAHP in my street.

Sadly I didn't have the foresight to marry a banker. Or go into the City ourselves. In fact, we jokingly said that at lunch yesterday. A friend joked she should have gone into banking instead of teaching maths/IT with her masters in maths. Another knew who joined Accenture had earned enough already and have semi-retired. While us stupidly followed our dreams, and married men not for their pockets, are still struggling with our "professional" ages. (Yes we are STEM graduates and earn above NMP. But we are all basic rate payers still).

gaelicsheep DH has signed on when he graduated. I'm lucky I didn't have to.

mumblechum1 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:39:15

Ahem, marrying an Accenture consultant/partner doesn't mean you have married him for his pocket!

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:39:28

I have signed on for work when I was made redundant a few years ago and I have a friend who is doing the same now. Both of us had/have young children. A brief overview of the way the system currently works in my area is that you sign on as available for work, you agree the sort of work you're able to do, the distance you're able to travel, the childcare that's available to you and then you are required to show evidence every 2 weeks that you have looked for work by reading the jobs columns, the internet jobcentre vacancies and that you have applied for the jobs that fit the criteria agreed between you and the DWP. I didn't even have to show any completed job application forms.
There won't be a vast army of DWP workers checking up that you've applied and then got an interview and then been offered the job.

For those who really don't want to work, there are ways of being turned down for a job you know - biut this would be dishonest.

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 16:39:57

Bollocks will I be giving up my job thankyouverymuch. What a mindblowingly stupid idea.
We have two incomes, we don't need to we WANT two. And that is our prerogative having worked our arses off for almost 25 years.
We don't live in a communist state, thank feck.

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:41:19

Gaelicsheep - 'I think it's quite clear on this thread who has and hasn't ever had to deal with the DWP.'

See my post above

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 16:41:41

If the DWP is as bad as it's being presented, then all the more reason to ensure that you never or as rarely as possible have to deal with that organisation. Honestly, wouldn't an employer be better? An employer just insists that you show up and do your job. You don't have to tell them anything about your private life. And they don't make judgements about your childcare. You do.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 16:44:38

Interesting... How things change when the boot is on the other foot.

Come on then? Solutions please.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 16:47:25

To be fair to the DWP, the advisor I saw when it became apparent I needed to give up work in order to care for DS was fabulous. As was the advisor I saw more recently for a "work focused interview" (after 30 years of employment lol).

No complaints about them so far from me.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 16:54:43

I have never had to sign on before and I don't intend to now, so I guess around June you will see my comments of destitution on here.
Luck just isn't on our side for the new UC, so ho hum, skint sahm for me.
I'll let you all know from friends what the system is like.
Apparently you are ok if you don't need to make any changes. Well my ds2 leaves full time education after A levels and we are the first to trial UC. I will not be looking for work so will either lose the lot or be no worse off depending on whether the online calculator is right or wrong. TBH I'm sick of all the speculating now, we'll just have to wait and see.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 11-Feb-13 17:09:31

Morethan, you seem to look down on those at the job centre and dont want your daughter to see them yet you are a claimant and your daughter is from a family on benefits. Or doesnt it count as you dont drink?

Its quite clear than many see it as their right to not work and it is provided you pay for that luxury yourself. Childcare has never been so abundant and thousands use it to work 9-5 etc, people dont need term jobs to land in their laps. Thousands of parents juggle childcare and working, having children doesnt render people incapable of working.

CSLewis Mon 11-Feb-13 17:16:35

I suppose that I am thinking about this whole subject from the perspective of the children of this generation. Society in the future will be made up of the children of today, whom the changes referred to in the article above will most affect.

How many people think that a child aged between 1 and 4 is as well off or better off with a childcare professional than with one of their parents, for most of their waking hours?

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 11-Feb-13 17:22:45

"latchkey hungry children" oh please. Thousands of parents work and whilst some teens may let themselves in those that need childcare the parents simply arrange.

I dont see why it comes as such a shock to many that if you choose to have children the government expect you to support them. Hardly a novel idea is it.

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 17:23:54

Why wait and see? Why not get out there and look for a job? Or work for yourself? Why be so passive? confused

Oh yeah, forgot - you don't actually want a job but want me to pay for you to SAH when I don't. Tough.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 17:26:37

My suspicion is that these changes won't save a brass farthing....I think much of it is purely ideological. That's my thought and until this Govt prove otherwise I will be suspicious.

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:31:04

It will go towards instilling a work ethic in future generations of parents and children.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 17:33:02

It's emotive stuff but it's not convincing. Single mothers with kids over 13 forcd to work - gasp - up to 35 hours a week!

Latchkey kids - we've all heard that one before.

And then all that ludicrous the BBC is like Pravda in the Soviet era stuff in the postings.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 17:40:14

Fair point mirry but only if work is actually there and available. I have always worked apart from the past year so for DS it's normal but as he is autistic the jury is still out with regard to what if any work he will do .....he has lots of ideas though.

An interesting point is children wanting to be nurses, doctors, train drivers etc etc who along the way lose that hope and ambition? Is it because Mum doesn't work or is it because of other issues? I don't think it comes down to just parents not working.

I will be interested to see where they place my friend though who has a long term mental illness due to a very abusive childhood. Working is just not feasible for her at the moment...and may never be due to her periods of severe depression. She does get DLA and ESA though so might be considered as not suitable for work anyway.

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 17:40:55

And what on earth is wrong with an ideology that states that parents support their own kids, Jake? confused

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 17:44:53

Of course it's ideological. The Tories believe (have always believed) in a small welfare state and low taxes. This should come as no surprise.

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 17:48:31

Exactly. And I agree wholeheartedly with them as do millions of others.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 17:49:26

Nothing if the work is there auntmaude but it's not about that is it? It's about demonising people who have to claim anything. I have only had to claim benefits for less than a year (after 30 years of employment) and yet I feel guilty about it because the papers are full of "scrounger" type comments with regard to benefits. When I hand my "free prescriptions card" over at the chemist I feel guilty. The woman behind the counter doesn't know I worked for the last 30 years...she just sees a benefits claimant ...a scrounger according to the papers she reads or the programmes she might watch. That is what disturbs me......and if we save nothing and the work still isn't there then all that happens is we have more people deemed worthless by society.
That's what I mean by ideology.....everyone should work and if you don't then you are a scrounger type ideology.

Just how I feel about it. If work is there and people can do it then fine. Sometimes though people can't work for varying reasons and its not necessarily because they want the tax payer to fund a SAHM lifestyle.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 17:53:34

...and can I say yet again WE DON'T HAVE A TORY's a Coalition and a shit one at that. Honest to God I do not know who I would vote for if a General Election were called tomorrow. They are all as bad as each other....

These changes are not Tory...they are Coalition...a mixture of Conservative and Lib Dem who say they need to make changes in order to save money when the evidence so far seems to show it's going to cost more to implement than it will save.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 17:56:03


Read my threads about my jc/benefit office. In addition I will not be signing on as I won't be available for work. I am honest and won't play the system if I don't intend to work. I have nothing against signing on just that I have never had to do it. I worked pre dc and have been a sahm post dc. If I felt the need, of course I would sign on the same as everyone else. I would just not take my dd as our offices are not fit to take dc.
In addition, I haven't seen any posts where a sahm has said they have a right to be paid to sah. In fact I don't know any who are paid to do this. I receive tax credits from dh who gains them from being employed. I have never been paid to stay at home. Maybe what you are hearing is people saying they have the right to sah if they want to and to provide their own childcare and in my own personal situation my dds education as well.

CSLewis Mon 11-Feb-13 17:56:22

Will anyone answer my question? Which was not about me, or you, but about our children.

Are children better off, or even just equally well off, spending most of their waking hours with a childcare professional rather than one of their parents, between the ages of 1 and 4?

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 17:57:10

Oh save me from the , " But there are no jobs !" bleat please!

There ARE jobs. You have to look for them. The chippy in our village advertised for someone to work 6-11 weds- sun. Perfect job for someone who needs to find child friendly work. It took them four weeks to find someone and it's a youngish lad working a second job.
My babysitter has just said no more sitting as she has just got 4 nights pub work in the village pub.
What people mean is there are no easy, sit on your arse jobs between 10-2 paying £15 an hour.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 17:57:53

I think the stereotyping of benefit claimants is a separate issue. Why do you feel guilty? You should only feel guilty if you have done/are doing something wrong, not because of a newspaper article.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 17:58:12

What is this crap about instilling a work ethic? These are families where one parent already works, probably all hours god sends to do the best they can to support themselves. How bloody patronising can you be?

The opinions on this thread are quite staggering. You all seem to acknowledge it is all window dressing and a paper exercise to please the chattering classes because the jobs aren't there anyway. None of you is prepared to contemplate losing your precious second income to provide jobs for those more needy (the ones stealing your hard earned cash). You fret about your taxes being wasted on "scroungers", yet you're quite happy for your taxes to be wasted on administering this piece of political hot air.

I think that about sums it up doesn't it?

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 17:58:58

Millions of children of professional and non professional families alike manage just fine, CS Lewis.

Just seems it's the kids of the poorest who get to be brought up by their parents 9-5.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 17:59:04

Depends on the parents I would say. And the policy isn't about one year olds.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 17:59:38

Auntmaud - two anecdotal examples. Wow. That will solve the jobs crisis right there hmm

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 18:00:18

CSLewis - I have much to say (as you might imagine). Will come back to this later on!

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 18:00:31

gaelic, I work for myself running a business. So no, hardly likely to give that up now am I?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 18:01:15

I've never once used the term scroungers. I've never once mentioned my taxes. I've never once compared myself to anyone. I have simply said I don't why it's such a bad thing that someone with school age children might be asked to look for and apply for school hour work once her kids are at school. I still can't see why it's such a hardship.

Owllady Mon 11-Feb-13 18:02:22

do we actually KNOW that it is the poorest children who have their parents there 9-5? hmm

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 18:09:04


I think it depends on how you define poor.
My dd is brought up and educated at home, in fact I have not worked nor had any form of childcare with any of my dc, although dc 1 and 2 attended school.
We receive tax credits and my dh has his own company. We are a low income family but our lives are rich in many ways, tyvm. So where poor families come from I don't know. confused

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 18:12:39

I agree with nkf

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 18:16:41

CS lewis.

I think your question really answers itself.

The long term sahp's certainly believe the parent is the best person for their dc. This is why they are doing it.

The short term sahp seeking work and requiring childcare will think it doesn't really matter.

There are some people who need to work and they usually say its not that important too.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 18:16:52

No I shouldn't feel guilty....but I do, perhaps that's just me who knows. I do worry about having to claim though. And yes I am aware nobody on this thread has said "scroungers" so probably unfair of me to bring it up.

I think finding work if you have been out of work a while is hard. I volunteer for an education charity which focuses on adults who have been out of education for some time. Many of the people I come into contact with want to work but don't know where to start or don't feel qualified enough or confident enough.
We run short and fun courses to build up people's confidence in themselves and include stuff like Maths and English skills too. Apart from the tutors and charity managers everyone else's is voluntary. We have seen service users go back into the workplace feeling confident and others do several more courses until they feel confident to start applying for jobs. It's about giving people, the skills they need to do things for themselves and increase their self confidence. ...not everyone goes into work after using our service but many find something or at least feel more confident in themselves.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 11-Feb-13 18:31:26

I think the work ethic point is a very valid one, surely we want children to have aspirations and aims in life. We dont want them to believe that having children means you find a man willing to not let you work or to claim benefits.

For families where only one parent works and tax credits etc are claimed then yes the state is paying for a parent to stay home. If both adults work then they may be self sufficient which is far better.

Childcare for under 4's wont have any long term effects. Few adults will have memories from that age and as long as the child is happy and secure they will be fine, lots go to preschool or nursery classes before 4 anyway. Of course, if you object to childcare you simply ensure you can afford to not work before having the child anyway.

Auntmaud, i agree there are jobs but some simply dont want to work and find every excuse not to. Ensuring people support themselves has to be the basis of any government. We should not be paying for those that could work but dont, it should be there to support those that truly need it due to disabilities or for a short few months between jobs.

Peachy Mon 11-Feb-13 18:33:55

I guess I am 'lucky' as I am exempt (Carer's Exemption, though actually do want to go back in the summer).

One of the biggest hurdles I have found for many families is the lack of flexible childcare: both my sisters work shifts and have husbands who either work shifts or work away a lot: if my Mother was not available to help they'd HAVE to give up work as there is simply no night time childcare available / very early morning (or rather there is but one sister runs it so obviously has to be there much earlier and her son is schooled in another town!). And would Mum be able to help if she hadn't been a SAHM? Nope, she'd still be employed...

So I think this policy will become a LOT more difficult once this generation has passed a level and suddenly there are no Grannies staying around to help. I also think that when there is a job shortage this is simply a method of forcing people off of employment benefits and quite possibly into severe poverty and then defaulting on rent etc and and needing state housing which comes with more conditions soon and therefore more state control...

I'd like to see exemptions for more people: those studying and training for example, or a mid rate carers level for people who don't meet criteria atm (35 hours) but contribute say 15 hours or more- an awful lot of people are caught in that gap, one where they neither fit carer's rules not can work enough hours to meet WTC target hours/ accept random workfare hours.
I also think the latter will help the country- MP bemoaning the lack of people willing to care for elders on politics show the other day but a good percentage of carers are left high and dry, causing the state to HAVE to step in at a cost of £££££££.

I'd also quite like some guidelines though on DH's self employment and how we will 'prove' his hours, nothing seems forthcoming at all; if his income drops for a week or two because customers drop off do we lose all our support? Or will it be allowed to balance with the busier weeks? We tend to get less work over Christmas or in the snow because when the postal system slows so does our delivery time, naturally.

As for instilling a work ethic- please are you having a laugh? All the time I was neither working nor a Carer I was studying FT as well as parenting; someone working 24 hours and caring for an elderly parent as well will be potentially hit by this- a good many people seeking work but unable to accept the random hour placements of workfare will be hit like this.

Mind I've just learned the council are selling the leisure building that houses the summer scheme for disabled children 2 of mine attend so if I do find work God knows how we will manage the holidays (ds1 too old for children's provision/ unable to self care, DH working but as often working at home SSD refuse to accept working and not able to provide the 1-1 the boys need) so thank goodness for Carer's Exemption, the cuts may well take my chances yet!

Peachy Mon 11-Feb-13 18:36:42

(Oh and by accept I mean, as they have no childcare and their partner is working, not accept as do not want to)

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 18:37:31

Work ethic is important but so many people lose their way in this through lack of confidence in themselves or their abilities. Finding work can be very hard if you haven't worked in a long time, it can be hard even if you have exH was made redundant when our DS was a took him months to find a new job although he eventually did and those few months were hideous financially.

If we are going to push people back into the work place then there need to be jobs for them to go to....and evidence is suggesting there will not be enough jobs to go around.

JakeBullet Mon 11-Feb-13 18:39:35

.....and agree with everything Peachy just said too.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 19:02:39

JakeBullet, your work sounds really worthwhile. I bet he service users get a lot of good from it.

CSLewis Mon 11-Feb-13 19:02:59


"Childcare for under 4's wont have any long term effects. Few adults will have memories from that age and as long as the child is happy and secure they will be fine".

Do you have any proof to offer of your first assertion? Because there is quite a lot of research that says precisely the contrary.

My contention is precisely that the child will not be "as happy and secure" with childminders/nursery than at home with their parents. I don't suppose many children are asked though.

This thread has been full of women stating how THEY feel, and what THEY need and deserve and want. I'm just suggesting that we could approach the issues also bearing in mind the best interests of the child. And if someone's needs must be compromised (and that's almost always the case), why must it always be the child's?

And I'm not sure how you can maintain that children need positive working role models to aspire to, whilst simultaneously asserting that said children are too young to remember anything from that period of their lives (1-4 years old). hmm

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 19:05:03

Actually, this thread has not been full of women stating what they want. It has been pretty focussed on the question of UC.

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:27:20

CSLewis - Returning to your original post on this thread, can you explain why you think it isn't in the best interest of family life for parents to work during school hours?

anotheryearolder Mon 11-Feb-13 20:43:21

Surely the basics - a happy,warm home,food and clothing are as important as a child being "happy and secure" . I really would put my need to care for my child "24/7 "secondary to them having warmth,food and clothes.

There are lots of compromises in life and sometimes you just have to do the best you can.
Im sure there were times my child loved being with her DF and times when she wished I was there ( and vice versa) .
I remember going to a little nursery at the end of our road and loving playing with the homemade playdough(pink!) and eating biscuits we didnt ever have at home.
I dont recall thinking my parents didnt love me
We live in a world where DC are starving each day and people are huffing because they might have to work while their DC are at school...
clutches pearls
as for the suggestion I give up my hardworked for career - well, are you qualified to do it ...?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 20:52:24

You keep telling yourselves there are suitable jobs that don't exist. You keep sticking your fingers in your ears and ignoring what's blatantly obvious to make yourselves feel better. I despair of most of you on this thread who cannot see past the ends of your own noses.

Noo ne has explained why they are happy to see their money wasted in a ritual humiliation of people who have also worked hard for years - raising the next generation - and have no realistic prospect of complying with what is being asked of them.

I don't agree the stay at home partner in a working couple has no work ethic, and how any of you can presume this just displays a level of arrogance frankly. If there were jobs galore I would not be having this argument on here, but there are not!

Furthermore, which is better. More second earners, or jobs for people who really are totally stuck on benefits with no one in their household earning any money at all. Really, where should the focus be? As with everything they go for the soft, easy, crowdpleasing targets.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 20:55:06

"Childcare for under 4's wont have any long term effects. Few adults will have memories from that age and as long as the child is happy and secure they will be fine".

How do you tell that exactly? And if they're not happy and secure, what then? You ask the parents of adopted children how important the formative years were.

I can't believe people are really arguing that it is preferable for children to be in childcare in their formative years than at home with a parent or at least a relative. Really?!

anotheryearolder Mon 11-Feb-13 20:58:23

I have worked night,weekends and evenings in order to maintain my career.
Where I work we are trying desperately to employ more people or get those who are working part time to increase their hours - the jobs are there.
the answer - no way- I will lose my benefits.
In the past year we have employed far more eastern europeans than british - because they have a work ethic.

mirry2 Mon 11-Feb-13 20:58:51

Gaelic - what about working when your chld is in school then? Are you against that?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:00:54

Oh God, for the umpteenth time. Where are all the jobs?! Where are they?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:02:16

anotheryearolder - do you guarantee regular hours? And pay a living wage?

anotheryearolder Mon 11-Feb-13 21:05:09

NHS gaelic

SizzleSazz Mon 11-Feb-13 21:10:07

My job was advertised as full time. I went and asked if they would consider someone part time and they said yes. Now it is not strictly within school hours and i have a cobble of childcare to cover the few hours out of hours but it is a job, and with effort and planning i can do it.

It seems a lot of people want 9.30-2.30, local, convenient jobs to land on their doorstep. It doesn't happen like that.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 21:18:19

This there are no jobs line isn't as clear cut as you make it out to be. I don't know if it's true or not. Some people say no, some people say there are plenty. But I thought it was made crystal clear that nobody can be sanctioned for not taking a non existent job. And if my last point is the case, then that argument should be dropped.

"Ritual humiliation" sounds a bit OTT to me.

And working hard "raising the next generation" is a bit OTT as well. Like you're doing the world a favour or something.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 21:18:19


The benefits people stand to lose if they take on more hours can be the end of them being able to provide for their family. Its not because they don't want to lose benefit because they are lazy.

I am adopted and wholeheartedly agree with you, because I know the benefit I have totally gone against the grain with childcare. Although I do believe in a little bit of pre school if the dc are going to attend school.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 21:19:55

The benefits people stand to lose if they take on more hours can be the end of them being able to provide for their family

Please explain how that works.


Who is going to be your carer if you are in a home in your old age?

Who is going to empty the bins of your retirement home?

Who is going to prescribe you medicine or treat your sores?

The next generation. Bringing up children is doing the world a favour.

expatinscotland Mon 11-Feb-13 21:23:09

So what job is this, another? Are you offering 24 hour/week+ contracts, or zero hours ones? Is it seasonal or temp? Does the employee have to be available for all shifts, meaning it won't work if their other half is not a day worker as there there's no childcare for nights/weekends if they don't have family to do it?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:24:41

OK, so looking at the UC FAQ it seems as far as parents go pretty much the only exempted group are single parents with children under one. Also the 16 hours a work lower limit is being removed for help with childcare to be available. That is good, at least, for people who really do want to go out to work - before labelling everyone as workshy please remember there are many people who would have liked to work but couldn't find a job that could guarantee 16 or more hours and therefore couldn't afford to do so. My DH was one of them.

But I think this demonstrates that the Government sees economic unit first, parent second. There is no value for the taxpayer here. A 20 hour a week job, say, is likely to need at least 25 hours of childcare. I doubt very much that much, if any, money will be saved by the policy and THAT is my problem. The Government is playing big brother, COMPELLING people to do something that many of them would have done anyway, now that the ridiculous 16 hours cut off is being removed. Since it will cost them pretty much the same whether the child is looked after by its parents or in childcare, what the hell is the point of this if not social engineering?

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 21:24:49

You can bring up children and work school hours when they're in school. Hell, you can bring up children and work a 40 hour week. It's not only non earning parents who bring up children you know.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 21:25:51


A person working p/t low income can receive Tax credits, free prescriptions, free school meals, housing benefit etc. Obviously as you take on more hours and more pay the benefit is reduced and rightly so.
After a certain amount earned/hours worked benefit is stopped completely and the wage now earned is not enough to provide for their family.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:27:46

Except I make the point many times on here that the person who does the real hard work in my household is my DH, who looks after the kids 80% of the time. Don't kid yourselves - your childminders/nannies/childcare are doing most of the work.

I know.

Just stop devaluing the role of parents. SAH or otherwise. Its an important job.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 21:30:19

That's your point. I don't agree with it.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:30:56

I suspect whether people believe there are plenty of suitable jobs or not depends entirely on where they live. Hundreds of jobs available a short hop down the tube. Or 5 or 6 jobs in the local market town with no public transport between there and the surrounding villages. In vast areas of the country "local and convenient" are rather crucial to whether a job is remotely viable or not.

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 21:31:59

I'm not devaluing it. I'm saying it if you value it then make it a priority for you. Not one that requires a benefit to make possible. Because you are putting this experience you treasure so much in the hands of governments.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:32:26

If it makes you feel better about it nkf you tell yourself that. I do not begrudge anyone who makes that choice for the benefit of their own families. But the argument here seems to be that it is the preferable option when patently it is not.

Just another point.

In the 2013-14 tax year, the personal allowance is £180 per week.

At NMW that is 30 hours.

So someone would have to work 30 hours before they are taxed. In other words, before the govt gets a penny.

And if they are helping with childcare then I really fail to see how sending SAHPs out to work parttime is benefitting anyone.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:34:23

preferable option per se I mean. It is not right for every family, especially when said ex SAHP is now stuck in a dead end job that they hate, and costing the taxpayer the same amount of money for the privilege.

constantnamechanger Mon 11-Feb-13 21:34:56

without being shot down - FT working dad on 26k - tac credits circ £400 a month - sahm - 3 dcs - are the tcs going to stop?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:35:16

wannabe - it makes people feel better that no one is getting anything for nothing. Ha, as if looking after kids 24/7 is nothing!

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 21:39:45

I have not said anything about my own choices or about whether mine are better or worse than anyone else's. I'm not going to. It's irrelevant.

But - and I must make this the last time because I am starting to bore myself - I remain unconvinced that it is somehow wrong that someone receiving a benefit should be required to look for school hour work when the kids are in school. I can't see it as humiliation and undervaluing motherhood.

Because it is going to cost the government money in many cases.

Subsidized childcare. UC has a lower taper rate (is that the right term?) than TCs. Etc.

Get a job. But it wont help the tax payer until hour 31 and then thats minimal. The figures just dont add up.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:49:05

It is the compulsion element I find very hard to swallow, for no purpose whatsover than to impose one dubious ideology onto everybody. Someone - AuntMaude I think - said earlier, when I asked if she and others would contribute to the greater good by sacrificing her excess income to give a job to someone who needs it, that this is not a communist state. Well it's sure starting to feel like one.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:52:36

And the thing is, I really really don't think compulsion is necessary. As I said earlier, I think the removal of the 16 hour limit before childcare help is available is a really good thing and a long time overdue. It remains to be seen whether they set a sensible family income cut off before this is stopped. But if this is implemented sensibly it opens the doors for those SAHPS who want to work, and for whom it is possible, to be able to do so. Great, I've no problem with that at all. But one size does not fit all, and in some cases it is preferable for the Government to pay for a parent to look after their own children. I can't restrict my arguments to parents of school age children because I've seen nothing to suggest that is the only group to which compulsion will apply.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 21:53:24


Its not possible for most people to value parenting and making it a priority, using the right to be a sahp, without relying on government.
At one time this was possible, but not anymore.
There are people who work who need to rely on the government and unless you are quite wealthy you need to rely on government.
Forcing sahps into seeking work is not going to change anything. Maybe a few will say they don't want to look for work and relinquish their benefit. Others will sign on in the guise of looking for work, knowing they aren't going to get a job. Its moving goal posts as far as the government are concerned, not saving any money.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 22:07:52


Most certainly the benefit will stop in this circumstance unless the sahp is seeking work, signing on to work 24 hours min.
I am not going to seek work and continue as a sahm and my dh earns a hugely significant less than this, we stand to lose it all.
There are loads of threads on here and the calculator is on this site somewhere too.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 11-Feb-13 22:08:45

"Who is going to be your carer if you are in a home in your old age?

Who is going to empty the bins of your retirement home?

Who is going to prescribe you medicine or treat your sores?

The next generation. Bringing up children is doing the world a favour."

The children of working parents most likely or boys of SAHM's as the girls are very likely to copy their mums and not work. We are over populated and can always use EU workers as they have a very high work ethic. Parenting is a selfish decision, nobody has children so that we have future workers as who knows if they will actual work.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 22:11:00

Really? I must be very unusual then, being the daughter of a SAHM and myself working full time as the sole breadwinner. You lot really don't give women any credit at all do you? And I think most of you call yourselves feminists? <shakes head emoticon>

anotheryearolder Mon 11-Feb-13 22:13:09

morethan how on earth does your decision to SAH benefit your children if you cant provide for them ??? I dont understand - food,warmth and a home are the basics of being a parent surely ???

we stand to lose it all
I would lose my home if I gave up work tomorrow - most people would .

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 22:15:28


How do you know it will be the dc of workers now then?
I think they are more likely not to want to do this type of work.
My older dss are working and/or seeking work, surprisingly enough not in the caring profession. My dd 9, already has strong visions of where she wants to be and has a career mapped out from age 11. So you seem to be presuming a lot here.

Bringing up children is an important job, a role to be taken seriously and does provide the work force of the future. Whether the parents are both working or not.

Viviennemary Mon 11-Feb-13 22:17:26

There is no compulsion. There is no compulsion to work for anyone. They can ring up their boss and say stuff your job. I'm not working, can't get the childcare sorry. But they won't expect to be paid. What is the difference. It's the expectation. We can't be expected to work. How can we work. We have children. Plenty of people with children work.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 22:19:04


I don't understand your comment I'm afraid. confused. I was answering a question somebody asked about losing their benefit. I never mentioned anything about losing a home or not being able to feed my family?

anotheryearolder Mon 11-Feb-13 22:23:10

Sorry - maybe I misunderstood.
You said you*stand to lose it all* but wont seek work and will continue to be a SAHM .

Apologies - I understood this to mean that even if you financially went under you would still SAH.

constantnamechanger Mon 11-Feb-13 22:24:36

thanks morethan something has happened that has made it more or less impossible for me to work - I don't want to go into what - we will be crippled but hey ho - its nice being home with them.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 22:25:37


Yes and many of these people with children who work are career hungry, make no money from it rely on the government for tax credits and child care subsidy. Expecting tax payers to pay for their lifestyle choice.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 22:27:17

I am reading that 90% of people on this thread think their sole function in life as a parent is to function as an economic unit and outsource the care of their children, quite regardless of the cost/benefits of that situation. Correct?

I'm getting quite fed up with this now as you can probably tell. I'm glad my children at least will be brought up to be free-thinking.

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 22:31:11

They can be brought up to be a free thinking as they like, gaelic , but not on my taxes.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 22:31:21

morethan - good point. I for one would love to know how much all these second earners are costing me in subsidising their childcare. I'd like to bet it's more than they pay in tax.

anotheryearolder Mon 11-Feb-13 22:32:12

My children were brought up by their parents - noone else - so cross me off your list.
Very few people on this thread have actually mentioned their childcare arrangements.


Your taxes mainly go to pay for free healthcare, education and the countrys infrastructure.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 22:33:34

And since when did you get to choose AuntMaud? I would rather my taxes weren't spent on wars. In fact I would worry about that a thousand times over before I worry about helping out some families trying to do their best, as almost everyone does. But each to their own.

SizzleSazz Mon 11-Feb-13 22:35:37

You're not subsidising me a penny in childcare. I work 21 hours a week and my DC are in 'out of school childcare' for 5.5hrs per week (fully paid by DH and me).

I do believe i am also 'bringing my children up' as well as working.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 11-Feb-13 22:46:47

Gaelicsheep, we pay our own childcare for the few hours we need it. Not everyone claims help with it. Thousands pay their own or use family and friends.

I'd far rather subsidise childcare than pay people to stay home. At least the person working is paying tax, the childcarer paying tax and they will have a job when they no longer need childcare. They may even get raises or promotions and not need help for long.

Parents dont cease raising their children if they work and use childcare, no more than sahm's whose children go to school. Children cost money, that cost should be bourne by the parent not the state.

My DS will be "free thinking" as you out it but i would be very disappointed if he chose a life at tax payers expense.

CSLewis Mon 11-Feb-13 22:47:19


To belatedly answer your point - I asked why a parent who thought it better for their family to remain at home should be obliged into work. I didn't imply at all that this would be the right choice for all families.

But even if a family received no financial support from the government, do you really think the govt wouldn't still be pushing for both parents to be in work? So that there are three people (father, mother, childcare provider) feeding the economy by earning money which is then partly taxed, and partly spent on consumables, thereby doing double duty to prop up the economy.

I really object to people being treated as economic production units first, and men and women second. And the changes being pushed through at the moment seem to take us a step further down that road.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 22:47:25

You don't use childcare vouchers then?

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 22:50:26

"I'd far rather subsidise childcare than pay people to stay home. At least the person working is paying tax, the childcarer paying tax and they will have a job when they no longer need childcare. They may even get raises or promotions and not need help for long."

I'm glad I don't have such narrow, money-centric, brainwashed view of the world.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 22:59:44

How's about if the SAHP is at home working all hours they can on being a musician, an artist, a novelist, but not earning much? I suppose that is also totally worthless activity that displays a lack of work ethic, and is damnable because they don't subscribe fully to the new religion of tax-paying. I suppose it displays a much better "work ethic" to be sat filing their nails behind a reception desk, drinking coffee in an office or chatting on the shopfloor?

And btw, all our children are being brought up, free-thinking or otherwise, at the taxpayer's expense. Have you forgotten the small matter of education? Of course the free-thinking children of an enlightened home educator probably cost the taxpayer less than most.

Oh I've got to give in on this now, it's getting incredibly tedious talking to so many Government brainwashed drones.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 23:37:16


I don't want to pry but from your post you may have an exception, if you are unable to work the support still exists. Its the likes of me who refuse to work who will lose benefit. Your partner needs to work for you to qualify but the hours vary depending on your personal situation. I hope it works out for you.

I do think that benefits cuts need to be fair though and if one lifestyle choice isn't supported then others shouldn't either.


No apology needed, I wasn't exactly clear. Me being a sahm is a lifestyle choice, I know. We have managed without tax credits before and will do again. Hopefully it won't be as tight as it was back then, and we won't lose our house. Very low income but relatively low outgoings.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Feb-13 23:40:59


Ha, I really like you.
My dh is a musician, working late and often away. When he isn't doing this he has private pupils and works as an educator/ consultant in public and private sector.
He also helps me to home educate our daughter.

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 23:42:47

Back to the UC thing, and with constantnamechanger in mind, isn't part of the problem here the complete lack of specific information? It makes people anxious and they're unable to plan at all. It's about time we saw some hard figures (unless they exist and I haven't found them?)

gaelicsheep Mon 11-Feb-13 23:45:30

He he, xposts. And there's me thinking I sound like a loon. It's frustration, makes me chuck my toys out of the pram (just ask DH grin)

Wishihadabs Tue 12-Feb-13 06:51:33

Morethan your attitude astounds me. Your children are 9 -17. You really can't see why the tax payer shouldn't top up your dhs income so you can home educate your dcs? I am usually fairly left wing and liberal but I am shock that you cannot see how unrealistic your expectations are.

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 07:04:54

Will someone explain to me why it is in the best interests of their family to be a sahm and to claim UC when their children are at school, rather than to work during school hours?

I can see how it could be nice to have some time free of your own and you could do the shopping and cleaning at your leisure, but imo the state should not be subsidising it.

Wishihadabs Tue 12-Feb-13 07:15:29

Also I would think the 17yo could be left with the 9yo in the evening so Moreton could pull a few pints TBH

ithaka Tue 12-Feb-13 07:29:59

With reference to artists and musicians not getting to stay at home and express their talents - some of our greatest creative minds held down full time paid work all their lives. (TS Eliot - civil servant, Larkin - librarian to name but two).

If you want to be creative, you have to find a way to finance it - a job is the usual way of earning a crust so you can do what you want in your spare time.

There is no promotion on the dole - if you get a job, you may like it and start to progress. If you stay at home, your dependency will never change.

Yes, you have a choice. I choose to work, be creative and raise my children. You can be snotty about my lifestyle choices, but it doesn't matter as I am not relying on benefits to fund them. This is more liberating than having to cope with every 'unfair' benefit change as all governments like to tinker with benefits. I do think long term benefit reliance must be very draining.

I work 22 hours a week & my dh works 40. My ds goes to a childminder 2 days a week & we are fortunate that my mil has him one day. I still pay my childminder £400 per month & often wonder whether it would be better to try & make it work without working, but no matter how I crunch the numbers as a family we are still better off with me working & paying the childcare.
My cousin lives in Italy and there all children are entitled to free full-time childcare until they go to school. I know that our children are precious & obviously you need to know they are being looked after properly but do feel the government needs to help families more.

JakeBullet Tue 12-Feb-13 07:50:59

I have now seen both sides of the coin as it were. All I can really say is that it was infinitely preferable to work at least part time. I have worked both full and part time as a parent and reduced my hours as my son's needs became more challenging and exhausting. It is no exaggeration to say thst I clung onto my PT job for as long as possible. was my lifeline. Going onto benefits was a leap of faith tbh but I felt so much healthier once I did so......although definitely poorer financially.
I would encourage any parent to give work a chance if they get the opportunity.
Even now I am still looking around although I don't need to officially. I don't see myself as a Carer forever but equally I recognise that the highly prsssured and responsible job I had previously is not appropriate given my other responsibilities.
A less pressured job I could do though hence the voluntary work which has led into a very part time af hoc job which might lead yo something more.....who knows.

nkf Tue 12-Feb-13 08:34:49

JakeBullet, I salute you!

Jakebullet, good perspective. Maybe I should stop trying to convince my dh that we would be better off if I gave up my job & just get on with it & appreciate the days I'm fortunate to be off smile

Bloody hell, the word entitlement keeps popping into my head!

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 08:54:03

No one has said parents shouldn't work fgs. The Government actively made this.impossible for some in the past due to the 16 hour threshold on childcare help, a point people are conveniently ignoring. All I am saying, ad nauseum, is that it is not always best for the family OR the taxpayer for both parents to work, and the people best placed to make that judgment are the family themselves. Not sure what's so difficult to grasp there.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 08:57:15

And sooo many people who think life choices of any description, including how one's children are educated, should only be the preserve of the rich. Who would have thought Mumsnet would be so bourgeois.

Leithlurker Tue 12-Feb-13 08:59:02

They came for the unemployed and you did nothing.

They came for the single mothers and you did nothing.

They are still coming after the sick and disabled, did you do anything?

Now they are coming for YOU, and you fight amongst yourselves.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 09:01:43

The Government has played a master stroke with UC. Now everyone, whether the jobless parents with 10 children, or the people who pay thousands in tax and get a few hundred quid back ALL get lumped together as being on the dole. Fantastic.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 09:05:13

Great post Leithlurker

fromwesttoeast Tue 12-Feb-13 09:05:45

For those who say that home educators shouldn't be subsidised do bear in mind that our children are not occupying a state funded school place. Certainly in my case the cost to the state of educating my children would exceed what I receive in ctc. I'm currently saving the state money.
The frustrating thing is that before the economic slump DH's work was doing well enough for us not to rely on tc. Not the case now.
I do worry about the new system not being flexible and sensible. I would be willing to work weekends or evenings when my youngest turns 5, but I don't want to be forced to work school hours and disrupt the education provision that I have dedicated the last decade to.
I know some will say that I just have to do whatever if DH doesn't earn enough. If we ever get some economic recovery then chances are he will be earning enough

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:09:52

Leithlurker - way over the top. We are talking about sahm with children at school who are complaining that they are losing a government subsidy that allows them to stay at home rather than work during school hours.

fromwesttoeast Tue 12-Feb-13 09:11:27

Let's have some economic regeneration please.

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:12:51

What do sahm do during school hours while their children are out of the house that makes the time so precious?

gaelicsheep you asked where are the jobs. It's not in the job centre. They are a waste of time really. We are hiring a handful of C/C++ developers. I know of two posts that were filled in my company after advertising for nearly a year. (Admittedly, they don't fit my skillset so I can't say there's an opening for my role). DH's company has trouble filling vacancies but their management admitted their pay isn't competitive.

Of course, if we are made redundant, we'll be in trouble. The economy being so bad as it is. In that case, there will be many of us looking for the type of work in our area. We aren't in London so there isn't a lot of companies here. We are very fortunate that we have local jobs. I'd fully expect having to commute if I lost mine. Same as DH.

mirry2 I think what they do depends on how much their DH earns. The rich ones shops, lunches, have facials, goes to gym and volunteers for the NCT. I can think of two who stopped working after their first baby. Both have their children starts nursery a day a week around 6mo, before we even return to work after maternity leave. Some of them blogs about their clothes or their home renovation projects. (See some of the mummy bloggers and their clothes).

I don't know personally any SAHM struggling financially. I assume they have to clean, shop in multiple places for bargains, budget, etc.

Posting here reminded me of another rich mummy. She worked PT until she lost her job in the recession. She whined how the JC gave her a hard time on the JSA because she was going to a ski holiday. There was something about not being able to go overseas while looking for a job. She was signing on for the contribution based JSA, so I guess she felt she's entitled to it. Her husband earns too much for her to get any benefits otherwise.

DP has today applied for a Saturday job on a farm.

Yes thats right. One day a week. How many applicants? Well the guys not sure but hes estimating it around the 75 mark.

75 people want to do 1 day a week. And its not Polish either. There arent that many around here.

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:34:26

Onelittletoodling - that stil doesn't answer my question. The deathly silence speaks volumes.

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:36:13

But wannbedomestic whether there are any jobs in any particular location is not the question, it's the reluctance to even consider the idea of paid work that bothers me

Leithlurker Tue 12-Feb-13 09:39:13

Thank you mirry2 you make my point very well, instead of asking what this policy is about, or asking who benefits from this policy, or indeed where this policy takes us (The cutting of all state aid to working class parents in a bid to further economically and socially disadvantage and demonise them imo) you attack the value of what a SAHM/D does. Do you raise the same question of value of time spent for those who receive no money what so ever from the state, or is it just those who get some form of benefit, who exercise you nd others of your persuasion. Oh no I forgot some people can afford to have children.

And yesterday in other news the poor working class were robbed of their homes to pay for care, while middle class people were offered tax breaks and told they could keep their homes to pass on to their middle class kids who by and large will be nicely set up

olgaga Tue 12-Feb-13 09:40:48

What's striking about these threads is that everyone has their particular view about which benefit claimants are scroungers and which are "deserving".

The truth, as I've noted before, is that just one in eight claimants is out of work, the remainder being employed, retired or registered disabled. Indeed, years of falling living standards mean that housing benefit is increasingly a subsidy for the working poor. Of new claims between 2010 and 2011, 93 per cent were made by households containing at least one employed adult.

From this article.

No one on this thread has said they wouldnt look for work. Except morethan but she wont claim benefits.

People are saying that they are annoyed that the govt is calling them lazy for bringing up kids and that they are worried that choices they need to make for their families are falling into the hands of a jobsworth who has targets to meet.

CSLewis Tue 12-Feb-13 09:49:23


In my case, I home educate my children, which I would not be able to do if I were obliged to work during school hours, and also cover all the other aspects of family life (shopping, cooking, cleaning, gp appointments etc ) in the time left over.

As has already been pointed out, by home educating my family is saving the government far more money than we have ever received. We are freeing up places in severely over-subscribed London primary schools for children who really need them - I.e whose parents both work - whilst still paying for them through my husband's taxes.

However, even if I were not home educating, I'd still be very concerned about the grey area regarding parents who are caring for children aged between 1 and 4.

By the way, are you all aware that Universal Credit will also subsume child benefit? And that if your credits are 'sanctioned' due to 'non-compliance' (how Orwellian!), you also stand to lose some/all of your child benefit, which hitherto had been the only truly 'universal' credit available to all children, no matter what their parents' circumstances... (pre the Tory Cap on it, with which I don't necessarily disagree in principle).

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:55:05

Leithlurker I am well aware that the policy is to encourage less reliance on the state. I am not attacking sahm with children at school, or devaluing what they do - I just would like to know what they do

olgaga Tue 12-Feb-13 09:59:01

People are saying that they are annoyed that the govt is calling them lazy for bringing up kids and that they are worried that choices they need to make for their families are falling into the hands of a jobsworth who has targets to meet.

Yes, I realise that. Most of us would think bringing up children was a valuable thing to do. It is a valuable thing to do.

But in the government's view, it's only a valuable thing to do if you can afford it without state subsidy.

If you need to claim any kind of benefits while raising your family, then you're a drain on all those "hard working families".

I must say, they've been very clever about it all - that story about the hard-working chap who goes off to work, noting that his benefit-scrounging neighbour is still in bed, etc etc.

So everyone thought yeah! Why should we put up with all these scroungers! Not realising that they were one of them.

I've been dipping in and out of these benefit threads since May 2010. It seems the penny still hasn't dropped.

CSLewis Tue 12-Feb-13 09:59:04

They probably do all the things I mentioned above, so that when their children are home from school they can actually spend some time with them.

Do you think that even if the family was financially independent of the govt, the govt wouldn't still be trying to oblige that mother back into work, so that she can contribute more, and more directly, to the economy?

Thing is mirry, its none of your damn business, what they do. Even if they claim benefits.

I think only a very minority of children are home educated in this country? Am I right in thinking that?

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 10:02:02

CSlewis, you choose to home educate and good for you. However the argument you use could also be used in relation to parents who send their children to private schools or in relation to the use of any other private service instead of public service.

CSLewis Tue 12-Feb-13 10:02:03

Sorry, I've just found a fact sheet from Nov 2012 stating that child benefit will NOT, after all, be included in Universal Credit. I hope they don't change their minds AGAIN about that.

wannabe I think mirry is curious because honestly shopping, cooking and gp appointments don't take all day. It takes me 1 hour a week to shop for example.

CSLewis Tue 12-Feb-13 10:03:12

Parents who are sending their children to private schools are unlikely to be getting any benefits, surely?

If the government want to remove state subsidy they need to make it possible for families to survive without that subsidy. Not pit them all against each other and call them lazy.

I hope the penny drops soon because its getting tiring.

mirry2 I wish I can afford private school. We can definitely use that argument. I see how much better they are from friends who have children in them. They don't even have to worry about after school and holiday care. It's wrapped around just like in nursery. And the friend I referred to above is a private school teacher. They have lots of after hours social even so the teachers can build a relationship with the parents. She knows all the parents of her class.

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 10:04:43

wannabed - now you are being offensive.

CSLewis Tue 12-Feb-13 10:05:20

Yes, only a fraction of the children in this country are home educated. But that still involves thousands of families, whose freedom to educate their children as they see best will be seriously at risk if this Universal Credit cannot take their circumstances into account.

CSLewis no, but it's the argument of being noble on not using public resources because your children are home educated. You could flip the argument around in saying that having two salaries enable you to send your kids to a private school.

Its still not any of her business though.

We need to move away from this notion that tax payers have some kind of right over others. You dont.

No mirry. You are being offensive.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 12-Feb-13 10:09:50

Hello OneLittleToddlingTerror.

It is estimated around 50,000 from what I read but it really is unknown as there is no law to be registered. However, I do know that the number is growing as parents see it is a viable option if they are unhappy with their dcs school, or haven't got the place in their preferred school etc.

My one problem is the unfairness of the benefit cap. So if being a sahm is a lifestyle choice not to be subsidised then surely so is working and being worse off financially or breaking even. Ok there will be tax paid by the latter group but they shouldn't be subsidised for their lifestyle choice when working isn't financially necessary.
Also as said above, in the case of H.ed the parents are actually saving the tax payer because tax goes directly into education, this is something we all know.

Leithlurker Tue 12-Feb-13 10:11:00

Again mirry2 what part of this only applies to the poor don't you get? Once you do get it please explain why poor people are to be treated differently from others, The argument that those poor, poor (see what I did there?) people need subsidies to have children. I suspect that the rest of the middle class and very rich are grateful for the subsidy they get in terms of a free health service, schools, local and national infrastructure supplied to them.

CSLewis Tue 12-Feb-13 10:12:07

*This, from gaelicsheep*:

"*I am reading that 90% of people on this thread think their sole function in life as a parent is to function as an economic unit and outsource the care of their children, quite regardless of the cost/benefits of that situation. *"

mirry2 Tue 12-Feb-13 10:15:31

I don't like being personally attacked for holdng a seemingly minority view on this thread so I'll leave you to it.
Anyway I've got to go to work.

Leithlurker Tue 12-Feb-13 10:17:04

Don't let the door slap your arse on the way out mirry2, love.

Attacked? Really?

You were told its none of your business and thats being attacked? Purlease?

I am attacked on here everyday in that case. As a fat lazy benefit claiming scrounger.

Leithlurker Tue 12-Feb-13 10:19:46

Or try coming back in when you can offer an argument to back up your snide comments about the value of SAHM/D. Or better still why, give us the benefit of your insight in to how we get out of this blaming each other culture that has been fostered around us.

wordfactory Tue 12-Feb-13 10:39:39

In answer to morethan's point about why it is deemed right to subsidise child care but not a SAHP, the issue is one of economics. If you split the cost of the child care subsidy between both parents as it assists them both to work and you add up both their tax payments, the subsidy is fairly small.Plus those working spend more which the economy needs and often save for their pension which te economy needs. On a purely economic level it makes more sense to subsidise working than staying at home.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 12-Feb-13 10:51:07


I would seriously question how working parents spent more than sahp's. At present the system allows claimants of tax credits to have savings, own their own home, etc. Whilst the UC won't allow this the situation has been in existence since TC began. People with fewer outgoings and savings are surely in a position to spend more than working people with less time and disposable income. Especially those working for nothing or breaking even as a lifestyle choice not necessity
Don't forget that to gain TC you need to be working and paying tax, so claimants are also paying tax.
I'm sorry but your argument doesn't stand up.
We hear arguments on these threads how parents shouldn't have kids if they can't afford to provide for them without government assistance. In that case surely that should apply to all not just the poor.

wordfactory Tue 12-Feb-13 11:05:28

Morethan - you really need to read some of the studies on this. I can't link as I'm not at home on PC, but they're easy to find. The reality is that many people in recept of TCs get back more than they pay in tax. And most do not have savings of any real measure. Wheras most families using subsidised child care still pay more in tax than subsidy. And it is fact that those in work spend more. Those at home economise. Which may be more sensible on a personal level but isn't good news for the economy.

wordfactory Tue 12-Feb-13 11:09:02

Btw am not commenting on the value of being at home. Just pointing out that the argument that ssubsidising child care is the same, isn't a viable fiscal one.

Also those getting TC today might not need it anymore if their career progresses. I don't get TC and I earn a lot more than childcare for one. (We do get childcare vouchers for both me and DH). It means I would definitely spend more than if I have stayed at home.

And to top it off, our products are sold overseas, including India. So I'm fairly sure I'm making a positive to the UK's balance of trade.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 12-Feb-13 11:21:05


I stand corrected, and must know people of the exception then. I know you don't comment on the value of sahp from previous threads. smile

But I still can't seem to get my head around the seemingly lack of fairness in government subsidy for one lifestyle choice over another. I still argue that those of the exception to the studies you suggest, are in a position to spend more.

I would also like to add that many sahp's are going to lose out or be forced into dishonesty in order to keep their benefit. I know some already who have said they will sign on, attend interviews etc, with no intention of working because they are unable due to their partners work and lack of flexible child care.
I am one for whom it would be impossible, but as I said up thread I am honest and couldn't lie.
However, I'm not so virtuous I am constantly looking for the loopholes, legal but maybe a bit questionable. If its good enough for politicians its good enough for me. grin

wordfactory Tue 12-Feb-13 11:27:36

For my part I would like to see the end of subsidies to staying at home or child care. I should like the governemnt to stop subsidising big business by topping up their crap wages!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 12-Feb-13 12:16:11

Can anybody answer this please.

How many hours does a person have to work with 1 dc aged 5-13 if they are earning over the nmw.
So if the job is only say 16 hours but pays the same amount as 35 hours at the nmw is this acceptable?

Yes its 35x£6.19= £216.65 per week.

A couple must earn the quivalent of 70 hours per week between them.


morethan you mean acceptable by the job centre? What if you manage to earn £50k on 16 hours because the full time equivalent is £100k? Then you won't be getting tax credits, and so won't be seeing any of the JC. It's vague question as you simply say above the nmw.

She means so that you satisfy the conditionality aspect.

So if a couples income is £22531 per year then the JC wont expect you to look for more hours etc.

However, if we had that household income (DP has the earning potential to earn that himself) then we would be able to live without and state assistance.

Its basically making the lives of the poor a fucking misery because the govt sees them as not good enough.

*any. (Cold hands and phone dont go well.)

Its basically making the lives of the poor a fucking misery because the govt sees them as not good enough.

Substitute "poor" with "anyone but the rich". That's the tories.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 13:29:46

"And it is fact that those in work spend more. Those at home economise. Which may be more sensible on a personal level but isn't good news for the economy. "

It's also a fact (in my mind anyway, no doubt it can be proved) that those families with two parents in work consume more and are probably bad news for the environment. More materials (second car), more petrol, more convenience food and associated packaging (unless you reading this post are superwoman and knit your own lentils, in which case please don't bother to respond), etc. etc. So from an environmental perspective an argument could definitely be made for families to have one SAHP.

Incidentally, quite aside from the fact that my family are very much net taxpayers, we also pay more to the Government in tax in petrol alone in one month than we get back in a year in tax credits. I am totally guilt free that my DH currently stays at home and I couldn't give a flying proverbial if that is unpopular because it means we don't "consume" enough for the benefit of the sodding economy.

This is not a straightforward argument, and because it is not cut and dried by any stretch of the imagination it is ridiculous for the Government to impose a one size fits all policy. And even more ridiculous that so many supposedly intelligent people are falling for it.

gaelicsheep I see you are bashing working mums again. I work full time and we have only one car. There is something called public transport and also the bicycle. (Both DH and I cycle to work). I'm not a superwoman, and we don't eat convenience meal. We don't buy takeaways and hardly eat out, because they are so expensive. How long do you think it takes to actually put food on the table? It's usually 15-30min. There is a happy medium, you know. Not everyone has a very high powered high pressured job that demands insanely long hours. And not every meal has to be cooked 3 hours lovingly in the oven. (FYI I had chicken stir fry and a salad yesterday with rice. Took probably 15min).

morethanpotatoprints Tue 12-Feb-13 13:41:07


That is nearly twice what dh is earning now and I agree on this amount of money we wouldn't need to be topped up.
So basically unless we are able to support ourselves without benefit we aren't going to meet the conditionality to receive it.
What a fucking mess. I am a lady who really doesn't like swearing but fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck.
Ah, that feels better.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 13:43:09

Yeah, I love bashing working mums (being one myself, and typing this on my lunch break).

Public transport. What's that?

The point, obviously, is that argument can be skewed any way you wish. But arguing to me that both me and DH have a duty to work, regardless of being a drain on the holy taxpayer or otherwise, in order to spend more money on useless crap - that is bound to get me very very rattled.

Well aslong as you appear to be looking for work you will receive it.

But honestly, if we could all just earn more wouldnt we be fucking doing it?

I keep coming back to the same point. If you want people to survive without subsidy, look at housing costs, look at childcare costs, pay a living wage. Dont make choices for people and tell them they are lazy. That doesnt make money or jobs magically appear.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 13:49:43

Oh and mirry2, who is very concerned about what people do all day if they are not propping up an office desk. Well I can think of hundreds of ways I would occupy my time if I wasn't here earning money to pay my taxes, some might earn me money from home, some might be of benefit to my children.

If you can't, it says rather more about you than the people concerned. And as others have said, it is none of your damned business.

jellybeans Tue 12-Feb-13 14:11:54

'SAHM's as the girls are very likely to copy their mums and not work.'

I disagree. My mother was a SAHM until youngest was 8. The she worked 3 nights a week, my father also worked nights and we were on our own at night sometimes. I was a f/t WOHM with DD1 and now a SAHM of 5 DC. Your argument is not correct. Many of my age (born 70s) had SAHMs. Yet most of us are working. Many that SAH go back to work later on. Some (not all!) WOHM seem to resent SAHM having the chance to SAH with their DC. Because they can't they don't want others to have that chance! Some would admit they wish all mums worked f/t. Yet as a SAHM I don't think all mums should SAH, I think everyone should make their own choice. I disagree with UC as think one parent should be able to stay home until child at high school. EVEN if on benefit although maybe they could volunteer while kids are school age. It doesn't cost any more this way as paying for childcare is just as much or more.

My youngest starts school next year and I don't plan to go back to work because in my experience there are a lot of school events in the daytime and I know DC will want me to pick them up. I don't want DC coming home to an empty house etc. I will be looking for volunteer work though and finishing my OU degree. Eventually I may take a job when DC5 is older and if it fit in with DC. OR if I needed the money.

Wishihadabs Tue 12-Feb-13 17:53:36

Morethan can you explain to me why a family with school age dcs would be worse off. Break even yes, but then you are not receiving the subsidy. Also why couldn't you leave your 9yo with your 17yo in the evening to work, if you want to he?

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 20:23:43

I'm sure morethan will answer you herself, but since I think she has already stated she will not be claiming it really is none of your business is it?

Really and truly, this is the most mercenary, small-minded group of people I've ever had the misfortune to communicate with.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 20:26:03

Honestly, do people really think that earning money to fritter away to "help the economy" is really more important than their own families? That is what it sounds like to me.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 20:32:00

I know I'm at it again with my triple posting, but you know the thing that bothers me most of all about this policy is that it will stifle creativity and probably growth. For example, the self employed are going to come under real pressure. SAHPs who fund themselves with the first time for them since their kids were born, instead of being able to.find themselves again, try things out, start a business from home, etc will instead find themselves under pressure to just get a job, any job, and forget any of their aspirations. Anyone who says SAHPs have no work ethic has very clearly not spent long looking after children.

The country will suffer in the long term, I guarantee it.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 12-Feb-13 21:21:36

Gaelicsheep, if the SAHM is funding herself then she is still free to do all those things. Those that want to "find themselves" at the expense of the state need a wake up call. The welfare state was not created for that.

Working mums can still do school runs if their hours allow, still do parents evening and see plays etc. The state doesnt need to pay parents to do that.

The cost the school receive in funding per child is actually very low, cb and basic ctc probably amount to more so arguing its cheaper to support parents to home educate doesnt wash. HE is no different to private schooling in that you need to afford that choice yourself.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 21:29:12

Well my point was more that by giving a SAH P who has devoted the first five years of their child's life, possibly 10 years if two children in succession, to looking after them may very well need some time to adjust in order to fulfil their potential. That might make them earn more, which I would have thought would please you dour money-grabbing bunch.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 21:32:37

All I see here is jealousy and sour grapes.

MagnoliaBlossom Tue 12-Feb-13 21:34:23

Yes to everything gaelicsheep says.

Also, Thank You for mentioning the awful environmental stress of these policies

A decent Society is not all about Money, money,money.
Neither is it one "That knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing"

Seriously, I think our culture is on a terrible, rapid descent to nowhere.

And if we carry on thinking that
Consume, consume, consume,
Work. work, work
Tax, tax, tax.
Blame, blame, blame
is the solution to our woes, I reckon we'll go under even faster.

We are humans, people, precious individuals first. Tax payers, workers, non-workers comes second to that.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 21:37:46

Thank you MagnoliaBlossom. It is comforting to know there are still some decent people out there - including a small number on this thread - with a bit of sense, albeit far far too few of them. As for society as a whole, like you I fear we are doomed.

moondog Tue 12-Feb-13 21:39:19

Aye but even if you think you live on fresh air and a prayer you don't.
Someone somewhere is paying for it.
I hear arguments agianst consumption but we all consume.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 21:41:00

Some a great deal more than others Moondog. Excessive consumption is apparently now a virtue, who'd have thought.

moondog Tue 12-Feb-13 21:45:01

I don't think most people subscribe to that view at all.
Big difference between endorsing purchase of ridiculous handbags and expecting to not have to pay other people to stay at home and please themselves.

Viviennemary Tue 12-Feb-13 21:45:35

People must take financial responsibility for their families. And that includes everyone. Yes the state should step in when people lose their jobs or become ill. But not to allow people to find themselves. This isn't what benefit is for. People need to get real.

Its just got so out of hand. Its like competitive workaholicness. I realise thats a made up word.

People seem to think that money is everything. But its not. Money can disappear tomorrow. Your boss doesnt care about you. Nor does the government.

Yet its them that "should come first" while your family should fit around it. Why? Theres more to life than work.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 21:49:42

My God, there is no reasoning with you people.

Do I have to put this in economic terms? You land someone with a job on the Tesco checkout, that does nothing except interfere with family life and waste their time for very little reward for them or the taxpayer. Or you give them the freedom that YOU all had to find their own way, and quite possibly earn MORE as a result.

Always assuming, of course - going back to the start - that these mythical jobs exist.

I also fear that people are becoming a little confused between the unemployed and people with a WORKING partner who may be getting a small amount of help from the State, which everyone of you will receive in some way at some point in your life.

And no. Im not saying people should be able to not work. Im saying they should be able to find a work life balance that works for their families instead of being told they are lazy.

moondog Tue 12-Feb-13 21:51:35

There's more to life than work.
Indeed but work isn't something self obsessed workaholics do for fun. People do it so that they can live and eat and clothe themselves and keep warm. It speaks volumes for the bizarre state of entitlement peopl have when they airily dismiss workers as 'money obsessed' conveniently forgetting that said workers are funding their lifestyles.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 21:53:28

Bloody hell Moondog. I am a worker. I am able to do my job because my DH looks after our kids. I couldn't afford to do my job otherwise. There are many others in this position. Where do you get off, really?

We are talking here about SAHPs who have a partner in work, paying tax.

So their own partner is paying tax to fund them. Not you.

moondog Tue 12-Feb-13 21:57:57

I don't see any issue at all with people who stay at home when a member of their family is supporting them.
I am however bemused by your assumption that everyone is work obsessed? Where? Blimey, I wish I worked with them! A great many people I see in a working week act as if the job should fit around thier private life and not vice versa.

maisiejoe123 Tue 12-Feb-13 22:00:05

Their partner is not funding them to stay at home. Tax doesnt work like that. I am getting really fed up with SAHP who think it is a right of theirs to choose to stay at home and then claim their partner is paying for this choice.

No, they are not!

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 22:00:16

Not work obsessed. Money obsessed. Big difference.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 22:01:21

If their partner is not, then neither is any one of you!

I pay maybe £8,000 a year in tax. We get back about £600 in CTC. If I'm not paying for it, you sure as hell aren't!

So why do people on this thread think they as tax payers are funding them? I dont get what the difference is.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 22:05:32

Boy, I wish I could see a breakdown of the amount each and every one of you costs me in tax, versus what you contribute.

forgetting that said workers are funding their lifestyles

Their partner is not funding them to stay at home. Tax doesnt work like that.

Which is it?

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 22:07:45

Except, I don't want to really - it doesn't sit well with me. I pay my tax, I know much of it gets squandered, and I know most of it is squandered not by individuals, but by about 20 people sat around a table in Downing Street.

gaelicsheep Tue 12-Feb-13 22:08:29

D'you think we frightened them off with reason, wannabe? wink

maisiejoe123 Tue 12-Feb-13 22:09:12

Gaelic - yes so do I. People think that they pay some tax and that gives them the right to have a SAHP, use the NHS, have free education all for £7k tax per year (assuming average wager earner!).

Heard a young couple on This Morning the other day say it wasnt worth them working and anyway - their parents paid tax. They are just claiming what is rightfully theirs!

Its the higher rate tax payers and the two income families paying for your choices!

grin I can only hope!

Worrying times ahead, jobs are scarse, and soon money will be too.
I know they need to make cut-backs but in my area with not a lot of work available and not many childcare options i worry what the future has in store for me & my dc.

If this is all true & is going ahead, i can see poverty, actually meaning poverty. Do we as humans want to see others suffer, i certainly don't.

Are we going back to the olden days, where children don't know where their next meal is coming from, workhouses, starvation, homelessness??? I hope not.

Who is going to be paying for all the childcare costs when all the sahms find themselves fulltime work? Mw won't pay it and if UC is going to disallow people claiming, then what?

Bleak times ahead, for many including me.

Why are we all fighting eachother, we should stand united as mothers/fathers, yes the state shouldn't be made to pay everything, but it should be there to help everyone that truly needs it.
Being a sahm saves the government money, as they'd be paying p of dds childcare if i were in work.
Don't get me wrong i'd love to work, but the jobs are not there to take.
Boy i should know, dh has been redundant for 4months now, has applied for anything he can, but never hears back and so far no good.
I help him with his jobsearch, looking around, asking around, internet searching, but theres fuck all there and those that are all mw, which is fine but he never even gets an interview, because atleast 200 people are applying for each positionsad