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Lack of help from Government

(59 Posts)
Applepiesky Tue 27-Aug-13 14:38:06

Need to have a bit of a rant!
I work full time, my partner works part time (he would love to have full time hours but none available at the moment) and we have a mortgage, and consider ourselves very lucky to have one as I know many people don't.
I'm really really worried about how we are going to be able to pay our mortgage/bills/afford to live once baby comes in December.
I believe I only get 6wks full pay from work and then straight on to SMP. this literally will not even come close to touching our mortgage/bills payments, even taking DPs wages into consideration, let alone be enough to feed and clothe a newborn baby!
So why is it that people on benefits are entitled to a one off grant of £500 towards child costs and also non-home owners get help with rent? It really really annoys me that us hard working citizens are the forgotten ones and I am starting to shit myself at the thought of not being able to pay my mortgage :-(

usualsuspect Sat 31-Aug-13 23:28:28

Can't you claim tax credits?

The government support is for the baby, not the mother. Because all the evidence shows that it makes a difference. If you give poor people money, fewer children starve.

I'd rather live in a country that gave money to the feckless and the lazy, than one where children are punished for the lack of success of their parents.

formerblonde Sat 31-Aug-13 22:53:36

Yikes I thought these forums were for support! Some serious venom spitting. How sad. I think the cost of living now makes it pretty crap for us all! We are So lucky to be pregnant at all. We totally struggled to conceive and yes financially it's not looking great. But I couldn't be happier. If you've never been to infertility forums give that a go. May put things into perspective.

Kelly1814 Sat 31-Aug-13 21:59:21

I live overseas in a country with no welfare state. We are allowed 45 days maternity leave.

If you are lucky enough to negotiate more time off, it is unpaid. Completely unpaid.

We knew this, have saved accordingly, and have to foot all bills ourselves.

Completely different mindset to the UK and I'm watching this with interest.

froubylou Sat 31-Aug-13 19:46:34

Op you need to check with the tax credits place to see ifyyou will be entitled to help. On a part time wage and a baby you may be surprised.

With regards to your other comments after 7 years in the private rented sector I can assure you that if we needed to claim hb to cover the rent we would be struggling as much as you.

We can't get on the housing ladder as both me and dp are self employed so are paying double every month what it would cost to buy the property we live in.

I'm also due in December and despite us being on a reasonable amount of income at the moment I will be working until the baby comes and then as long as things go to plan will continue to work from home once the baby is a couple of weeks old.

I don't grumble about anyone fortunate enough to have any maternity leave. My choice to be self employed.

Most of my stuff is hand me downs from friends and family. You can spend as much or as little as you like on baby stuff. And for the first few years they don't actually cost a great deal anyway if you are sensible.

Don't stress. Enjoy your pregnancy and be realistic. You would be surprised when the baby arrives at how little they actually need!

Excited85 Sat 31-Aug-13 18:21:43

Agree with munchkinjess. I'm only having a few months off with my first despite both me and dh working full time. I am aware this is going to be really hard and don't want to do it, but unfortunately I'm in an industry which doesn't give any additional mat pay so financially more would be difficult plus I'll do much better in my career overall by not taking 9 months/a year off and so am trying to think of this as being better for us all in the long term.

The OP is entitled to feel that it's going to be hard for her, just as many of us feel despite our circumstances. It's easy to feel that the grass is greener, currently I'm quite jealous of people in cushy jobs with great mat packages that can take a year off, and also people who are on benefits, mainly because they will get to spend the precious time with their little one that I'll miss out on. Yes this might be irrational, but surely everybody has moments of thinking the grass is greener elsewhere and placing more emphasis on the negatives in our lives rather than the positives (and I'm aware that there are many in my situation, just difficult to focus on atm). Really don't think the OP meant to cause any offence!

vj32 Sat 31-Aug-13 18:21:36

But... the government gives us Child benefit, tax credits, SMP and legal protection on maternity leave, SPP, free prescriptions and dental care, subsidised child care through tax credits or the childcare vouchers scheme.

SMP is amazing - the government pays you not to work for 9 months, just because you have had a baby.

Yes, life is unfair, there is always a cut off point. With DS he arrived just after the government made all the cuts, so if he had been born 6 months earlier we would have been about £2k better off that year. Its shit. But life is a whole lot more shit if you are on benefits, and was worse than that if you live in one of the many countries (including I believe the US) who do little or nothing to support new parents.

Have you looked at how much you will be entitled to in child tax credits? Probably a good amount if you are reliant on only a part time salary for much of the year.

MunchkinJess Sat 31-Aug-13 17:48:44

it can be hard and scary for anyone whether working or in benefits to cope financially. my partner is a fireman and has been for 11 years his oay is quite low and future uncertain . I am the high earner out of us both. I am only taking 6 months maternity I wish i could take longer however financially its not possible and as much as it will be hard and upsetting I dont want the financial strain in our family to be much less. we planned for over a year before getting pregnant and I have been cuttinf back and saving hard for a year in order to supplement when im on maternity. I know it will be hard and probably can I only afford one child. we have made sacrifices but I do consider myself very fortunate.

Applepiesky Sat 31-Aug-13 09:19:20

xenadog ....... Thank you!! You've hit the nail on the head! thanks
Like I said before, I never meant to cause such disruption and maybe my post came across not how I wanted it to but xenadog has put it into perspective and I was just having a pregnant rant!
Just feel very alone in terms of financially having to cope when others seem to have it so easy.

Xenadog Fri 30-Aug-13 22:55:12

I think the OP's points are that her and her partner are up against it financially. She is angry as the common perception is that those who don't work (and by default often pay rent and not a mortgage) can have children as and when they want as the government will give them all sorts of hand outs that enables them to have children and not worry too much about the cost of them.

I think it's a very simplistic point to make but I know many people who would like to have more than one child but because of child care costs, needing to pay a mortgage and other bills means they cannot afford to.

The media does a great job of presenting those who receive benefits as scroungers and feckless regardless of their individual circumstances. For those who don't receive any financial help from the government this will seem unfair.

I think the OP should be allowed a rant; regardless of whether someone owns a house, is mortgaged or pays rent having a child IS expensive and we don't always choose when to conceive. The OP is doing all the right stuff to be able to afford her child and basically I wish her well.

Here's a thought; maybe the government shouldn't give anyone any help with their children. Get rid of tax credits, childcare, child benefit etc and then only those who really can afford a child will have one? wink

Dh was still a student when I fell preg with ds1 and made redundant when dc2 was 6 months!
We never got any help with our rent. Good job we'd saved really. hmm

HMT13 Thu 29-Aug-13 08:23:14

I think it's crazy we get any help at all. I'm self employed, and to be honest, more than happy to be receiving £136 a week maternity allowance for the 4 months I'll be taking off work. No one forced me to have a baby, it was my choice and I've saved like crazy since I found out I was expecting. Neither me or my DH are on high wages but we budget.

There will always be people who milk the system, it's not fair and it's annoying but some people do really need the help. No point in getting yourself worked up about it all. Just get saving what you can now. And at least if your partner is only part time you won't have to rely on full time childcare when you do go back to work smile

fluffyraggies Thu 29-Aug-13 07:38:04

I think you should have posted in AIBU.

fluffyraggies Thu 29-Aug-13 07:35:52

So why is it that people on benefits are entitled to a one off grant of £500 towards child costs and also non-home owners get help with rent? It really really annoys me that us hard working citizens are the forgotten ones

Sorry Op but this is what pissed me off in your OP.

Supposing someone came on here and complained about all the lazy sods who get pregnant accidentally and then claim child benefit???? Hmmm?

Equating someones financial position with how hard they work is a shit thing to say.

BellEndTent Wed 28-Aug-13 23:22:45

I fell pregnant accidentally at 23 in a fairly new relationship, fresh out of uni. I'm very aware that things could have gone very differently for me and there was a very real possibility that I would have had to rely on benefits.

Luckily, a few years later I am in the fortunate position of being in a decent job with my own home, a high earning husband and another child.

Aren't most of us supposed to be a divorce or an accident or a redundancy away from disaster? The help is there for you too if you should need it one day - why would you begrudge it to anyone in the situation that they have to claim benefits? It's right that those who can afford to should pay for themselves. If you are going to be in as much difficulty as you think then you will probably be entitled to tax credits which is government help really isn't it?

gillybeandramaqueen Wed 28-Aug-13 22:30:57

^^ thumbs up Chunderella

Chunderella Wed 28-Aug-13 09:39:34

I do hope you're not equating being a homeowner with being hardworking, OP. Your post certainly implies that. As you're upduffed and stressed out though, I'll forget that part and just say that you've got plenty of time before baby is born to stock up and take advantage of deals. There's no point ever paying full price for nappies or wipes, for example. Baby clothes can be picked up for next to nothing, you may even know people who'd give you some for free. Same with stuff like bouncy chairs and toys, maybe even a pram. The only thing you really need new is a carseat.

Jojo, you're obviously not from Manchester. I can assure you that the property in question was not in a desirable area at all. And, as an upstairs cottage flat, is at the less popular end of the scale with regards to available HA and council properties in Manchester, as they won't put young DC in high rises. Basically one of the least naice properties they could've got, probably our equivalent of tower blocks for Londoners. Hope that makes you feel better...

Lastly, I'm not sure what 'perma renters' means but I hope to fuck I didn't just read a post from someone fucking stupid enough to think that private renters, the most screwed over group, are the ones causing the housing shortage...

Frizz1986 Tue 27-Aug-13 18:55:51

I just think that there should be a simpler way to find out what we are entitled to, whatever situation we are in.
Benefits and tax credits etc are there to try and get everyone earning less to at least be able to manage, almost to level out the playing field so to speak. I do think some people take advantage, but the government need to sort that out to ensure that the money goes to people who deserve it.

I am currently 20 weeks with my first and my dh lost his job almost as soon as we found out (this was very much a planned pg but dh losing his job was not) Being a teacher we hoped he would find another job, but after lots of interviews he was unsucessful.
I find it hard to see what we will be entitled to as he is a teacher so will hopefully get supply work, but that means some weeks he might work and others he wont. Things should be made much easier for people to understand to ensure that people get what they are entitled to. We own our own home, but will be relying on savings to keep afloat and my sister is loaning me anything she can for our baby.
It will be tough but i know that there are lots more people in much harder situations.

It is definitely the governments responsibility to make sure that people know whtat they are entitled to and are able to live a reasonable life. No one should struggle paying for food to feed their family etc. Other posters are right that situations change unexpectedly and as long as you are trying to get yourself into a better situation then you should be supported whilst you try.

sarahleanne Tue 27-Aug-13 18:46:37

nicely said OP.

can I rant to? just to prove a point that everyones situation is different, my DH and I are perfectly capable of affording a mortgage but we were refused one due to my DH's credit history from years ago. So, to sum up, theres the ones that cant afford a mortgage and are on housing benefit, the ones that have a mortgage but then have the fear there house will be re possessed if they don't keep up payments, and the ones who can afford a mortgage cant bloody get one and are paying out £725 a month rent, yippee!!
I'd say all of these situations are equally frustrating in different ways.

Applepiesky Tue 27-Aug-13 18:00:08

Wow wow wow!!
The reason I'm "not saying much" gilly is cos I have just come back online so hadn't seen the responses !

I am not interested in an argument with ANYONE but how dare you accuse me of attacking you? Or anyone for that matter? You're right, I don't know your circumstances but you certainly don't know mine either. I chose to share as little of my personal situation as possible but the fact is my life is a hell of a lot tougher than you might think so there's no need to judge.

For those of you who have congratulated me on my pregnancy - THANK YOU - it really is a gift! Congratulationa to you all, too. And I can understand that people say having children is a luxury, I agree, but this was an unplanned pregnancy!! So think that's a bit unfair to say that we should have thought about our finances before starting a family.

For the record we are saving every single penny we can, my DP has got a second job and I am returning to work 3 months after due date so the luxury I will be missing out on is my child :-/

I am really sorry if I offended anyone, that certainly wasnt my intention - thank you to those who have offered a bit of advice and support but like I said, I never came here for an argument - just a bit of a rant which we are ALL guilty of from time to time - I mean, come on, we are hormonal !! ;-)

princesscupcakemummyb Tue 27-Aug-13 17:02:02

hi op sorry about your situation lots of people are the same though im on a low income myself and expecting how ever i knew this before ttc and ive bought from a early stage of pregnancy can you maybe borrow some baby things off friends? also look on ebay and nearly new sales good prices for great baby items fraction of the cost of the shops take care

x0gawjus0x Tue 27-Aug-13 16:53:48

My partner and I are renting a 2 bed bungalow for 700 a month plus all bills tax gas food water about 1,100 a month in total. My oh earns 1700 a month after tax and i earn 1000. That leaves us with 1,500 a month to spend/save whatever. We are lucky in the sense that we should still have 800 a month left over when im on maternity allowing me to have a year off. I am 20 he is 25 so we are quite lucky compared to some people and im very greatful i dont think well be entitled to help either, if it was different i know my oh would spend 20 hours a day working to support us so im very greatful. I dont believe everyone that is recieving help should however i know there are sone genuinely in great need and i hope they do get the help they are in desperate need. I am sure you will manage however if i wasnt so lucky with pur income i would not have a child untill id saved enough to be ok

jemimastar Tue 27-Aug-13 16:31:30

Gilly- your opinion may differ from mine but please don't get so personal with comments calling me "clueless and naive" both of which I am not ...I don't appreciate your verbal attacks. Calm down. smile

Jemima
Ehricloves why the F should Government pay for you to make landlords even richer?? We happened to save for years and now cut back massively in every other area to afford out mortgage but prefer this than paying into landlords pockets and thus creating the situation we now have with perma renters contributing to the fact there is a serious shrotage of available housing. Get off your high horse.
You think I like this situation? I could never have saved enough to get a mortgage, never. I don't like renting and I think the industry sucks, I think btl has been a blight on society but I don't see how my needing somewhere to live is contributing to the shortage of housing? Logic fail I think.
The government shouldn't be paying to make landlords richer but they (collectively) allowed a situation whereby it's easy to get a btl mortgage and whack the rents sky high so don't blame renters for the situation. We are mostly as pissed off as anyone else and poorer to boot.
Getting a mortgage might be cheaper than renting but you still need £20k plus to get one. Not possible for most of us.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 27-Aug-13 16:10:44

It is galling though to see others being handed grants and money every month for something that is essentially a lifestyle choice and the OP is allowed to state that. However outcomes for children on benefits are not as good so would you truly want to be on them?

Everyone should look at their finances before deciding to have a child or more children. Maternity pay, childcare costs etc can all be found within a few minutes google so its not like they hide the information. Is there any chance of you putting some money aside to cover some of the SMP weeks?

If you will struggle then your OH will coud take on a second job or try harder to secure full time work. Perhaps it may be a blessing he works part time as you may save on childcare if he is home most of the week.

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