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Grr maternity grants and cold weather payments

(36 Posts)
sunshineriver Sat 04-Dec-10 19:14:58

I don't want this to turn into an argument about benefit fraudsters or about being jealous of others that we know that are apparently living the life of riley on benefits while others work and barely have enough to pay the mortgage

BUT, I do want to rant about the sense of entitlement coming from mothers-to-be that are annoyed that one of the things to be scrapped is the £500/£190 Maternity Grant.

I must admit that I was lucky enough to qualify for this grant when I was pregnant with DS 3 years ago and was given £500 and I can completely understand why it is being scrapped! Even just 10 mothers on income support - that's £5,000 simply as a "well-done" for becoming pregnant!

Also, there's that cold weather payment for parents with children under 5 that are claiming Income Support when the is very low (I think that it was below freezing when I was granted it) for 3 days or more in a week - get £25. The AMOUNT of parents that I have heard moaning that because they are not entitled to this because they are working or because their children are over 5 years old.

My take on this, is that if your children are over 5 - surely you or your partner should work and therefore you would get tax credits and so have more money to spend on things such as your gas bill.

It has really annoyed me that some parents can feel entitled to benefits especially for people on especially low incomes - not for working parents.

I do wish that I was still able to get the £25 a week to help with my heating bills - but I know I'm not because I WORK - no biggy, and definitely not worth giving up work just to get an extra few quid when the weather turns bad!

WhyHavePets Sat 04-Dec-10 19:18:37

what on earth makes you think that people getting tax credit will have all this spare cash? FWIW tax credit is used to top up earnings to a livable wage - just - not a pile of riches.

sunshineriver Sat 04-Dec-10 19:22:44

My thoughts were that the income that you have working PLUS tax credits is MORE than being on Income Support and not having tax credits

Not that Tax Credits gave you riches, but simply MORE than being on benefits such as Income Support, and so you would quite plainly have more money to spend, rather than only having £60 a week, you could have £200

MrManager Sat 04-Dec-10 19:33:35

Fortunately, the people of the past set up a system where the poor wouldn't have to go without heat in winter and women wouldn't be financially punished for becoming pregnant.

People with your views ("Fuck you, I got mine") are what's wrong with this country at the moment.

smokinaces Sat 04-Dec-10 19:39:23

sunshineriver - yes, by working you get £200 a week instead of £60. But, you then have to pay full whack of council tax, and at least some rent. You are no longer entitled to free school meals, and have to factor things such as childcare and commuting costs into your income. Yes, you get tax credits - but with the other stuff added in a lot of the time you are barely better off than on benefits.

Believe me, as a single working parent of 2 under 5s I would love the £25 winter fuel money, as it would make a huge difference.

BooBooGlass Sat 04-Dec-10 19:42:06

MrManager, what exactly are these amazing schemes thought up by the 'people of the past'? I'm dying to know.

MrManager Sat 04-Dec-10 19:45:38

The same schemes you mentioned in your OP, duh - i.e. cold weather grants and maternity payments.

MrManager Sat 04-Dec-10 19:46:06

in the OP, sorry, not 'your'.

BooBooGlass Sat 04-Dec-10 19:47:24

'duh'. Nice hmm
And you're living in lala land if you think women aren't financially punished for becomign pregnant. I assume you're a man, yes?

saffy85 Sat 04-Dec-10 19:50:27

But if OP if you don't agree with these benefits like the maternity grant, why did you claim it? hmm I guess it's ok for you to say "oh I'm so fed up of all these peop-le moaning that they wont get it" when you have benefitted from it yourself.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you about the healthy eating grant, not least because I don't know a single person who spent it on it's intended purpose. Everyone I know put it towards the pram or something.

saffy85 Sat 04-Dec-10 19:54:01

We do ok over here compared to the U.S and some other countries. think mum's in the states are expected to go back to work after 6 weeks aren't they? Or aleast 6 weeks is all they get paid for at all. We get alot longer here and they have to keep your job for you for 52 weeks. We get a rough deal at times but not to bad imo.

MrManager Sat 04-Dec-10 19:54:41

BooBooGlass I put the 'duh' in because I thought it would be obvious that I was referring to the schemes talked about in the OP.

And removing the maternity payment scheme would punish pregnant women even more than they currently are. The UK has some of the best maternity legislation in the world.

curlymama Sat 04-Dec-10 19:57:54


curlymama Sat 04-Dec-10 19:58:43

How are people punished for being pregnant?

sunshineriver Sat 04-Dec-10 20:05:08

I used the savings that I'd put together to buy my pushchair and cot - my Maternity Grant allowed me to buy my laptop - total luxury. Just the same that the best part of the "back to work bonus" of £250 allowed me to buy some lovely luxuries.

I didn't necessarily need either - but why turn down free money when it's there?

Smokinaces I admit, I don't yet have school meals to think about, but I too am a single parent and I know that I'm £50 a week better off being in work than on benefits, and a few weeks where I'm not receiving £25 to go towards heating bills is far worth it when its spread over the year!

sunshineriver Sat 04-Dec-10 20:10:58

Curlymama I'm assuming MrManager is referring to their not getting a £500 Maternity Grant

curlymama Sat 04-Dec-10 20:14:37

Sunshine, thanks smile
But he says ''And removing the maternity payment scheme would punish pregnant women even more than they currently are.''

That implies he thinks they are already punished even without removing the grant.

And what BooBooGlass said.

I don't get it.

redflag Sat 04-Dec-10 20:15:29

This is a joke? please tell me you are on a wind up!

So you are annoyed people feel "entitled" to all the stuff you got for free

Ha ha ha

sunshineriver Sat 04-Dec-10 20:17:50

No - I saw it as a bonus - not an entitlement!

Getting a letter through the post saying that I could have £25 coz it had been extra cold or having my Job Centre woman becoming more and more excited about all of the things that I could claim simply for being a single mum - and then for getting £250 just for finding a job - how would you feel?

But it was never entitlement, just an added bonus to my otherwise rather "meh" situation

sunshineriver Sat 04-Dec-10 20:19:03

Curlymama want me to throw you over a chocolate hobnob while we wait for him to get back to us?

mumatron Sat 04-Dec-10 20:19:11

i had to claim income support when my relationship with xp nded and i could not find a job.

i had all of my rent and council tax paid, leaving me with £163 (iirc) per week to live on and to pay for elec, gas and water rates. oh, and tv liscence. i opted to have pre-pay meters for all utilities and at the most was topping up £30 (£10in each)

now i have a fairly decent job i am struggling on heck of a lot less. less than half of what i was getting on income support.

on paper i am better off but, the reality is i have so many more expenses to live with now i'm working.

do i begrudge people on benefits the £500 pregnancy grant? your bloody right i do! i cannot see how every new baby needs that amount of money. it's ridiculous.

it is no suprise that some people choose to stay on benefits.


redflag Sat 04-Dec-10 20:22:17

I think you should re read!

I said others feel entitled to the shit you got free!

curlymama Sat 04-Dec-10 20:24:03

Mmmm, yes please!

Something else I don't get is when people object to certain benefits, and then within minutes someone else says 'oh well, obviously you don't claim child bebefit then?'

If the government want to give you money, of course you're going to take it. That doesn't make it right or men that you need it. It's the government being stupid. A bit like I would be if I went up to David Cameron and offered him £100 as a present.

redflag Sat 04-Dec-10 20:27:34

Hang on, who said other people don't need them, You have no idea about other peoples finances Everyone on IS may get say £160 a week to live on (not saying they do, just using an example) Some people may have £60 of debt a week before they even start heating and feeding themselves.

Just because you didn't need it, doesn't mean others don't rely on it!

fulltimeworkingmum Sat 04-Dec-10 20:31:49

Maternity Grant...what is that???
My DC's are 5 and 3 and no-one ever even mentioned this??

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