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To think families that work get a bum deal

(93 Posts)
accurate Wed 27-Jul-11 11:27:37

AIBU to think that if you want want to work, get a house, have a family then everythings against you. I feel ashamed to think it, raised outside by very accepting, hardworking lower middle class parents and hating strong rightwing views but I feel a bit hurt and jealous of those that can get so much by not working.

I can't help to feel upset that my DH and I will never own a home, squirrelling away to raise a family, idea of childcare in the coming months/years makes me breakout into tears. I feel ashamed sometimes that I spent so much of my time in uni and work experience only to cram my family into a small flat despite the nice London job.

Why is it so impossibly to work for things and get a break in life or am I just being unreasonable?

CarrieOakey Wed 27-Jul-11 11:29:19

Sorry you feel this way. What do you mean by "those that can get so much by not working"

fanjobanjowanjo Wed 27-Jul-11 11:30:05

Isn't this about benefits?

2shoes Wed 27-Jul-11 11:30:51

yay another benefit bashing thread

Pootles2010 Wed 27-Jul-11 11:31:40

I do sort of see where you're coming from, we're currently paying for childcare etc and it is expensive.

However, my sister is on benefits (disability but same applies to any benefits really), and I wouldn't be in her shoes for the world.

If you work you have prospects, you can work hard and achieve more. She will never live anywhere but a council flat, which I would find depressing.

I know these years are hard, but things will get better.

Don't feel ashamed! You're doing really well, housing is so expensive in London. Also remember that no one can ever take that degree away from you now, it's something to be hugely proud of. Chin up!

worraliberty Wed 27-Jul-11 11:32:21

You can't buy a house on benefits either OP

reallytired Wed 27-Jul-11 11:32:42

I wonder where these mythical families live. I get the impression that living on benefits is the pits and I am thankful that I have never had to live on benefits.

Prehaps you need to rethink your life style and move out to the suburbs.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 27-Jul-11 11:33:05

YABU.... It may seem like people who do nothing for themselves get all the breaks and are riding high at others' expense - and I'm sure a few do - but I don't think that's the average experience at all. Being dependent on the state is a grim existence. You may not be able to own a home right now but that's not to say you never will. Your children will benefit from having well-educated parents who set a good example of working. And then there is self-respect. You can't put a price on knowing that what you have, however modest, is all down to your own efforts.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 27-Jul-11 11:34:58

fanjo and 2shoes... Why is it a benefit-bashing thread? OP is justifiably upset. It is very difficult for working people to get a foot on the ladder with no safety net either. Why post just to call OP on benefit-bashing, which she isn't as far as I can see. hmm

OP, you're not being unreasonable to feel the way you do, it's hard, very hard. Take pride in what you've achieved so far, nobody's keeping score.

lesley33 Wed 27-Jul-11 11:36:17

In London, a lot of the council/social housing is in really grotty estates. Your flat may be small, but presumably is in an ok area.

Also you sound like you are near the beginning of your career. Your salary and hopefully your OH's will presumably increase and things will get easier financially. Most families struggle financially when their children are young. But if you have a good job with good prospects, you will be in a much better life situation 5 to 10 years from now, than someone who has stayed on benefits.

cricketballs Wed 27-Jul-11 11:37:38

I don't believe it is a 'benefit bashing thread' I think the op is just fed up of working hard and earning just too much to get any help with anything.

Op; I understand! There has so many times that my dh and I were at the point of giving up with the marriage, working etc as we earned between us £10 too much for any help which meant that we had to pay our full council tax, rent etc etc which in real terms resulted in us having far less money at the end of the month than someone who was on income support.

All I can say is it will get better (eventually wink) and even when times are so bad you could just sit and cry think about the example you are setting to your children that things don't come easy but you are willing to work very hard to achieve

cjbartlett Wed 27-Jul-11 11:38:20

well if yuo want to buy a house why not look for a job outside of London where the prices aren't so astronimical?

don't worry about childcare costs, you'll get child tax credit to help with those and the free vouchers once you're child is 3

Bramshott Wed 27-Jul-11 11:38:54

Lying - because the OP didn't say "families get a bum deal" due to the high cost of housing and childcare (which is a very valid point), but "families THAT WORK get a bum deal" - thus implying that families who don't work are living the life of riley!

BertyBurlington Wed 27-Jul-11 11:39:18

life isnt fair, thats for sure

Scholes34 Wed 27-Jul-11 11:44:43

Look outside London. Best thing we ever did. Moved from a two bed flat to a three bed semi for the same out-goings. We live close enough to London to be able to enjoy the good bits, but can escape away from the bad bits. DH took a pay cut, but we've never looked back.

Working helps your self-esteem and gives you a focus outside the home. There's so much more to working than the pay packet.

Filibear Wed 27-Jul-11 11:48:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

accurate Wed 27-Jul-11 11:48:53

Sorry I should have written that better. I meant working because childcare is killing us - for a lack of a better word. I know with one of us not working we would save in childcare but we be homeless unable to pay rent and bills on one income. Thank you lesley and cricket for your insight about things getting better. I think nothing could have prepared me for how hard things can be in the first few years of balancing kids with the life you knew before them. Sadly moving from the city could not be an option but hopefully it will all calm a bit before the worrystorm of schools (and which one) begins.

Sorry if any of it sounded offensive it wasn't the intention.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 27-Jul-11 11:49:14

Bramshott... Families that work though are on a knife's edge sometimes. If you've been to uni and/or are working, it's very hard to see that you're wading through treacle trying to better yourself. From what I read, that's OP's situation.

Considering that people on benefits in the UK aren't forced to work for their benefits, they don't get a 'bum deal', albeit it's not the 'life of riley'. I don't see why benefit claimants should sneer at people who work, are trying to improve their lot, and finding it hard. It's much harder now moving around in the job and housing market than it used to be. For some people on benefits, they don't have to worry about that, do they? It's a rum deal when the advice the OP is going to invariably get on here is that she can always go on benefits herself... how is that helpful in her circumstances? Most people are working bloody hard to do all they can to ensure that that doesn't happen to them.

I'm not bashing benefit claimants AT ALL, just sympathising with the OP with regard to HER circumstances, ok?

cricketballs Wed 27-Jul-11 11:49:35

but bramshot rather than the op bashing she is correct in her thread as those who don't work don't need childcare and therefore don't incur the associated costs.
Also if you are on benefits then (or a large %) of your rent gets paid for you and again, this doesn't apply to working parents just above the threshold

aprilbear Wed 27-Jul-11 11:49:48

I sympathise too OP. Those who just want to jump onto every other thread crying 'benefit bashing' are not contributing to worthwhile debate at all. The op raises a serious issue. Many working families do not seem, in the short term, any better off than the unemployed- particularly when you factor in all the peripheral things like free prescriptions, dental care, school dinners.

HOWEVER try to focus longer term op.
- things are changing massively re: welfare. I suspect many of the recent changes are just the tip of the iceberg. I am sure one of the biggest national changes over the next decade or so will be that the financial differential between working and being unemployed will be greater.
- in terms of long term pension provision, you are massively better off. I firmly believe that the way pensions are heading, if you are reliant totally on the state, you'll have a shit retirement. And given that we're all living longer now, thats not a nice thought
- it DOES get better as your children get older. Many of us don't see any financial gain in the early years, but as the children get older, and childcare bills drop, you'll be far better off. And with jobs hard to come by, you're far better off remaining in a job. I know mums who struggle to find decent work after even a few years off- so imagine how hard it is if you've been unemployed for ages
- you are improving your childrens chances by working. Children with parents in employment do better at school, and have greater chances of being employed themselves later on - look at the stats on it

itisnearlysummer Wed 27-Jul-11 11:50:52

worra you probably can't buy a house on benefits at the moment, but some people could in the days of 100% mortgages.

When my DH worked in benefits, he spent a day in a Neighbourhood Office when he advised people who'd done that exact thing.

- Buy council house on right to be with 100% mortgage and a rtb reduction, claim for interest payments from DWP, sit on it for 3 years (you can't sell your rtb council house for 3 years), then sell it at market value. The queries were generally about relatives renting the house from them and being eligible to claim HB and how long did they have to live there before they could sell.

- Owner/occupiers claiming Council Tax benefit who had bought their houses despite never having worked and citing benefits as their only source of income.

So either, they had very generous families who were just buying their houses for them; they were taking advantage of an unfair system (can't blame them for that, who wouldn't!) or they were lying (that benefits were their only income).

Disclaimer: Obviously, this doesn't apply to everyone with rtb, everyone living in a council house, everyone who took out a 100% or everyone who gets assistance with mortgage interest. But neither does it apply to none of them.

In response to the OP: yes, when you've spent years accruing qualifications/student debts and doing everything the school, your parents, the government told you you should do to live a good life and security for your family. It's really fucking annoying to be struggling, regardless of anyone else's situation. My DH says that everytime they come in with a new initiative for raising revenue, either by cutting something or increasing something. It seems to be him/us who are affected and never benefit.

Fingers crossed things will be sorted out for all of us in the future.

itisnearlysummer Wed 27-Jul-11 11:51:57

obviously right to buy. Everyone has a right to be! blush

Ormirian Wed 27-Jul-11 11:52:02

Life can be hard and yes it sometimes feels as if you are banging your head against a brick wall. But not all working families are lke that - lots of them are doing OK. Would you really rather be existing on benefits? It seems a drastic solution to me.

LineRunner Wed 27-Jul-11 11:53:53

I think the real problem that this country has is 'in-work poverty'.

welshbyrd Wed 27-Jul-11 11:54:06

I do not see a benefit-bashing thread at all

FWIW OP -Im in exactly the same boat as you. My DH is working a lot of hours, so much so, we barely see him, when we do he is so exhausted its not often quality time, though he does try sad
I had to give up my job until DD goes to school, because we simply could not afford childcare
Our holiday this year and last was The Sun's £9.50 offer
We have never been abroad
Im struggle to even think of how Im going to get the DCs school uniforms for September, DDs school jumpers alone are £19.50
Realistically we will never be able to buy a house, until DCs leave home
Its shit
Plus point though, DCs are head strong, and confident, and happy.

All those that think the thread is benefit bashing, I think benefits are positive, and am thankful in future if things with DH job/illness etc do not work out, then these are in place should we ever need them

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