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To think that this is not much encouragement for single mums to work

(23 Posts)
woowoo2 Mon 12-Sep-11 13:58:41

Rent = half monthly income.

Childcare costs £90 per week

Leaves the government minimum to live on - which surely benefits would cover as this is the legal minimum

AIBU to think working seems pointless when you are no better off (in fact WORSE off when you factor in cost of travel to work)

StealthPolarBear Mon 12-Sep-11 14:02:28

This government wants all single mums to do the right thing and get married. Then put on a pinny and start baking. Oh and run the local library.

(no offence to SAHMs - especially if they bake as I'll be round - but the point is this should be a CHOICE not the only option)

Actually £90/week childcare seems really low - or are you talking school aged?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 12-Sep-11 14:05:42

YANBU to say it's not much encouragement for you but YABU to extrapolate it to all 'single mums'. Leave the stereotyping to the Daily Mail, please.

woowoo2 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:07:06

CogitoErgoSometimes I am not stereotyping - I am a single mum! I am working, not seeing my child and living on less than those on benefits

Peachy Mon 12-Sep-11 14:10:34

Working is about mroe than cash; it's the ability to choose, to say to a LL 'yes I do work', to climb a ladder into a better paid role.

Childcare is a passing pahse as well. Though I nkow it seems bloosy ahrd at the time.

Look at it like this:

everyone even the Goernment knows that a child raised in poverty has a shit chance in life. So things are raised somewhat and it results in the famillies not being hugely differently off for a few short eyars. however when child leaves home the working person's disposable income witll rise; whereas someone on benefits get put on the minimum crap, loses their accomodation and will really know what it is to struggle and yet have gaping holes in their CV htat make it really hard to get any work at all.

I don;t know if that's the rationale people use but seems to be the reality from wher' I sit. IMO when looking at long term outcomes for ehalth education and what a child costs the state long term the right one too.

slavetofilofax Mon 12-Sep-11 14:12:40

Well, it's not much encouragement, but then people shouldn't need encouragement in the first place. Especially if they have children. Working is just what you do as long as you are physically capable, and it's not the governments job to encourage people to work when they are grown ups with their own minds, and responsibilities of their own making.

Peachy Mon 12-Sep-11 14:14:27

Income support single person when kids ahve left home is £67.50pw. HB drops dramatically and only for a one bed place meaning a parent would almost certainly have to move. Definitely not a future worth aiming for <<shudder>>

Meglet Mon 12-Sep-11 14:15:01

I think they're trying to kill off single mums.

RebelFromTheWaistDown Mon 12-Sep-11 14:15:21

Woowoo2 you should be receiving working and childcare tax credits if your income is that low.

If you are on less than someone on benefits you mustn't be claiming all that you are entitled to.

OpinionatedMum Mon 12-Sep-11 14:15:22

Is that your childcare costs after tax credits have paid their bit of it?

Bangtastic Mon 12-Sep-11 14:16:03

Well it depends doesn't it. It is pointless if you are looking at it purely from the financial side of it, but I know quite a few single working mums who refuse to quit work and stay at home because they'd lose their sense of self worth, even if it meant being 20 quid a work worse off for working. You live within your means I suppose.

What do you want to do? Quit work? Stay at home for the sake of being £10 better off each week? If so, do it. Last I heard though, you weren't allowed to claim benefits if you had just decided to quit work so that you could claim them.

Times are tough for everyone right now, not just single mums. It's all about choices. Quit work, or stay on the ladder and do whatever it takes to try and climb it. Hard to get back on once you get off.

OpinionatedMum Mon 12-Sep-11 14:17:50

I actually think it is the govts job to ensure people don't live in poverty. A living wage and more affordable childcare and housing would sort this IMO.

OpinionatedMum Mon 12-Sep-11 14:19:45

Please check you are getting everything you are entitled to though OP

Housing benefit?

Speak to the tax credit office and check your claim.

woowoo2 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:21:00

OpinionatedMum yep

I don't want to quit work, it just seems so unfair that I am still on the breadline when I work really hard

Mandy2003 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:24:05

Try the benefits checker site -

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 12-Sep-11 14:24:10

woowoo2 ... I am also a single mum. When my DS was small and I was working full-time, paying a shedload of childcare and dipping into my savings to meet the mortgage payments I probably had less disposable income than someone on benefits. But a few years down the track the costs drop and things improve. If I'd given up my job when things were tough it wouldn't have made things any better. As others are saying, there's more to the equation than £s and it's not an experience exclusive to single mums.

YouWinOrYouDie Mon 12-Sep-11 14:26:09

There is plenty of "encouragement" in the form of benefit sanctions. My DD's friend's mother, despite being on the council list for years after the break-up of her marriage and loss of the house she was in jointly with her ex-husband was forced into a privately-rented ex-council house. The rent is very steep compared to the same houses where people (couples with more than one child, usually more than four) do not and have no intention of working.

She has a minimum-wage job and is still worse off financially despite having her mother (now - she is failing) on hand for after-school child-care. This lady is lovely but has learning difficulties and the fact that she can manage this job is amazing. But she is now struggling financially. She has thought about having another baby just to get dome breathing space.

I know that there are people on MN, erudite and articulate who take minimum-wage jobs at a loss because they know that eventually it will lead somewhere better for themselves and for their families. But it isn't like that for everyone.

woowoo2 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:29:24

Mandy2003 this says I am entitled to £50 pw housing benefit which would help enormously. Council disagree.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Mon 12-Sep-11 14:33:06

I'm with slavetofilofax on this.

And Peachy.

I used to look at my neighbour, who didn't work, and feel a bit envy - but a few years down the line I'm the one who is able to afford a nice car (I know there's more to life than material things but it gives me joy grin ) and holidays, and for ds to pursue various interests of his that cost £££. Her DCs will be fine I'm sure, but ds has opportunities that hers sadly don't.

WidowWadman Mon 12-Sep-11 14:33:51

But surely it's not only single mums which are affected by that, depending on your earnings you've got the same discouragement, too.

However, work isn't or shouldn't be seen simply as a source of income, there's more to it. That said it's grating if working fulltime means a net loss rather than gain compared to not working

Peachy Mon 12-Sep-11 14:38:52

Appeal the council if you acn WooWoo: they always try it on. However also make an appt with CAB for a proper personalised up to date benefit check.

And YY to Opinonated Mum, esp. social housing. Dh works (I know I am lucky to have him, as I am a carer I am taken from the equation though wrt earning) for a pittance well eblow minimum wage as he is self employed. It just about makes enough to cover rent. However if we could get a council / LA house then we'd see real benefits as time went on. Something went seriously wrong with housing policy and nothing was done to fix it.

jellybeans208 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:58:24

Its the same for couples to on low incomes you get the same if you both quit work and have the kids you want than if you both work and try and do it sensibly. Its like that with us and a lot of people we know, but I am thinking long term

EggyAllenPoe Mon 12-Sep-11 14:58:51

well, on the one hand, i think it is hard to make work pay at the lower end of the scale - between certain limits (over the tax threshold, under the level where you earn comfortably more than your childcare/travel expenses) an on the other as peachy has said it is a long-term thing, and still worth doing.

and it is an 'everyone' problem, not just a 'single mother' problem - though of course particularly hard for single mums who have all bear it single-handed. Dh got a job. we are well pleased. however, his full-time income will be a £400 per month increase - worth having for certain - and as there are not travel costs even better! but the same job a commute away we would be losing money on in the short term. if i didn't have free childcare even more so. i'd still tell him to go to work though, because of the long-term advantages.

the problem is that on the one hand you want people who can't work to live at a reasonable standard, but on the other, working should pay you more, and the tapering and clawbacks and taxation make this hard. Also, as this was the case under the previous government too, not exactly a new problem.

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