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to be upset and a bit shocked at best friends views on benefits??

(39 Posts)
PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:06:43

Having become a single parent for the second time (due to ex being an emotionally abusive prick) I have found myself relying on benefits whilst going to college.

My friend has also been a single mum to three children and has received benefits during some of that time, although she did work full time at one point, but did get her childcare paid through tax credits.

She is now happily married and dead against benefits - she has gone so far to suggest that I should have had to pay for college because she did! She has conveiniently forgot that her husband has a bloody good job and can support her through college, her parents give her a hell of a lot of support and she was once in my shoes and took the help available!

I want to point out that I am not work shy, I have worked since my first child was born up until now.

AIBU to be upset?

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:07:10

Oh and obviously worked before having children

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:08:20

* Oh and obviously worked before I had children.*

AThingInYourLife Tue 09-Oct-12 13:09:11


Someone who is happy to receive benefits when they need them but doesn't want anyone else to get them is obviously an asshole.

LFCisTarkaDahl Tue 09-Oct-12 13:10:36

Zero point being upset, just dump her - she isn't your friend.

I had to actually fiddle the benefits system nearly 20 years ago or we'd have starved.

impty Tue 09-Oct-12 13:14:37

So, by this she is assuming she'll never need benefits in the future? That's a risky position to take!

lovesmellingthecoffee Tue 09-Oct-12 13:15:57

I was just listening to a lot of benefit bashing on Radio 4. most of the evidence seemed to be apocryphal e.g. 'my friend lives next door to an old man who says unemployed young men are lazy arses who drink lager all day'.
When really you have to look at the bigger picture and see that work for less qualified doesn't really exist.
Traditional male jobs in manufacturing and industry have mostly disappeared. It was easier for the Government to ignore declining industries in the North and encourage the financial sector in the South. Unfortunately creating jobs which need a high degree of skill.
Instead of creating class mobility we need to make conditions and work better for the lower classes left behind in the race to the top.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:18:49

She to be fair did work full time with 3 kids most of the time she was single but she got childcare paid for and I don't see how this is different from claiming income support as it costs tax payers money.

impty my point exactly. Surely she should just be bloody grateful that she is in a loving relationship and doesn't have to be both parents to her children!

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 13:20:34

Its a weird cut throat culture at the minute! I don't know if its the recession that's caused it. so no yanbu to be upset, stuff her you will be back on form at some point with a good qualification. good luck.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:20:49

What happens if her husband leaves her? She would be forced to claim or starve. Which one will it be? Um I wonder.

geegee888 Tue 09-Oct-12 13:22:13

Slightly off-topic lovesmelling but I liked the thoughtfulness of your post. I see the over-complication of semi-skilled jobs and the correpsonding rise in prices as substituting for the former male dominated industries. eg electricians, plumbers, heating engineers, "health and safety professionals" - what they do is quite important but they now earn more than some professionals who are genuinely very clever and invested a lot in their futures, and access into these industries is difficult.

OP, if your friend isn't paying her own way but letting her DH do it, then thats a tad hypocritical.

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 13:23:39

I bet you a gold clock she would be signing on!!
No one likes signing on do they, but sometimes you have too.
also tax credits are benefits so even if she did work full time claiming tax credits ment she was reliant on benefits.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 09-Oct-12 13:29:20

Or indeed if her husband was made redundant, fell ill or had to take a low paid job. There are a million and one reasons people have to claim "benefits". I for one wholly resent the term which is used interchangeably with scrounger. Even the very rich can offsett company losses, capital gains loss etc completely legally as a tax benefit but those on the lower end of the spectrum are of course scroungers. We have child tax credit and child benefit which we could not manage without. When I was little this was known as "family allowance" and my mother would never have classed herself as a "benefit scrounger" even though she chould never manage without it. There were income tax differences also, married couples tax allowance, allowances for children. This changed when child tax credit was bought in. When I had my first child my income tax code changed so I paid less tax. We, all of us, use the system to benefit ourselves and our families because that is what the rules are there for. To help those at all ends of the spectrum. Yes there are scroungers and the feckless but they are a small percentage of those who are just trying to live their messy everyday lives.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:38:25

Well said lovelygoldboots I think she is being hypocritical as she claimed tax credits but now she is over the threshold she keeps saying "Oh I don't think people should get as much help. I don't."


I actually do think the threshold could do with being raised for working tax credits but that's another story.

lovesmellingthecoffee Tue 09-Oct-12 13:40:06

geegee888 yes sorry OP about hijack but I am so sick of the Tories going on about cutting benefits. Smug Osborne and Cameron with their vast wealth hidden in tax havens and trusts, pontificating about the feckless poor, what about the feckless rich. Who have used companies as personal banking systems.
I bet the Cabinate alone could put a billion into the welfare system if they parted with their savings.
I'd really like to see some legislation which protected what little industry we have left. And I voted Tory at the last election.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:40:38

monkeybignuts Exactly! Tax credits is money from the government / tax payers.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 13:41:21

loving Bet you wish you hadn't voted Tory now!

FayeKinitt Tue 09-Oct-12 13:48:46

The very sad thing is Panda she's unlikely to change her mind unless she has a disaster in life.

I'm a little ashamed to admit I was a bit hmm of people claiming benefits. It was all right for me in my middle class household, with holidays every year and a decent education. But then as an adult my mental health failed me and I couldn't work. I'm so fucking grateful the benefits system kept my head above water for a little while. And it gave me a big education on what a great country we live in (y'know, until the Tories wreck it...)

lovesmellingthecoffee Tue 09-Oct-12 13:48:56

Indeed I do OP, I really don't know who I will vote for next time. Maybe Liberal grin

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 09-Oct-12 14:01:17

Panda next time she spouts off, remind her that Child Benefit is a benefit and I bet she's received/still receives that for each of her three children. The clue's in the name - child benefit. Carry on and remind her that she's only divorce, death, redundancy, domestic violence, serious illness or adultery from being in a situation where she'll be back claiming benefits again. She'll dismiss you or sneer and say she'd still not claim, but you both know she would if she had to. Some people have very short memories.

She sounds jealous tbh. Maybe her husband is financially abusive and she has no money? Maybe she's bored of not working and wants more from life? Maybe she's just an arsehole? Good luck with your studies.

whatsoever Tue 09-Oct-12 15:08:37

I get very upset about some if my friends' attitudes to benefits too OP. I consider myself very lucky - my DH & I both have well paid jobs but more than that have 2 sets of supportive parents who would do anything for us if unfortunate or tragic things happened to us. I have no idea why people can't see that any of us are only one step away from needing benefits e.g. One partner gets cancer & other partner becomes full time carer; relationship breakdown, redundancy etc.

And don't get me started on how the government are trying to stir up non-benefit recipients against benefit recipients. It's inhuman.

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:42:25

I have tried to softkitty.

I have said what happens if her husbands loses her job and they had to manage on one wage. She dismissed it as "Oh we would cope, we had to do without working tax before he got this job".

confused She would have got child tax though. I am sure she wouldn't say no to it, if they did find themselves in that situation.

To make things worse, it seems its ok to claim tax credits as a family but single mums who work "get too much" angry

Well actually if you think about it a single person still has to pay the same rent as what a couple would do, electric isn't any cheaper nor is gas or water rates. It costs roughly the same to run a house as a couple as it does with only adult there so why shouldn't a single mum or father get a little extra help?

I for one didn't choose to be single!

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:43:10

* only one adult

PandaSpaniel Tue 09-Oct-12 17:46:18

whatsoever I totally agree. Having been part of a couple not entitled to wtc and also a single mum needing benefits to survive, I can see both sides of the argument but the way the Government is stirring things is horrible.

usualsuspect3 Tue 09-Oct-12 17:47:59

And shes your best friend, why?

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