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to think that there are people who choose to live a life on benefits?

(1000 Posts)
autumnlights12 Wed 10-Oct-12 11:51:39

the recent threads about George Osbourne made me wonder..
A high number of posters say that people don't choose to live like that, they stumble into it, hate it, what a miserable existence it is, nobody would ever choose it etc..
but if you have two or three children through choice, whilst at the same time having no job to provide for them, or if you turn down the job at the local factory (as I know someone who did) because it pays £7.50 an hour and a full time job there doesn't give you the same unemployment rights and benefits, isn't that choosing to live a life on benefits? Or being trapped on benefits? I'm not talking about people who can't work, disabled people, ill people, women dumped by feckless ex and left to fend for herself etc.. of course they should be protected.
I was watching 999 What's Your Emergency and I know that area. And I know people like that exist. And it's often a second, third generation who have never worked a day in their life, even during times when work was freely available. In the town I live, we have numerous Eastern European immigrants who all seem to be working, but mostly in low paid work the locals wont do
What say you?

BollocksToKarma Sun 14-Oct-12 13:43:59

last post to rid of us of this thread.

Aboutlastnight Sun 14-Oct-12 13:42:45

This is probably bad mumsnet etiquette but I do get fed up with Xenia sometimes.

She is the privately educated doctor's daughter and now extremely wealthy lawyer. I am sure she has worked extremely hard a her life, she has 5 children and has paid for their education etc
She is privileged and she is lucky and she is clever enough to make the most of this.
But she has no experience of poverty or the grind of life when you a faced with few opportunities, caring responsibilities, poor health.

She is an example of how our government views people who have been dealt a tough hand in life. It's the Norman Tebbit ' get on your bike and find a job,' attitude which denies the fact that people have their community, family responsibilities etc

Acumens100 Sun 14-Oct-12 13:29:16

I feel a bit like devil's advocate here, but... When I first started posting on mumsnet, I had not worked really at all and not since I was 19. And you know? Since I am this sort of gold-plated sainted "carer", most people gave me a pass on that. But I didn't WANT a pass. I didn't want to just exist as a carer and for people to sympathise/pity me and for that to be the whole of my existence. But there was nothing and no one who would take that seriously, because you do lose a lot of money by working. Xenia, in some long ago discussion where she made me really angry, actually offered some practical suggestions. No sympathy at all! And most of the suggestions were completely useless. But a couple were good - I could do something with those, and I did, in fact, amongst other things. And it is better. This is better than the before time. For me, working is, sorry to be a terrible cliche, empowering and rewarding, far beyond the money. No one ever appreciated or supported my desire to work; I remember begging my GP for help when I was very low and she said maybe in a year or so she could refer me on a course to help with my reading and writing. (!!!) Xenia suggested I write a book. (I did that.)

I don't believe people like me or Bit need the stick, I always wanted and was looking for a way out of my situation. And you know? Sympathy doesn't get you anywhere.

Anyway. I know you all mean well here but I just wanted to offer that perspective.

Laquitar Sun 14-Oct-12 13:14:18

Hmm you see thats why they attacked the NHS before they go to their plans and attack the poor and ill. Because when ill people will be forced to workhouses and carers like the poster above to work on sundays (who needs rest or sleep eh?) then what we will have? Erm, yes, more ill people.

No matter how many sardines and apples you eat, 7 days a week in a physical job compined with poor housing/clothing/heating/healthcare combine with dispair will cause hell health problems physical and mental.

garlicbutty Sun 14-Oct-12 12:22:12

Right. I decided it was only fair to investigate Xenia's idea about becoming a respite carer. Have you got a spare room, Bit? It's mandatory. You get paid expenses, apparently. No idea how that would work out at £300 a night - I doubt it would in your case, but wonder if it would cover you to bring in an extra pair of hands and enough extra dosh to make it worthwhile?

No spare room, no can do, unfortunately. And if you're getting HB, it would be the devil's own job to get an extra room approved.

apartridgeinapeartree Sun 14-Oct-12 11:51:43

Xenia what you don't seem to get (like much of your party) is that you are so out of touch and apparently unable to understand other people's situations (despite them explaining clearly) that your "helpful" suggestions are in fact offensive.

Wallison Sun 14-Oct-12 11:49:12

Jesus, Xenia but you are toxic. CyclePath isn't 'on benefits' - she gets some financial help that is a nugatory amount for the hours she puts in looking after a disabled child. And her husband isn't 'mostly absent' - he is out at work earning money to support his family - you know, doing exactly what you think everyone with children should do regardless of their circumstances. When you went back to work before your babies stopped needing colostrum, were you a 'mostly absent' parent?

live in weekend carer posts are fairly well paid so that might be another option in the rare times when this mostly absent husband is around and pulling his weight with the disabled child.

He is working six days a week. Hes hardly out having the life of riley while his wife slaves away at home.

From the posts on this thread, I think Im glad Im poor. I would hate to be rich if it meant I had a cruel heart and no empathy for others.

Xenia Sun 14-Oct-12 08:06:56

I was seeking solutions. I have often worked 7 days a week. It is not that hard but then not everyone wants to. She was very admirably trying to find a way off benefits and considering if she were awarded the bar work she would take it. The loss apparently is £85 a week and just about everyone in the UK is cross that people can be worse off if they take work and all parties are trying to find ways to ensure that is not so.

Obviously the bigger solution is going to be getting the economy going again so there are jobs for all but we are not there yet. Like most people who now earn reasonable amounts I have had times with much less money nad I was trying to be helpful on the thread. The fact the respite care is £300 illustrates my point - live in weekend carer posts are fairly well paid so that might be another option in the rare times when this mostly absent husband is around and pulling his weight with the disabled child.

PeahenTailFeathers Sun 14-Oct-12 07:52:35

Everything Garlicbutty said.

Xenia's post about Cyclepath working on Sundays, the one day she has free, has made me extremely angry. Should we just throw the poor in the workhouse where they are forced to toil 18 hours a day, 7 days a week?

It may surprise you, Xenia, but being rich really doesn't make you a better, a more intelligent or a nicer person. In fact it might be time to acknowledge that rich people's money is generally accumulated through luck, maybe a little npotism and always off the backs of the poor; all those people on minimum wage cleaning up after them, working in their factories, making their food, caring for their children. These people aren't stupid, feckless or lazy; they are just doing anything they can to earn money. And they deserve benefits because rich people generally don't understand that they owe fair remuneration to those working for them; but if a real living wage was given it would take away the difference between rich and poor, the unfair cachet of a big bank balance as more important than a human being, wouldn't it?

BitOfACyclePath Sun 14-Oct-12 07:28:40

Thanks to those for trying to explain my situation. I really appreciate you fighting my corner. Sorry I can only post now and again I don't get much time to myself.

I had a google regarding the info someone gave me about carers allowance disregarding some of my wages for childcare. I'll give them a phone and see what they say.

Someone also said about me saving the government money. I get £58.45 a week for looking after my daughter week in week out. When she goes to respite (usually once every 6 weeks but I've had none since June) they get paid almost £300 for having her for 2 nights. If only they paid me at that rate grin

Thanks again everyone.

LittleTyga Sun 14-Oct-12 00:07:00

I am working three jobs at the moment - and I still need tax credits and HB - I have two dd's both at school - one FT and then two freelance jobs - I'm lucky I still live in the same area I grew up in London so have plenty of childcare options that enables me to work - (I'm a lone parent) I have been through the whole benefits thing though and believe me - it's no life style as IDS likes to think - its bloody hard robbing Peter to pay Paul week after week. Everything is fine until the kettle breaks down or new shoes are needed.

In all my life I have NEVER met anyone who wants to live off Benefits - not one person - and I know a lot of people! It's Tory propaganda - and if someone does choose to live off benefits how sad is that? Is that all they have to aspire too? Surely they should be pitied not despised?

I am worried that once the Tories have driven all the unemployed out of London they will come looking for the low paid who need their rents topped up and drive them out too.

Just need to survive two more years then hopefully this lot will get voted out!

Yes, Im in too. Who needs biscuits or fructose anyway grin

garlicbutty Sat 13-Oct-12 23:50:12

Ten packs of ginger nuts, in other words wink

garlicbutty Sat 13-Oct-12 23:49:39

Sorry, that's CENTS not dollars! $4.73

garlicbutty Sat 13-Oct-12 23:48:54

Very very good, Sock! I'll have to give up a hell of a lot of biscuits/grapes to save for one share ($473.37 US) but it'll be worth it grin

InfestationofLannisters Sat 13-Oct-12 23:37:30

IDS is a fucking idiot. This proposed scheme is ludicrous. It will benefit George and Co's cronies in finance and the supermarket giants though, so perhaps not hmm

Xenia, please stop comparing apples to oranges. When your (non-disabled) DC were of school-age they were at private school with wraparound childcare included in the fees and your DH was a teacher who could do school-runs and work at home on the weekend.

AreAllMenTheSame2 Sat 13-Oct-12 23:35:32

I'm not sure I buy into "people who choose to live a life on benifits" JSA for an over 25 is only about £67 a week, people do not live off £67, I think their struggling to survive on that sort of money when you take shopping,gas,electric,tv license,water and rent.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 13-Oct-12 23:33:15

wanna wooohoooo we have another fiver a week towards our shares

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 13-Oct-12 23:32:14

garlic dont fret love, you and i can pool our dosh (dont forget you have some as you saved money by not eating biscuits) buy shares in mastercard then sit back on our arses and watch the tax payers money come rolling in.

Yes garlic. I have been thinking about that too.

How would I pay DDs £5 preschool fee on mondays?

And all the local businesses would go bust if they couldnt accept the card. So even more people unemployed and even more money for corporate business.

Its total lunacy.

garlicbutty Sat 13-Oct-12 23:24:43

Glad some people are talking sense to you, Xenia. Hope you can hear them.

Perhaps you'd like to provide an agency carer for BitOfACyclePath's daughter, so she can go and work for a few quid an hour. The net loss will be unavoidable, but at least you'll be seeing your principles upheld wink I seem to remember you said you and your partner both went self-employed when DC were small so that you could share the childcare in staggered shifts? Something like that? Do you not realise somebody has to provide the services for people who, like you, can command good consultancy fees? You can't get your cleaning, nannying, delivering, waitressing, etc, etc, done by people working ad-hoc hours from home.

I seem to recall, too, you said you hadn't managed to land any government contracts; sorry if I've misremembered. Might I suggest you have a go at providing one of those pointless "back to work" schemes? You should be ideally suited to giving motivational guidance to people whose lives you don't understand smile Just produce a shiny info pack using all the current buzzwords, make a training video and rake in taxpayer cash!

I actually came back to this thread as thoughts of the bloody benefit Mastercard are still bothering me. You can't pay bus fares by debit card. Vending machines don't take cards, neither do ordinary cafes. When I have hospital appointments, how will I get there and how to get a coffee? What about the £2 for support groups, playgroups, AA meetings, things like that? How could I buy a second-hand washing machine or vacuum out of the local paper; the seller's unlikely to have a card processing facility? I'd not be able to get it home, either, as the local taxi only takes cash.

It's a bonkers idea.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 13-Oct-12 22:14:01

upthread you said you didnt have a problem with gov support for disabled people, you do realise that her being a carer means her child is significantly disabled dont you?

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 13-Oct-12 22:12:09

xenia again, she is not in recept of any out of work benefits, her husband supports their family

she is a carer, NOT A SCROUNGER

No. Her husbands only day off is sunday. Her DD still needs cared for on sundays.

So sunday is the only day they have as a family.

But oh sorry. Poor people should never have any family time or enjoy life at all should they?

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