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To think that having two horses at livery is actually a luxury.....?

(235 Posts)
Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:22:31

I know this is going to get me flamed etc. but I really don't care well I do a bit else I wouldn't have namechanged

I live near a large family of 8, the children range from 14 years to 18 months. The parents are lovely people, I often have a chat to them about the kids as they have some issues with their teenage girl pretty much the same as mine.

Recently the mum told me they have got two of their children horses, and my children could go and have a ride if they wanted, they are going to be kept at livery stables up the road.

The family's sole income is benefits - I know this as the mum is quite open about this, and that they don't want to work as a) they couldn't earn what the get in benefits and b) she wants her OH at home to help with the kids. Without being too specific so as not to out them or me, one of the parents gets a higher benefit allowance for depression (so the mum has told me). To be honest, fair play to them - if they have made that as a lifestyle choice and their kids are well looked after and happy, and they are only getting what they are entitled to.

I realise this will attract the usual suspects and talk of goats, plasma screens and the like, but..... somebody please tell me, in the name of my sanity, that I am not being unreasonable to think that benefits are not provided for somebody to keep two bloody horses at livery????

Vivalebeaver Sat 17-Nov-12 11:51:38

Its hard isn't it. I can see both sides of the argument.

I've seen threads on here saying that people who are on benefits shouldn't be expected to suffer, etc just becasue they're on benefits and I agree with that.

But I don't think that people on benefits should be able to afford holidays in Spain, horses, etc. And I don't see what's wrong with thinking that. I can't afford horses and me and dh work hard. I never had holidays as a kid, my parents were both teachers and still couldn't afford holidays.

But then I have friends who are on benefits and life for them is a struggle. Struggle to put adequate food on the table and to clothe the kids. So I wouldn't want to see normal benefits cut.

But it is wrong if people are choosing not to work as they think they'll get more money on benefits and I think that for those with lots of children then thats sometimes the case. I do know a couple who don't work, he has a "bad back" and she's paid a carers allowance for to look afetr him. Didn't stop him been on a trampoline the other weekend. But he's not worked in 15 years.

I've no problem with someone who is genuinely ill, has a bad back, etc to get benefits but shirkers like this annoy me. When you read in the paper about how the NHS can't afford this drug and that drug to save peoples' lives its not right.

But I don't know how it can be stopped.

ilovesooty Sat 17-Nov-12 11:51:51

Yup and its OP's first post...

She said she'd namechanged.

ilovesooty Sat 17-Nov-12 11:52:32

Sorry: X post there.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:52:52

Vivelebeaver - looking at those figures then it is easily doable, particularly in he summer.

Santasinmypudenda Sat 17-Nov-12 11:53:42

Ah so she did, but i still remember a aibu that was identical remarkably similar.

Gosh there must be lots of feckless spongers out there with horses

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 17-Nov-12 11:54:11

Of course benefits shouldn't be able to pay for luxuries like horses, but you already know that. And you know YANBU for thinking that. But it's nothing new is it? Stuff like this has been going on for ages.

That's why, as much as they are hated on MN, we needed a Tory government. We needed a cap on benefits and we still need to limit the number of children we will pay out for. It's the system that's at fault, the people who take advantage of it will pay for their immorality in the long run.

ImperialStateKnickers Sat 17-Nov-12 11:54:56

This doesn't sit well with me, I feel uncomfortable that it is possible to achieve a comparatively high standard of living, perfectly legally, with no intention of working. But it is not this family's fault that successive governments have failed to update the whole benefits/tax system.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:55:59

I'm not judging, but I am saying that it is a ridiculous situation that a system designed for the poorest in society actually allows them to keep two horses when lot of people can't even afford to take their children horse riding, it just doesn't make any sense.

Haughtyculture Sat 17-Nov-12 11:59:00

I agree that it is the system at fault. I can't blame people for wanting to take advantage of it, but a system that is meant to provide a short term safety net but instead provides families with foreign holidays, designer clothes and horses is wrong, surely?

I am proud to live in a society where we do support those less fortunate than ourselves and where there is a back up system in place for people that are in difficulty, but I think the OP's friends' situation takes the absolute piss.

Tailtwister Sat 17-Nov-12 12:01:32

If someone was in receipt of benefits or not, I would say that having 2 horses in livery is a luxury. I don't know how much it is nowadays, but it was really expensive when I had one years ago and I certainly couldn't afford one now.

The family are getting certain benefits for which I presume they are entitled. The way I see it is that they know their income and spend it accordingly. If they can afford to keep 2 horses then that is their business. Presumably there are checks in place to ensure that the benefits they receiving are correct? Nobody polices what I spend my money on, so I don't see how this is any different. Like others have said, there may be special arrangements in place with the stables which enable them to keep the horses.

Dominodonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 12:04:41

Yanbu- it's a joke and exactly why some of the Tory ideas on benefits are a good thing , such as the cb for two children only. Why shoul some struggle just above the minimum wage so people like this can sit on their arses (or horses) and live a life of luxury at their expense?

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 12:05:00

Surprises me also, Santas. To find two families keeping horses at livery while on benefits - since November 2011. Well.....

I couldn't even keep one.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 17-Nov-12 12:05:01

It's different because they are getting free money for nothing. But still, the fault is with the system. The system needs to be updated to take into account the fact that some people have no morals.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:07:37

I have tentatively joined in benefits threads before, reluctantly as they are quite fierce and scarey. My viewpoint on those has always been live and let live - there are not enough jobs for everyone anyway. That is why I have not got a problem with her using benefits as a lifestyle choice - they are contributing to society by bringing up their family well to have aspirations.

However, the two horses are such a visible status symbol, I can't get my head around it, and had never really thought before about the amounts - I was on benefits for a while when I had one child and it was only about £85/week (I couldn't claim housing as I had a mortgage), I had no idea how exponentially benefits had risen over the last 12 years.

RustyBear Sat 17-Nov-12 12:08:09

Think people may be thinking of this thread but the circumstances are different.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:09:01

I do really don't want to say it agree with the torys putting in caps to make sure you can't get more on benefits then working. I do agree benefits should be a short term safety net but I would hate to live in country that gave out food stamps and credit cards topped with money for certain shops because of some lazy immoral claimants.

kenanddreary Sat 17-Nov-12 12:10:48

YANBU - this makes me mad angry

DH and I work flippin all hours (both in education) and still can only afford to run one car - let alone have two horses. Holidays have to be very carefully thought through and we have to keep to a strict budget. There is something fundamentally wrong about two people 'choosing' not to work and then being able to have two horses! I know quite a bit about the costs involved in keeping horses due to SIL being a horse-owner (wealthier than us obviously!!).

Can I just ask someone to clarify though, not being knowledgeable about the benefits system (having always assumed that you just had to get off your backside and go to work)...can someone really 'choose' not to go to work? Don't you have to prove that you are actively looking for work?

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:11:07

cozietoesie - if you are sceptical why don't you go and find that other horse thread and link to it? Or report this thread? That poster was not me. This family got their horses last month, I have no idea what they paid for the horses.

wheremommagone Sat 17-Nov-12 12:11:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:13:32

This couple are married, all the family live in one house. I agree there are similarities so can see why the sense of déjà vu. I didn't even think about the shoes, food, vets bills etc

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:13:55

Ken if you have dc under 5 you are on income support and do not need to look for a job/sign on.

Haughtyculture Sat 17-Nov-12 12:15:56

I have two friends, both of whom are married and have reasonable incomes, who both kept horses and both sold their horses fairly recently because of rising costs. Even the monthly medical insurance is pricey.

OP, do this couple's children go without things? Are they badly clothed? I can imagine the horses would be a large chunk of expenditure out of their monthly income.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 12:16:59

Lets go on a serious note for a second.

Every person in society has a moral duty to contribute positively to that society. Mainly we do it through various forms of taxation, these provide services for the greater benefit of society - schools, NHS, refuse collections etc.

If you have a family who have made a choice to remove themselves as contributors to society - yet also choose to use schools, hospitals and wheelie bins then that places the burden to keep society functionong on those within the tax paying system.

As non-working families tend to statistically begat non working off-spring (why would they? all they have learned is that they can have a nice life style being subsidised) IF her 8 children all go and have 8 children, that's an awful lot more contributions/resources they have taken out without putting back in.

Eventually the imbalance comes where more is taken out than put in.

kenanddreary Sat 17-Nov-12 12:18:10

Oh ok - thanks Brandy. I didn't know that. So do people think that's why some people keep having children? To ensure there is always one under 5? Terrible to even entertain this thought I know but I can't help asking the question...

Flame away!!

kenanddreary Sat 17-Nov-12 12:19:18

Great post Ophelia.

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