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not lack of jobs - lack of ambition!

(411 Posts)
eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 13:21:34

I know very, very little about politics, and if you can help me see this from a different perspective, please do!

A friend is a labour party member, and we recently had a row.I have a good friend (I like her for her personality, not for her life choices) who had a baby at 16 and is on benefits. She has a now 4 year old, starting school in September. She has a huge two bed flat in london (we would love to live where she does! but couldn't afford it), sky tv, the child has a nintendo ds, new clothes all the time, constant days out. I said it makes me angry that me and DP work (we also had a baby young) really really hard. Firstly, I had to go back after 9months, while she gets to sit on her bum until her kid is 5. Secondly, she gets free childcare! She had 2year old funding and 3 year old funding, while the £50 a day to put my 1year old in nursery makes it barely worth me working.

This is the point where we had a row. My labour friend said that it's not her fault that she's on benefits, there's no jobs to make it worth her working. However, if you spoke to my other friend, she has never even considered working. She said to me last week, when her daughter goes to full time school in sept, she has two options: 1) have another baby and get another 5years 6months, which she's planning on doing. 2)Wait until sept, then she has another 6months on job seekers to get pregnant. HOW IS THAT FAIR????? she isn't even looking after her daughter for the past two years, because she's in nursery. Why does this woman get to sit on her bum with free childcare? Why isn't she made to do voluntary work as a fully abled 22 year old with 10 gcse's, or at least made to go with her daughter to nursery and learn parenting skills, which is what I assume they think she lacks if her daughter gets so much funding!

I'm not saying that everyone on benefits/job seekers allowance isn't looking for work. I know how hard it was for DP to find work, it took months of hundreds of applications. I'm saying that while a life on benefits is so cushty and just relies on a baby every five years, no one has the incentive to work! labours answer was increase the working wage. I disagree, she's comfortable, why would she go out to work just for a few extra quid a week?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:49

Why are some people so determined to believe that people like this are imaginary or 'mythical'.

Is it really so hard to believe that when you can live a pretty good lifestyle without having to do anything other than give birth then there are going to be a lot of people that do so?

There are plenty of people that do this thing of having babies evenly spaced out so that they can live off other people for years and years. If you don't want to admit it, then you are probably one of them.

I'm sure if working age benefits were only paid out for children who were conceived while both parents were working, the accidental pregnancy rate would drop dramatically.

thecook Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:55

Posts like this piss me off. Bleating on an on, thinking that their tax pays for everything

I hope you aren't. claiming child benefit cos that is a BENEFIT you know. Or any form of benefit.

But really, mind your own. I work full-time. I personally couldn't give a shit what others claim.

BreconBeBuggered Wed 09-Jan-13 14:01:26

I do know someone who apparently lives like this.

It looks like a truly shit life to me. Overrun with kids and no prospects or money. Not even a lousy llama.

coppertop Wed 09-Jan-13 14:01:32

Oooh! They make Alpaca ipad cases.

The perfect combination.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:02:52

Who's got an ipad?

My aforementioned cousin bought one for her six year olds Christmas present.

FiveSugarsPlease Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:02

Eggs - the free childcare is for the CHILD not the parent.

And it's only a few hours a day. It varies between 12-15 hours a week.

2yo funding is given to children who are deemed to most benefit from it. E.g. in poverty, has a disability, had a sibling who is terminally ill etc.

3yo funding (in Scotland anyway) is considered the first year of education. Although attendence isn't compulsory. The nursery has a cirriuclum to follow. My dd used to go to nursery 5 afternoons a week from 1pm to 3.15pm.

How on earth could anyone fit voluntary work - let alone a job - around that?

Fair enough, if she worked over 16 hours a week, she'd be getting Tax Credits that would pay upto 70% of her child care costs. But as far as i know, childcare is a fortune in London - so it wouldn't cover it.

And i'd strongly advise her against having another baby. Childcare would get more and more expensive, (that 70% decreases with subsequent children) and she'd eventually have to find a job one day.

She must be feeling really low and desperate if she'd consider becoming an LP to another baby in order to get by. Perhaps you should tell your friend to invite her to your next outing? Maybe you should get to now her better before you judge? Maybe you could help her sort out her financial options if you're so bothered about them?

And i'm really offended you're judging her parenting skills on the fact her child gets funding.

My dd got some funding at 2yo because she was delayed. Nothing to do with my parenting skills, thank you very much.

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:12

The reason we might just throw doubt on the OPs credibility is that she claimed that her friend was receiving a huge benefit that it was then proved to her that she couldn't actually be getting under current rules. When that was pointed out to her, she immediately changed her tune and claimed that was a side issue. So why should I believe her figures in the rest of the post? Wouldn't I be more inclined to believe somebody who can get their facts right?

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:14

My son was conceived and brought up my myself and my ex for the first 10 years of his life until I lost my live in job because of the seperation.
I get bits and pieces of work in the summer, nothing in the winter (tourist area),
I can't believe anybody thinks living on benefits is easy.
It's not, it's a pile of shit.

Chandon Wed 09-Jan-13 14:08:41

I know someone like this. We were friends, but when she dumped her youngest DD on me ( aged 3) without an explanation, and then never came to pick her up as she was shock in prison for benefit fraud, the friendship was, erm, never the same. She is now pregnant with her 4th, and simply cannot think of aNother way to live. Which is quite sad actually. She plays teh system, and t sort of works, but it is not a life of riley and sky tv and outings, but rather one of constantly moving house to avoid debt collectors, having to pretend not to live with her partner, which is stressful, and generally not seeing a way out.

It defintely does not just happen in the Daily Mail.

Ime, MN is a very left leaning forum, which means posts like this will not get much sympathy and you. ( and maybe I will too) be accused of trolling or being tories or whatever.

Fact is, Britain got a few things wrong with regards to benefits, and whereas I believe that vulnerable and unlucky people should get generous benefits, pisstakers should not be bale to have access so easily. Abroad, some newspapers say it is an "interesting" strategy of the British Government to pay the poor the have lts of babies....what chances do these kids have once they are older? What future society are we building?

The current benefit system is just enough ( by no means generous, I really don t think) for people to keep afloat, with just nt enough incentive for them to change the status quo. This is nt an ideal situation. And saying that does not make me a tory. I just want support to go out to the people who really need it, and plenty of it, and not to people who choose a life on benefits as a lifestyle choice.

Sidge Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:12

Lots of posters on MN don't seem to believe that there are many people in society that see the welfare state as a way of life. I guess it depends where you live...

For many it certainly is an active choice - the system has made not working a lifestyle choice.

It is the system that should be criticised rather than the individuals. But for many people with poor education, poor employment prospects, a lack of ambition or support, not working has become financially viable and a more attractive option.

badguider Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:39

Does anybody out there actually envy a mother who spends 15hrs a week sitting in weatherspoons while her child's in free nursery? does anybody think that sounds like a great life?
she probably wants another child rather than a job because she's got no education, no prospects and no self esteem.

Threads like this seem be based on an assumption that these people have a 'great life' but i for one would MUCH rather have my life and my work. having a baby at 16 and staying on benefits as long as possible isn't a great life. how will she be at 40? 50? when her children are adults themselves? a life well lived? i doubt it, unless she goes back to education or training of some sort when the children are older.

badguider Wed 09-Jan-13 14:14:34

sorry, i should have said, the point relating to benefits 'paying' and capping them is that cutting benefit will NOT suddenly give a person ambition and self-esteem to get a job. they'll just get hungry and poorer and the children will suffer and be punished for being being born.

Inertia Wed 09-Jan-13 14:18:49

15 hours nursery education per week is not free childcare. Jobs which allow parents to work 9am to 12noon 5 days a week (or a similar inflexible arrangement) are very thin on the ground. And all children all entitled to this nursery education (which is designed to benefit the child, not to provide free childcare). And your friend is looking after her child- I'm sure that the child doesn't attend nusery 24 hours, 7 days a week.

It may well be the case that your friend can't find a job which pays enough to cover her child care costs, let alone the cost of housing etc. And the answer is to make sure jobs pay a living wage, and that childcare costs are affordable- not to slash benefits (many of which support low-income families where people are working but in low paid jobs).

You know, it might be a good idea for you to become interested in politics. Your naivety about the way this government is pitting different sectors of the less wealthy against each other is surprising- usually those who are totally uninterested in politics don't judge entire social policy structures on the basis of one anecdote (unless they are unable to think beyond what the Daily Mail tells the, or they are being wilfully ignorant).

By the way, are you at work? Not mumsnetting on work time are you?

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 09-Jan-13 14:19:26

You are a crap "friend" OP. You clearly hate this person but keep them in your life so you can judge her choices and feel better about yourself. How tragic. Makes me so sad for you. sad see got a sad face and everything.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:19:44

does no one read the thread before they comment? badguider she has 10 gcse's (above c grade, not like e's!) and dropped out of college because she got pregnant within a few months. SO she is educated. She has enough self esteem.
I've said that the reason I'm not envious is beacuse that flat is all she'll ever have. But at the moment, she'shappy with that. But that shouldn't be an option.

cory the childcare is a side issue I said, not the money. I admitted that I don't know how much she's gets, but it's more than £150 a week!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:33

You don't think being hungry is an incentive to get a job? Really?

I don't think anyone envys a mother in this position. I certainly don't and I think a person would have to have serious issues of their own if they did. I do resent it though. When I have family members waiting months for essential operations and friends using wheelchairs that cent even get a decent cushion, then yes, I do resent people who choose to take money of the pot just because they are lazy.

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:41

It's the ones that cheat the system live a life of Riley if your a couple u get sweet FA !

takeaway2 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:53

"I just want support to go out to the people who really need it, and plenty of it, and not to people who choose a life on benefits as a lifestyle choice." - I agree with you chandon

I have a step relative who had her first child at 16, married the bloke a couple of years later, had another. Many years later, just when the first child hit 16 years of age, decided to have another child, 'accidentally', with this bloke that she was then estranged from... Perhaps it was coincidence that the third child came about just as the first child was at the age that she could no longer claim for cb or whatever.

whilst they were married, he never worked. He couldn't even do leaflet distribution. He just never worked. His first child, when asked 'where's daddy', replied 'oh, daddy is sitting on his arse downloading stuff off the internet'.

Whilst they were estranged, she sold her council house, declared herself bankrupt, moved herself and the kids to the mother's house. was put on the urgent re-housing list and got another house in a few months. easy-peasy. The money...? she transfered it to her mum.

With that money, she bought a business. and got her H to run it. He then ran off with an employee.... somehow or other, they got back together and oppsy-daisy, she got pregnant with no 3. and the cycle continues. ...

KatyPeril Wed 09-Jan-13 14:21:20

YABU. Being an unemployed single parent is fucking soul destroying.

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:22:44

It's not my first post. I name changed grin sneaky.

I can be a very good friend and still think she's lazy. I tried to encourage her to do a course, told her about citizens advice etc Not interested at all. In fact that's where she found out she better have another kid!

The thing that tipped me over the edge was this quote:

"How funny is it that we both have kids and homes, and loads of people from school are still at home with their parents like kids themselves". My brother still lives at home at 26 because he has no partner and can't move out. Having someone pay your rent and deliver a nice little cheque every week isn't growing up either.

Xmasfun Wed 09-Jan-13 14:24:29

And wen my child was in free nursery I managed to fit in 4 home care calls earning. £20 which was £100 a week ! So if u try u can so something ! It's all " I can't " "it's not enough time"

eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:32:50



Oh well, why not just tell her congratulations and then go and slag her off to all and sundry!

Being as you are such a good friend and all wink

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 14:36:10


eggs11 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:36:46

I'm literally so shocked, this is the most ridiculous coincidence hahahaha.

I'm slagging off her choice to be on benefits, not her as a person.

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