Advanced search

To think if they get IDS to do this £53 a week thing it will backfire?

(26 Posts)
SneezingwakestheJesus Tue 02-Apr-13 11:48:00

Just watched this morning and people are messaging the hub saying he should have to try living off £53 for a week. Am I being unreasonable to think this will backfire? He will try it for a week, just about manage and decide that it is easy to do. He won't experience the struggle of doing it week after week after week or struggles like unexpected costs like household items breaking or increases on bills affecting everything. I think if he does this, it will make him even more convinced that people on benefits don't struggle.


He should have to do it for 6 months then.

That should give him a more realistic insight smile

slug Tue 02-Apr-13 11:51:17

Given he currently lives in a large house gifted to him as a wedding gift, he should also have to live in a London flat and be at the mercy of housing benefit as well

fedupofnamechanging Tue 02-Apr-13 11:52:32

I think they should make him do it for two years and then do random shit like cut off his benefits over Easter/Christmas for some unspecified reason and only reinstate them after 6 hours of telephone conversations, as has happened to people I know. And he should have to wait 13 weeks or however long it is for the initial claim to be processed, while not having access to any of his other money.

And he should have to undergo those incredibly patronising job centre interviews on a regular basis and have to finance his children's birthday presents and Christmas from this income.

See how long he lasts, then.

Snoopingforsoup Tue 02-Apr-13 11:55:25

He should have to live in a London estate flat for 3 months with his 53 quid a week.
It will give him a much needed dose of reality and will ultimately make him a better politician. Thing is, he's always going to be privileged so whatever he does short term, he knows he's returning to comfort... He can never understand the reality if life for people on benefits.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:13

What karma said.

Thumbwitch Tue 02-Apr-13 11:57:11

Of course it would backfire if he did it for a week. It would HAVE to be for a minimum of 6m, preferably a year so he covers all important dates. I like Karma's additional ideas too.

ParadiseChick Tue 02-Apr-13 11:57:17

Yeah it's a lot of shit. We could all do it for one week coming from our cushy life and going back to it after one week of let's play poor.

12 weeks at the very.minimum, anything else is just an insult.

MichelleRooJnr Tue 02-Apr-13 11:57:18

I agree.

I don't see how it is workable, for all the reasons you mentioned and more.

Would he give up his car/ chauffeur and have to pay for transport?

Would he empty his fridge and cupboards and have to buy a FULL week's groceries?

Would he unexpectedly have to buy a new outfit for an interview the job centre insists he attend?

How could he factor in household bills when his are probably all paid in advance/ direct debit?

And loads and loads more like these.

I think it's unrealistic to think spending one week on a limited budget could in any way represent to him the actuality of week in week out with just that £53.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 02-Apr-13 12:02:32


It would backfire because he would manage it, and even if he tried it for longer he would manage the same way lots of people who live on £53 a week already do. With help from friends and family.

It's actually quite pathetic the way people are scrabbling over this and taking some kind of perverse delight in imagining someone in his position living in poverty.

SneezingwakestheJesus Tue 02-Apr-13 12:02:57

Which is he more likely to give in and do? A week, six months, a year? He's more likely to cave to the media pressure and try it for a week and that's when it could backfire.

I agree with all karma's conditions though! I'd like to see what he says after getting the real experience rather than the fake one he will get when he does what the media asks.

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 12:04:56

yep, and people should stop asking for it, because he'll do it, it'll be fine (because as said up thread, you do can do it easily for one or two weeks, anyone could, that's never been the point) and it'll be used as a way of proving it's doable.

I can see it now, lots of interviews about how it was fine for the basics, you just have to do without the treats. Then articles about how the state shouldn't pay for people to have treats and they should get out there and get work if they want more than just the basics covered. Without factoring in that some things that you might do without for a week or two, like new clothes etc because they are 'treats' over the course of a year, become basics when stuff needs to be replaced.

ouryve Tue 02-Apr-13 12:05:12

If not a London flat, he should live in a North East village. Cost of living doesn't seem too high, compared with London, but it's £7 return bus fare to the jobcentre. Or to the nearest supermarket, which is at least 5 miles away. If he can't make it to the supermarket, then he has the limited choice on offer at the local shop. They sometimes have some fresh looking vegetables in stock, if you don't mind paying twice the supermarket price for them.

Oh, and it's fecking cold, here. At least the library's open 2.5 days a week if he wants to go there for warmth. Or to use the Internet, which people will be expected to use when Universal credit comes in. He needs to remember that it might work at snail's pace, though, since we're rural. And we don't have cheap Internet deals here since we don't have LLU like they do in towns and cities - so if he doesn't want to use the library, that's £25+ a month he'll have to budget for.

WireCatWhore Tue 02-Apr-13 12:05:35

Ha ha. A week. Of course he will survive a week.

He needs to live on it for a good while so he can get into the grinding poverty that is the reality of it.

PeneloPeePitstop Tue 02-Apr-13 12:06:14

What Karma said, plus the white goods in the kitchen should be all on their last legs, with at least two of them packing up irreparably during that time.

Oh and the gas and electric should be on key meters.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 02-Apr-13 12:06:51

Of course it would backfire.

For any short period if time in a well appointed house it would be a piece of piss.

Over a long period of time with clothes and appliances wearing out, will illness or debt it would be a fucking nightmare.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 02-Apr-13 12:07:25

If there are even any libraries left open by the time this bastard government is done!

OxfordBags Tue 02-Apr-13 12:08:09

I read something recently - think it was the Guardian, but have no link, sorry - that it would take a minimum of several months, with all other specific factors in place, ie type of housing, housing area, no vehicle, lack of proximity to shops and other facilities like GPs surgery, poor or zero leisure and healthy lifestyle factors available, etc., etc., for anyone doing this experiment to even begin to understand what it is like to live on such a pittance, day in, day out.

The current rhetoric about benefits and their claimants is truly sickening and should have us ashamed to call ourselves a civilised society. There is so much talk of scroungers, parasites, spongers and the like, that interviews and studies conducted amongst actual benefits claimants reveals that they themselves hold these attitudes about mythical 'scroungers', as they do not recognise that the people vilified by this rhetoric is them themselves. And why do they not recognise that it refers to them? Because it is hateful, anti-humanitarian lies. The percentage of real dole cheats, etc., is incredibly small. It simply does not represent reality in any way. And yet slowly, but surely, we are all getting sucked into this idea of an undeserving underclass who bring it upon themselves and who could ameliorate their lives, or at least cope, if they pulled themselves together. It's the opposite of all decent, humane thinking.

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 12:11:05

A week would be easy. Its when he would start having to get white goods on hire purchase out living in a cheap damp draughty flat with storage heaters on a card meter that would be difficult. But he won't do that.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Tue 02-Apr-13 12:28:49

The petition challenges him to do it for 12 months. You can sign it here:

Petition has now surpassed 150k signatures and is going for 200k. Please sign, whether IDS takes part in any publicity stunt is irrelevant - he needs to be held to account and politically embarrassed, and this much you can do without even leaving your seat smile

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 02-Apr-13 12:32:02

a week would prove nothing.

He needs to be dropped into the middle of the reality for many of living on a tiny amount of money.

so - provvy loan debt or brighthouse payment, emergency credit on the meter, food for a few days, nobody allowed to give him money or take him out for meals! bills due, and preferably the unexpected breakdown of an essential item.

He can huddle down for a week and come out all smug.

That's not living the life of someone.

twofingerstoGideon Tue 02-Apr-13 12:33:42

I was just about to say that, Emerald! The petition asks him to do it for a year.
Even if he doesn't do it, perhaps it might make him think for a minute before engaging his big mouth in future (doubtful... but you never know)

fedupofnamechanging Tue 02-Apr-13 12:46:32

Have signed that petition.

chris481 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:50:52

This whole thing is just a stupid media circus. He didn't say he "could" live on it, meaning that it was adequate for some imagined standard of living, he just said he would if he had to. He was doing no more than making a off-the-cuff prediction that he wouldn't die. He was ducking the question, not answering it. I don't think you could reasonably answer that question in a radio interview, unless you'd been briefed a few weeks in advance and the program had agreed to give you half-an-hour to read your prepared answer.

twofingerstoGideon Tue 02-Apr-13 15:14:10

I don't think you'd need half an hour and a ready-prepared answer. All you need is some empathy, some intelligence and a quick look at, say, an average utility bill, to be able to say 'I recognise that it would be extremely difficult to live on such a meagre amount in the long term.'

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now