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to think that people with savings don't realise they may not be eligible for ANY Universal Credit

(199 Posts)
OriginalRoute Tue 02-Apr-13 22:42:08

Universal Credit will be affected by savings over £6000 and if an individual or a couple have savings of £16000 between them they will not be entitled to any Universal Credit. I'm in a full time low paid job and have no pension, but do have savings slightly above £16000 from my inheritance. It wasn't a big safety net for the future especially with current interest rates but I thought it was better than nothing. Now Nothing would actually give me a much better return and I'm going to have to spend it on topping up my income, as I don't think the chance of getting a higher paid job is likely in the foreseeable future.

auforfoulkesake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:24:35

you used to be able to get housing benefit on a mortgate shock

auforfoulkesake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:24:50


JourneyThroughLife Wed 03-Apr-13 09:30:19

Well said, Cogito...

I'm lucky to have a decent job but I live from month to month. My salary goes in, my standing orders go out. Nothing left except the overdraft. There are no savings and no, I don't own any property, and my car is done through car leasing (couldn't afford to buy a car myself). If I had £16000 in the bank I would think I was absolutely rich (I would even with £6000) - I therefore can't believe people really still expect to get benefits etc. and have this amount disregarded. Try having 'nothing' and see how it feels....surely benefits are for those with nothing at all? (And no, I don't claim any benefits myself).

mrsscoob Wed 03-Apr-13 09:41:22

She said it is an inheritance, she hasn't been saving it up with her benefits hmm.

To be fair she is most likely in a poorly paid job, like most people who work and are on benefits, which means whatever job she is doing is keeping the cost down for you the consumer anyway.

Take a supermarket worker for example. Even working full time if the worker has a family they will need to claim tax credits. Due to the shortage of affordable housing they will probably need to pay a private landlord a lot of rent, therefore claiming housing benefit.

State tops up workers wages, supermarket makes profit, food prices can stay lower.

Now you can either moan about "scroungers" or you can moan that the supermarket is having its workers wages topped up by the taxpayer. The supermarket could start paying all their workers a living wage and then their workers wouldn't need to "scrounge" but then your groceries would triple overnight. Would you be happy with that?

Yes she has a little nest egg that she inherited. No doubt from a relative that worked hard and paid taxes all their live. I don't think she should have to spend all that on living expenses just because her employer doesn't pay her enough to live on.

Crazycake Wed 03-Apr-13 09:45:37

Thank you Msnobody, I don't think we can assess them (never tried to), we get a statement every so often. My IL's set it up for their university fund.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 09:46:00

Well said, mrs.

"This doesn't discourage saving. It discourages people building up enormous cash reserves at the taxpayers' expense ... big difference."

Tiny difference.

As the number of people talking about keeping money in jamjars on the thread attests.

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 09:46:52

Can I just point out that I have a full time job. Unfortunately it's not a decent job, it's a bit rubbish which why it doesn't pay a living wage on it's own. (Despite my amazing budgeting skills grin)

OriginalRoute Wed 03-Apr-13 09:46:52

Can I just point out that I have a full time job. Unfortunately it's not a decent job, it's a bit rubbish which why it doesn't pay a living wage on it's own. (Despite my amazing budgeting skills grin)

RedHelenB Wed 03-Apr-13 09:47:29

Can't see how you will be better off working in a minimum wage/low paid job under UC tbh.

FasterStronger Wed 03-Apr-13 09:51:19

OP to protect your cash either:

1) use it to pay off your mortgage if you have one and save on interest
2) get as much of your wages paid into a pension as you are allowed, live off the money to make up the difference. the govt will pay your tax back into your pension increasing the size of your pension.

HollyBerryBush Wed 03-Apr-13 09:54:05

Sorry but in in 1942, Sir William Beveridge laid the foundation of our welfare state with his report on how to slay the ‘five giants’ of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness.

I fail to see how having 16K squirrelled away comes under 'want'.

HariboAndWine Wed 03-Apr-13 10:01:39

Why on earth would you expect government assistance when you have £16000 in the bank! shock shock shock shock

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Apr-13 10:16:54

" I don't think she should have to spend all that on living expenses just because her employer doesn't pay her enough to live on."

What kind of parallel universe are you living in? hmm That's like turning up at the pub with £500 in your back pocket and then insisting everyone else buys the drinks because you'd really rather keep all your money.

foslady Wed 03-Apr-13 10:22:26

I have a mortgage. I've worked hard all my life, and my mortgage is cheaper than it would be to rent (and pay someone elses BTL mortgage). Thanks to redundancy and other factors I am now on a low p/t wage (and desperately looking for full time, but struggling). I too was left some money. That small nest egg (over £6k but under £16k) is my breathing space. I do not have a landlord to fix my heating if it breaks down and would only be able to get a ridiculously high interest loan on my wage, and as I live rurally with a poor bus service need my car (a mum mobile, nothing flash there, either) so I can work. Thanks to exh walking out to live with ow I have to be able to provide everything for my dd. We don't live an extravagant life and hope each month the the money lasts til next payday.

So yes, people DO need savings. Or am I now to be expected to sell my house and rent somewhere, claim no benefits as I will have house equity rather than be rewarded for doing my best under the circumstances?

Try living my life. I'm here because of circumstances beyond my control, not because it's where I chose to be. The person who died could see I was doing my best under the circumstances and wanted me to not fret about my future. It was her lifeline to me. And now that lifeline is going to be eroded.

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 10:32:52

Tax credits were not a part of the original welfare state.

They were a convoluted, costly attempt by New Labour to cut child poverty (and arguably increase dependence on the state, and thus their vote).

They were largely successful in their aims (both stated and suspected).

They also provided a massive state subsidy to low-wage employers, which was pointed out at the time.

They were not meant to be for people in dire financial circumstances. They were meant to keep lower income families with children ticking over.

It is a massive change to entitlement if savings now mean you can't claim them.

Forcing people to run down their savings before giving them this money doesn't strike me as being particularly smart.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 10:44:37

I agree totally, AThing. You are entirely correct. CTC are not benefits. The reframing of them as such under UC makes me go hmm.

The problem at the moment is that thanks to the government everyone is jealous of everyone and bitter about any help given to anyone other than them! People are jealous of those on subsistence level benefits, jealous of council houses with spare bedrooms, jealous of someone on a low wage with a small nest egg. FFS we've even had a recent thread with serious bitterness exhibited towards the disabled and their carers. Some twat telling a poster that she should not expect state help to care for disabled family members rather she should be grateful for any crumbs thrown her way shock.

I wish we could go back to a less divisive and less bitter time.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 03-Apr-13 10:49:50

What about if you rent your house, as you cannot afford to buy. You have been saving desperately hard for a deposit for 10 years and now have just gone over the cut off threshold. Then you lose your job and suddenly need UC. Why should someone with the same amount of equity in their own house not face the same penalties as a renter trying to save to buy their first property?

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 11:05:58

"Some twat telling a poster that she should not expect state help to care for disabled family members"


What kind of country do these people want to live in?

The jealousy thing is just depressing.

cantspel Wed 03-Apr-13 11:10:46

AThingInYourLife and you can have savings. Up to £6k worth before your uc will be effected, so plenty for an unforseen boiler or car breakdown.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Apr-13 11:16:43

Or course child tax credits are benefits! It's ridiculous to say that they aren't.

I can see how working tax credits, while still being a benefit, are a neccecity because wages don't keep up with the cost of living, but child tax credits are given to people that have children they can't afford. Of course they are a benefit.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Apr-13 11:21:53

AThing, yes it was an utterly disgusting thread. I only saw the vile comments once the thread had been closed. The poster who was told to be grateful for any help given at all was left crying and very hurt by the obnoxious comments.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Apr-13 12:17:09

"It is a massive change to entitlement if savings now mean you can't claim them."

Massive but fair, surely? Isn't this a small example of why the welfare changes are, by and large, quite popular?...

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 12:24:53

Children's savings count if they have over £3,000. And there are two types of jobseekers allowance. Means tested so savings taken into account. Non means tested paid if you have the right number of NI contributions in the relevant year and only usually paid for a maximum of 5 months.

I didn't realise the UC would alter the amount of savings a person was allowed to have. I can see people's point that it's OK to live in a house worth millions but not OK to have over a certain amount in the bank.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 12:25:21

sorry 6 months.

MatildaMay Wed 03-Apr-13 12:31:13

I'm shocked that children's savings count towards the new benefit. DS has some savings bonds that were given to him as a baby/toddler by family members and which can't be accessed for a number of years. They are under the £3000 limit. However,if they were over £3000 does the government expect families to cash in their children's future funds to support their family. What about saving for university etc?

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