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To ask someone to explain how Philpott could claim 60k?

(99 Posts)
alphablock Thu 04-Apr-13 19:00:39

I should start by saying that I usually ignore the headlines in the Daily Fail about people who are able to claim mind-boggling amounts of benefits as I believe such cases are few and far between. However, I can't help but question the numbers being widely quoted in the press today.

I have seen figures of between £1,000 and £2,000 a month quoted as being the loss in child benefit Philpott anticipated if his ex got custody of their 5 kids. This suggests child benefit is between £40 and £80 per child per week, which it obviously isn't.

I thought unemployed people could claim £53 per week, so even if he was able to also get child benefit for 11 kids, this doesn't add up to 60k. Both the women were working as cleaners, so not sure what other benefits they would get (and be forced to hand over to him).

I know he was getting housing benefit, but they were living in a 3 bed house in Derby, so surely the rent couldn't have been that much.

I know he is a dreadful individual and he clearly had made a decision to live off the state and the women he manipulated, but is there actually any truth behind the figure of 60k or has this been plucked out of thin air?

TotemPole Sat 06-Apr-13 21:20:37

reluctantmover, yes, I think we agree on this. It isn't the cash, the actual benefits, but what the passport benefits give people access to.

I don't think we need to only consider very large families to see the difference this can make.

Not sure if I read it on MN or elsewhere. A working mother with 3 secondary aged children was paying over £40 a week for bus fare to and from school. A comparable family on benefits had free bus passes for their children. Then add on 3x school meals, and uniform grants etc.

reluctantmover Sat 06-Apr-13 19:52:43

well if you have to choose 16 hours work and lose right to free school lunches or 15 hours and have right to school lunches, which one would you chose? If you have 10 free school meals, that's worth an average of £25 per school day (apparently £2.50 is now average) or over 180 school days that's £4500 for a school year. Absolutely ridiculous to have an arbitrary cut-off, it means those with large families would think really hard before any work they take on putting them at risk of losing such a concession. I think it would be hard to argue this is not a ridiculous situation. Same goes for IS, cut-off earning £25, but keeping IS gives access other benefits so earning a small amount and not going higher so as to lose IS also also disincentive to work more.

I think the cap really does have to include HB I'm afraid. A working family not entitled to HB will choose to rent/buy a house in an area they can afford, if it means not living near family and somewhere cheaper then they have to do it, with current HB, those on it have been able to live in housing that others not entitled to HB cannot afford, so really why should someone on HB be able to? That's the whole point, they include it and those on HB find they have less left in their pocket if they choose to live in a more expensive area, same as families not entitled to HB, so this is fairer on all, plus it should mean those meany landlords who super inflate rent because they know tenants are on HB will find they lose tenants, they'll have to lower their rents.

Squeeky, maybe people are not up in arms about inheritance laws or life insurance rules because they are fair?? IF someone had killed for a reason such as cashing in on an inheritance law which seemed unfair to many, I'm sure that would make headlines too.

TotemPole Sat 06-Apr-13 19:27:56

How would someone be better off working under 16 hours and staying on benefits rather than moving on to WTC?

If you're on JSA or IS you can only earn £20 or £25 a week and then they take off £1 for every £1 you earn. If you work over 16 hours, you can claim WTC. This is worked out on a sliding scale.

If you take 2 comparable families. Same number of children, same number of adults, same rent, council tax etc. The working family will have more money coming in each week than the family on benefits.

It's the outgoings that will be different, such as the extras you get on IS/JSA and work related expenses. Free school meals and any school related grants or concessions can add up, especially for families with 2 or more children.

For many, working will increase weekly travel costs. They might have to pay for childcare. I realise people can get a childcare element in WTC but they still have to find the extra 30%.

Travel, childcare, and housing costs are issues for everyone. Maybe the government could spend some time focusing on this. The knock on effect would make lower paid jobs more viable.

Also, I thought there were plans to bring in means testing for things like free school meals? So those on lower incomes but on WTC could still get something. I don't know if I misunderstood the plans or if they've been abandoned. They should remove the all or nothing situation of passport benefits.

SqueakyCleanNameChange Sat 06-Apr-13 18:52:24

Yes of course they are.
But do we decide that this is an indictment of inherent flaws in the life insurance/inheritance system about which we should have a national debate?

difficultpickle Sat 06-Apr-13 18:27:09

Squeaky that's not correct. Plenty of people are killed for life insurance or inheritance money. There was a story in the paper last week about the trial of a man who had killed his parents for an inheritance of £200,000.

TomDudgeon Sat 06-Apr-13 18:16:47

Ok my figures are extreme but you get the point

TomDudgeon Sat 06-Apr-13 18:14:29

The cap doesn't make sense as it includes housing benefit. Some places that could be 150 others 1000 so really large families in expensive areas have a lot less to live off after rent than the same size family in a cheap area

reluctantmover Sat 06-Apr-13 15:30:00

TomDudgeon has just pointed out that the 26k per household cap might indeed be got around by deliberately splitting up families so that one parent could take some children and one parent could take the rest. Out of those 190 families with 10+ children in the UK claiming benefits, that's exactly what they could do! Then you get 2 lots of 26k! Splitting families up already happens, in order to claim benefits, it could just increase the numbers, it's a bit like legal tax avoidance to me. I wonder if this cap per household has been thought through. Surely abolishing WTC/CTC and CB and replacing it with something which encourages work without losing so much in "benefits" for children is what we need.

TomDudgeon Sat 06-Apr-13 15:15:24

By September, and most places starting before that, the most a couple with children could claim will be £500 a week that's 26k a year
If they could have claimed for Lisa's family separately that's another £500 a week so 52k a year
She would have to have been live
elsewhere though

It doesn't make sense to say getting her back would make him better off

Getting her back meant he could take the money, however much of it, and control her freedom though it.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sat 06-Apr-13 15:09:11

Flipinada - there are another two threads like this that I'm aware of...

Reluctant - I agree there, CTC and WTC are introduced and they're not helpful really. When you think that you can work full time and still be eligible for benefits because minimum wage is what it is it leaves me scratching my head.

reluctantmover Sat 06-Apr-13 15:03:05

Flaminhoolah is right, CTC depends on income and if you're working under 16 hours a week, you can claim IS as well and if your income is low, you can also gain full CTC. The CTC was designed to give a minimum income to families, but for those with large families, say 5 or more, the rates are such that many families are indeed better off working not at all or less than 16 hours a week, it is a crazy system for these families that actually encourages parents with large families to not work or hardly work at all. work should pay, irrelevant the number of children you have, unfortunately work often doesn't pay at all for those with large numbers of children, it pays more not to work.

If I had the power in my hands, I'd be looking at higher child benefit, I'd be changing its name too, in order to reflect its worth as a tax break, I'd increase the rates substantially, but after perhaps 3 or 4 children, I'd reduce the rates, I'd do away completely with child tax credit, as the rates of child benefit would replace part of its value. Then as people earn more, they keep what they earn, they don't lose a benefit - this decrease effect discourages people from going out to earn more.

TheBigJessie Sat 06-Apr-13 14:46:19

How about more than 3. Not quite so tiny, I suspect.

8% of families claiming benefits have three or more children. The percentage of those who have more than three must therefore be even smaller.

flippinada Sat 06-Apr-13 13:51:30

Yes it's part of it but so is domestic abuse. Why aren't people going mad about that?

MP would have been the same person regardless if whether he was on benefits, independently wealthy or simply just comfortably off.

I actually can't believe I've been drawn into this tedious and soul destroying discussion yet again so I'm off.

Ministrone Sat 06-Apr-13 13:43:26

Agreed, but once someone is in the public eye these days their "private life" is dissected by the media and they may not be the most well-informed people around.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sat 06-Apr-13 13:40:33

Reluctantmover - about CTC - you're right, I doubt you could find an employer who increases pay every time an employee has a child, but what does happen is that CTC is available for anyone, working or not, dependant on what their income is. If you have say one child, and your partner and/or yourself works and you earn above the threshold you won't get any CTC, but if you have another child that could push your earnings under the threshold and you will get some CTC...CTC isn't just for people who are not working, it applies to anyone who meets the earnings criteria - that is my understanding from talking to those in the know.

No idea how that will all work with universal Credit.

reluctantmover Sat 06-Apr-13 13:25:28

It might be distasteful to list how much the monetary gains/losses were, but it would be equally distasteful to list the money someone would stand to gain by murdering a relative for inheritance / life insurance.

I don't think anyone has argued control was that awful Derby man's motivation in setting up the fire, but to disregard the monetary part of the control is puzzling. It just happens in this case that the majority of lost money was provided in the form of benefits.

Can anyone find an employer who increases salaries each time a child is born to an employee? Why does the state increase child tax credit each time a child is born? BTW I'm a great defender of child benefit remaining universal and think that child benefit is simply not enough in the UK - just look at other European countries where rates for 2 or more children are far more, you receive them often whether unemployed (and paid in social security) or whether in employment, meaning that the state treats people more equally than happens in the UK.

TidyDancer Sat 06-Apr-13 12:54:22

I agree with the theory that control was the main motivation, I suspect the loss of benefits perhaps contributed, but I suspect the main factor was that he was an abusive man who didn't like to lose to Lisa Willis.

Out of curiosity however, I used the benefit calculator and with some assumptions came up with a figure of just under £57k. That doesn't include free school meals, help with uniform, healthy start vouchers etc. It also doesn't include council tax benefit and assumed no childcare costs. I thought the newspaper were wildly inaccurate as well, but now I'm not so sure.

mrsjay Sat 06-Apr-13 11:37:19

I do get that money was a factor to his control but to list what they all claimed on benefits its a bit distasteful IMO

flippinada Sat 06-Apr-13 11:03:41

"wasn't an intention"

flippinada Sat 06-Apr-13 11:03:12

Besides which (pertinent point) there want am intention for the children to die, hence the manslaughter charge.

He wanted to be the big hero and rescue the kids; although by all accounts he didn't put himself out much on that score.

I'd say the money was a nice bonus for him but certainly wasn't the driving motivation behind the crime.

flippinada Sat 06-Apr-13 10:56:48

That last post was to reluctantmover

flippinada Sat 06-Apr-13 10:55:37

Perhaps I'm missing something here but I don't understand what you're saying.

Of course some/many murders are motivated by money, has anyone said otherwise?

TomDudgeon Sat 06-Apr-13 10:53:26

It wouldn't make much difference to him financially if she left because of the cap about to come into force. Well actually it would, 'he' would have to pay for more children on the same amount.
It was about control.

reluctantmover Sat 06-Apr-13 10:52:41

For that awful man from Derby, money was part of the control, the fact the women's salaries from their jobs and their child tax credits went into HIS bank account and of course the subsequent loss of this money is him losing control. The control was financial, psychological and physical, to argue that money was not a motivating factor is quite puzzling, because all the evidence indicates it was.

reluctantmover Sat 06-Apr-13 10:49:51

The publicity surrounding the murder of the 2 parents did indeed claim UK inheritance laws were the motivating factor in the murders. If the son hadn't stood to inherit according to English law, would he have done it?

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