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in thinking it is getting impossible to discuss the welfare state on here any more

(262 Posts)
size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 07:26:40

Disclaimer: I am all for the welfare state. I firmly believe in the NHS, and have no desire for a return to workhouses or other such draconian matters.

However, it seems to be that ever since the Tories started making cuts, it's impossible to even question on here the morality or the fairness of the system. I'll admit it - I don't think the system was fair, at all.

I earn a very average salary. As a result I am only slightly better off than I would be on benefits and considerably worse off when my childcare costs are deducted. It's difficult not to feel resentful when you're in that position.

- I don't believe throwing money around will mean any less children will "go to bed hungry."

- I don't believe benefits should be more lucrative than paid work. Ever. And at the moment, they are. I think the fact that they ever were is disgraceful.

- I think the welfare state is a crutch in a crisis. Disability excepted, it is not a walking stick through life.

I also know there will be hundreds of yawns, this AGAIN, do I want children to starve, I want a return to the workhouse actually no I want the poor shot actually I want them deported ha ha ha what a bitch what a cow what a horrible person. Oh and she hasn't mentioned widescreen TVs LOL.

No, actually, I'm none of the above, I'm just an ordinary person struggling to make ends meet myself. It's very easy to be lofty and high handed and sentimental when you're on board the gravy train yourself. As it is, I don't want benefits to disappear but I don't know just one piss taker, I know several, and don't believe I'm not typical in this.

Welfare - benefits - cost a FORTUNE and people are deluding themselves if they think they don't. The cost of other services doesn't mean welfare isn't a massive cut. It's like saying "that holiday is cheap, look how expensive it is to spend a fortnight in Disneyland." The fact is, it's unsustainable.

I'm happy for people to be given the support they need but at the moment I think some people do think "give people on benefits all the money they like and it will end poverty."

It won't.

ANormalOne Thu 25-Jul-13 07:37:40

Because it's a contentious subject that widely attracts bashing, mostly be people who have nothing to add to the debate, like you, nothing you've said here is new, you're not adding anything to the discussion, you're just reiterating the same old bloody debate for the umpteenth time, what do you expect?

RedHelenB Thu 25-Jul-13 07:43:46

You have ALWAYS been better off working, it's a myth that you aren't.

Sparklymommy Thu 25-Jul-13 07:44:09

I actually agree with you. I am a married, stay at home mum of four. My husband works the same job he has had since he was 16 (he is now 31). We pay our own mortgage, for our children to partake in performing arts classes, for our children to have school meals.

I also know several piss takers. Several mothers who have several kids and have never had a job. (I personally worked up until my oldest was 3 and a half). We struggle to make ends meet whilst I see some of these mothers living the life of Riley and it is frustrating.

I am aware not all benefit claimants are scroungers, and I also do not want to see a return to draconian workhouses. I do not have anything against benefits per se, but the system does seem flawed when people on benefits are better off than those in work. And for those people who say people on benefits aren't better off I know of at least three families who have a very "entitled" attitude who actually are better off than us, but because my husband works, and my children are involved with different things they think we are loaded.

We aren't. And we make sacrifices. We struggle, and yet my hubby is on a good wage!

TarkaTheOtter Thu 25-Jul-13 07:51:57

YANBU. It's impossible to discuss it properly because 99.9% of the people who start threads about it on mumsnet are goady trolls looking to get a rise out of people.

Whothefuckfarted Thu 25-Jul-13 07:52:12

I earn a very average salary. As a result I am only slightly better off than I would be on benefits and considerably worse off when my childcare costs are deducted. It's difficult not to feel resentful when you're in that position.

This says it all. The amount of money your given to live on isn't 'too much'
^Wages are too low^

We need a LIVING WAGE in this country.

antsypants Thu 25-Jul-13 07:53:51

As always for me it is not the cliched rantings of people who feel hard done by because they are doing what they should be doing to financially support their family.

It is the spite and vitriol, I know someone who appears to be riding the gravy train, on full benefits, has two children, isn't working, has a phone and Internet, her children have clothes and food... But there isn't much more to be had, with no work experience to speak of, her value in the workplace is little, she may never own her own house or drive or any of the other things many people do... She has never worked and her children have what they need, but that is the maximum for her at the moment... And the thought that there are people who resent this and would like to see her punished for getting by makes me feel sick to my stomach.

I think people forget we are talking about families doing what they have to do to survive, not the myth of the benefit scrounge living in a mansion and having 5 holidays a year.

And I'm sorry, but if you were substantially worst off working then you would be unemployed, no parent would let themselves be substantially worst off, you may not fare any better, but if your wage is not high enough to support childcare costs then there is also benefits to help that, which a large amount of people take advantage of without the stigma and resentment that people who are not working have to deal with.

Whothefuckfarted Thu 25-Jul-13 07:54:00

* I do not have anything against benefits per se, but the system does seem flawed when people on benefits are better off than those in work.*

Not true. The system isn't flawed, wages are too low.

Whothefuckfarted Thu 25-Jul-13 07:54:11

Bold fail

pouffepants Thu 25-Jul-13 07:55:19


people on these threads always assume that the criticisers are people who are above the benefits and would never end up on them. I have been on benefits several times, as a pregnant teenager, as a single parent, as a carer, as a widow, as a sick person. life has been hard, and often I have had to fight with the system for access to care, housing, major adaptions etc. The system is useless for the big stuff that you could never afford out of benefits anyway. But the money to live off? More than enough, in each and every situation.

I now work 50-60 hour weeks, luckily in a job I love. For what I actually consider a fair wage. But my spending patterns are very similar now to when I was on benefits. i can live comfortably, as I could then.

RedHelenB Thu 25-Jul-13 07:57:42

Sparkly Mummy - you have a mortgage (something you can't have on benefits) & you yourself say your benefit aquaintances think you are better off than you are, so how can you possibly know what their lives are like in reality?

RedHelenB Thu 25-Jul-13 07:58:47

Oh & it's surprising what difference that "only a bit better off" by working can make.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Thu 25-Jul-13 07:59:12

YABU it clearly isn't impossible as every man and his dog is doing it at the moment.

HarryandJess Thu 25-Jul-13 07:59:35

YANBU size20knickers

mrsravelstein Thu 25-Jul-13 08:01:07

it is the wages that are the problem more than the benefits. if people who are working need to be topped up with child benefit and tax credits etc etc in order to survive financially, then they are not getting a living wage. the whole system is totally messed up, and can't be fixed until people who are working are earning enough money to actually support themselves. house prices are a major factor too.

TimeofChange Thu 25-Jul-13 08:04:35

Rents and house prices are too high.
They are out of proportion to wages - hence housing benefit.

50 years ago a low paid worker could pay rent, all the household bills and feed a family with one wage. No one had any extras, but now one one wage doesn't even cover rent.

Why is it always good news that house prices are rising?

The only people who benefit from high house prices are banks and builders.
The bigger the mortgage, the more interest we pay - straight into the banks pockets.

The welfare system directly benefits banks by paying housing benefit on rented properties.
Most landlords have bought their properties with a mortgage so again banks profit.

Unfortunately it seems too late to stop this mad vicious circle of high house prices, high rents and housing benfit.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 25-Jul-13 08:12:12

I've never actually seen a thread that is neutrally discussing the welfare state. I'd be very interested to see one because it would be a good thing to debate.
The only threads I have seen are ones with an op tellingus about her neighbour who wwon't work, her friend who moved her boyfriend in, a link to the daily mail about a single mother with 20 kids living in a council mansion and getting 80000 a year, etc etc.
When a thread is about demonising individuals rather than discussing policies, its never goingnto end well.

musicposy Thu 25-Jul-13 08:13:36

I agree witb you BUT I think benefits are a red herring. I heard some shocking figure about wages which I will try to find. Basically company profits rise and rise and the percentage that goes on wages has fallen year on year since the war. Companies make massive profits and pay less and less of those to the workers. Wages are the main problem - most people have had their pay frozen whilst everything else increases.
DH is one of those. He works for a huge company who have made billions but his pay has increased by just 1% in 5 years, despite their profits increasing year on year.
I am another. I am self employed but actually charging less than I was 6 years ago just to stay in business. It's a vicious circle that has its roots in very low pay.
DD1 is 17 and working full time over the summer. Money for her age is not just frivolity money. She is saving for her future and pays for her dance and singing lessons, contributing to the economy. Yet minimum wage for her is just £3.68 an hour. Employers can get away with paying this pittance, so they do. A week's work for less than £140 pay is pretty soul destroying - no wonder young people decide benefits is a better option.
But yes, the tax burden is too high. There's a date in the year which you have to work until your money becomes your own and not the government's. I believe this used to be April but is now 31st May and is getting later every year.

Forgetfulmog Thu 25-Jul-13 08:14:02

Whothefuck - you've hit the nail on the head in saying we need a Living Wage in this country.

I think a lot of people forget that many many people who work are also on benefits because their wage is just not enough to live on. Also, unless one of you earns over 60k (or whatever the threshold is) everyone with a child gets Child Benefit - I think a lot of people forget that as well.

It's not about the "hard working tax payer" & the "benefit scrounged", the lines are much much more blurred.

We live in a Welfare State which supports (or was designed to anyway) people who have an income below a certain level. That is a good thing. Lets not all get het up about the stories pedalled in the DM about all these scrounges who live in mansions with their 25 kids. The reality is that the vast majority of people are on benefits, work & still struggle financially.

Can everyone bear in mind as well that the percentage of the total welfare bill paid out in benefits is absolutely tiny.

size20knickersandfatter Thu 25-Jul-13 08:16:21

It might be a small percentage; that doesn't mean it's a small total by any stretch.

Neutrally, I feel it's a concern. Nothing against individuals on benefits. But - its a lot of money.

MrButtercat Thu 25-Jul-13 08:16:26


Forgetfulmog Thu 25-Jul-13 08:18:33

So what?? The total GDP of the UK is a "huge figure", what's you point exactly?

AugustaProdworthy Thu 25-Jul-13 08:19:06

I wouldn't and don't discuss it in RL let alone on here! Too controversial and discussing it won't change it . Deeds not words.

MurderOfGoths Thu 25-Jul-13 08:20:03

So your complaint is that you are in a low income job that doesn't pay a living wage, and rather than think that maybe the problem is that minimum wage etc is out of touch with living costs? Or that rents are astronomically high? You think the problem is that other people are getting paid a tiny bit more?

HollyBerryBush Thu 25-Jul-13 08:21:16

50 years ago a low paid worker could pay rent, all the household bills and feed a family with one wage. No one had any extras, but now one one wage doesn't even cover rent.

And thats where 'equality' came into play - women out working, double salary taken into the mix for mortgages, pushing prices sky high. This is the knock on effect.

If only our grandmothers had has a little more foresight as to the poisoned chalice they left for their daughters.

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