Advanced search

Benefit Britain - the irony

(328 Posts)
Mhoys Sun 18-Sep-16 19:30:23

Years ago there was no Housing Benefit as far as I remember - talking about growing up in the 1960s. Or even Child Tax Benefits, etc etc. Now it seems so many people get these, even people working in reasonably good jobs. The Government is meant to be anti-benefits but expenditure on all this must be significant. Some of this may be due to a small rise in living standards since then. But also have wages become so low relative to living costs, that the state is effectively subsidising private enterprise? There is nothing necessarily wrong with this I guess, but isn't the government "in denial" when few ordinary people could afford a family or rent or buy a home in the South at least confused, so the taxpayer/State has to stump up? I have some thoughts but am also genuinely puzzled ...

BlancheBlue Sun 18-Sep-16 19:31:19


Mhoys Sun 18-Sep-16 19:32:28

Why biscuit? I am genuinely puzzled, between the rhetoric and the reality, if you like.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 18-Sep-16 19:32:49


Knackered46 Sun 18-Sep-16 19:32:52


FuzzyWizard Sun 18-Sep-16 19:36:28

I'm not sure why you're getting biscuits. I'm often stuck by the fact that big businesses and private enterprise are benefiting more from benefits like housing benefit and tax credits than the people who receive it.

manyathingyouknow Sun 18-Sep-16 19:36:39

My husband and I work full time and are entitled to nothing other than child benefit which I take because I contribute Class 1 NI and so does my husband. We're getting back what we pay in. My views on benefits, I suppose, are that they should be for (able bodied) people who have fallen on hard times and need a helping hand - not for people to live with that as their only way of providing for themselves. I get that some people have physical and mental health conditions which stop them from working but the able bodied who choose not to work give me the rage. Plain and simple.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 18-Sep-16 19:36:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

notmaryberry Sun 18-Sep-16 19:37:16

I get what you're saying I think. Somewhere along the line, the gap between what you can earn and the actual cost of living has got huge. The government has tried to fill this gap with tax credits etc. Whether that was the right thing to do...well who can say. If they hadn't it's possible that many more people would have lost their homes I guess.

manyathingyouknow Sun 18-Sep-16 19:37:54

Sorry I'm not sure if my last post was clear...if you're not of able body or mind then you should take what you're entitled to in terms of benefits and credits

MrHannahSnell Sun 18-Sep-16 19:37:56

Why the biscuits? I agree with you OP. The Govt. seems to be running a nationwide "Speenhsmland System".

FuzzyWizard Sun 18-Sep-16 19:40:19

The OP isn't criticising people who receive benefits rather questioning the fact that companies are effectively being subsidised. They only get away with hiring people at less money than it costs to live because the state tops up their income. I think it is good to question whether wages need to be higher. 2 full time incomes should be enough to live on. That being said I'm not sure how we could fix that and make companies pay fair wages without people suffering in the meantime.

Mhoys Sun 18-Sep-16 19:40:24

I'm not being goady at all! Its a genuine question and not anti-benefits at all. And I'm not a "fucker" either.

BlancheBlue Sun 18-Sep-16 19:40:45

Goady post of the day award op

bearleftmonkeyright Sun 18-Sep-16 19:40:48

People aren't earning enough. Benefits have existed for years in one form or another for families, from family allowance and tax allowances for children. Having children is now seen as a lifestyle choice, a term I find very odd given the responsibility involved. You are being goady, there are so many families struggling to put food on the table. It's not right.

DerekSprechenZeDick Sun 18-Sep-16 19:41:44

If I didn't go to my low paid job you wouldnt be able to get your hair done at a hairdressers.

But because they can get away with paying a low amount and keeping contracted hours low if I didn't receive child/working tax then my wage wouldn't cover rent never mind everything else

My work won't pay me maternity because I didn't earn enough from them last year grin Think that shows they need to up the hourly rate..

FuzzyWizard Sun 18-Sep-16 19:41:58

MrsHannah- that's just it. It is in effect the Speenhamland system, ending the Speenhamland and similar systems was not simple or easy though and poorer people suffered initially.

ghostyslovesheep Sun 18-Sep-16 19:42:16

odd reaction to your post OP you where not attacking people on benefits (unlike one poster who's decided to do that) - your thread makes a valid point - do benefits allow the rich to continue to exploit the poor?

By keeping rents high - housing benefit and

wages low - tax credits

would we be better off with capped rents and higher earnings - yes

not sure how you get there though

RandomMess Sun 18-Sep-16 19:43:25

The biggest issue is the cost of rental property - the government is funding landlords through housing benefit to scary amounts of millions of £ per year.

You can easily have 2 adults working and they are still receiving partial housing benefit to pay for a basic property.

Then add into those not working at all (or 1 adult part time) who will receive full HB...

Home Counties you can't get a 3 bed for less that £1,500 per month!

So they say oh we get £350 per week, then you find out £200 of that is straight to a private landlord.

Somehow the government has to stop propping up the housing market - both buying and buy to let/renting. It is costing them millions.

MsJamieFraser Sun 18-Sep-16 19:43:47

"Small rise in living standards" hmm

I remember going to the shops with my mum bad getting a meat pack for £20 and spending £30 in kwik save that would last us a fortnight, buying your house was reasonable.

Now everything has risen 10 fold, my mum bought her house for £36k it sold for £585k in 2012 and that's was considered a good rate them hmm

BillSykesDog Sun 18-Sep-16 19:43:53

The cost of Philip Green's 3rd yacht was exactly the same as the amount paid out the to BHS employees in tax credits. You are absolutely right. Tax credits susidise the profits of large companies by allowing them to pay poor wages. It would be better if the government forced them to pay better wages or incentivised it by offering tax cuts (offset by lowering demand for tax credits).

TheViewFromTheSheepSeats Sun 18-Sep-16 19:44:47

Three cheers for theoriginal.
You know benefits have existed a long time (sometimes under other names) and they are there to provide a helping hand in difficult circumstances- whatever they may be.
We have a high quotient of disabled people in the uk, lots of deprived areas with no high paying jobs, and sometimes life does not pan out exactly as people plan.
People rant about "benefit scroungers on £500pw but the majority of that money will probably be HB ^that the claimants never see^- it often goes directly to the council/housing association/ landlord that is responsible for the extortionate rents.

We are lucky to live in a country where we won't automatically starve/die/be evicted because we lose our job. Our 12 year olds don't have to leave education to work in factories.

Benefits are a ducking good thing.
(Don't be a GF)

Mhoys Sun 18-Sep-16 19:44:55

I'm not being goady at all. Far from it. Its just, as I said, the political and economic rhetoric about private enterprise doesn't really match up with the reality of state expenditure. I'm not even saying its wrong, just what has changed? And wondered if anyone had any thoughts that I hadn't considered.

Anyway, am hiding this thread. I don't come on here to be insulted by "goady fuckers" as you 'project'. People come on here for a fight. And MN will suffer in the end because any sensible person would not put themselves through this.

BillSykesDog Sun 18-Sep-16 19:46:38

I think the people accusing you of being goady have failed to either read or understand the OP.

Mari50 Sun 18-Sep-16 19:47:27

Governement doesn't give a shit about paying out housing benefit because most of the rich mates of politicians have lovely big rental portfolios and they are coining it in- just an easy way to redirect taxes to people who already have plenty of money and (probably) aren't paying appropriate taxes and using 'poor' folk as their stooges.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: