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to truly believe that there are too many people making living on benefits a lifestyle choice?

(306 Posts)
preparestobeflamed Thu 03-Sep-09 20:44:08

While I really do feel for people, who through no fault of their own, find themselves on benefits, struggling to bring up their children on a pittance, am I the only one who truly believes that for a large number of people, living on benefits is a lifestyle choice??

It may just be the people I know, but I have one friend who refuses to work - no children or partner, another friend who from leaving school decided she was going to have children, has had 2 children by unknown fathers so far, and all at the tax payers expense and is now planning her 3rd, to some unsuspecting man she hopes to meet on a night out, and another friend who is due her 4th baby anyday, by a man who pays her no child support whatsoever, even though he is a high earner working full time and who lives in the next town with his mum and dad. She believes he will move in one day, i think not and when he does stay with her, she makes it public knowledge that she is continuing to claim she is an unemployed single parent to continue getting all the benefits, even when he has stayed for months shock and all those mentioned have the opinion that they are entitled to live off of benefits for as long as they live.

They just feel so entitled it's untrue!!!! shock

I am beginning to believe that people who do not pay tax should not be entitled to vote, since why should these people who do not contribute a penny to the system, and possibly may never contribute a penny to the system, be able to have a say as to how the money the country generates is spent????

I also am of the belief that anybody who does not have dependents, is not elderly, sick or disabled should not receive any benefit unless it is contribution based benefit.

Am I really BU??

Am I the only one who gets so angry at these lazy people, who live off of their children for as long as they can, and in some cases, are swayed to have children because they do not want to work??

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Thu 03-Sep-09 20:46:41

i suppose i tend to think that if someone is like that, then our society probably didn't give them much of a set of opportunities in the first place. someone with a 'good' education etc doesn't tend to make those choices, if indeed they are choices.

HerBeatitude Thu 03-Sep-09 20:49:19

Yes YAB thoroughly unreasonable.

There is a general election due next year. There is a recession on, lots of people who have paid thousands of pounds in taxes will not be in paid work at the time - should they be disenfranchised because they're not paying tax at the time polling cards are sent out?

To say nothing of all those carers and people with long term sickness like MS who are in no position to pay tax.

You need to find a new circle of acquaintance, the one you have is making you angry.

twirlymum Thu 03-Sep-09 20:49:32

I used to work in social services. I KNOW there are many families that have never intended to work, and live off benefits. Their children then think this is normal, and the cycle continues.
I understand there are genuine cases etc, but the benefit culture has to be stopped as it will get to a point where the working people will think 'what is the point' and join them. The world does not owe them a living.

famishedass Thu 03-Sep-09 20:52:05

I dunno, I kind of agree with Aitch. It's about being given a crap start in life. Get sent to a crap school by parents who don't value education. Get no qualifications.

What can we realistically do about it? Nothing. Give em a house, enough money not to starve and some anti-depressants and let em get on with repeating the whole sorry mess again.

Hulababy Thu 03-Sep-09 20:53:17

Sadly there are some people who believe benefits is a lifestyle choice. I saw it a lot both in the final school I worked at and also when I was working in prison education.

Of course there are many many people on benefits who need them, who use them properly and for what they were crreated for.

But equally some do take advantage. I have heard these people first hand talk of it. What to do about it I am not sure.

mazzystartled Thu 03-Sep-09 20:53:36


and you seem to have some dodgy mates as well as some dodgy political views

NeverLeapfrogOverAUnicorn Thu 03-Sep-09 20:54:13

You are not being unreasonable to be cross about those people - and they do exist, who prefer to exist on benefits rather than work.

However, I don't think it's as many as the Daily Mail would have us believe grin I think far more people are trapped on benefits because they can't get work / can't get work that wouldn't leave them so badly off they wouldn't be able to pay the bills / can't get childcare / etc etc.

Re not paying tax - well, as you say, there are people who do not work for very valid reasons - should they lose their right to vote? If not, then you have to have a system that splits the benefit claimants into worthy/not worthy and gives only those deemed worthy a vote. Quite a scary idea tbh.

Re no benefits for those with no dependents, not elderly etc etc ... are there really jobs for every single person in the country? I don't think so. So some people would be out of work through no fault of their own and would starve to death. Rather extreme, don't you think?

I am in favour of able adults doing some 'work' for benefits - a few hours doing something worthwhile - to get something on top of their benefits. I think that would be good. Charity work, park maintenance etc. Useful services and something to give them some extra pride.

Also, although there are lazy people who choose benefits, there are also depressed people, or people who feel there is no hope of anything better in their life, and people who have grown up surrounded by people on benefits and can honestly see no other life for themselves.

I just think it is such a complex issue that it is too hard to have, how can I put it? - one size fits all solution? iyswim.

tethersend Thu 03-Sep-09 20:55:16

I think that having people on benefits who see it as a lifestyle choice or commit fraud is part and parcel of having a welfare state- and frankly, it's worth it IMO.

It's not exactly the high life.

As for non-taxpayers being denied the vote, that's just ridiculous. If you lost your job due to government cutbacks, you couldn't vote them out? hmm Not exactly democracy...

Have to agree with Aitch re opportunities

Bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 03-Sep-09 20:56:33

Shall I tell my mum who is a nontax payer on a pension/benefits she isn't entitled to vote then?hmm Does the fact she provides free childcare and other support to family members allowing them to be economically active make it ok despite the fact it isn't taxable? FFs why do people have to make sweeping generalisations based on anecdotal evidence and a couple of people they know?

I don't pay tax either as I don't work I just laze around all day raising my kids, my dh pays plenty of tax so does that mean I can still vote? I suppose looking after future tax payers and contributing to dh career isn't enough.

Tbh I don't know why I am responding to this.

People shouldn't be allowed to defraud the benefits system and dependency on benefits that becomes endemic and continues through the generations is unhealthy and destructive for the individuals involved and society. But the answer is not to cut benefits dead.

There will always be weak and feckless people in society, you can either let them sink, (increasing crime etc along the way), or provide a safety net for all.

I know which society I prefer.

Hulababy Thu 03-Sep-09 21:00:19

I do agree about opportunities. However, there are many people in the same circumstances who do pull themselves out and get themselves sorted. All schools, even not so great ones, do offer children opportunities. Some pupils do fail to take advantage of these, albeit for various reasons. It needs something to stop the cycle. It is so so sad sometimes in schools to hear some pupils speak - no aspirations other than to go on benefits To break through that can be really hard, esp when parents support the view point.

MsHighwater Thu 03-Sep-09 21:00:42

Of course there are people who make living on benefits a lifestyle choice and I disapprove of that as much as you do. But, that's the price that society pays for having a benefits system available for those whose need is genuine. I'm sure there is plenty of scope for reform of the system but would you really want to return to a society that judges people according to who is "deserving" before giving them the bare minimum of assistance? I wouldn't.

ra29needsabettername Thu 03-Sep-09 21:01:23

Agree entirely with Aitch. So Aitch please keep arguing so that I can just watch and nod and not have to work myself (I am a true MN scrounger)

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 03-Sep-09 21:01:27

I work in social services too and I also see plenty of young people who turn 18, sign on and carry on signing on as long as they can. Some want to work but truly don't have the skills to get or keep a job, some don't want to work. Some just want to have babies and have no interest in working. Yes, there are too many of them, too many because it's a crap life, which affirms their lack of self esteem and feelings of uselessness.

It's no kind of life really.

MillyR Thu 03-Sep-09 21:01:50

If a man is a high earner and he is not paying anything towards the upkeep of his child, then the fault is with the father not the mother.

I would not choose to join the unemployed, because I enjoy working.

If I had no education, and the only job available to me was a boring, lowpaid one which would never pay me enough to afford to rent a house and support children, then I might choose to go on benefits. At least on benefits I would be able to afford to bring up children. The current system where people work until their mid thirites before they can afford kids is madness.

So if you want to end the benefits culture, then campaign for:

1. Genuinely equal pay for men and women.
2. A decent minimum wage that people can live on.
3. More social housing so that people who are working but on a low income get a chance on the housing list.
4. Better and more appropriate education.
5. Respect for non-academic routes and jobs, and creation of more skilled manual work and apprenticeships.
6. An end to sex education (that promotes the idea to 15 year old girls) that children are nothing but hard work and misery, which is an obvious lie.

MillyR Thu 03-Sep-09 21:04:05

I did not mean an end to ALL sex education; I just punctuated point 6 in a stupid way.

HerBeatitude Thu 03-Sep-09 21:04:14

I also think it's very easy to blame the hopeless people in this circle of deprivation, for their lack of motivation and get up and go. But they didn't create this circle, they grew up in it and haven't had any other role models that are remotely realistic or achievable. There is no right to work in our society, the education system for a lot of these people is shit - people who have a choice make damned sure their kids don't go to the same schools as those who are in the dependency cycle - and it is so much easier to blame them as individuals than to blame ourselves and the leaders we elect for tolerating these ghettos. What positive proposals do you have for ending this dependency culture? "Cut their benefits" is a negative solution, yes, we could starve them all to death or invite them to rob us and each other, but what is a positive way forward?

CloudDragon Thu 03-Sep-09 21:04:25

though I would have disagreed with you years ago, I have spent over 10 years working in housing and there are so many blaggers out there who openly abuse the system.

Unless you have good reason you should work.

i know many people who have had the most terrible upbringings and have worked all their lives out of principle.

it's becoming a lifestyle choice where I live.

Nancy66 Thu 03-Sep-09 21:04:46

The sort of people who are describing in your post would never get off their arses and vote anyway.

HerBeatitude Thu 03-Sep-09 21:05:09

oops cross posted with millyr now there are some positive proposals.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 03-Sep-09 21:05:41

MillyR what did you mean by point 6?

KIMItheThreadSlayer Thu 03-Sep-09 21:08:12

You are so not being unreasonable

nickschick Thu 03-Sep-09 21:09:49

I think YABU for a lot of people life on benefits isnt a life its a survival thing - benefits contrary to belief dont pay for holidays, pricey shoes or anything like a life of luxury.

I work with lots of teens that havent been given the support neccesary to 'grow into a adult' and imo thats a parenting and social issue.

I find posts like this quite insulting to people on benefits,fair enough you pay your taxes and contribute to society that doesnt give you the right to criticize others and take their votes away.

Me? I mind my own business and appreciate what I have in my own home.

MillyR Thu 03-Sep-09 21:14:17

Kat, what I meant by point 6 was that some sex education (not all in schools, as some is offered by charities) focuses on teaching girls from vulnerable backgrounds that having a baby is going to be a nightmare.

An example is where they give out pretend babies that cry if they are not looked after properly. A recent study showed that these dolls increased pregnancy rates among participating girls because they enjoyed looking after the dolls. The workers involved suggested that this was because the girls enjoyed the attention from the workers.

I think it might be because (shock,horror), young women enjoy looking after babies, which some of the girls realised by looking after the fake ones.

Either way, if we teach young women that motherhood is awful, then we are setting them up to respond negatively to their children. If I was about to start a task and I had been constantly told it was going to be dreadful, that would have an influence on my ability to complete that task adequately.

This is all a bit off topic now!

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Thu 03-Sep-09 21:15:45

YANBU to think it, but I hope you have a Kevlar jacket handy, you are going to need it.

On the other hand such people have such a ghastly life that really you should only pity them.

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