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In thinking that the benefit system encourages lone parenthood?

(149 Posts)
retiredgoth2 Sun 04-Oct-09 23:29:25

And no.

I am not starting a fight for its own sake, even though I am aware that one may ensue.

I am a lone parent (of four. Two with SEN)

So is my Special Friend ('SF') She has two children, one with a disability.

We are going to move in together. Neither of our earning capacities will increase. We are both already working as much as is possible. In SF's case, perhaps more than is advisable...

We have done the sums.

Between us we will be (wait for it) 20 k a year worse off.

Yes. I said Twenty Thousand Pounds.

And this does not include the housing benefit SF currently receives.

I will lose all of my widowed parents allowance, and the late Mrs Goth's NHS pension, about 8k. The balance is tax credits, which will reduce to almost zilch.

The only net gain is council tax. Whilst we both lose the 25% reduction, we will only have to pay on one property. This is a gain of about £500.

Now. I don't think I am owed a living. But these sums nearly put us off. There are many others who would be deterred.

I do not know an answer, but feel that this is a flaw in the benefits system, discouraging people from either (a) being honest or (b) living stable lives...

What could be done?

ChasingSquirrels Sun 04-Oct-09 23:30:58

I have no idea - but am very pleased for you.

VineGruesomeTits Sun 04-Oct-09 23:35:19

I dont understand, are you saying you will lose 20k in benefits if you move in together?

GypsyMoth Sun 04-Oct-09 23:38:50

Yes. As lone parent myself, I see your point.

Benefits in other areas tho, such as support, love, all that stuff!

LoveBeingAMummy Sun 04-Oct-09 23:39:02

I have a friend who recently split up from her husband and have to say the amount of money she seemed to get was a lot.

retiredgoth2 Sun 04-Oct-09 23:39:06

Yes indeed.

In tax credits, widowed parents allowance, and NHS pension.

Tis 20k

retiredgoth2 Sun 04-Oct-09 23:41:29

Tiffany, yes.

Benefits in other ways.

Which is why we are doing it anyway....

VineGruesomeTits Sun 04-Oct-09 23:43:53

I agree it doesnt seem fair, but i dont think it actually encourages lone parenthood, and not all lone parents receive benefits, me for one.

retiredgoth2 Sun 04-Oct-09 23:51:20

I think it is the inequity of the tax credits that bothered me...

I am sanguine about no longer receiving Widowed Parents Allowance. I can understand that.

I am slightly less sanguine about the NHS pension; though there is an element which is paid to my children which remains.

But don't see why, when we will both be working to a maximum possible capacity, and earning the same amounts, tax credits decrease from a combined £300 a week to £50....

It doesn't seem to make sense. I accept some reduction, as expenses will reduce to a degree, though this seems an awful lot...

VineGruesomeTits Sun 04-Oct-09 23:55:31

Tax credits isn't really benefits though is it? i dont think anyone would choose to be a lone parent just because their tax credits might go up

And what the fuck does 'sanguine' mean <cant be arsed to look it up in the dictionary emoticon>

retiredgoth2 Mon 05-Oct-09 00:01:41

I am not saying that someone would choose to become a lone parent in order to increase their tax credits.

However I am arguing that someone may choose to remain a lone parent for these reasons.

I used sanguine in the sense of 'fairly cheerful' as opposed to that of 'appertaining to, or engorged with, blood'

Hope this helps.

claw3 Mon 05-Oct-09 00:17:43

I dont think it would encourage anyone to remain a lone parent, more to life than money.

I think what you are getting at, is it encourages people not to declare that they are no longer a lone parent?

1dilemma Mon 05-Oct-09 00:21:49

tax credits are very unfair

I've posted before 2 people earn 30K working full-time lots of childcare expenses get nothing 2 people 1 at home all week no childcare earn 60k get something (I know it's not lots but nevertheless....)

have to agree with whoever it was who said why are we apying tax credits to those earning over 50K anyway?

I think (although don't know for sure) that the majority of couples would be financially better off if they separated their incomes!!!

alwayslookingforanswers Mon 05-Oct-09 00:21:53

I know where you're coming from RG.

I was a lone parent for over a year, on benefits, I wasn't flush, but I was doing ok.

When DH and I got back together it wouldn't have made an iota of difference whether he was still in work or not (he wasn't) we were going to be worse off.

It's been a huge struggle for us financially we would have better off financially if we'd remained separate

1dilemma Mon 05-Oct-09 00:22:22

Sorry should stress I mean 30K each

rachyh85 Mon 05-Oct-09 00:30:54

not only does the system possibly put people off either moving in together or declaring it, but it also affects work:
i work part-time (16hrs) as teaching assistant while my dd is little. when she starts school i plan to teach fulltime. so fulltime teacher - i will be A LOT worse off than i currently am! stoooopid! working more for less money, it doesnt exactly encourage me to use the degree that i slaved away to get does it!

SomeGuy Mon 05-Oct-09 02:19:58

You might be right OP, the thing is that the only way to resolve it is to reduce benefits for everybody.

And this is the point at which you get a 1000-post thread full of angry people.

Clearly merging two single parent households will result in reduced expenses, most notably housing, and hence the level of benefits payable is reduced.

Phoenix4725 Mon 05-Oct-09 05:08:21

for me itt is suitable childcare tht stops me working as Ds3 has sn and it is just not available

kentmumtj Mon 05-Oct-09 06:24:04

now this is interesting as only earlier today my family and i were having a dscussion on benefits.

Now i am not saying lone parents or anyone should be penalised as i myself have benn there many years ago and i found it an incredible struggle as i got £66 per week in total to live off with 2 children but that was 15 years ago and the benfit system seems to have changed.

Well i have an incrediby lazy sister who absolutly refuses to declare her 'cash in hand' job or partners that she has moving in with her from time to time. She is a sisngle parent to 1 child and is milking the system for everything she can get.

so in our family we do feel a bit bitter when people like her claim, anyway we worked out her lone parnet benefit and what she gets is equivelent of somoen else earning £26k a year

makes me wonder why i worked my butt off to get a degree and work

kentmumtj Mon 05-Oct-09 06:24:50

but retiredgotth i am very happy for you its fantastic that you have found someone special to spend your life with

Tryharder Mon 05-Oct-09 07:38:03

But as someone said, if you merge 2 households you have less rent/mortgage to pay, only one set of bills instead of two, reduced council tax, cooking for one family as a whole is cheaper than cooking for 2 separate families..... I could go on.

But I can also see how some people would be and indeed are, put off.

I know a woman (a SAHM) whose husband lost his job - she kicked him out because as a single parent she would get everything paid for whereas had she remained the SAHM of an unemployed man, they would have received less. Vile, really to put money before the welfare and security of her children (who are very close to their Dad)

RealityBites Mon 05-Oct-09 08:04:51

Message withdrawn

MrsMorgan Mon 05-Oct-09 08:18:23

I'd quite gladly be worse off if it meant I was no longer a lone parent.

ABetaDad Mon 05-Oct-09 08:24:46

retiredgoth2 - first of all that is lovely news and glad it did not put you off.

However, yes I agree with you. I work at a charity where we lend small sums of money to people with poor credit history. The majority of our cutomers are single mums on benefits.

We know very well that if the father of their child moves in with them then the mother will lose benefits. A lot live secretly with their partner but pretend to be single and sometimes they get caught and get their benefits removed and fined on top of that which puts them into poverty.

I believe the Tories are planning to change that to promote the creation of stable 2 parent families.

alwayslookingforanswers Mon 05-Oct-09 08:31:13

"anyway we worked out her lone parnet benefit and what she gets is equivelent of somoen else earning £26k a year"

ermm a single parent with one child will get no-where near the equivalent of £26k a year (not even if you include their housing benefit)/

Try harder - it's no cheaper for us living together as it did when we were separated - rent for a 3 bedroom house + bills, and rent for a shared house plus bills for us was exactly the same for us as it is for us all to be living in the same house.

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