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do "we" have the right to say what benefit claimants spend the money on?

(329 Posts)
DizzyHoneyBee Tue 02-Oct-12 21:01:59

In the news today, a think tank suggests that many would support restrictions on what benefit claimants can spend the money on.

What do you think?

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Wed 03-Oct-12 01:30:34

There are some people on this site who are so obsessed and (irrationally with no basis in reality) jealous of the mythical huge amounts that claimants are suppossedly getting that i would say its morphing from an obsession into a fetish.

justbogoffnow Wed 03-Oct-12 01:38:41

Thin end of the wedge........if this is allowed, there'll be something in the future benefit claimants will have to sew on to their clothing so other know their economic status. A whirlwind of resentment and hate towards those on benefits is being whipped up and it is deeply, deeply disturbing sad.

Want2bSupermum Wed 03-Oct-12 01:44:59

If they are so concerned about the nutritional health of people then why don't they do food stamps. I quite like the idea of a supplement being provided to ensure those who are without are getting help affording food. Here in the US there is only the requirement that food stamps be spent on food. Other benefits such as tax credits are separate to food stamps and those funds can be spent on anything.

However, then there is the WIC program which is Women, Infants and Children program which provides funds for those without to buy nutritional foods. They have a list of approved foods which is very specific. I think it is a good idea though because the aim of this program is to provide additional assistance to the food stamps to ensure those who are pregnant and children under the age of five have good nutrition.

Having said that I was surprised to learn that you can't buy potatos with the WIC program but you can buy sweet potato!

monsterchild Wed 03-Oct-12 02:02:23

I think that if we're going to do that, then we should have a say in how the elected officials spend their incomes as well!

I'm paying for their income just like those benefits, why don't I get so keep them from spending it on all sorts of unsavory things too?

BeetrootJuice Wed 03-Oct-12 02:28:28

Do you all not understand that 20-30 years ago many of us earned a low wage?
I certainly did. But we did not claim top-up benefits, tax credits or whatever you get these days - we simply went out and got a second job. I worked nights in one job and days in another - not ideal but it paid the bills.
And the jobs ARE available - maccyd's, care homes, factory/gang work etc etc for those who choose to work rather than sponge.

Far too much sense of entitlement these days and far too much sponging off the state for one excuse or another.

BeetrootJuice Wed 03-Oct-12 02:36:18

That is why, 20-30 years down the line, we do object to benefit claimants spending the money on fags, booze and lottery tickets.
And don't tell me it's a fallacy - I see them every day in town as I'm going to & from work. In the town centre, crowded round the chippy with their buggies and a fag on, latest mobile phones and a gross dispaly of tacky but expensive tatts on most of 'em.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 03-Oct-12 02:49:34

Oh God no. No no no no no more dehumanising ostracising cr*p.

Would you like to tell me what disability aids i can buy, what essential dental treatments I can have done? Or whether I can buy tampax this month? Or whether I deserve to be able to get to my hospital appointments this week? Or eat? Or spend on incontinence products?

Why not eh? I am already less than human, so deserve to have any self agency, or human dignity stripped from me... After all tax payers might have to pay for my dignity right? Or maybe they'll be a special allowance for the hideous underclasses to kill themselves in the easiest way to clean up? That would be sensible.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 07:41:00

'We' already dictate what some benefits can be spent on. Housing Benefit, for example, can only be spent on housing. Council Tax benefit can only be offset against Council Tax. There are quite a few others. Those who don't receive benefits get a sum of money each month and decide how it is spent 100%. Benefit claimaints are already restricted. So, whether this idea ever gains momentum or not, the precedent is there.

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:07:22

Ffs I've been on full benefits before. I wish I had enough money for booze and lotto! So yeah give them all a card don't let them buy anything that's not approved, no extra money for a birthday cake for the kids let alone a present, no extra food for Christmas dinner and certainly no presents for their dc. After all only the right type of people can use eBay or have a bottle of wine, or a takeaway now and again.

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:09:51

How are you supposed to buy electric with no money? You can't use a card for a pre pay meter machine on my shop, what about a phone bill or Internet, or are benefit claimants not allowed to have Internet to help with the job search. Anyone who thinks benefits are cushy needs to go live on them!

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:12:25

And what about bus fair to get to the set supermarket your allowed to shop at. What about kids stuff like shoes and uniform? Urgh this makes my blood run cold that so many people think this way about claimants!

littletingoddess Wed 03-Oct-12 08:13:00

I don't know how I feel about this. I have never been in a situation where I have had to rely on public assistance. However, a friend recently shared an online article that has an interesting view of just this topic. It appears that in the US, some politicians are trying to propose the extreme in that they want people who have 'modest' cars to sell the car before they can get any sort of food assistance. I'm posting two articles, one the opinion piece and one that covers the car proposal.

littletingoddess Wed 03-Oct-12 08:15:51

I meant to add that in many parts of the US, there is no form of public transportation (apart from school buses for children), so I have no idea how these people are supposed to look for work if they live miles and miles from town and have no means of transport...

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 08:16:43

Whatever this think tank has been suggesting, the reality in the form of the Universal Credit starting next year actually goes in the opposite direction. In future claimants, rather like salaried employees, will get a fixed amount of money depending on various criteria and it will be entirely their responsibility to decide how to budget it, not even having it conveniently parcelled up into Council Tax, Housing, School Meals or whatever. Some groups are already throwing their hands in the air saying that benefit claimants are incapable of financial planning and are guaranteed to end up in difficulties.

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:30:53

I actually quite like the idea of a monthly payment, living hand to mouth week to week was tough. Least with a monthly payment you could budget properly and buy bigger sizes for more value in things like washing powder and toilet roll. I get some benefits working tax child tax n child b and get it all monthly already.

garlicbutty Wed 03-Oct-12 08:30:54

benefit claimants are incapable of financial planning
Actually, Cogito, this is true of me during my 'bad' times. I have a mental illness; it's completely unrelated to my class, education or intelligence. Atm I elect for my rent to be paid directly to the landlord. I'd be surprised if this isn't possible with UC as well.

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:37:00

Oh god yes, Ineedabrandy. No more charity shops, boot fairs and eBay for second-hand clothes - all to be bought new from "participating stores".

Never mind the impact on the individuals, vouchers would kill off whole swathes of the economy in less wealthy areas - corner shops, second hand shops, markets, boot fairs, small chemists and independent shops of any kind. Swimming pools and any children's activities that charge even a nominal amount. Big impact on eBay sellers.

All to be poured into the coffers of Tesco and other "participating stores". Nice work if you can get it.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 08:39:44

'Do you all not understand that 20-30 years ago many of us earned a low wage?
I certainly did. But we did not claim top-up benefits, tax credits or whatever you get these days - we simply went out and got a second job.'

Really, they did? That's funny, plenty of them claimed family allowances and married persons allowances rather than 'simply' working other jobs.

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:41:01

Er, many claimants are salaried employees...

weegiemum Wed 03-Oct-12 08:41:52

This is more dehumanising Tory crap. Don't get me started on disability payments .....

Here's a thought! If we can specify what benefit claimants spend "our" tax on, can we specify what the government spends the rest on? So if I'm anti-trident replacement and don't want us involvedcin the middle east militarily, do ingot a discount on the tax dh plays but I can't cos I'm disabled

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 08:47:37

"20-30 years ago" = 1980s and three million unemployed.

So no, unless you were lucky in where you lived, you couldn't simply go out and get a second job. Or a first.

And we're forecast to be back at three million unemployed next year.

But obviously any poverty will be caused by individual moral failing and a culture of entitlement.hmm

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 08:50:15

This is simply a way of trying to punish those on benefits. And frankly I dont care if someone on benefits buys a can of beer to drink in the evening.

I remember reading a woman on benefits in the USA talking about the restrictions on what she was allowed to spend her food stamps on. So she couldnt buy even a simple cake for her child's birthday as that was deemed "luxury" food.

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 08:57:16

I don't mind the idea of making benefits be "food and bills only" in priniple, but the reality is that the government then choose where you can shop. So instead of being able to go to the local cheap veg shop and buy a load of root veg you have to travel to a supermarket (for me this is a £6 bus fare) and buy more expensive food.

So just make benefits be "enough" for food and bills and hope that people are sensible. Those who aren't, will suffer the consequences of their own actions.

And I thought that the Tories were supposed to be for smaller government and more personal freedom? Maybe if someone could save £1 a week they could start their own microbusiness or something, can't do that with vouchers.

MrsBucketxx Wed 03-Oct-12 09:00:39

i do think that benefit money should not be spent in cigarettes and alchohol, smart phones or whatever luxury they seem to be spending it on.

its not fair on our country that's drowning in debt and its gaining daily. WE all have to suffer, and if that means vouchers for food so be it. we can't have it all ways.

its the usuall mn left wing, marxist tripe. Wake up people.

ParsingFancy Wed 03-Oct-12 09:01:06

I don't mind the idea of making benefits be "food and bills only"

Really MrsHoarder? Are you a nudist?

Don't you wash? Shave? Cut your hair? Phone NHS Direct?

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