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Why are so many people on MN so anti benefit bashing?

(390 Posts)
Bearbehind Thu 04-Apr-13 19:09:19

Genuine question- although I am well aware I will probably get flamed for this.

Osbourne's comments in the wake of the Philpotts's about benefits supporting lifestyles which are disagreeable to most tax payers today has touched a nerve with many for varying reasons.

I've always been of the opinion that benefits should be sufficient for the basic necessities but shouldn't cover luxuries like cigarettes, alcohol, Sky, mobile phones or holidays, as they shouldn't be an alternative to working (obviously only for those people capable of working) yet so many threads on here say its none of our business to question what benefits are spent on?

Why is it so many people are happy for their taxes to fund the luxuries listed above for others when they can't afford some of them for themselves after paying tax!? Am I missing something?

GrowSomeCress Fri 05-Apr-13 22:44:05

Boulevard it's called marginal propensity to consume I think. Poorer people spend a greater proportion than wealthier people.

Bearbehind Fri 05-Apr-13 22:51:11

expat I have no idea what the majority of your post meant but my sympathy for anyone who held more than 100,000 euros in one bank account in Cyprus is extremely limited.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 05-Apr-13 22:57:56

Handcream, do you really consider Mick Philpott sane and healthy?shock

expatinscotland Fri 05-Apr-13 22:59:01

It is, Bear? You think it's okay that such people are made to pay for rich, greedy bankers who are off scot-free? You truly do? You think someone's life savings is okay to plunder to pay for their mistakes whilst those execs are gone with the wind without a second thought?

Bearbehind Fri 05-Apr-13 23:13:47

expatthe rules were pretty clear, anything over 100,000 euros wasn't protected so they should have put their eggs in more than one basket.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 05-Apr-13 23:45:17

Bear, are you an I'm alright Jack kind of person?

Want2bSupermum Sat 06-Apr-13 02:27:04

Bear I think you should read some news reports on the people who have deposits taken away. My family is half Greek Cypriot and the older relatives have lost their pensions. My uncle owns a large hotel and he is now bankrupt. He borrowed Euro5 million for refurbishments and the money was deposited in his account three weeks before the crisis. He lost the Euro 5 million but still has to repay the money to the bank. He is determined to repay the money and is keeping the hotel open. My aunt is a nurse and is applying for jobs in the middle east so she can bring in some money to tide them over because they are too proud to declare themselves bankrupt.

Then there is my cousin and his wife who have spent the past 5 years saving for a home. They had more than Euro 100k in their account and pretty much all of it has all gone.

It isn't the bankers who we should be blaming. It is ourselves for electing the politicians who are clearly incompetent. The behaviour of bankers is a symptom of the problem which is lack of regulation. Politicans are responsbile for setting the boundaries and ensuring they are properly policed. This didn't happen which is why the economy is in such bad shape. With Cyprus it was the Greeks who shafted them by not repaying their loans. Again it was the government not bankers who were at fault. Why did the default on the loans happen? The Greek government has been overspending for the past decade. It hasn't been the bankers spending the money, nor was it them who defaulted.

The exact same thing has gone on in the UK in that politicans have elected to spend more than what is available. The NHS and education had billions spent on them without thought for how it would be paid for. I fail to see how that is the fault of the bankers. It just suits politicans to place the blame there.

Bearbehind Sat 06-Apr-13 05:23:30

I'm not an 'I'm alright Jack' kind of person. FWIW I thought it was outrageous when the EU was going to tax every bank account in Cyprus but in the end so did they. My understanding was that the maximum tax was 60% so I'm not sure how the person above has lost 5 million but what ever they have lost is shit and they don't deserve it but it was made clear the limits that were protected in a bank account and the Cypriot economy was on the brink of collapse so holding unprotected funds in bank accounts there wasn't a great idea.

Bearbehind Sat 06-Apr-13 05:36:03

I also think the principle of what has happened in Cyprus is wrong, the people who have had the foresight to save getting hit but the alternative was all EU tax payers bailing them out which isn't fair either.

MrsGrowbag Sat 06-Apr-13 07:32:25

Dione, do you really not know anyone who can work bit chooses not to? Because I know several of my friends who are very happy to not bother looking for work. However, they have husbands who earn a lot and can afford not to work. MKes my blood boil that they seem to think fact that their OH earns £100k gives them licence to not work themselves. And yet for some reason no-one has a go at them, no-one calls them lazy or scroungers, even though that is exactly what they are IMHO. Might not claim benefits as such now that child benefit taken away, but happy to use services funded by taxpayers whilst they have contributed NOTHING to the economy themselves. Ok, rant over.

bakingaddict Sat 06-Apr-13 07:48:43

Mrs Growbag I dont understand why it should make your blood boil that somebody chooses not to work and be supported by their husband instead. It wouldn't necessarily be my choice as I like some financial independence but you choose what is best for your family.

Did they work before children? Are they planning to go back to work once the children are older. We all need to use services provided by the taxpayer and different people provide different levels of contribution that's just life

MrsGrowbag Sat 06-Apr-13 08:21:01

Bakingaddict, I'm not talking about people with young children, I'm talking about people with children who are older teenagers (my kids age) who choose not to work. And it makes my blood boil becUse they use the same services as the rest of us (nhs, education etc) but don't pay any taxes or national insurance. I just don't understand why people have a go about people who are genuinely unemployed being "lazy" or "scroungers" but seem to have no problem with rich people not working or contributing in other ways. I think it's a class issue - it's ok for middle class people not to work but somehow not ok for working class people. I have a friend who hadn't worked since her children were born, 17 years ago, and who was moaning the other day about not being able to get an appointment at her GP when she wanted. I just thought it was really ironic that she hasn't paid a penny towards the nhs for 17 years but expects there to be an excellent service....

Bearbehind Sat 06-Apr-13 09:44:46

Re blaming the bankers for everything and condemning their salaries, I understand why it's tempting, but those fat cat bankers who command the highest salaries also make decisions on a daily basis that (when they get it right) make huge sums of money for the business ie they contribute to getting the economy back on track.

You never hear people moaning about fat cat footballers and they do nothing other than provide entertainment. They earn ridiculous salaries paid by clubs who, in some instances are on the verge of bankruptcy, and those salaries are funded by the general public paying extortionate ticket prices and tv subscription fees out of taxed income or benefits and many footballers partake in tax avoidance schemes. How is that acceptable when bankers salaries aren't?

sleepyhead Sat 06-Apr-13 12:19:01

Eh? I don't think I know anyone who thinks that footballer's salaries are ok. I know that dh and his mates are always talking about how it's killing football for a start.

Re: the financial industries though, I think most people's issue is that outrageous risk-taking, majorly incentivised by bonuses based on these actions, was a huge reason for the global financial collapse. Gambling with other people's money, huge personal gain if it paid off, maximum personal loss if it didn't was loss of job if you were particularly unlucky - the balance wasn't there, the checks weren't there, to discourage these huge risks taken with our money. We are paying and we just don't see the institutions and their leaders taking their share of the pain.

Want2bSupermum Sat 06-Apr-13 14:30:25

sleepy If most people have issue with the excessive risk taking then regulate the activities conducted by the banks.

The bonus culture has been lost a little. When I worked in banking 10 years ago a bonus was a bonus. In 2002 no one got a cash bonus and everyone thanked their boss for keeping their job. The top performers (around the top 2-3%) were given stock instead of cash. This kept the wage bill on the P&L low reducing the loss.

in 2007-2009 bonsues were still paid out. I also question how the government handled certain events both in the UK and the US. From what I saw a certain bank threw their losses at their clients and an investigation should have been launched into how they were able to turn a profit when every other bank had large losses. The SEC and FSA failed to regulate the banks. Had our politicians set legislation to enable regulation then I don't think the asset bubble would have been as bad in the first place.

The housing market is also a problem in the UK. With the expenses scandal I was surprised at how many MPs were flipping homes and not paying capital gains tax. I find it shocking that if you live in a home for a week you can get away with calling it your primary residence. The rule should be that you live in the home for at least a year. If you buy a place, renovate and sell within a year that is for profit in the vast majority of cases. Our politicians are hardly going to change things when they make so much money from the current rules though. Such a shame as housing is overpriced and taxpayers are screwed through having to pay more for housing themselves and more in taxes to cover the cost of housing benefit. I would also start taxing the foreigners moving to London to avoid paying taxes in their own country. From what I see the costs to the economy are far greater than the benefits.

growbag If we lived in the UK my DH would be paying around GBP250-300k a year in taxes. If I didn't work I think my DH would be more than covering the cost of our family and you could also argue that me not working would be a benefit as every extra GBP would be taxed at 50% for DH while it would be taxed at the lower rate for myself. With earning GBP100k/ yr significant taxes are paid from that and as long as these women are not requiring support from the government then I don't see what is wrong with them not working. Each family has to do what is best for their circumstances.

sleepyhead Sat 06-Apr-13 14:33:46

Oh absolutely. It's a scandal that regulation was actually relaxed in the years leading up to the crash. The finance industry was/is an enormously powerful lobby. It's dubious that any government can truly claim to be making independent decisions - especially the UK with our over-reliance on the industry in London.

The banks say "jump or we're leaving". The government (of whatever colour) says "how high Sir?"

Darkesteyes Sat 06-Apr-13 14:51:30

Want to be supermum i dont think Mrs Growbag was having a go at SAHMs with older children.
She was having a go at the hypocrisy when some of them have a go at benefit claimants.
I do realise that they dont all do that but a minority of them do.
Ive seen it on this site in the past.

FasterStronger Sat 06-Apr-13 17:57:58

the reason banks have power is that they pay about 10% of the total tax take.

it would be very bad for the UK if they left.

so before we put more pressure on banks, we need growth in other industries. we need an industrial strategy.

MadameDefarge Sat 06-Apr-13 21:05:14

I have started a thread in AIBU about the welfare budget breakdown. It gives I hope a pretty good idea of where the money goes. there are in fact two pie charts, the second is a bit more detailed.

Cherriesarered Sat 06-Apr-13 21:32:37

I think Osbourne had a point. Phillpott was getting £56 000 in benefits per year for his "extended" family. All paid into his account. That's quite alot of money for not working.

That aside, the fact that he beat and stabbed his former girlfriend and seriously injured her mother shows that he had no regard for women.

The fact that he was let out of prison to go on and father several children then kill them shows how pathetic our legal system is in preventing domestic abuse and violence against women and children.

MadameDefarge Sat 06-Apr-13 22:01:25

Why conflate the two issues though? A tiny percentage of people 'abuse' the system in that way. Whether he was a fabulous father to a lot of kids while being on benefits or a murderer is neither here nor there. Please don't mix the two up. That is exactly what I am objecting to. One rotten apple and the whole barrel is rotten? hardly.

MadameDefarge Sat 06-Apr-13 22:09:09

well you know cherries until you are prepared to do a bit of research around the actual figures of how many families with eight or more kids are wholly supported by benefits its not really worth engaging, is it? You have a computer I am guessing (but assuming) why not go online and have a little peek at the multitude of information available?

Cherriesarered Sun 07-Apr-13 08:16:03

The point is that Phillpott was not necessarily abusing the system. The system was paying him based upon his and his families circumstances. The issue for many people is that is it right to keep giving people benefits based on how many children they have. If a couple earns £56k and has 4 children, they don't get an extra say £5k when they have another child. So it is not realistic for the state to do this, it doesn't foster responsibility!
I've worked in social services for many years and there are some people who I would not say are abusing the system but because they have never ever worked just expect the state to provide everything, even though they could contribute if the system expected them to.

Want2bSupermum Tue 09-Apr-13 10:41:00

darkesteyes Thats my point. The women/men who stay home to raise their family and enable their OH to earn GBP100k a year are contributing to the economy. If they went out to work would their OH be able to bring home GBP100k. This is what is wrong with the tax system in the UK. Income should be taxed on a household basis as it is here in the US. It is the only way to place a value on the work that a SAHP does.

Fargo86 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:15:04

Don't any single people earn 100k a year?

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