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

(383 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?

AniMac Wed 08-May-13 18:35:23

It's a shocking state of affairs. My 15 year old son is autistic and dyspraxic, totally dependent on me, in a special school, under the care of speech and language therapists, an OT, a mental health unit and is in the process of having his dla reviewed because he is nearly 16.

At the moment, i'm in limbo. If his claim gets turned down, we'll lose the extra cash but more importantly, MOST importantly, I lose my position as his carer. That means he will have no supervision when outdoors (potentially life threatening), no help at home with cutting up his food, washing him, brushing his teeth, helping him get dressed, tying his laces, comforting him during the night when he has woken up in a wet bed.

I'm living and breathing this dla claim, with no idea what the future holds for my beautiful boy, no idea if the DWP will take any notice of the medical reports and do you know what he is worrying about? He is worried that people will hate him because he gets a benefit that "people with jobs are being made to pay me". I cried when I saw the worry etched onto his face and then vehemently told him he was never to worry about that, that he was 100% entitled to it and that I saved the government money by providing 24/7 care for £77 per week.

It makes me so angry that people can ask such an inflammatory question.

Oh God yes, I love this easy life on benefits.

ttosca Fri 19-Apr-13 00:06:11

Conservative claims about benefits are not just spin, they're making it up

Government ministers like Iain Duncan Smith and Grant Shapps are misrepresenting official statistics for political gain


In the past three weeks, readers of mainstream UK newspapers have learned a number of things about the UK social security system and those who rely on it. They have learned that 878,000 claimants have left employment and support allowance (ESA) to avoid a tough new medical assessment; that thousands have rushed to make claims for disability living allowance (DLA) before a new, more rigorous, assessment is put in place; and that one in four of those set to be affected by the government's benefit cap have moved into work in response to the policy. These stories have a number of things in common. Each is based on an official statistic. Each tells us about how claimants have responded to welfare policy changes. Each includes a statement from a member of the government. And each is demonstrably inaccurate.

boxershorts Thu 18-Apr-13 14:40:11

you need to reword your headline ambiguos

boxershorts Mon 15-Apr-13 12:16:48

mrs G yes, up to a point. But many rich women work because they are bored

boxershorts Mon 15-Apr-13 12:15:19

Osbourne has an objectionable lifestyle Millionaire living off public money

boxershorts Mon 15-Apr-13 12:13:26

I think mumsnet has its share of benefit bashers and chinese mums

alemci Tue 09-Apr-13 11:50:39

Mrs Growbag if people are stay at home mums and their DH's earn loads then isn't it fair enough, they are not getting any subsidies such as CB and their DH are paying income tax and NI.

They may do voluntary work or stuff for the school that working parents cannot manage.

I have a friend like this who has a massive house with a cleaner and has never really worked but her DP's were wealthy and she married an older man who earned a good salary.

I suppose they should appreciate how fortunate they are to be able not to have to work.

FasterStronger Tue 09-Apr-13 11:39:22

also many people are enabled to earn their salaries by people they employ - CM, nannies, cleaners, house keepers etc.

and they don't get a tax break because they need someone else's work to help them.

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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?"

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 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.

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?

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....

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 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.

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.

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