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Universal Credit implications for long-term SAHMs??? Help please!

(803 Posts)
CSLewis Fri 01-Feb-13 09:39:21

Hi, I've just read the Mumsnet summary about Universal Credit, and read that parents of children aged 5-13 will be required to seek work during school hours, though I think those with a baby under one may be exempt.

Does anyone have any further details about this? It feels to me that a parent of young (primary-aged) children is being forced to return to the job market, regardless of whether they judge it to be in the best interests of their family hmm

il0vepudding Sun 30-Jun-13 21:56:06

I know this thread is old but I thought I would say something anyway. There are those bashing people who are on barely enough money to get by, whilst the Tories are sitting on designer toilets and buying their 5 star lunches and Marks Spencer's shopping at your expense? Why does the first one seem to make more people angrier than the second one? I am not someone who believes that a person's rights and value in society are determined by their status and whether or not they work, but this sadly seems to be a common belief and that is exactly how the greedy and powerful want you to see things. So you think a working class person is nothing but a wage slave? There should only be time for work and looking for work, no relationships, no love life, no children if your employer pays you a crappy wage? Then there is the notion that children of working class parents do not deserve the best start in life because their Mother owes the state more than she owes her own child. Yes you can express breast milk and have it given to the child in a bottle by an employed care provider, but there is something very artificial about this and I'm sure it has some negative societal implications in one way or another. I am also for set gender roles. If a woman gets pregnant and has a child, nature decided that she should care closely for the child, not anyone else, unless circumstances are extremely exceptional. Why are we so removed from each other spiritually as a society? This is the sad question that I have to ask. It seems like our lives are based on useless artificial things for the convenience of a few and it makes most people sad and stressed and it makes ordinary people turn against each other.

ssd Tue 19-Feb-13 14:28:51

thanks gaelic and morethan smile

you know what morethan, I get the support I need on here, the girls on the bereavement thread are amazing and always there, sadly family haven't been so good...( not meaning dh...or the kids there...)

and I agree, we all do the best for our families.....I just get annoyed with all this "women being forced to stay at home" its beneath us to actually look after our own kids.......I want to scream "I wanted to be at home, to me there's nothing more important", even though my "career" has swan dived and things are tight financially....

its just each to their own, isn't it

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Feb-13 13:16:02


I hope your ds2 is better soon and also sorry for your loss, a few months is still early days. Are you ok and have people to talk to? I ask as I needed support when my mum died.
I agree that today you are damned if you work and damned if you don't. I talk about not wanting to work. I'm not a lazy person, I work hard at home to do whats best for my family. I'm not forced to as I chose right from day one, as my dh career was more important to me than mine. But didn't have any tax credits for many years.
We are all different and I agree about the scrounger statements. It may seem like this to younger generations and I do sympathise but TC/WTC wasn't intended as a benefit and many sahps found this worked for them. I understand that times change and now many will lose FTC, they don't need to be called names. We all do whats best for our families at the end of the day.

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Feb-13 13:12:19

ssd - you have expressed perfectly what I have been trying, and failing, to convey with regards to the practicalities of having two working parents. There is no single answer at all, sometimes as a parent it really feels like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. There are people waiting to point the finger and criticise no matter what you do.

Hope your DS2 is better soon. smile

ssd Tue 19-Feb-13 11:32:11 living the dream today, am at home with poorly ds2 so can't go to work. I have no family to help out with childcare, mum died a few months ago and even then she was too old to help out. Also my work is really annoyed at me and I lose a days pay as its my child who is ill, not me.

sometimes mums want to work, but the kids come first, that's the bottom line.

all this scrounger talk is ridiculous, for every mum playing the system and refusing to work and live on benefits instead, there are a million like me who would love to work and earn some much needed income, but are stuck between a rock and a hard place with regards to whether it'll be best for their family if they do go to work.

someone needs to look after the kids, there's too much talk on here about being forced to stay at home, I think if a few more parents were at home for their kids the world would be a better place.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Feb-13 00:31:33


You obviously didn't read those two posts. To say the things you do and make the assumptions and accusations you make, its enough to make a saint swear.
Of course we are making sure our family are provided for, it just won't need us both to work. I'm not sure what your problem is with this.
Yes its nice to have a bit of comfort, but whats wrong with not wanting to work for comfort and luxuries, of which aren't really important. Our dc have the basics and at times they have wants as well as needs.

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Feb-13 23:22:42

This is a pipe dream, but I would really really like to see workplace creches provided by the larger employers. I would like to see universal free, or at least heavily subsidised childcare for everyone else, close to the place of work. I would like to see a level playing field, because at the moment there is inequality.

There are families where both parents can work because they have family on hand to take care of the children/deal with any emergencies. There are families who can realistically, and reliably, earn enough to mean they can afford other ways to deal with these things. And then there are the rest of us, who have neither of these things, and who seem to get blamed for the decisions we take as a result.

The point has been made before, and it is obvious: we are all trying to do the right thing. There are very very few people out there deliberately playing the system, most of us have our family's best interests at heart. Yes I've made some pointed criticisms on this thread, but only to balance things out, as some very unfair criticisms have been made of people who find themselves in the position they are in because they are trying to do the best for their families.

At the moment there seems to be only one virtue in this society and that is earning power. And that earning power can only be exercised in a very limited range of sectors, because other areas are so heavily devalued. That really does skew the balance in favour of certain kinds of people with a certain set of 21st century-friendly skills and heavily against others.

Something has to change. I don't know what, but something has to or we really will be bringing up a generation of children with nothing at all to look forward to. You may think that sounds bleak, but that's how I see it.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Feb-13 23:19:17


I have a PGC in Social Sciences and a BA Hons in Leisure Management and I don't know much. Look at me and I left school with nowt.
I know women have always woh though. But not like many would think. Historically though it was only when necessary to support the dc. In times of war, famine, plague etc. However, it was usual that the mans wage was enough to support the family, without women working. Then comes the bit with the mills where childcare was provided on site, usually under the machines. Childcare for boys, the chimneys. (couldn't resist). Oh don't forget the workhouses. Maybe that's where they'll house the residents of Camden.
Until quite recently and the rise in childcare provision, some subsidised too, flexible hours, maternity leave, and most other conditions and policies, that women have really had an opportunity to work because they want to, with good conditions. I fully support this and am pleased we have a choice. Now this choice has been seen as the ideal situation for all women and its not. I think domestic servants did lose jobs when married. Also so did teachers, they were all Miss.

anotheryearolder Mon 18-Feb-13 23:12:42

Sorry - replying to morethan

anotheryearolder Mon 18-Feb-13 23:11:01

I can read and have followed the whole thread - it is all about YOU and your last post shows that - of course family is more important than work but ensuring your family are provided for is the most basic need and sums up parental responsibility- what you would like to do is secondary.

I am not going to stoop to swearing at you to make my point though so time to leave this thread. (guessing what ODFO means).

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Feb-13 22:58:37

Actually, in terms of the whole argument about whether both parents have always had to work, I would be really really interested to hear the viewpoint of a social historian on this. My limited understanding is that working out of the home really only became a commonplace thing for the so-called "working class" with the age of the Industrial Revolution. Before that work was at home and in the fields, and of course it was normal for this to take place in conjunction with the care of children.

But come the Industrial Revolution this all changed and the poor were gradually forced into the cities and the factories, far removed from the type of work done before. THIS is not the norm, this is a creation of the industrial and modern age. Our world has become so corrupted compared with what went before it really is a meaningless comparison between now and then.

I really don't understand the point of view that is was always the norm for women to work out of the home when they were wives and mothers. This does not accord with any knowledge of history (by which I mean millennia, not just the last couple of generations) that I have grown up with. I mean fgs, women were churning out children at the rate of one a year normally. Were they really working outside the home alongside all the manual labour they had to do merely to keep the home going? Did not domestic servants lose their jobs once they became pregnant/got married?

This my limited understanding, I would love to hear from someone knowledgeable on the subject.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Feb-13 22:53:17


I don't see any abuse the system in all honesty. I know it exists at around 0.5% of out of work claimants who have been unemployed for more than 2 years. That's not many really.
Yes of course people should be paid more for working, this is wrong. It is also why so many people need tax credits. There aren't enough jobs and yet everybody is expected to work. Now I'm not too good with maths but even to me that doesn't add up.
So whether You or anybody else agrees or disagrees with this isn't important because its fact.
As for the both parents having to work theory. No they don't, I'm sorry but watch this space. There is no way on Gods earth unless Its really necessary.
The family are in total agreement because it would be a terrible choice for us all.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Feb-13 22:41:09


Please read both posts carefully.
It was Happymummy who implied a sahp was nothing. I was replying that what they might consider as nothing I certainly don't.
Oh and the use of the word I completely encompasses my whole family, who every last thing I do is for them, or because of them. Including completely giving up my chosen career and a life many could only dream of. Why? Because family is more important than work.
ODFO and learn to read.

Rockmouse Mon 18-Feb-13 22:38:37


My dh was sahp for some years as we felt that his dc, really need him to. He looked after our dc too. This was a very hard time, we never had a holiday ect but it was what our famliy needed, and the price was worth paying. But we did not get support to do this. We are still paying for it. As he was a sahp when he tried to get back to work, no one wanted him, so he when back to uni.

The facts are that most working class parents both have to work if they want to support their family and back in history have done so.

Everyone in work should be better off, but this is not always the case. And some people misuse the system. These people are taking money from those in real need. Families should have a top up if their income is low, not everyone will get well paid jobs. The world would lovely if so.

And yes some people are working who don't need the money, if they are good enough to do the job why not, I wouldn't work all the hours I do, if I did not need to to pay for things think I need.

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Feb-13 22:36:29

No no, please do enlighten me! There's an old adage that says "happy mummy parent, happy child". At what point does that change?

anotheryearolder Mon 18-Feb-13 22:31:37

Shame we arent all in the same room - I would love to knock your heads together !grin

Trundles off to the real world !

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Feb-13 22:31:04

anotheryearolder - that is a little harsh. What does a child need in your view?

anotheryearolder Mon 18-Feb-13 22:28:03

Utterly disgusting remarks made to Happymummy by morethan
"Parenting and educating a child may be nothing to you "
Disgraceful to imply that WOH means you dont care about your child.

That- by my reckoning would mean that all those WOHF - dont give a shit about their DC when in fact they are working their backsides off to provide for their DC. How noble of your DH to fulfill his own needs while barely providing for his children.

Sometimes being a good parent means providing what a child NEEDS- rather than doing what you WANT - ie Working to provide rather than fulfilling YOUR needs in being a SAHP.

morethan I dont want to work - yep that seems to be the whole point of your replies - its ALL about you - you barely mention your DC and how it actually benefits them to have you SAH.

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Feb-13 22:25:08

Oh you know morethan, frankly I haven't a clue any more. I just looked at a couple of authority's websites and here's an example:

Income Support (Including Guarantee Pension Credit)
Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance
Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit, but not in receipt of Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £15,860 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue)
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income below £6,420 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue)
If you are 16 – 18 yrs old and receive any of these benefits in your own right then you can claim for yourself
If you are an asylum seeker receiving support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

So I had it the wrong way around. CTC yes, WTC no. I can't even begin to understand this, which I suppose is the whole point. You wouldn't have a chance of trying to rig the system in your favour because there is no logic at all!

Rockmouse - "Yes it's common in the animal kingdom for cubs to be left with other mothers or older members, so their mother can provide. What does not happens is mothers supporting other cubs." If your point there is that we're descending into a state where it's each "man" (or animal) for themselves and we have no empathy or "humanity", then you'd be dead right.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Feb-13 22:09:00


Isn't it TC not WTC that determines eligibility for some services. You only get WTC for working and the services are usually for people on JSA or SS and out of work benefits.
If this isn't what you mean then I'm lost grin.

Anyway to answer your question I imagine that if not claiming UC a person would be unemployed but not on JSA as they are not available to work.
It seems a bit like a sahp will be in no mans land. Oh great, it couldn't be more demeaning could it?
I hadn't thought of it like this before. grin

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Feb-13 22:02:06


I do see your point however, if it is not possible for both parents to work due to the nature of the family then imo there should be no difference in support offered for one or two parents working. If family income is below a certain threshold I believe there should be subsidy. In what situation is it not possible to have a sahp then? You can't argue that its income because people on v low wages manage to have a sahp. There are thousands upon thousands of people earning more than my family income. Perhaps they don't all need to work and its their life style choice.

Rockmouse Mon 18-Feb-13 21:44:29


Yes it's common in the animal kingdom for cubs to be left with other mothers or older members, so their mother can provide. What does not happens is mothers supporting other cubs. If fact it's more common in the animal kingdom for the young to be left on their own. I would point out I am not thinking anyone should ever do that.

My point was if you need two wages to support your family that's what you need to do. Of corse it would be nice for all children to have sahp but the world most of us live in its not possible. It not for others families to pay for sahp without the means to do so.

The cut in benefits is going to hit hard, and UC is going to make all of people worst off. But the bigger worrying cuts are yet to come.

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Feb-13 20:59:43

I think you must live quite near where I grew up. ;-)

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Feb-13 20:59:08

Hi morethan. Yes that's the post I meant, I couldn't believe I'd read it right. It's such a shame these things vary so much between authorities and countries. (Incidentally I'm in Wales and we only get 10 hours free childcare after the age of 3).

I have one question though. Currently eligibility for WTC (not the childcare element only though) is taken into account for these kinds of things. I wonder how that will work post UC?

I must admit one thing, and that's that I do always worry about the unfairness factor of these free things for those that just miss out. We used to just miss out on a hell of a lot, which did feel unfair, and if you did a search for my old posts you might see some whinging from me to that effect. I think the cut offs have been too low really, but it sounds like they might get even lower post UC?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Feb-13 19:07:13


I'm really sorry about that, maybe all LEA's don't offer it. I only know myself because there's a parent at one of dds groups who told me about it. I think there are several at her choir, although they don't broadcast it.
This is the difference though. As I said these activities cost me £40 and others get them free. I am so pleased they do and couldn't understand how anybody could not wish for this. Imo, those complaining about what people have are in fact indirectly complaining about schemes like these.
If anybody wants to compare areas we are in NW between Manchester and Liverpool and will see trial of UC first.
Bet you can't guess where I live, lol. grin

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