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to give up work, warning, tax credits involved!

253 replies

monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 15:44

Ok all, Im getting myself all muddled so I cant think straight! Please help!

At the moment, I work 16 hours per week. My kids, 4 & 2 go to nursery while Im at work, and the government pay 80% (soon to be 70%) of my childcare.

I earn £400 wages, and get £660 every 4 weeks TC. My childcare costs are £450 per month on average for both kids (vary due to month lenghts, my 4 yr old grant etc). So I get £1060, minus £450 nursery, and the nursery and work are in the next town, so I spend £100 p.month on diesel to get there and back. Leaves me with £500ish(?!)

If I give up work, and pull kids out of nursery (except eldest who will do her 15 hours free), I worked out via TC calculator, I will get £450 per 4 weeks, then I will work a little 4 hour shift every week to earn an extra £100 p.month.

Now on one hand I feel like a scrote and a 'benefit grabber', but as my DH points out, Im actually saving the government money as they pay for so much childcare so I can work. My youngest will miss out on 1 1/2 days nursery that he gets now, but at the moment I feel like I never get quality time with him Sad

What do you wise lot think?

OP posts:

CaptainKirksNipples · 31/03/2011 15:49

You only work 16hours a week and feel like you never get quality time with him? What do you think you will be able to do in those 16 hours that you can't do now?


Lulumama · 31/03/2011 15:51

the way things are going iwth this gvmt and the job market, i'd keep on working and not rely on tc etc


minipie · 31/03/2011 15:52

Depends really.

Do you enjoy working? Or would you rather be at home all the time?

Do DCs enjoy nursery?

If you stopped work now, and wanted to return to work when the DCs were at school, would you be able to easily?

Will you earn more in the future if you keep working now?

What about if benefit levels change?

I guess what I'm saying is you have to look at the long term and the enjoyment factor as well as just the short term £ question.

I'm leaving the "benefit grabbing" aspect entirely to one side.


Chil1234 · 31/03/2011 15:54

I'm with Lulumama... bird in the hand and all that. TC's are by no means a reliable source of income and, in a couple of years, they'll both be at school and you'll have more scope if you've stayed in the labour market.


splashymcsplash · 31/03/2011 15:54

At ages 4 & 2 yourchildren will benefit from nursery. Also I'm sure you get lots of quality time If you only work 16 hours.


mollymole · 31/03/2011 15:57

you only work 16 hours a week outside the home - your problem must be poor time management - sorry but that's how i see it - and i believe TC are for people who NEED it - NOT choose it !!


Desperateforthinnerthighs · 31/03/2011 15:58

I personally wouldnt give up work to reply on the tax credits - what if they totally overhaul the system and payments change etc etc..........16 hours a week is a great balance - you get to go to work and earn your own money yet still have loads of quality time with the kids.

Dont rely on the government for your money - you may find yourself up shit creek without a paddle!


monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:01

The problem is the 16 hours are right in the middle of the day, 12-4 in 4 shifts a week. So we have to leave the house at 10.30am, and get home at 5.30pm. Its full days really, no time to ever go swimming/park etc.

My 4 yr old will stay at 15 hours preschool, and my 2 yr old will only miss out until September when he will be 2yrs 9 months and can start preschool himself, which is oodles cheaper than nursery.

Id be fucked anyway if TC went tits up as they pay my childcare, so without them I couldnt work anyway.

Im only in retail, and have a good cv spanning 7 years at management level, so when they are both at school in 2013, I could work 20 hours or so, and tbh Im not fussy, Id work in a supermarket to put food on the table.

I guess Im just trying to figure out why Im always rushing round for minimum wage, when I dont really need to be.

OP posts:

monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:03

Mollymole, before you doubt my time management, read the OP. I live in a different town to work.

OP posts:

monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:04

And I do NEED TC, either to pay for my childcare, or as a top up if I dont use childcare. Either way I need TC, just the last option Im claiming less.

OP posts:

Desperateforthinnerthighs · 31/03/2011 16:05

dunno......i class a full day as something like 8-6....and 2013 is a fair way off.....are you just wanting people to agree with you so you feel justified. Sounds like you've pretty much made your mind up anyway.


NinkyNonker · 31/03/2011 16:05

I would never choose to rely on something so changeable.


monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:06

2013 is a way off, but what difference does it make? If Im not sponging then I can work as and when I choose surely?

OP posts:

Desperateforthinnerthighs · 31/03/2011 16:07

Course you have to do what is right for you and your family! If you aren't sponging there is no right and wrong - personal choice.


MollieO · 31/03/2011 16:09

You have a three hour round trip commute for a four hour job? Can't you find something more local?


monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:12

Exactly mollieo, I could find something more local, but is threre any point until kids are at school? I was going to find a 4 hour shift locally.

OP posts:

grumpypants · 31/03/2011 16:16

what does your dh do? does he get time with the dcs? i don't know how it all works - does he work?


monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:19

He works in accounts but is looking for a better paid job atm. He sees the kids for an hour in the morning and an hour when he gets home and weekends. Though my eldest has a different dad, so I only see her every other weekend too. Gah its so hard!

OP posts:

grumpypants · 31/03/2011 16:21

Difficult then. TBH working p/t does involve longer hours than just the 4 you get paid for. But are you sure you would still qualify for credits under the new systems? (Something about lowering the family income or something?)


monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:22

well family income would only be 18k, so im sure that pretty low?

OP posts:

Birdsgottafly · 31/03/2011 16:26

I would start to look for another job. Unless your present position will allow you to gain promotion but it looks as though you could always return to it. Could you phone to get an estimate for TC's i have known the online calculator to be wrong.


monkeyfacegrace · 31/03/2011 16:27

No promotions, Im only a shop girl Im afraid. Nothing exciting here! Ive never been career minded though Im very intelligent, I dont ask for much, just a happy family.

OP posts:

princessparty · 31/03/2011 16:29

I'd do what YOU want to do and what's best for your family.It depends how much you enjoy your job/ getting out of the house.You might find you save a bit of money as so many things are a trade off between time and money.For example sourcing cheaper groceries/clothes ,cooking from scratch.
There is no shame in claiming benefits/tax credits you are entitled to..I wouldn't factor future events into your equation too much as you don't know whether your job will exist, your husband will get promotion,how tax credits will be structured etc.


Drizzela · 31/03/2011 16:30

1, I am not happy to pay for you to spend even more 'quality time' with your child.

2, I actually don't blame you I blame a ridiculous system where people are actually better off for not working.

3, It would set a better exaple to your children if they saw you work for their living IMO

4, What is your plan if they stop TC althogether?


Want2bSupermum · 31/03/2011 16:33

To cut down on your commute time would it be possible to do one 8hr day and two 4hr days or two 8hr days (eg Tues & Thurs)? That way you still get your 16 hours in but you spend less time getting to and from work.

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