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AIBU?

I know this will be contentious - cost of living rise

561 replies

qualitychat · 31/08/2022 19:57

My mum is a pensioner and gets Disability Benefit and Mobility Benefit and Pension Credit. She receives almost what I get in a month. She is moaning about the Government not doing enough about the cost of gas and electricity, which I agree with. The thing is they have said that people on benefits and pension credit will be given lump sums towards their bills. I am a middle earner and so is my husband. We will likely get nothing. Do you not think it will be the ordinary working families who will be squeezed the most if something is not done?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

MsPincher · 02/09/2022 13:20

antelopevalley · 01/09/2022 10:13

Exactly. My mum when she was working full time could have afforded a mortgage but had no male guarantor. As a divorcee shunned by her family nobody would lend to her.
People forget how recently things have changed for women. A friend setting up her own business in the nineties could not get a loan without her husband's signature agreeing on the loan.

That’s rubbish that married women couldn’t get loans without permission from their dh. Presumably she was trying to mortgage property etc in both their names (or over which there were occupancy rights such as the family home). Loans absolutely were available to both single and married women on the same basis as men in the 90s.

EveningOverRooftops · 02/09/2022 13:21

worriedatthistime · 02/09/2022 11:45

Also as other posters have said some on benefits / dla do seem to do better than others it makes no sense

I’m on benefits. Carers allowance to be exact. A parent carer.

I seem to do better because I have no debts. I do not have loans or overdrafts. I live under my means. I save for what I need.

I also don’t have a car or excessive transport costs atm because I am able to walk.

I actually think the zero debt is the crux of the issue. We’ve become so accustomed to borrowing for whatever we want and living right up to our means. That anyone, benefits or not, is going to struggle when they have debts that are increasing due to inflation on top of other rises.

however when you compare groups of people on benefits there’s lots to take into account including where they live and how old they are.

If you’re in London or any other city your transport links and ability to find a cheap supermarket or even traditional markets within walking distance is far easier than for rural or those in smaller towns.
the transport is often more affordable in larger cities too. a return ticket here is £5 for an adult. Someone on jobseekers element of UC that’s a big chunk of their budget. If you’re disabled or have a disabled child or are time limited because of school runs you have no choice but to pay that fare because there isn’t time to walk. Not all disabled people get the free bus pass either.

where I live now I have farmfoods and lidl within 20 mins walk. I can get my shopping done in 40 mins if I use taxi £7 to bring the food back. If I have to carry it it’s easily over an hour.
where I used to live my only option was to spend 20 mins on a bus to any supermarket. The free supermarket there has since gone according to a friend.
food prices are different according to the type of store. If your closest shop is a Tesco metro the prices are a little higher than a standard Tesco store.

water rates here in the southwest are double that of places like London. We get a govt contribution but it’s not cutting those bills down significantly.

Here where I live everyone on benefits has to pay a percentage of their council tax whereas other councils people on benefits get it all funded. Each council is different.

energy prices. When they’ve been talking about energy prices very little has been said about the regional variations on the price rises. The April rise was 54% here iirc and other places it was lower. I’m not sure about the oct rise but there are regional differences in that one too.

rent payments via benefits. Each council has its own percentage of a rent it’s going to fund based on local averages iirc. The rest is up to you to top up. If you’re in the north rents are generally cheaper than here in the south west so a rent top up for someone in the north will be less of their monthly income from UC than someone on the southwest.
If you’re in social housing then usually the full rent is paid unless you have extra bedrooms then you have to top it up.

all this contributes to how well or not someone will appear to be on benefits.

how well someone is able to adjust to poverty levels of living or not eg can they give up all their luxuries and be OK or would they struggle also influence how people perceive them.

some people don’t know how to budget. Some do. but a lot of people when they’re on their absolute arses with no hope for the future they tend to live for that day and at a glance can appear to be living it up. But behind closed doors they’ve no heating, no working cooker, washing clothes in bath water, carpets that are threadbare and only have one good set of clothes and shoes they keep scrupulously clean and wear the worn out stuff when no one’s looking putting on a brave face because shame around poverty and being poor still exists.

MrsDanversRidesAgain · 02/09/2022 13:25

as for not knowing anyone from the boomer generation who ever had a workplace pension - they certainly had them available to them for the most part and much better schemes than are available now.

I'll say. I am a boomer with one of those infamous gold plated final salary pensions (only worth £ 2,500 a year because a couple of years after I started paying in the company changed it). I also have pensions from jobs that I started in 1977. Every job I had from that date had a pension scheme.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 13:26

MsPincher · 02/09/2022 13:20

That’s rubbish that married women couldn’t get loans without permission from their dh. Presumably she was trying to mortgage property etc in both their names (or over which there were occupancy rights such as the family home). Loans absolutely were available to both single and married women on the same basis as men in the 90s.

It was a business loan and no her house was not security.
She got the loan for her business but had to get her husband's signature.
You can call me a liar all you want, it is true.
She is a feminist and was raging about it and very vocal.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 13:30

MrsDanversRidesAgain · 02/09/2022 13:25

as for not knowing anyone from the boomer generation who ever had a workplace pension - they certainly had them available to them for the most part and much better schemes than are available now.

I'll say. I am a boomer with one of those infamous gold plated final salary pensions (only worth £ 2,500 a year because a couple of years after I started paying in the company changed it). I also have pensions from jobs that I started in 1977. Every job I had from that date had a pension scheme.

It depends on the kind of places you worked. Until five years ago the only job I ever had that had an employers pension scheme was a job for a local council. I joined that one.
About fifty per cent of people work for small employers. I have for most of my working life. None of those I worked for offered a pension.

MrsDanversRidesAgain · 02/09/2022 13:33

Was her husband signing as co-owner of their house? if she was raging then it sounds like the bank didn't explain the need for her husband's co-signature.

www.purbeckinsurance.co.uk/blog/personal-guarantee-insurance-more-than-just-insurance-0

So what is a personal guarantee and what can you do to mitigate the personal risk to you as a co-signatory without direct involvement in the business?
A personal guarantee gives the lender an unsecured written promise made by a director or number of directors to accept liability for a company’s debt.
You may also have to sign the guarantee if you co-own the family home.
In practice, this means that if your partner’s business defaults on a loan (or lease) your personal assets (including your home), credit ratings and future access to finance may be at risk too.
The impact on family relationships can be devastating.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 13:36

I know what a personal guarantor is and so did she. No it was not about the house.
We all asked these questions at the time. It was purely because she was married and needed her husbands signature that he agreed.

Justdancers · 02/09/2022 14:23

Support focused soley on age is odd

Somewhere between 25-20% of people over 65 are classed as millionaires. Depending on what stats you look and what you class as a millionaire.

They are the age group with statistically the highest level of net worth (generally 3x that of a 35 year old), with average savings being at least double of any other age group (including the usually wealthy 55-64 group)


Its odd that so much is focused on that age group simply via age alone, and not taking into account any form of personal wealth.

Its no coincidence that they are the highest voter group and that parties pander to the idea that old= poor

It seems insane that once you hit pension age, people from Richard Branson to a struggling person become automatically entitled to many things. Ive no doubt that many pensioners do struggle, but why is it not means tested like any other age group? If someone was half their age and had anywhere near the average level of savings they wouldnt be entitled to UC etc

MsPincher · 02/09/2022 14:34

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 13:16

@MsPincher Not true. Employers did not have to make contributions to pensions until recently. I got my first employer's contribution I think about five years ago.

Employers didn’t have to contribute but have had to offer at least a stakeholder pension to employees. Look it up.

MsPincher · 02/09/2022 14:35

@antelopevalley for over 20 years. Employer pensions have been mandatory for that long.

MsPincher · 02/09/2022 14:39

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 13:36

I know what a personal guarantor is and so did she. No it was not about the house.
We all asked these questions at the time. It was purely because she was married and needed her husbands signature that he agreed.

It’s not true. At the very least she misunderstood. It was illegal to deny women finance without the consent of their husbands (unless required to charge joint assets etc) in the 90s and it wasn’t the practice of any bank in the uk.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 14:40

@MsPincher I have just googled. The law was passed in 2008, but not until 2012 did workplace pensions become mandatory.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 14:42

Although it initially only employed to large firms with steps added every year. The smallest employers did not have to provide a pension until 2017. That is what I remember. It was part of my job at the time to research pensions schemes for my employer and write a paper of recommendations as to the scheme they could adopt.

Zebedee55 · 02/09/2022 15:52

Justdancers · 02/09/2022 14:23

Support focused soley on age is odd

Somewhere between 25-20% of people over 65 are classed as millionaires. Depending on what stats you look and what you class as a millionaire.

They are the age group with statistically the highest level of net worth (generally 3x that of a 35 year old), with average savings being at least double of any other age group (including the usually wealthy 55-64 group)


Its odd that so much is focused on that age group simply via age alone, and not taking into account any form of personal wealth.

Its no coincidence that they are the highest voter group and that parties pander to the idea that old= poor

It seems insane that once you hit pension age, people from Richard Branson to a struggling person become automatically entitled to many things. Ive no doubt that many pensioners do struggle, but why is it not means tested like any other age group? If someone was half their age and had anywhere near the average level of savings they wouldnt be entitled to UC etc

It costs a fortune (Admin wise) to means test claims. Many pensioners are asset rich, ( their homes), but cash poor.

Taking money from a pensioner won't make you any richer.😗

Rosscameasdoody · 02/09/2022 16:07

worriedatthistime · 02/09/2022 11:45

Also as other posters have said some on benefits / dla do seem to do better than others it makes no sense

Tell me how. Someone on a middle income can’t compare their income to that of someone solely on benefits when there’s a benefit cap, set at £15,400 for single people and £23000 for couples - and that’s for inner London, it’s less everywhere else. You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner:

get Working Tax Credit (even if the amount you get is £0)
get Universal Credit because of a disability that stops you from working or you are caring for someone with a disability
get Universal Credit and you and your partner earn £658 or more a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions. The only benefits apart from UC exempt from the cap are State Pensions and disability benefits.

And can you tell me what doesn’t make sense about those on DLA/PIP/ AA getting extra - given that the ‘extra is gobbled up by the cost of living with a disability. Which is why it’s paid.

ToxicCuntMum · 02/09/2022 16:14

@Justdancers How much of this is tied up in their main property?

My mother would love to downsize from her four bedroom house but a two bedroom bungalow in her village is more expensive

And no she’s not a millionaire her house is worth about 200k

ToxicCuntMum · 02/09/2022 16:19

MsPincher · 02/09/2022 14:34

Employers didn’t have to contribute but have had to offer at least a stakeholder pension to employees. Look it up.

Hardly a pension scheme is it? Just really a payroll facility

RP2211 · 02/09/2022 16:21

Not everyone is entitled to what your mom is entitled to and a lot of pensioners will need that extra support as there pension will not cover all the bills. They are more likely to be at home so use more energy than me and you.

Rosscameasdoody · 02/09/2022 16:38

Justdancers · 02/09/2022 14:23

Support focused soley on age is odd

Somewhere between 25-20% of people over 65 are classed as millionaires. Depending on what stats you look and what you class as a millionaire.

They are the age group with statistically the highest level of net worth (generally 3x that of a 35 year old), with average savings being at least double of any other age group (including the usually wealthy 55-64 group)


Its odd that so much is focused on that age group simply via age alone, and not taking into account any form of personal wealth.

Its no coincidence that they are the highest voter group and that parties pander to the idea that old= poor

It seems insane that once you hit pension age, people from Richard Branson to a struggling person become automatically entitled to many things. Ive no doubt that many pensioners do struggle, but why is it not means tested like any other age group? If someone was half their age and had anywhere near the average level of savings they wouldnt be entitled to UC etc

Pensioners can’t claim UC. State pension is an income replacement benefit, as is UC and you can’t claim both. You haven’t been specific about what exactly pensioners are claiming for that bothers you. Pension credit is means tested and only those who have no other income, and savings under the threshold are entitled - savings allowance starts at £10,000 but tapers at the rate of £1 deducted for every £500 of savings over £10,000, and rises to £2 over £11,000. PC is slightly more generous for those who have a disability and claim attendance allowance or disability living allowance.

The only other benefits appropriate to someone on state pension would be AA/DLA - which as a matter of interest is all included in the financial assessment for local authority carers. In addition, anyone in receipt of carers allowance will lose it on claiming their state pension - again, it’s an income replacement benefit, and you can’t claim both. If you start means testing disability benefits (classed as universal payments and designed to cover the extra cost of a disability) you’d have to include all claimants because singling out pensioners for means testing would be age discrimination.

So there’s not really that much for rich pensioners to claim, when you actually get down to it. Unless, of course you are advocating that pensioners who are property ‘rich’ should have the value of the property they are living in classed as savings for means testing purposes? That would mean that even those with modest means probably wouldn’t qualify for anything and it would force them into full time care sooner - for which then have to sell their homes to pay the fees. Three cheers for divide and rule - it works doesn’t it ?

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 16:50

ToxicCuntMum · 02/09/2022 16:19

Hardly a pension scheme is it? Just really a payroll facility

The employers I worked for did not, so it must have been based on the size of employer given one of them was a law form.
But I agree a payroll facility is not worth anything.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 16:58

@Justdancers Those stats that talk about pensioner millionaires look at households and take into account their pension pot. So a couple with individual pension pots of £200k paying out an annual pension, and a house paid off worth £600k fit this definition. But the pension pot is to pay an annual private pension.
Other pensioner couples have a small pension pot, a more modest house, but a business of a certain value on paper. Some friends are in this position, but in reality, they would never be able to sell the business in the current climate for its supposed paper worth.

If you took out of the equation pension pots in an annuity and houses people live in, the income level of your average pensioner is far lower. Indeed there is a real issue with pensioners who are asset rich i.e, have a fully-owned house, but not much cash.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 16:59
woodhill · 02/09/2022 17:02

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 16:58

@Justdancers Those stats that talk about pensioner millionaires look at households and take into account their pension pot. So a couple with individual pension pots of £200k paying out an annual pension, and a house paid off worth £600k fit this definition. But the pension pot is to pay an annual private pension.
Other pensioner couples have a small pension pot, a more modest house, but a business of a certain value on paper. Some friends are in this position, but in reality, they would never be able to sell the business in the current climate for its supposed paper worth.

If you took out of the equation pension pots in an annuity and houses people live in, the income level of your average pensioner is far lower. Indeed there is a real issue with pensioners who are asset rich i.e, have a fully-owned house, but not much cash.

Yes definitely that

Rosscameasdoody · 02/09/2022 17:06

MsPincher · 02/09/2022 12:54

Also @Rosscameasdoody if people have assets to pay for their care they will be taken. It’s only if people have no assets that the state pays.

Yes, I’m aware of that - it’s the whole point of the argument !! You are still missing the point. How can I make it any clearer ? Assets are not ‘taken’ in their entirety on entering full time care. The care fees are set and paid periodically from the funding source provided by the sale of the property. The people who have their own private funding pots in this way are charged more for their care than those who rely on the state. My relative pays £4000 a month and the LA is charged £3000 per resident - the levy is a contribution to cover their costs. So if my relative were to live three years in the care home, she will have contributed £36000 to other peoples’ care. If there was a dedicated and ring fenced care tax which everyone paid - similar to national insurance - then there would be funding available to top up the LA costs, instead of making those who have saved or have property, pay out of their own private funds. It’s not a question of making the young pay for the old, it’s about asking people to at least partly fund their own care at a rate they can afford. When the time comes, if they have no property to sell and not enough income to afford the fees, the LA pays, and the fund tops it up.

antelopevalley · 02/09/2022 17:27

And of course, pensioners have more assets than a 35-year-old as a group. Many have paid off their mortgages and many have private pension pots. A 35 year old will still be paying into a pension and mortgage.

The government's figures show the average net pensioner's income is £150 a week once rent or any mortgage still owed is deducted. Hardly living it large.

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