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25 replies

Natuk · 30/01/2007 11:58

What does everyone think about this? I don't know the full-story yet! Are they going to lower our benefits? Which i don't get much to be honest.

I am a single mum to Ryan, who will be 2 in March. I don't get any help from Ryan's father at all. I am with Ryan 24/7 and it's like a full-time job to me. Cooking and cleaning etc. Some days it is so hard!

Like Ryan's father living off benefit (income support) and living in a council house with his gf. I don't get a penny off him. Which i am so ANNOYED about. I can't see my ex will ever getting a job. While i am stuggling at the moment.

I would like to go back as part-time job, when Ryan start full-time at school!!

OP posts:
Caligula · 30/01/2007 12:04

Natuk, there's a thread about this here

tubbytoes · 30/01/2007 17:21

From what I've read, this is about the government maybe stopping some benefits to single parents when a child reaches 11, rather than 16. I know some will disagree, but imo it's fair enough.If lone parents are given benefits on the grounds that a parent needs to be at home until the child is 16, then this principle should be applied to 2 parent families as well. It's ridicuous to live in a society where in 2 parent families both parents need to work to pay the rent/ bills etc, and are paying taxes to help lone parents to be at home!! Nothing against single parents, this is an issue of equality. Nearly every 2 parent family I know has both parents working, and they don't live in lovely houses and have a great lifestyle - they struggle to get by.

CountessDracula · 30/01/2007 17:26

It will just lead to loads of latchkey kids from the age of 11 surely?

At least with two parent families one often works part time.

tubbytoes · 30/01/2007 18:16

But over the age of 11 you're talking about secondary school kids, who may be bussed in and out of school and will surely be wanting to chill with their mates or wind down in front of the telly after school. Mine do anyway! - they certainly don't need a parent around 24/7. Latchkey kids is such an emotive term - conjures up image of sad lonely neglected kiddies. I don't believe this would be the reality. I mean we're talking stopping benefits at 11 for gods sake, not kicking lone parents back into work when kids are a few months old. Which,incidentally is what many mums in 2 parent families have to do, to go back to my original point. Let's just have some equality -either it's reaonable for all to work, or it isn't.

shosha · 30/01/2007 18:26

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isolde76 · 30/01/2007 18:34

Shosha it really is not as simple as that. Have a look at the link below, to see the full talk about it all. What about single mums who have no-one to look after their children? You have no idea how lucky you were to have your mum as childcare. I have literally no-one to look after the kids, and I am currently doing an OU degree with tutorials and I will have to pay someone £6 an hour to babysit. plus I have a SN child, so I literally had no option but to stop working.

shosha · 30/01/2007 18:49

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inthegutter · 30/01/2007 18:53

Well said Shosha. And you clearly brought up a child who respected you for proving that you can be a good parent without having to rely on the state.
I also agree that the issue here is about equal treatment for all. If a lone parent is saying they can't go out to work, then why shouldn't one parent, either mum or dad, from every 2 parent family get the same state support?
My SIL and her partner both work full time, and they have to pay childcare for 2 young kids. They live in a very modest ex-council home, can't afford to go out, have nice clothes, holidays etc My SIL actually said the other day -oh god i'd be better off leaving dp and being a single mum - then at least i'd be able to stay at home with the kids. No one in their right mind can say it's a fair system

ebenezer · 30/01/2007 19:05

Shosha -what you have said makes perfect sense. Surely all parents should take responsibility for raising their children - and i mean in every sense, emotionally, socially as well as financially. Once you start to opt out of the bits you don't want, you're being unfair to your child and to the rest of society.
Yes, it's damn hard work as a single parent, and the harsh reality is that you probably are working your butt off and then handing over half (or more)of your hard earned cash to the childminder. But the bottom line is, if you're not working, someone else is working their butt off so you don't have to.

shosha · 30/01/2007 19:08

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lizziehoney · 30/01/2007 19:14

Absolutely! And remember this is all about benefits stopping at ELEVEN!! So lone parents wouldn't even be paying CM/nursery fees - just some after school and holiday care until they're 14 or whatever kids need to be to be left unattended. IMO single parents need to wake up and join the real world. This isn't 1950 where 2 parent familys have daddy at work and mummy at home. If single parent organisations are seriously going to object to these new rules they're going to alienate every flipping worker in the country, and that includes the single parents like Shosha, who by the sound of it is a fantastic parent and has brought up a smashing son.

shosha · 30/01/2007 19:18

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isolde76 · 30/01/2007 19:56

Gosh Shosha, I am so sorry you went through that. It's great that you worked really hard to support yourself.

My choice to stop work was because of trying to juggle the many appointments for my DS as well as being there to help him in what is a really crucial time to him. He is very oppositional, and defiant, and I don't concentrate on this now, the repercussions will be monstrous for him, as well as the knock on effects on my DD. So it is not a decision I have taken lightly. That's why I am utilising the time to finish my degree and hopefully do a job at the end of it that i can get paid more for.

The fact I have literally no-one here in the country to help me has been a major issue too.

Rocklover · 30/01/2007 20:03

I do agree with what you are saying Shosh and those with similar views, however, I do feel that some very sweeping statements have been made. Not all single parents stay at home through choice, each case should be taken up individually to weed out the blaggers.

I have just become a single Mum as I seperated from my husband last year, I am currently looking for a part time job that is worth my while (i.e not Tescos) and I am finding it damn near impossible to even get interviews. Apart from my tax credits and maintenance I have nothing, luckily I have great parents who house me for free whilst I get back on track.

I never claimed benefits before I had my daughter and I feel constantly guilty for doing so now and it is comments about lazy single Mums (as in one of the posts I read) who make people like me feel even worse and I shouldn't. I worked my arse off for years and when I needed help when I was jobless and ill in my preganancy I got refused for job seekers allowance because of a part time job I'd had 4 years earlier! So why should I feel ashamed to get some help now, when I need it most?

isolde76 · 30/01/2007 20:18

That is precisely why I have decided to finish my degree Rocklover, as I have had the same problem. I had a dead end retail job, paying a pittance adn it was becoming increasingly strained to do even that. I was called to the school frequently in regards to my son. Considering that babysitters get the same amount of money that I was getting for my job, it was not exactly an option to try and make up the lost time on days off. This is the first time I have ever ever collected benefits, and yes it does feel horrid doing it, but when you have no choice in the matter then what can you do.

Natuk · 30/01/2007 20:18

I agree with you Rocklove! "So why should I feel ashamed to get some help now, when I need it most?"

Before i was pregnant with Ryan, i work from the age of 16 to 24. Then i got pregnant and at 5 months pregnant my ex partner left me. Which i don't get a penny of my ex!

I never claimed benefits before I had my son and i gave up work due to SPD in my pregnancy!

Starting a course this September, to learn BSL 1 Signing course. I would like to be a Sign Language Interpreter, as i'm hard of heading.

OP posts:
Rocklover · 30/01/2007 20:25

I intend to go to uni when my DD is at school in roughly 2 yrs. Re-training is the only hope I have of a decent bloody job and even then I will NEVER, be able to get on the property ladder alone, considering they have predicted house prices will go up £1000 a month this year.

Sometimes I do wonder why the fuck I bother doing anything, feel like a hamster on a wheel. In the end it will be to be a good role model for my DD and for self esteem and that is all I will get out of working in this country!

What a rant eh?

Rocklover · 30/01/2007 20:27

Natuk you sound like you are doing a great job of bringing your son up and you have the difficulty of your hearing problems, I think your plans sound very positive and worthwhile. Good luck to you.

Natuk · 30/01/2007 20:36

Thanks Rocklover,

Sometime hearing aids can come in handy, if my son Ryan having one of his tantrums. Just switch off my hearing aids

I always wanted to learn signing. Some of my friends are profoundly deaf. I know some signing etc. My New Deal Personal Adviser got me in the course!

OP posts:
Rocklover · 30/01/2007 20:47

Sounds fantastic! I have problems with my ears too as both my eardrums are perforated, luckily hardly any hearing loss though.

However at the moment I can't hear from my left ear due to wax, and I cannot have them syringed because of my perforations and people are getting mad at me cos they have to repeat themselves. It annoys me and my problem is temporary! Hats off to you for dealing with your hearing and rubbish ex p so well!!!

inthegutter · 30/01/2007 20:59

Well actually it may be a bit of a rant but i think your point hits the nail on the head Rocklover. If by working you are raising you self esteem and being an excellent role model for dd then that's bloody fantastic! I'm totally with you on house prices - this country is a joke,it doesn't benefit anyone (apart from the super rich and the property developers) that prices go up ridiculously. It makes me mad that such a large proportion of my income goes on housing - i'd much rather be spending on clothes, holidays, wine.....But ultimately you are giving your DC the best gift by leading by example. I bet if you ask any parent, married or single, whether they would prefer their child to be employed or unemployed as an adult, NOBODY would say the latter.

Rocklover · 31/01/2007 10:31

I realy wish I could emigrate to Australia or something sometimes, all Britain offers is work till you collapse, stiff you on your pension and make it impossible to get a decent house unless you win the lottery.

Unfortunately for me, I am not an entrepreneur, or highly educated, I haven't been inspired with a fantastic business idea since my DD was born like some of these "super mums" you hear about. I just feel pretty fed up that a ridiculous portion of my time is taken up thinking about how I am going to support my child and not leave her the burden of caring for me when I am old.

My parents have just paid off their mortgage at 56 and 59 years old and I am happy for them. However they got a helping hand by purchasing a council house for their first property, this opportunity virtually doesn't exist any more! Why does this government make life so difficult?

prettyfly1 · 02/02/2007 18:40

i am a single parent who doesnt get any extra help with childcare and i have worked since he was two months old. I am extremely interested to see what will "encourage" us because all i get is penalised. I pay 200 minimum a week plus thirty extra for the two nights i go to university and because i worked part time earlier this year i am getting next to nothing on tax credits and will still have to pay loads back because of what i got in the two months i thought it might be nice to see my son grow up. I am debt to my eyeballs despite earning a good wage and get no financial help. I do it because i dont believe in teaching my son that you get something for nothing and its important to me to be independant of state handouts, however i have to say i wish i was different. I dont see my boy, am permanently shattered and the ftc have capped all single parents earnings to being able to take home no more then 900.00 regardless of how much you earn. this by the way if you pay 300.00 rent and 84.00 council tax is around 75.00 per month more then you would get on benefits all things considered and i earn 25'000. i dont feel encouraged.

margyfargy · 02/02/2007 20:42

Sent John Hutton a long email complaining that he really ought to find out why lone parents are choosing not to work - it isn't just because we are lazy and work shy.

I also pointed out that you can't get childcare for children over 11 - mine are 11 & 13.

Also the reason I gave up full time work was that I realised all I was working for was to pay my childminder and that I would be less stressed, and no worse off being on benefits, but my children were a million times better off having me around more of the time and less tired and irritable!

PersonalClown · 02/02/2007 20:51

Would someone lke to explain to me how I would go back to work?
I have an autistic ds and he's just gone to school full time. Any job that pays a half decent wage that means I would survive hears 'single parent' and 'sn child' and I get the 'We'll call you' line.
Getting help with SN kids is tough, not enough funding, places etc. There's no after school club at his school, a childminder willing to look after an ASD kid is very rare and all my family are still young and have to work to support themselves/own family.
One rule definately won't fit all.

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