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How did people survive before wftc, ctc etc?

168 replies

MadameCastafiore · 19/02/2013 14:48

Just wondering how people survived before working benefits?

OP posts:
nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 13:43

oops Couthy - i misread your namechange

MerryCouthyMows · 22/02/2013 13:49

IMO, NMW should be the equivalent of whatever WTC maximum PLUS the current NMW.

I'll do the sums in a minute.

But that would allow everyone that CAN work (and find a job, which considering there are hundreds of people unemployed for every job available, of any sort, ISN'T going to be every unemployed person...) to survive without needing WTC.

WTC is just propping up employers. It is a BUSINESS SUBSIDY. Nothing more, nothing less.

Lets take Nickel. She says she can't afford to hire anyone over 20 as their NMW is too high.

Surely that means that her business is unviable, because she cannot afford her wage bill?!

Why are we allowing unviable businesses to be propped up by paying their staff FOR THEM, in part, by giving them WTC?

And as for CTC - surely that is just a way of increasing Child Benefit to allow for the increased costs of raising a child these days, whilst freezing ACTUAL child benefit?!

If they combined Child Benefit and CTC, it would instantly solve the two taxpayer issue where a couple on £30k each lose their child benefit yet a single earner family on £60k doesn't? Because then all child related benefits would be means tested, and dished out on a sliding scale.

The Government claims it would be too expensive to solve that issue. It's really NOT. The mechanism for delivering Child Benefit as a means tested, sliding-scale benefit ALREADY EXISTS.

Just stuff it in with CTC, and let the HMRC deal with it. Saves an extra layer of buerocracy, (I know that's spelt wrongly but I can't get the spelling correct!) in needing to pay it back out of your partner's tax etc, and puts it on an instant sliding scale.

Can't see why the government never thought of it, tbh.

That way, the smoke and mirrors over child benefit being frozen whilst CTC increases to cover the shortfall vanishes, AND it solves a huge issue that a lot of people have.

None of what this government are doing to the welfare system makes any logical sense.

And it doesn't make logical sense that instead of raising NMW to a liveable level, and letting some unviable businesses go to the wall, as a short term no pain, no gain measure to drastically lower the welfare bill and put the onus if paying a survivable wage back into the hands of employers, rather than subsidising the employer by paying part of their wage bill through WTC, they lower TC's to the point whereby the employee can't feed themselves and keep a roof over their head.

It doesn't make sense to reduce the amount that is being paid out in Housing Benefit without ALSO introducing sensible rent caps for LL's. Without rent caps, all cutting HB is going to achieve is more homelessness, even for families.

And you can't have a job if you are 'of no fixed abode', either. Or claim benefits.

gaelicsheep · 22/02/2013 13:55

I'm sorry, I really want to fight this one again, I really do but I just haven't got the will. I have said everything that is relevant here on another thread. It's the same old issues going round and round and round.

Privileged people, please inform yourselves and LISTEN to the less privileged people on this thread before mouthing off about what they should and shouldn't do/have done. You really have no idea how crazy some of your comments actually sound to people who can only dream of being in the position you have found yourselves in.

MerryCouthyMows · 22/02/2013 13:55

But Nickel - if you as a business owner, can't afford to pay your staff a living wage, then surely your business is not viable.

(I'm not saying you shouldn't be running your shop, at all, honestly, btw).

But as an employee who has worked in retail, in many different shops, it doesn't make sense to me that in order to do the job AND rent a home AND feed my family, that I had my wages subsidised by the Government through WTC, when it should have been the EMPLOYER, not the TAXPAYER, paying ALL of my wages.

It just doesn't make sense, unless you see it as a business subsidy.

And as it is a business subsidy, enabling employers to pay their staff LESS than it costs to rent a house and pay for food, surely as an employer, you can see that if WTC was abolished tomorrow, people are ONLY going to be able to work in employment that covers their basic living costs for food and shelter? And that if a business owner CANNOT afford to pay that amount, then their business will become unviable?

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 13:55

my business isn't unviable because of that - all businesses look to cut costs and the first thing that goes is staff - that's happening in big companies too, not just small ones.
they make part-timers (it reduces employers' NI and tax contributions) and they have fewer older staff and fewer trained/experienced staff.

As it stands, I don't employ anyone.

I worked for loads of companies that reduced staff numbers and hours to get the place into profit (or getting a bigger profit for the shareholders)
If it weren't for greed of shareholders, a lot more companies could pay their staff a larger wage, but profit always comes before people.

But you can't force businesses to pay higher wages, because all they'll do is refuse to employ staff or close down and then lots of people will be out of work.
See all those companies that went into administration? not all of them were in debt, just most of them weren't making profit. and they tried to reduce staff first.

MerryCouthyMows · 22/02/2013 13:57

WTC is propping up the viability of small businesses that can't afford to pay their employees a living wage, and it is propping up the profits of large businesses like Tesco et al, that COULD afford to pay their employees a living wage but don't.

gaelicsheep · 22/02/2013 14:01

MerryCouthyMows talks much sense and she is quite right.

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:02

yes, i suppose ibn a way, it is a business subsidy.
but if you didn't have it, all those businesses would have to close.

take a care home - the residents pay for their board, and they have full time care.
If those carers had to have a wage rise, the business would have to pay for it, and the bills to the residents would go up, which they can probably ill afford anyway (MIL's care home bills are already more than she can afford)
OR they would employ fewer staff, and the residents wouldn't get enough care or help, and then the home could be forced to close as inadequate.
A business cannot survive on no profit (or on a loss), so that has to be taken into account.
If that care home closed down, the residents would have to be shipped to somewhere new, which would be upsetting for them, and the bills would probably be higher to make up for it.
Or the residents would end up in hospital because they weren't getting decent care.
so now you have, lots of residents who were happy in the home they're used to being cared for are now in hospital, using the NHS money to live, and you have 20 or 30 care workers on the dole.

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:03
gaelicsheep · 22/02/2013 14:05

In fact I often wonder about all these small businesses out there. I wonder how people make their money, because I have tried and tried to think of a business idea that I think could bring in a living wage for our family to allow me to step off the treadmill I'm on at the moment, and I cannot figure it out. I wonder what people actually DO to earn their money, and how all these business stay afloat.

I guess I have the approach to this that people say - but I disagree - that people should have before starting a family. That is, if I'm going to start a business I want to know it will be viable and not get me into debt. I think many business actually rely on debt to survive, pay themselves money they can't afford and it seems to just go on and on unchecked. Some of those same businesses have staff but they claim they can't afford to pay them a decent wage. Instead of realising - as MerryCouthyMow says - that their business is therefore not viable, they just go on taking and taking, paying staff a pittance and expecting the Government to top it up.

gaelicsheep · 22/02/2013 14:06

V sorry for the almost complete absence of plurals in that post. Typing malfunction!

daisydoodoo · 22/02/2013 14:07

i had my first child in 1997, our mortgage was £240 a month (2 bed terrace in berkshire) h earnt £190 a week. I am not sure how now looking back but we lived quite well. One child, house, at least one holiday a year and we ate well.

There was tax credits but we didnt qualify for them as we earnt too much at £190 a week.

£190 a week wouldnt even pay my rent now (divorced and not enough income to get another mortgage on my own), let alone rent/mortgage, food, utilities and be able to save for holiday or nice clothes etc.

My salary recently almost doubled before then i was on £30K plus, didnt qualify for any tax credits or housing etc and after paying the bills and shopping at aldi every week i barely had anything left at the end of the month and was stuffed if i had an unexpected bill or the washing machine broke down, or the car etc.

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:08

"And you can't have a job if you are 'of no fixed abode', either. Or claim benefits. "
yes you can.

I used to work in the Jobcentre and we had loads of claimants who were of no fixed abode. they used to have to collect their money from the jobcentre, and were able to collect letters relating to benefits there.

coppertop · 22/02/2013 14:08

But from that very same source about Tesco:

Tesco typically pays its employees 1% below market rate

And this is one of the most successful companies in the country!

MerryCouthyMows · 22/02/2013 14:09

The problem IS the greed of shareholders, in part, I agree, Nickel.

But something has got to give if we don't want to see poverty, true poverty, on a massive scale in this country.

Profit margins for businesses may have to be one of them.

At some point, employees will DEMAND a living wage, because with the advent of UC, it's either that or don workfare AND not be able to afford rent and food at the same time.

If employers close down their businesses because of that, then the whole country is screwed.

Shareholders will need to accept a loss in profits, or no longer BE a shareholder because the company has closed down.

If it wasn't for workfare, this UC thing might work.

But workfare is massively distorting the job market at the lower end. No Christmas jobs available locally as they were all filled by workfarers on 3-6 month placements.

Not one job in any of 4 local supermarkets for over a year.

Yet plenty of workfarers working there.

If workfare in ALL it's forms was stopped, these supermarkets wage bills will probably double. But the work would still need to be done.

People still want and expect their food to be on the shelf when they go in at 7.30am, or 4.30pm, or 6.30pm...there is a minimum number of staff that can achieve that.

So they HAVE to have a certain number if people doing the job. If they commanded a PROPER living wage, rather than JSA of £71 a week (works out to £1.89/hr for an average 37.5hr week - less if forced to do overtime that they aren't allowed to refuse), or NMW of £6.19/hr, they would STILL have to pay X number of people to do that job.

Shareholders would still MAKE a profit...just less of it.

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:13

but i don't think it's right to force the employers to pay a certain wage, it's not their fault that's it's not a living wage.

fine, big companies (the ones with shareholders), but smaller companies will go bust if they have to pay more out in wages.
it's not that a business isn't viable because they can't afford to pay a decent wage, it's that a business is only able to pay out what it can pay out.

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:16
nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:17

oh don't get me started on workfare. Angry

daisydoodoo · 22/02/2013 14:18

Not everyone can work in the jobs that pay well. it does not mean that they made poor life choices at all. I'm thinking of my sister who has learnign difficulties, she would not be able to work in a job that paid a high wage as shes not mentally capable. She does however work three jobs, two cleaning jobs and a shop warehouse. all minimum wage and all part time which make up to 28 hours a week.

Its ludicrous to suggest that just because you are a cleaner, school dinner lady or work at Asda that you made poor life choices. Not at all, they will on the whole be people working hard to support thier families as best as they can. 15 years ago those working in minimum wage jobs could probably have afforded rent with very little help, but you just couldnt do that today.

I live in the South East and rents are high, but if i moved eslewhere i wouldnt have a job to pay my rent. This is the same for someone like myself who earns enough to pay my own bills or for someone who relies on tax credits and housing top ups to make ends meet.

MerryCouthyMows · 22/02/2013 14:25

But if the 'company can only afford to pay out what it can afford to pay out', and it can't afford to pay out a living wage, then it IS an unviable business that is being propped up by the taxpayer in the form of WTC!

MerryCouthyMows · 22/02/2013 14:26

Why should the Government (and by default the taxpayer) be responsible for propping up unviable small businesses by paying part of their wage bill for them, in the form of WTC?

MerryCouthyMows · 22/02/2013 14:34

People are complaining about those in receipt of TC's, without seeing them for what they REALLY are, a business subsidy to prop up unviable small businesses by paying part of their wage bill, and to prop up the profits of larger businesses by paying part of their wage bill, this increasing their profits.

TC's are a business subsidy. Just because they are PAID to the employee, it doesn't make that any LESS TRUE.


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nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:39

Because those businesses are giving people jobs.
and providing services.
without them, there would be more people on the dole and fewer services.

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:40

it's not the company's fault that a living wage is so high. that life is too expensive these days.

nickelbabe · 22/02/2013 14:42

and you've got to think that a lot of small/medium businesses have been screwed over plenty by the government, so they're being forced into that position.

big companies get everything they can wish for - they're given all sorts of tax breaks and can afford clever accountants. small/medium businesses can't, so they have to play by the rules and get screwed for it.
It's partly the government's fault that so many businesses fail.

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