mthomas08 (5th February 2014)
what is required of most benefit louts is a kick up the arse. It helped me.
I'd give benefits for 6 months using food stamps not cash after that it's to the "Workhouse".
That's why people with 'more bedrooms than they need' don't have anywhere to go. But this, too, is probably a topic for another time, another thread.
What we need is a 30's style mass social housing build. Doesn't really matter if it's councils or housing associations in charge of the stock. We just need the stock.
Admittedly this would be an issue, I wouldn't dream of springing up a plan like this overnight. Could you use your food card at the supermarkets that are selling more-than-food? If so, what kind of control would be in place to ensure you didn't go to Asda and buy the latest xbox game with your food card? Receipt audits wouldn't help because it would just say "Tesco, £39.99". What if you were buying that game and food? We had a pre-paid card system when I was at high school and if you were on free school meals like I was, certain products (such as chocolate bars) were not able to be purchased with the free school meal credit. Something like that could be put in place, but would require a huge infrastructure overhaul of major companies and nobody would be best pleased with that.The problem is limiting what is considered essential and where it can be purchased from. Who decides what is essential? Is it the same for everyone? What if I need something that is not on the approved essential list? Or is available form an unapproved source? What about Internet purchases?
Unfortunately, changing an already-established infrastructure is never an easy task. If I were to start my own country, I could apply this without issue (provided I had the appropriate funds) and say "This is how it works. If you want to sell here, your stores, at least in this country, must be compatible with this system", maybe I'd even be able to have a pre-built system written that companies just added their products to and 'uploaded' to their internal product database (which would provide programming jobs for some people, and more jobs is good, right? :P). IsFood=True/False. Tills query each item (as they do for price) and when it comes to paying, the food card would only pay for the portion of the shop that was food and they would need to provide alternate payment for the non-food (as detailed earlier, some of their funds would be entirely unrestricted, which yes, people could still spend on drugs, but £15-20 is better than £80)
Last edited by Garacesh; 5th February 2014 at 12:19 PM.
I'll say it again - vouchers are a red herring. It actually doesn't matter whether you use vouchers, bank transfers or cold hard cash - it's the same amount of money being given to the exact same people, including the benefits cheats. All vouchers do is frustrate the honest users of the system.
The real questions are how divide the money. How to decide who gets what. How to decide who is eligable. Think unemployeed Joe down the road is getting too much because he can afford a 100" TV? Then it's the answers to these questions that will adjust that balance.
This is why I'm in favour of a single household means tested payout that takes into account the total household income and it's occupancy and compares that to the requirements of an agreed standard of living - whatever that is.
The only question for me is, if you are giving everyone enough money to live in handouts, how do you encourage people out to work? I think there's an answer somewhere involving the national minimum wage so that even at it's lowest the wage earned should be worth more then the benefits received.
EDIT: Also vouchers are the thin edge of the wedge. In this thread we've already jumped to photo ID's cards and biometrics! Seriously - big brother - 1984.
Last edited by tmcd35; 5th February 2014 at 12:30 PM.
I'm afraid it DOES matter who's in charge of the stock.
My idea of the limited cards is admittedly only tackling the problem of what benefit money is used to purchase, and not the problem of over/under payment. But a review of each claimant that takes into account those factors would need to be done to appropriate the correct level of funds, so it's not too far off what you're suggesting.
But then simply reducing the amount paid in child benefit might have the same result you are looking for (stopping unemployeed Joe buying his TV) and would be much cheaper/simpler to implement.My idea of the limited cards is admittedly only tackling the problem of what benefit money is used to purchase, and not the problem of over/under payment. But a review of each claimant that takes into account those factors would need to be done to appropriate the correct level of funds, so it's not too far off what you're suggesting.
The fact remains we are judging someone elses finacial situation by peering through the letterbox; we're not in full posession of all the facts. He might have been saving £5 a week for a couple of years. He may be paying Provident 1000% APR on a street door loan. Or he's in recept of benefits he's legitamately entitled to that are not being properly means tested thus we the tax payer are legitametely giving him too much. Is that his fault?
Don't look for a complicated solution when a simple one will do.
Last edited by tmcd35; 5th February 2014 at 12:52 PM.
My girlfriends dad has 1 50-60 inch TV and a full surround sound kit with blu ray player and Full Sky package.... Though he has taken out all that on a lease from Bright House costs him a fortune, he could have just gone out and bought a 32" one from amazing for around £200 with no monthly costs but no. It's all about prioritising what you buy. I don't care keep the system the same I just hate the people that don't have decent sense of money and thus creating a rubbish lifestyle for their own children. Half the time more children is just a new source of more income for them anyway. The children that do suffer like this in my opinion should be given a better home to live in and gain a better upbringing, education etc.. because of it.
Though of course I have never been in a benefit situation so I am an outsider looking in and that my perspective to date.
I got my 32in TV 5 years ago with no payments or anything, just paid outright. Its on its last legs. In that time I have had people asking me (when unemployed) how I could afford the TV etc. They don't see that I paid for it when I was working, they just saw an unemployed guy with a flatscreen.
It is a tough one but people dont have the ins and outs of every situation. If they did it would be very different.
However I am a firm believer that they should be using either pre-paid cards or pay direct to creditors for the money so that it doesn't get pissed away. In the job centre you see genuine people and they do struggle, then you see the people who drink and drug their way through life and it is frustrating as they get more help than the average Joe who is trying desperately to get his life on track.
I think maybe I need to clearly state: I am not against people on benefits having nice things. I am against those nice things being purchased with money appropriated for 'living costs' such as food, rent and travel.
Or watching a porn movie in a hotel, like Jacqui Smith's husband?
And the countless other misappropriations of our money, but hey, let's all beat-up on the Benefit Claimants, because they're an easy target for all of us
We have created a benefit culture and people can pretend it doesn't exist with fingers in their ears and humming very loudly but it doesn't solve the problem. Simply saying "Oh it will get abused, get abused, get abused" to every idea is not helping the situation. As I said before I fear the government will simply say enough is enough, if you want benefits you go ahead and jump through all these hoops to do it. Which isn't the way I would prefer it but it does need to be fixed and so far only those who have had enough of the system abuse are willing to say ideas.
Last edited by mthomas08; 5th February 2014 at 02:29 PM.
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