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General Chat Thread, The Big Benefits Row in General; Food stamps and vouchers would be a waste of time and effort. If someone wants some fags or booze and ...
  1. #166

    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Food stamps and vouchers would be a waste of time and effort. If someone wants some fags or booze and can't buy them directly - what'll they do? Buy whatever they can and then barter (probably at a disadvantageous rate) for what they actually want. As we know from working with kids each day - humans are very crafty animals.

  2. #167

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    Last I spoke to my sister she was getting £400 a week and her place paid for.

    If I remember rightly this was Housing benefit, Child benefit, income support and Council tax benefit.
    Depending on exact circumstances, that may not be entirely unreasonable - number of adults? number of children? etc.

    The problem isn't so much the benefits per se but, as my dear Mum found out, making work pay. Ideally tax credits should be bringing the wages of low paid workers upto the same general standard as above. But the rules for applying for them often means people are ineligiable and suddenly it becomes better to stay unemployed than to take up a part time job.

    In my mind the problem isn't whose getting the handouts, or necerssarilly how much they are getting, the problem is the rules that decide who is eligable for what are just plan barking.

  3. #168


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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'm not attacking you as an individual, I'm attacking the idea that an individual such as yourself can say that someone else can't spend money they're given to live their life as they see fit. The government does not specify an explicit purpose for benefits.

    And regarding luxuries - what do you define as a luxury? Is entertainment a luxury? IIRC the EU doesn't think it is... How about broadband internet? Finland has put that down as a human right in their country.

    People are not intended to only live and find work, even when they don't have a job. We aren't just slaves to work.
    Then I apologise for misinterpreting - Your 'who are you to decide..' felt like an attack on character rather than argument.
    Thing is, benefits are not given to a person to 'live their life as they see fit', and that's the mistake you're making. They are given for a specific purpose. Housing Benefit is given for you to pay your rent. Child Benefit is given to help you provide for your child. Income support is to help you have enough living money when your income doesn't cover it (entirely different argument about NMW here, but anyway..)
    I'm not saying people should be 'slaves to work', what I'm saying is that the benefit money you are issued ought to be used for that specific purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Basic human decency and common sense.


    JSA is £50 a week.

    Having a room where you don't freeze to death helps you find a job. Having electricity and a computer (that you need for government websites) helps you find a job. Having just enough food to get through the week helps you get a job. Having some suitable clothes for an interview, some shampoo and soap helps you get a job. Everyone circumstances are different, so they are given a tiny amount of monetary freedom to do this....

    If you have benefits for each aspect of heating, clothing, toothbrushes, soap, food, water or transport the government would spend more on the bureaucratic system of control than it would cost to simply provide a bank transfer for the small sums we are talking about. MPs can claim more expenses on a single lunch than the government provides for a single person to live in a week.

    As someone who has been out for work for 18 months (could not claim housing benefit as mortgage) and didnt claim anything (wasn't worth it) you don't get luxuries: its embarrassing, utterly depressing (to the point of worthlessness) and totally dehumanizing even without communistic foodstamps or whatever stupid idea people throw at a distraction. Even worse when deluded right wing press readers tell you that you're sponging off them and how you should be forced into even more dehumanising process.

    These threads are great for working out who to ignore.
    Nowhere did I suggest splitting the funds down to that level - 'toothbrush fund'? Really? - and I've already freely admitted that a kind of card-based 'stamps' system would be impossible to implement in this day and age because of the complete system overhaul that would be required for it (most likely any new system at all, come to think of it) but I don't feel that 'legitimate' claimants (again I'll freely admit that's a very difficult term to pin down and subjectively varies from person to person) would be too bothered about this, but again that's a subjective observation. I certainly wouldn't have been fussed by it. I'd have happily let my money go direct to all my bills if I could have, just as my housing benefit did, but that wasn't an option. Giving it to me, for me to give it to them, just seemed to add an extra step that if there were a way to remove it, I might as well have done, because I was never going to spend it on anything else.

    Realistically it's quite sad that we even have to discuss changes to the system (either to benefits or government expenses), because of the few that are abusing it (or less than few, when you consider MP's..). And unfortunately no system we envision will ever be 100% foolproof at all, there will be ways to get round any system short of having to requisition every item individually from the government - and I'm by no means in favour of that - merely a categorisation of items that restricts certain purchases to ensure that bills aren't going unpaid and dependants aren't going without necessities they need. Perhaps a little draconian-fly-with-a-bazooka, but our system has very little control at current and it is open to abuse. Yes, the problem is rooted with the people and not the system - but until we've got mind control (and the moment we do, I'm hiding in a hole for the rest of my life) we can't control them, we can at least try and control the money.

  4. #169

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    Then I apologise for misinterpreting - Your 'who are you to decide..' felt like an attack on character rather than argument.
    Thing is, benefits are not given to a person to 'live their life as they see fit', and that's the mistake you're making. They are given for a specific purpose. Housing Benefit is given for you to pay your rent. Child Benefit is given to help you provide for your child. Income support is to help you have enough living money when your income doesn't cover it (entirely different argument about NMW here, but anyway..)
    I'm not saying people should be 'slaves to work', what I'm saying is that the benefit money you are issued ought to be used for that specific purpose.
    Again, you're saying the government specifies how many should be spent. As far as I can tell, they don't. Sure, the purpose of the funds is to do those things, but once it leaves the hands of the agency giving it out, that's the end of the government's influence. If they have further influence then they are interfering in someone's private life - which is universally seen as an infringement of human rights.

    Sure, those individual funds have a purpose, but what about JSA? What about Bereavement Allowance? ESA? In Work Credit?

    You mention Income Support, saying it is for a purpose but then say that purpose is "to help you have enough money when your income doesn't cover it". What's "it"? Living their lives...

    We can all pick and choose individual benefits and say one way or the other, but the end of the process is still the same - money is given to a person. If they wish to spend their food allowance on a TV, that's their choice.

  5. #170


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    You're completely right, it is their choice. I'm not disagreeing with you on that one.

    I personally wouldn't give someone money for something I didn't feel was a good choice of investment. If I gave somebody money for one thing and they spent it on something else, I would take issue with that. Why should any benefit money be different?

  6. #171

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    I personally wouldn't give someone money for something I didn't feel was a good choice of investment.
    Is social responsibilty not a good choice of investment?
    What would you like to happen to you if you ended up on hard times through no fault of your own?
    Do yo believe in charity?
    If you give to charity do you have the right to dictate how and where the charity spend your donation?

  7. #172


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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Is social responsibilty not a good choice of investment?
    What would you like to happen to you if you ended up on hard times through no fault of your own?
    Do yo believe in charity?
    If you give to charity do you have the right to dictate how and where the charity spend your donation?
    How can we invest in 'social responsibility'? I don't mean that rhetorically, I genuinely mean it.
    What would I like to happen to me? I'd like to receive a benefit, just like everybody else, if I couldn't find more work (or, in situations where I was unable to work) - however if the government reviewed my finances and said "this is how your money is allocated" I wouldn't care so long as I could pay my bills and feed myself.
    Yes I believe in charity. I used to volunteer for a charity shop. Charity however, is different to benefits. Charity is not given under an agreed-upon contract.
    No. You do not. Because you are able to question the charity and find out what they spend on before donating. If you disagree with where it goes, don't donate.

  8. #173
    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    If you disagree with where it goes, don't donate.
    If only I could control what my Taxes went on.

  9. #174


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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    If only I could control what my Taxes went on.
    In theory you can do, with votes, petitions, protests and elections.
    Unfortunately it never works out in practice

  10. #175

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    In theory you can do, with votes, petitions, protests and elections.
    Unfortunately it never works out in practice
    Yeah that's a real can of worms; 40% "majority", coalition parties, unelected EU officials... our vote isn't worth much!
    Last edited by LosOjos; 6th February 2014 at 11:56 AM.

  11. #176


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    Yup. That's the beauty of 'in theory'. Sounds great on paper, never works out as so great.
    (Coincidentally is probably how my proposition would end up if it ever went forward, but so it would be with any other reform ever anyway, because that's just how things always end up, unfortunately.)

  12. #177

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    Yeah that's a real can of worms; 40% "majority", coalition parties, unelected EU officials... our vote isn't worth much!
    Yep, voter apathy in this country is a real killer. 2011's referendum saw a 42/2% turnout (United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (allegidly)). We complain about the system but given the chance to make real change we choose to stay at home and watch Sky Sports instead.

  13. #178
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    What's wrong with Sky Sports

    I wont lie the last election I didn't vote because frankly I would have voted for the Looney party. Now that the parties are seeming desperate for voters and coming up with things I actually want I will be voting. As said before I will be voting for the party who will be toughest on the benefit system.....

  14. #179


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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Yep, voter apathy in this country is a real killer. 2011's referendum saw a 42/2% turnout (United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (allegidly)). We complain about the system but given the chance to make real change we choose to stay at home and watch Sky Sports instead.
    but you CANT change the system there is no way you can get rid of the current top 3 parties and they will never abandon it as it server their interests well

  15. #180


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    Admittely I suffer for Voter Apathy but I still voted last election. I voted for the party I knew would receive less votes - the Liberal Democrats. Not because I support them - I can't realistically say I support anybody - but because I was hoping on a hung parliament.

    The thing is, the current parties are so anti-change they'll run a huge smear campaign against any viable opposition.
    Tough on immigration? Racist. Raise taxes for the rich? Hate the successful.
    And if they can't smear you, they'll just drag it out for so long that you don't get a word in.

    Thing is, @mthomas08's comment is a little moot anyway (even if correct) - You pay taxes as part of your agreement of living and earning in this country. You're welcome to go elsewhere (even though elsewhere is just as bad or worse, and they may not grant you residency, or it may not be viable for you to leave the country because you haven't found any foreign work, which you'll have trouble getting without a residency permit...) Classic case of 'The option that doesn't really exist..' (though I forget its 'proper' name)
    Last edited by Garacesh; 6th February 2014 at 12:17 PM.

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