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General Chat Thread, The Big Benefits Row in General; Would love to know how people could ever believe it's possible to make it so benefits can't be spent on ...
  1. #16

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Would love to know how people could ever believe it's possible to make it so benefits can't be spent on X or Y. Vouchers etc are cheating.

  2. #17

    nephilim's Avatar
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    Vouchers can be issued so that a photographic ID is required to use them. If you have no photographic ID, you get an ID card done at the job centre (I had one done for my train pass).

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Moot. See last part of the sentence!
    The "benefits issue" is small in the long run. Until they fix everything else (taxation being the most closely linked) there is little they can do to improve it. The whole system is utterly fubar, tax credits shouldn't exist, benefits shouldn't exist. In an idealist world, money wouldn't exist but us humans are too collectively stupid for that.
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 4th February 2014 at 10:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Vouchers can be issued so that a photographic ID is required to use them. If you have no photographic ID, you get an ID card done at the job centre (I had one done for my train pass).
    or even "simpler" a pre paid debit card that can only be used in certain shops (still need photo) and if you try using it in say harrods it sets off a huge obvious alarm and flashing lights lol

    the problem is you cant not have a benefit system as there will always be people who genuinely need them but any system can be worked with/round by anyone who is at least as clever as the commitee that designed the system

    What we actually need in this country imo is a discussion of what benefits are for. To me they are money to tide you over until you get a job/back on your feet (granted disability is different as you might never get back on your feet)

    same as working tax credits (or whatever they are calle d) make no sense to me so you pay tax then maybe get some back. Why not just alter people tax code so instead of getting 500 a year back (as a random number) just raise the point at where you start paying tax so it works out as the same thing (so instead of 10'500 tax free you get 11'000 sureley its simpler

  5. #20

    abillybob's Avatar
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    How is vouchers cheating? Companies like park give you vouchers that you can spend at certain shops in the high street. The government could make an equivalent where by you have 70 a week and the voucher says you can spend it in shops like Spar, Sainsburys, Asda, etc... and another voucher where you can spend money in Homebase, B&Q for home improvement! Some money to spend at primark, bank and all clothes. Only things you need and not luxuries you want. If you want luxuries go get a job. If they play the whole there is no jobs out there it's rubbish there's still enough jobs for immigrants to want to come over to this country and work, granted the jobs could be peeling potatoes in a food chain for minimum pay or something but who cares? I'd scrub toilets for a living if I had to! Even if they said to people on benefits on job seekers and stuff like that and said we will give you benefits but you can work for the state so pick up some litter 2 days a week would be an improvement and then you'll probably find a lot more people will search for work and find it!
    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Would love to know how people could ever believe it's possible to make it so benefits can't be spent on X or Y. Vouchers etc are cheating.
    I liked the quote of the man from Africa in benefits street who said: In Africa if you don't work you don't get simple as that. For people with severe disabilities benefits should be allowed for but not for people who can sit at a desk and type on a keyboard "depression" doesn't stop you typing on a keyboard!
    Last edited by abillybob; 4th February 2014 at 10:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Try again.

    Factcheck: Does smoking cost as much as it makes for the Treasury? | Full Fact

    About 85% of the cost of cigarettes is tax. Which goes straight back to the government. [And more than covers the NHS' smoking related illness costs.]

    Also, it costs the NHS more over time if you're healthy.

    Alcohol, Obesity and Smoking Do Not Cost Health Care Systems Money - Forbes

    Try harder, on the first point if you assume the revenue derived from Tobacco sales entirely to the NHS then maybe you'd have a point, I think that is highly unlikely to be the case.

    The Forbes article doesn't take into the account that a 'Healthy person' despite costing more over their lifetime will also contribute more over their lifetime because they live longer. I'm not just talking financially (although that is the case) but think about their relationships with families etc. I bet there are quite a few of us who have had friends/relatives die long before their time thanks to smoking.

  8. #22

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    ^ now that's not a bad idea, @sted. Thumbs up for that one.

    I speak a little from experience, mostly as our child benefit comes to us in lumps and it's not easy to manage on it's own right. Therefore vouchers etc would make it damn difficult to get by. Whereas, like currently it's just money, the costs involved in day to day living can come out of the benefit payment (bills, a bar of chocolate or a packet of fags if you're that way inclined) yet the cost of childcare, nappies, food etc for that period would still come out of the other household income. It works itself out.
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 4th February 2014 at 10:28 AM.

  9. #23

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    The system is far from perfect, but I think if we're are going to have this discussion (again) we need to disassociate the flaws in the the system with the people. This thread as already got very Daily Mail and is taring alot of people with one brush - "benefits cheats". The problem, I fear, is a lot less prevalent as certain tabloids (and tabloid TV channels (5)) would have us believe.

    There are about 2.4m unemployed, of which just over 900,000 (less than half) are considered "long term unemployed" (over 1 year). How meny of those 900,000 do we want to class as "scroungers" and how meny are "genuine"? And if the other 1.5m are struggling to get jobs? - Not saying it's right, just putting some perspective on the issue.

    As for "vouchers" - hell no! I don't believe governments or society should have the right to dictate how I choose to live my life in that level detail. 1984.

  10. #24

    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbillbridgnorth View Post
    I liked the quote of the man from Africa in benefits street who said: In Africa if you don't work you don't get simple as that. For people with severe disabilities benefits should be allowed for but not for people who can sit at a desk and type on a keyboard "depression" doesn't stop you typing on a keyboard!
    Which part of that HUGE continent?

  11. #25

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbillbridgnorth View Post
    I liked the quote of the man from Africa in benefits street who said: In Africa if you don't work you don't get simple as that. For people with severe disabilities benefits should be allowed for but not for people who can sit at a desk and type on a keyboard "depression" doesn't stop you typing on a keyboard!
    And that man is severely misguided. Depression is severely debilitating. Anyone who thinks that depression doesn't get in the way of work doesn't know what they're talking about.

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  13. #26

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    I see the logic behind depression and I know it's an actual illness that can effect people severely heck my nan had depression severely at one point. The problem is now that so many people use the term depressed to get a bit more benefits from the state it angers me. I understand fully that people have depression but it'd be very hard to argue that it would stop you from sitting at a desk a few hours a day and doing some work??? Please let me know if you think I'm wrong but please do understand I do know depression effects people but it does get used so many times nowadays as government schemes will now give you more money if your depressed and on benefits and it impacts on those that are actually depressed. People who don't work and don't do anything all day when perfectly capable I can't understand how they are depressed. You get depression from work, stress, anger. But if you're not doing any of these things everything being paid for you how can you be depressed?

  14. #27

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I don't think you understand enough about it to be making such statements. Evidence to that effect is "I see the logic". There isn't any.
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 4th February 2014 at 10:39 AM.

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    Oh for fu-.. I had a huge post written out and somehow the page refreshed itself and lost it all. Grrr! Time to re-write..

    From my own experience, and I fully announce this is all subjective, the jobcentre don't care. They just don't give a toss.

    I was having difficulty finding work and was placed at a council warehouse via the Future Jobs Fund, supplying Sixtown Housing with their resources for council house repairs. I leapt at the chance to do six-months real work and earn an actual paycheque. Three weeks to the end of that placement I was told there wasn't any way they could keep me on permanently, so I accepted a job offer I had elsewhere at a telesales company (who I won't name due to libel/slander as of what I'll say next..) This company sold sponsored listings on Google (they sounded like SEO when I applied, first red flag) and it was my job to phone worldwide and get people signing up to it. After the training (which took up the entirety of day 1), they gave us a basic script that we could loosely work to, one of the points being to tell the users how many times X query had been searched on Google in the last month. Problem is, there's no way to actually check that so far as I knew, and neither did the other staff. When I asked about it, I was outright told to lie because nobody could prove me wrong. That, combined with the fact that the management had no problem with one of the other workers spewing racially-charged insults at somebody they had cold-called.. I reported the company to Trading Standards and quit outright on the second day.

    I phoned my old boss (from the warehouse) and asked if I could finish my placement there, in the hopes of having another months' pay whilst I looked for more work, but I was informed that wasn't possible as the paperwork had already been filed for me leaving. So I had no choice but to return to the jobcentre and explain my circumstances to them. The work I was doing was illegal as far as I was concerned (it would be mis-selling) but they would have none of it. I quit, therefore I had to wait 6 weeks to sign on again. I asked them to phone my old boss and confirm I had even offered to return to work there, but they wouldn't lift a finger to help me, because 'I put myself in that situation'. After having to borrow a few hundred pounds off my mother for food, rent and bills I finally got signed on again.

    The advisers were of no use to me. They told me at first my search net wasn't wide enough and I were to travel 90 minutes in either direction to find work (which would lead to up to three hours of commuting per day) which, when you don't drive, is pretty difficult. Adding to that, they would often order me to apply for jobs I did not meet the criteria for, such as a home decorator that required a CSCS card, multiple jobs requiring a full drivers license and own vehicle, or a gardener-landscaper job that required I provided me own tools. Other times it would be jobs that simply did not pay enough as I lived on my own at the time. I gave them a list of my outgoings, bills, rent, foregoing any luxury (my phone contract was cheap, as was my internet, both which were required in order to find work, I had no TV package, etc) and explicitly told them "I simply cannot accept any job that pays less than this." but they weren't having any of it, and gave me conflicting information about whether or not I would be able to 'top up' my earnings with benefits if I didn't earn a sufficient amount. I regret to admit I ended up applying for these jobs with multiple spelling and grammatical errors in order to ensure I didn't get a callback, because I was told if I were offered the job, I had to take it. If I didn't, my benefits would stop.

    I can sympathise with them a little, I must admit. Countless times I saw the 'typical lot' signing on with the latest iPhone or brand new 30 trainers, and we all know those types exist. But I genuinely was not one of them, yet I felt I was still treated as such. I wasn't a person looking for work, I was a number. Their aim was "Get a job", regardless of if it would potentially cause me to not be able to afford my bills. I was ushered in, and ushered out just as quickly once I'd signed and been given a job to apply for, even after providing sufficient information about jobs I had already applied for. It felt like no matter how hard I tried, it wasn't 'good enough' for them, or that they considered my job hunt entries were forgeries and I wasn't applying for anything.

    Anyway..
    Honestly I think food stamps and photographic ID are the way forward. The jobcentre have deals with Burton and other companies for clothing grants if you need to refresh your wardrobe for an interview, I'm certain the same could be done with the large supermarket chains. Even if it means spending half an hour to an hour with each new claimant deciding the allocation of food/clothing/etc ratios (as admittedly each circumstance is different). The ID would be required as people who wanted to use their JSA to fund an alcohol habit would probably just sell their food stamps at less-than-worth and then just go and spend the money. Our current benefits system does nothing to help the true jobseekers and nothing to 'kick off' those that aren't trying to help themselves. I've also heard plenty of stories - though not experienced it myself - of those genuinely unable to work being treated unfairly. The entire system needs a shake-up and clean-down.

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  18. #29

    abillybob's Avatar
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    No but if your friend gives you 10 as you're struggling to buy essentials for your home and then you went and spent it on fags and booze would you see that socially acceptable? Point being is the tax payer is the friend and the person on benefits is misusing. It angers me as I'm paying for my girlfriend mum to buy fags and alcohol in excess and yet my girlfriend has had the same mattress for the last 10 years! All about priorities and if people aren't going to set their priorities straight the tax payer should be able to dictate what other people are spending their tax money on!
    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post

    As for "vouchers" - hell no! I don't believe governments or society should have the right to dictate how I choose to live my life in that level detail. 1984.

  19. #30

    abillybob's Avatar
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    I didn't mean it in literal terms what I meant by this was I understand what you were trying to say and I understand depression does effect people in a bad way! I do understand it enough my auntie has depression (still works mind) and so does my nan I've heard all about it and experienced what depression does!
    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    I don't think you understand enough about it to be making such statements. Evidence to that effect is "I see the logic". There isn't any.

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