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  1. #1

    nephilim's Avatar
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    Benefit Culture

    Just been watching local new around the country (thanks to sky I have all local areas) and some are running a series on how benefit cuts are affecting local claimants. This evening it was an unemployed couple in the north (was look north, north east and cumbria I think) whining that they won't be able to manage when the £500.00 per week cap comes into effect. Four children and a twins on the way, huge expensive TV in the background as they were interviewing the husband. "Trying to give a damn meter" was struggling to move away from zero. They admitted to having never worked a day in their lives except for maybe a paper round when the dad was 13.

    Total taken from the benefit pot on a yearly basis £22K. Amount of contributions paid into the central pot, is I suspect, Zero. Why have more children they can clearly not afford? Annoys the hell out of me when TV companies interview these wasters.

    When they find people on benefits who are really starving or unable to manage and who don't smoke and don't have 40" plasma TV's maybe I'll be more sympathetic. My partner and I struggle as it is (Being unemployed recently I now am on Job Seekers and getting a whopping £270 a month) and the Mrs pulls in just over £1000 a month after tax and gets a whole £40 from child benefit and such like, and we have a child...we cope (barely but we cope)..

    Just really annoys the hell out of me (I have been exceedingly restrained in posting this)

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    RingOfFlame's Avatar
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    You are unemployed? We never would have known that, why on earth did you not tell us all sooner? Also you are complaining about those that moan about not getting enough benefits, but then in the same paragraph complain that although your partner earns $1000 you only get $40 in benefits yourself? Are you high or something?

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    $40 is a whole lot different from £40 and that’s just child care. (sorry to be blunt but please read the whole post)

    Either way I get what you mean however without taking things further (like the Chinese have with 'family restrictions') I don't see what can be done about it.

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    It hacks me off to, people I know and went to school with have done nothing in the 7 years since we left and just keep popping kids out because its an easy way for them to live and they get a house. I have worked solid since I left school and I cannot get my own place or even afford to.

    Not only the other week some scum bag I know of said oh I'm off to the council to get a house and blow me just like that he gets one, never done an honest days work in his life and was a smack head why or why do we let them. If people want something they should work for it not just rely on the state.

    Sorry but this is something I feel strongly about, dont even get me started on the people that come from other countries and get more that what I ever will do.

    I work for what I have, I've done honest work ever since I could and I have nothing to show for it like my own house. All I want in life is my own place, probably do better if I go rob an old granny down the street might get seen in a better light by those who dish the money out.

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    I agree. I don't feel people should be restricted, the government should help out with the first child and a percentage to the second, but any more it should be up to the parents to afford the costs. Dwindling resources on the planet and general overpopulation means we should consider the rate of population growth. I don't feel that we should go as far as china's one child policy, but I feel that of you want a big family you should be able to afford it.

    Additionally I'd quite like to see a way where you can't spend benefit money on cig's and alcohol. If you are that desperate for money, why are you buying luxaries?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Amen to that...my the whopping £1395 a month we get is spent as follows

    £500 Rent
    £250 Credit Cards (from when we were both in jobs, they would have been paid by now otherwise)
    £200 Food
    £200 Car (Fuel, Upkeep, Insurance)
    £110 Council Tax
    £50 Sky (TV, Telephone, Broadband)
    £50 Gas and Electric
    £15 TV Licence

    Remaining £20 is for any "emergencies" we have

    When I was earning, we were a lot more comfortable - (between us we were on £2100 after tax) - but would you believe that if the mrs became unemployed, we would actually get more than the £2100 we earnt a month, we would infact get £2500 a month in our area!!! I can see why people do it but my god I feel embarrassed every time I go to the job centre, knowing that the previous 10 years of my life I have worked every day possible and yet some of the people in there have never lifted a finger in their life and are there for the handouts!
    Last edited by nephilim; 1st November 2011 at 11:32 PM.

  9. #7

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I can understand your position and why it is so frustrating, but it is a vicious circle. To get people out of depredation you have to invest some money ... how much is always going to be a touchy issue and where it goes is equally as problematic. IF you get too used to state support it becomes natural to you, the same way animals in a zoo are used to being fed. Many could go on to be released into the wild but a lot would not make it and this can be through where they have been made too reliant on others.

    The difference (in the usual argument around this) is that animals are not human and so we cannot always attribute human nature to them ... we all believe that there is a need to be able to do things for ourselves, or at least the choice to be able to do things ourselves. We can argue nature v nurture but most research points to a mixture of what makes people pick themselves up and work hard to progress. If there is no perceived route to progress in life is it wrong to stop trying? If the barriers are too high do we lower the barriers or just tell people that even they don't make it then we will still look after them?

    The same systems which get abused by some allow a lot of others to stay afloat. The media hype that surrounds these problems, and the political machinations, means that one thing after another is used to try to sort out the problems, but sometimes they make it better and sometimes they make it worse. If by clamping down on those with no interest other than existing purely on state aid for all their life, should it affect those such as yourself in a sticking moment, then is it worth it?

    yes, I do believe that you should work for your benefits ... prove you are entitled to them ... but keeping people poor and making them a sub-class by forcing them to never be able to have any of the comforts available to others ... is that really what we want to do?

    Oh ... just for those interested ... I don't have the answers ... but I'm not sure anyone else (including politicians) does either. Perhaps not jumping on political / media bandwagons might give people a decent chance to work through things systematically instead of forcing people to come up with the next big fix for everything!

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  11. #8

    nephilim's Avatar
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    I have no issue with people that genuinely need the benefits to survive, that's what the system is for, but so many are exploiting the system and that is what is irksome.

    An ex of mine has 3 kids, doesn't work and gets near 3k a month worth of benefits if you take into account that her house is paid for, her council tax is paid for, she gets a car every 2 years from the council and umpteen other benefits.

    One reason barriers are high because of the influx of migrant workers willing to work for lower wages, therefore lower wages become the norm across the board. One way to ensure barriers are easier to get over is to increase the minimum wage by at least £1 per hour per bracket.

    Another reason is because the people used to the system don't want to work because they get it all on a plate. At my last place I had a person come for an interview in jeans and t-shirt and later found he was only there to show the job centre he was showing up for interviews to still get his benefits. Make it a stipulation that if you are perceived to be sabotaging your chances for work then the benefits get stopped.

    A 3rd barrier is culture we have now thanks to a variety of mistakes from various previous governments. Lots of jobs have been cut by governments and many now wish to pay them back by getting what they can from whilst they can.

    Fundamental changes are needed, and various institutions need to come back where possible. Drain the flooded coal mines, reopen the mines and you bring back thousands of jobs and a resource the country is in dire need of. Also have nationalised rail and public transport running along side the private firms, as well as energy and telecoms. Jobs opened up, more of a market for the government to claw back money, more tax paid into coffers, more people in jobs, better all round.
    Last edited by nephilim; 2nd November 2011 at 12:38 AM.

  12. #9

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    @nephilim sent you a PM

  13. #10

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    One reason barriers are high because of the influx of migrant workers willing to work for lower wages, therefore lower wages become the norm across the board. One way to ensure barriers are easier to get over is to increase the minimum wage by at least £1 per hour per bracket.
    That has a small part to play but one problem with a minimum wage is that it contributes to breaking the cycle of effort v reward. Jobs with less requirement for skills and experience, no matter that they take just as much energy to do, are given more pay. This can mean people do not try to gain the skills (ie work hard to gain skills) as there is little benefit in doing so. So they expect greater reward for doing less ... And the ultimate goal is to be rewarded for doing nothing.

    Another reason is because the people used to the system don't want to work because they get it all on a plate. At my last place I had a person come for an interview in jeans and t-shirt and later found he was only there to show the job centre he was showing up for interviews to still get his benefits. Make it a stipulation that if you are perceived to be sabotaging your chances for work then the benefits get stopped.
    They can be. If a claimant attends an interview and conducts themselves in a manner they know will disqualify them for a job then it is dealt with as if they failed to turn up for the interview. I have grassed people up for this before. The problem about clothing is that they might not own a suit, or even shirt and tie. If they can reasonably explain that they do intend to be appropriately dressed if they get the job then this is fine. I would not like to discriminate against people just because they are below the breadline. I know of schools who, when people have turned up poorly dressed for interviews, put them in touch with local charities who can help on that side until the wage comes rolling in. It is a hand up, not a hand out.

    A 3rd barrier is culture we have now thanks to a variety of mistakes from various previous governments. Lots of jobs have been cut by governments and many now wish to pay them back by getting what they can from whilst they can.
    You can't complain about people who never worked and with no intention of working and then try to lump into there people who have worked (like yourself) and have no job at the moment. That sort of attitude might be fine with the daily fail readership who want to see their taxes only spent on them, but is not a realistic position. It deals with a small minority and is used to justify attitudes against *all* those claiming benefits, including those on disability support.

    Fundamental changes are needed, and various institutions need to come back where possible. Drain the flooded coal mines, reopen the mines and you bring back thousands of jobs and a resource the country is in dire need of. Also have nationalised rail and public transport running along side the private firms, as well as energy and telecoms. Jobs opened up, more of a market for the government to claw back money, more tax paid into coffers, more people in jobs, better all round.
    The mines? You are kidding? Nationalisation of core services? Do you understand the relationship between growth in profits and growth in jobs? The mines were not profitable for many years. It is a very inefficient way of getting energy and the investment needed (from our taxes) is unlikely to see any payback in the near future. I think it was the Express who ran an article about this as an idea around 3 years ago and got most of the figures wrong. Nationalisation or energy companies would also take investment we don't have. You then also run into the problem we are having with the attitude to the banks we have large chunks in ... We want them to make a profit as this pays back the investment the state has made. The people who can do this want a wage (and perks) equivalent to what they would get in other banks ... And yet we moan about the wages they get. The same will happen in anything you nationalise. You have to pay the equivalent rates as they would get elsewhere ... Unless you add an extra bit to it ... Public service. The idea that you are doing a public service is no longer seen as a high priority, partly because it is not portrayed as something rewarding. In fact the same media will have a go at anything they can which promotes public service, unless they can jump on a bandwagon, or happily publish / show others knocking it too. It doesn't help when you have politicians from all side who do the same.

    Saying we need wholesale reform is not going to work either, as this is just part of politics. There are too few cross department groups and too many conflicting agendas. Free schools is another way of saying "don't trust the state to give you children education" so why on earth would you trust the state to look after banks, energy, rail? We get told outsourcing to companies who have made profits running companies well is better than letting councils waste money. In the same voice we get told our NHS is the best in the world, but needs wholesale change ...

    And yes, some of the above is correct, but try to read between the line and understand what is selective use of information to prove a point. I could spend all day pointing out where Mr Gove has been selective about his attitude on support staff in schools, or his use of data to justify his departments agenda. Others, however, do it far better than me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RingOfFlame View Post
    You are unemployed? We never would have known that, why on earth did you not tell us all sooner? Also you are complaining about those that moan about not getting enough benefits, but then in the same paragraph complain that although your partner earns $1000 you only get $40 in benefits yourself? Are you high or something?
    When I was growing up I was told dont say anything if it's not nice. I think it should have been if you dont have anything constructive to say dont say anything. You obvisouly dont understand the post and are just trolling for the sake of it.

  15. #12


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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    <SNIP>
    One reason barriers are high because of the influx of migrant workers willing to work for lower wages, therefore lower wages become the norm across the board. One way to ensure barriers are easier to get over is to increase the minimum wage by at least £1 per hour per bracket.

    <SNIP>
    It's not a case that migrant workers are willing to work for lower wages, they are just willing to work. I was brought up that if you want something you need to save and buy it. Sadly lots of people now grow up thinking everything should be given to them.

    Edit: removed the rant.

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  17. #13

    witch's Avatar
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    neph - NEVER feel embarassed at collecting your job seekers allowance - YOU have paid taxes and have earned it - it is for people like you who are currently struggling but are trying hard to get back on the ladder.

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  19. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    I have no issue with people that genuinely need the benefits to survive, that's what the system is for, but so many are exploiting the system and that is what is irksome.

    An ex of mine has 3 kids, doesn't work and gets near 3k a month worth of benefits if you take into account that her house is paid for, her council tax is paid for, she gets a car every 2 years from the council and umpteen other benefits.

    One reason barriers are high because of the influx of migrant workers willing to work for lower wages, therefore lower wages become the norm across the board. One way to ensure barriers are easier to get over is to increase the minimum wage by at least £1 per hour per bracket.

    Another reason is because the people used to the system don't want to work because they get it all on a plate. At my last place I had a person come for an interview in jeans and t-shirt and later found he was only there to show the job centre he was showing up for interviews to still get his benefits. Make it a stipulation that if you are perceived to be sabotaging your chances for work then the benefits get stopped.

    A 3rd barrier is culture we have now thanks to a variety of mistakes from various previous governments. Lots of jobs have been cut by governments and many now wish to pay them back by getting what they can from whilst they can.

    Fundamental changes are needed, and various institutions need to come back where possible. Drain the flooded coal mines, reopen the mines and you bring back thousands of jobs and a resource the country is in dire need of. Also have nationalised rail and public transport running along side the private firms, as well as energy and telecoms. Jobs opened up, more of a market for the government to claw back money, more tax paid into coffers, more people in jobs, better all round.
    Nephilim, I don't think you realise that the people you are talking about cost a fraction compared to the benefits bill for people that do actually work. The highest slice of the bill is for housing benefit (for people that work yet can't even afford a roof) and tax credits (for people that work and can still barely afford to live). My problem isn't with so called scroungers because frankly, they barely cost the system anything in comparison and the TV and nice sofa is paid for on finance. If you think they are living the dream you are mistaken, most of them are living in constant debt, unable to afford to do most things that most working people take for granted. A few bear baiting examples in the daily mail won't change that fact.

    You should be complaining about the fact your partner can work full time (I assume) and still barely afford to live. Ask your self what sort of system allows an entire swathe of the population to work full time, for a wage that is so low compared to living costs that they the government is forced to prop them up financially?

    It isn't the benefits culture thats the problem. It's the simple fact that most people will never earn "the average wage" of £25k PA and yet you need to earn more than that to be able to afford a normal standard of living.

    I wouldn't be getting jealous of someone taking home 22k in benefits because remember, that's shared between an entire family and it includes the housing benefit etc. Think how much they have left every week and ask your self why the hell they would go to work for the same amount when 5 million people work full time and still need extra money so they don't sink into abject poverty.

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    I live in an area rife with 'sick' people, so sick that they are down the pub, playing football or doing cash in hand work.

    I live in an area where the more children you have the better chance you have of getting rental property from the council.

    I live in an area where if you're a single mum you are guaranteed a 1 bedroom flat!


    I can understand the need when people are sick, an example of when my Mum was dying from cancer - we didn't apply for benefits because I paid as much as I could, MacMillan pretty much did it for us though towards the end and it really was needed. When I see people with bad backs sitting drinking cold beer on a hot day in their back garden whilst i'm sweating like a muddatrucker laying cable... it can be very frustrating - especially when you know they're not nearly as bad as they're making out.

    The worst part for me is these people who do work the system will get a pension equal to mine!

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