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> Proposed benefit cuts
massifheed
post Feb 1 2012, 02:17 PM
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Was just reading this...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16812185

and wondered what people's thoughts were. The example family in the link get approx £30,000 per year in benefit, and could stand to lose £4000 if the cap were introduced. Looking at the family's ougoings I find it hard to have a great deal of sympathy. The guy has been out of work for 10 years (so one wonders why he hasn't retrained or at least found something in that time), they manage to find the funds for a Sky TV subscription - with movies, 200 cigarettes and 24 cans of lager a week.

They clearly go without in other areas - they have no car and don't go on holiday every year (although many other people don't either!), but it seems obvious to me that if people are able to be in receipt of the equivalent of a respectable salary (30k is way more than I earn) without, in theory, having to leave the house or even get up in the morning, then we will end up with generations upon generations of families who will simply choose not to work. Cutting benefits so that people can no longer afford to use them to fund Sky TV, 24 cans of lager and 200 fags a week may be the start needed.
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Bloggo
post Feb 1 2012, 02:30 PM
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QUOTE (massifheed @ Feb 1 2012, 02:17 PM) *
Was just reading this...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16812185

and wondered what people's thoughts were. The example family in the link get approx £30,000 per year in benefit, and could stand to lose £4000 if the cap were introduced. Looking at the family's ougoings I find it hard to have a great deal of sympathy. The guy has been out of work for 10 years (so one wonders why he hasn't retrained or at least found something in that time), they manage to find the funds for a Sky TV subscription - with movies, 200 cigarettes and 24 cans of lager a week.

They clearly go without in other areas - they have no car and don't go on holiday every year (although many other people don't either!), but it seems obvious to me that if people are able to be in receipt of the equivalent of a respectable salary (30k is way more than I earn) without, in theory, having to leave the house or even get up in the morning, then we will end up with generations upon generations of families who will simply choose not to work. Cutting benefits so that people can no longer afford to use them to fund Sky TV, 24 cans of lager and 200 fags a week may be the start needed.

I agree. Their benefits should be cut.


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Guest_xjay1337_*
post Feb 1 2012, 03:25 PM
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Agree, I saw this and was thinking exactly the same...sorry but a good chunk of your money goes on booze and tobbaco...They have £585 a week or something, regardless of them being unable to understand the concept of contraception, that's a little over 4 times what I have a week to live on (and I work for it!!!) and I can get by, even with buying stupid bits for my car. rolleyes.gif

Cut their benefits, I agree. Maybe it'll teach them to be more choice with their spending. Also Mr Software Engineer should know that in IT it's evolve or die - being a software developer, if you know C# or C++ or some other coding format you can easily (well, relatively) learn to code other things which means you could get a job.
Work is hard to find especially in specialised sectors but it's out there if you want it.
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stewiegriffin
post Feb 1 2012, 04:21 PM
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Agree completely, they could and should have their benefits cut. £26k is way more than the average person earns, especially when you take tax into account.

This lot have the cheek to suggest they need to choose between heating and eating. How about choosing between 24 cans of lager and heating? They are spending £30 a head on food too. That's more than my weekly supermarket budget. I can't afford lager and fags, or £32 a week on mobiles either.

I'm all for people on benefits having enough to live on, but this family are extracting the urine big time. Just like the woman on the One Show a while back who was scrounging food aid from a charity, whilst at the same time owning a large dog, a couple of budgies and watching Jeremy Kyle on her big plasma screen.

I hope the govt spends the money saved on all these scroungers by increasing benefits for people who actually need them, such as the disabled for instance.
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massifheed
post Feb 1 2012, 04:22 PM
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QUOTE (xjay1337 @ Feb 1 2012, 03:25 PM) *
...being a software developer, if you know C# or C++ or some other coding format you can easily (well, relatively) learn to code other things which means you could get a job.
Work is hard to find especially in specialised sectors but it's out there if you want it.


This is what struck me too. He's been out of work for ten years, but if he came from a job where he was writing educational software then it's straightforward enough to learn to code another language. And there is work out there for good developers.

However, if you have decided that the only thing you're ever going to do is write educational software, and you've decided that you'll wait until exactly the same type of job comes along that pays more than the £30k in benefits that you're currently receiving - well, I can see why you could be out of work for ten years.

The other thing, and I'll admit it's just my opinion, is that I don't think this is a family that was chosen as an example of people milking the system. I'd be willing to bet that this kind of set-up is widespread.

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blackdog
post Feb 1 2012, 07:39 PM
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Looking at the article it is easy enough to get worked up about the Sky TV, mobiles, fags and booze - cutting those out might fit this family into the £26 limit.

But imagine what the same limit would mean to a family around here, or in London - where £76 a week wouldn't get you a tent, let alone space (just) for a family of eight.

Sure the chap should be retrained which would, ideally see him working - but he lives in North Wales - where the chances of getting a job with his CV must be below zero. If they relocate to somewhere where jobs exist - say Newbury, could he get a job paying enough to support and, notably, to house the family - I doubt it.

The £26k cap will force families to move to places where they can exist on £26k - usually areas with high unemployment. I'm not sure how that will help?

Another simple issue - a family with 6 kids has to survive on £26k in N Wales, a family with 2 kids in the south-east will get the same £26k owing to massively higher housing costs. Is that fair? All unwaged large families must move to sink estates in poverty striken areas.

Unless the government subsidises housing in some other way (eg building thousands of council houses) I can't see how this 'one size fits all' cap will work in any way that could be defined as fair.
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Guest_xjay1337_*
post Feb 1 2012, 08:09 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Feb 1 2012, 07:39 PM) *
Looking at the article it is easy enough to get worked up about the Sky TV, mobiles, fags and booze - cutting those out might fit this family into the £26 limit.

But imagine what the same limit would mean to a family around here, or in London - where £76 a week wouldn't get you a tent, let alone space (just) for a family of eight.

Sure the chap should be retrained which would, ideally see him working - but he lives in North Wales - where the chances of getting a job with his CV must be below zero. If they relocate to somewhere where jobs exist - say Newbury, could he get a job paying enough to support and, notably, to house the family - I doubt it.

The £26k cap will force families to move to places where they can exist on £26k - usually areas with high unemployment. I'm not sure how that will help?

Another simple issue - a family with 6 kids has to survive on £26k in N Wales, a family with 2 kids in the south-east will get the same £26k owing to massively higher housing costs. Is that fair? All unwaged large families must move to sink estates in poverty striken areas.

Unless the government subsidises housing in some other way (eg building thousands of council houses) I can't see how this 'one size fits all' cap will work in any way that could be defined as fair.



So why doesn't he look for jobs nationally and if he gets one then relocate? That's a stupid amount of money to be getting on benefits and after 10 years this guy has clearly got no will to get another job.. angry.gif
Location isn't an excuse really, not when you've been bone idle for a decade. You can happily live in pretty much any area in and around Newbury for a **** of a lot less than £26k...I was on £15k and managed to rent my own place, pay finance, insurance, and what not.. it's not really that hard to look for cheaper places to live.
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massifheed
post Feb 1 2012, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Feb 1 2012, 07:39 PM) *
Unless the government subsidises housing in some other way (eg building thousands of council houses) I can't see how this 'one size fits all' cap will work in any way that could be defined as fair.


I agree, and I wasn't aiming to just demonise this particular family, but rather demonstrate that the problem of getting people that are out of work to want to get back into work isn't helped (and certainly will never succeed) all the while it's possible to receive enough benefit to sit at home watching movies on Sky while smoking and drinking lager.

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Andy Capp
post Feb 1 2012, 08:44 PM
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"I see eight people here having to choose between eating or heating." ... if we want to keep our full Sky subscription (£15.00), £60 worth of fags, £18.00 worth of lager and £20.00 down the pub every Friday! laugh.gif blink.gif
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NWNREADER
post Feb 1 2012, 09:32 PM
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I've never been on benefits. What is the tax situation on (say) #26k? Does that amount include the reliefs, such as Council Tax, free school meals etc?
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Andy Capp
post Feb 1 2012, 10:03 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Feb 1 2012, 09:32 PM) *
I've never been on benefits. What is the tax situation on (say) #26k? Does that amount include the reliefs, such as Council Tax, free school meals etc?

£26k is net before council tax, which will be no less than 75% of the original amount. Free school meals probably will be provided, but I cannot prove that.
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Strafin
post Feb 1 2012, 10:07 PM
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Nope, they will probably be getting all that too. I think this family is fairly typical of one on benefits. Thing is there is too much they can claim, if they had to struggle a bit more it would perhaps make them want to get a job more. Cut their benefits and put the money into training? Anyone out of work for a year could go on a free course (qualification needed), or get free on the job training to help them out.
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Andy Capp
post Feb 1 2012, 10:18 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Feb 1 2012, 10:07 PM) *
Nope, they will probably be getting all that too.

From what I have read, being on benefits alone will not make you exempt.
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NWNREADER
post Feb 1 2012, 10:54 PM
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If benefits are 'cash in hand', how much would someone have to earn to be left with the same amount of cash? Including any other benefits that come on line because the person is on benefits?
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Andy Capp
post Feb 1 2012, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Feb 1 2012, 10:54 PM) *
If benefits are 'cash in hand', how much would someone have to earn to be left with the same amount of cash? Including any other benefits that come on line because the person is on benefits?

Here you go: http://www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/salary.php
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blackdog
post Feb 2 2012, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE (xjay1337 @ Feb 1 2012, 08:09 PM) *
So why doesn't he look for jobs nationally and if he gets one then relocate? That's a stupid amount of money to be getting on benefits and after 10 years this guy has clearly got no will to get another job.. angry.gif
Location isn't an excuse really, not when you've been bone idle for a decade. You can happily live in pretty much any area in and around Newbury for a **** of a lot less than £26k...I was on £15k and managed to rent my own place, pay finance, insurance, and what not.. it's not really that hard to look for cheaper places to live.

If you can keep youirself and your wife (your bipolar wife), and your six kids on £26k paying Newbury rents then I am impressed. One person could easily live on that amount - but eight? That's £3250 each.

If I was in that situation I would be seriously p****d off to see the two child family next door getting exactly the same.

This cap will force people to move away from the places where the jobs are - making them even less likely to get off their sofas and get a job.

I'm not arguing that the benefits system is not overgenerous, just that this cap is an unfair and dumb way of trying to solve the problem.


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Guest_xjay1337_*
post Feb 2 2012, 02:19 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Feb 2 2012, 01:15 AM) *
If you can keep youirself and your wife (your bipolar wife), and your six kids on £26k paying Newbury rents then I am impressed. One person could easily live on that amount - but eight? That's £3250 each.

If I was in that situation I would be seriously p****d off to see the two child family next door getting exactly the same.

This cap will force people to move away from the places where the jobs are - making them even less likely to get off their sofas and get a job.

I'm not arguing that the benefits system is not overgenerous, just that this cap is an unfair and dumb way of trying to solve the problem.


I agree with what you're saying, I understand that for me £15k was just enough to get by, more people would obviously increase the financial strain, but there comes a point where you have to stop. I mean, for me, I bought a brand new bike on finance, the bike cost nearly £10,000, it's basically £212 a month. Plus being young and having a swanky car my car insurance is £160 a month (actually my car is one of the cheapest cars to insure for me full stop) - you think that's bad, last year I was paying £350 a month!!. I have a phone contract which I shopped around for and got an iPhone 4 when they had only recently came out, for £37 a month with no up front cost. So good deal there.

Without giving my life story, what I'm trying to explain is that as you get older, general living costs DECREASE and that by being proactive you can still enjoy a decent lifestyle on a lower income. Being young I go out, driving, going to shows, whatever, I can burn though £80 of diesel a week if I'm not careful. But if I didn't have finance out and/or I was older with more years of no claims, my major outgoings (aside from my rent) would probably be halved.

I think stewiegriffin said it was £30 of food, per head, per week? That is a obscene amount considering £30 of shopping would last me 2-3 weeks, if I didn't eat so much laugh.gif And that's with premium products, if I were to by the cheapy versions of things (Which I do from time to time, no shame in it whatsoever) then it's more like £10 for a weeks worth of food, admittedly not healthy stuff, processed rubbish, but it's food nevertheless.

For example, looking around Newbury and Thatcham you can find PLENTY of double rooms to rent for under £400. If you want to rent a whole house then it's more like £600-£800 depending on size/location etc. Fair enough. But remember these people are on £540 a week (or something, too tired to remember) - Which is enough to pay for the bare essentials, such as your grounds rent, water and electric bills, and basic and necessary amenities such as washing powder, bog roll, and food. I think their choice to spend a large proportion of their income on alochol and tobacco sort of shows they're not very good at managing their money.

You may not know it or believe it but I actually have anxiety and up until about 8-12 months ago I had clinical depression as well. I get worried about a lot of things very quickly and it piles up as people at work have seen, find it hard to talk to people who I have not met before unless we "click", or how I completely lose the ability to speak when I am worried I'm going to screw something up, but yet I'm still working, doing my best every day, "beating the system", heaven forbid I was to lose my job for some reason then I'd do whatever work was necessary in order for me to get by, whether that means working in a supermarket or picking litter. Having a mental disorder (depression, anxiety and bi-polar(bear)ianism can be controlled by drugs, unfortunately it can take time to find which sets of drugs work for you) - Not saying the mental problems are fake but saying that it's not an excuse. It's not Huntingtons or anything debilitating so quit moaning and get on with life!!

Neither is saying how you were a software engineer, which is frankly a pretty amazing job, now are unable to find work. Well you did that to yourself by being unemployed for 10 years. If you found a job, retrained within 6 months to a year it would probably be OK.

Now in short, yes I think there should be some sort of structure to the benefit scheme and the proposed £26k should be the upper limit. A cap is fair to all. A family such as Mr "I spend Taxpayers money on Booze" in the feature would be on £26k but if I happened to be on benefits I would get much less, perhaps £12k. A couple with one child may end up somewhere in the middle, £18-20k.
Basically it should be enough to just about get by without many luxuries.

huh.gif huh.gif
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TallDarkAndHands...
post Feb 2 2012, 08:54 AM
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I feel so sorry for this family.
I think there benefits should be increased so they can have 200 cans of lager a week, SKY Sports, with of course the Adult Channels thrown in, 1000 fags a week, and at least 2 or 3 holidays a year on the tax payer. Perhaps a cleaner and a chauffeur as well? I mean you would not want to drink and drive. blink.gif
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massifheed
post Feb 2 2012, 09:26 AM
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QUOTE (xjay1337 @ Feb 2 2012, 02:19 AM) *
Basically it should be enough to just about get by without many luxuries.


That's pretty much my view on it. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself in a position of entirely relying on benefits to live (and who could say it would never happen to them?), then it should be enough only to put a roof over your head, provide heating when it's cold and put food on the table for your family. If I found myself in that position I would expect nothing more.

But even then, it shouldn't be an open-ended thing, and ten years on benefit means both this particular guy in question, and the system, have failed.

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blackdog
post Feb 2 2012, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE (xjay1337 @ Feb 2 2012, 02:19 AM) *
Not saying the mental problems are fake but saying that it's not an excuse. It's not Huntingtons or anything debilitating so quit moaning and get on with life!!

A cap is fair to all.

I've cropped your reply to concentrate on just a couple of points.

Mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder can be totally debilitating - a friend of mine spends a few months every year or two in hospital having been sectioned during the manic phase. This is followed by months of severe depression when they could in no way be considered a responsible adult - barely able to speak to anyone, often suicidal. This is a pretty severe instance of bipolar disorder - but the chap's wife could have it that badly, if so I certainly do feel sorry for them.

A cap is most certainly not fair to all - most people on benefits get less than £26k - so it's okay that they can carry on buying their fags and booze while this family can't?


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