Bring back good old fashioned familes? Yeah, right!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Hells Bones, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Hey guys,

    Check this out.

    Speaking to a mate of mine today and they told me their story.

    They are pregnant and have been made redundant recently. They applied for a government maternity allowance and were told that they have to have a job to do that so she should apply for jobseekers allowance instead, but, as with all jobseekers allowance deals, she has to be looking and applying for jobs to keep getting it.

    She is pregnant, no employer will take her on, plus, she wants to return to work after the baby is born.

    Here is the kicker.
    she said that whilst on the phone to someone from the department of benefits and pensions, the person she was speaking to actually told her over the phone that if she kicked her fiance (Who is the father of the baby and father of the 3 year old they already have) out of the house, she would get much better benefits and wouldn't be expected to return to work and that she should consider this as an option.

    And the government claims it is promoting good old fashioned family life?

    Your thoughts?
  2. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    ///rant follows///

    This government has never supported the family - it's not politically correct to be one man staying with one woman, and heaven forbid, even married!!?!?!

    This country is becoming one giant social engineering experiment by socialist muppets with zero life experience who believe everything they read in textbooks on Social Studies.

    Commitment of any kind is a dirty word, you don't have to be committed to your partner, your children, your job, your employer, anyone or anything in Britain these days. Just beggar off when you get a bit fed up and the State will look after you. Unless you're elderly and have actually paid into the system for years, that is.

    The one I really don't understand is how they expect to cure child poverty by giving feckless parents more money to spend on lager and fags - if you can afford either of those you are NOT poor!!

    We need to skew the benefits system back so those who work hard get support and those who don't work get enough to feed, clothe, house and look for work and that's it, no luxuries unless you work.

    What amazes me is most of these feckless wasters are the ones who moan about immigrants taking all the jobs - which they can't be bothered to do!!

    There are loads of people who work all the hours they can to provide for their kids - they are the ones who deserve help, not the wasters sitting at home drinking Stella in the morning and watching rubbish daytime TV.

  3. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    When I finished a teaching contract that finished in July. I decided I should sign on. I have got enough debts from Uni and have been working in teaching since I graduated so I thought I deserved a bit of help. I had a contract that was starting again at a new place in the September so this was only for a period of a couple of months. I wouldn't have signed on if I didn't really need the money, but I was at that only just broken even with overdrafts from University and we had bills to pay. It turns out I wasn't elligible for any help for the following reasons.

    1. The year before I had done supply, but not paid enough tax as I hadn't worked enough hours. Apparently I should have signed on the days I was not working. I couldn't therefore get income job seekers allowance

    2. My partner was earning so couldn't get income based job seekers allowance

    I was so annoyed that I could get no help. Obviously if you go to uni, get in debt, then work educating children you deserve no help. If I had never worked it would have been a different story.
  4. eanto

    eanto Member

    Don't get me started!!!

    The whole system's a farse.

    Totally biased towards the scroungers and deadbeats, need I say more?
  5. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    When i tried to sign on after uni until i found a job they said i couldnt cos to sign on you now have to have worked for two years previous?!?!?!
    Luckily i had just moved in with john otherwise i would have been tres ******ed!!! I got a job after about 2 weeks so it wasn't too bad, luckily john let me off paying for anything for a few weeks!!! :)
  6. Very true....but lets face it. We have these people to thank for Jeremy Kyle. The people on that programme make me shudder!:clap:
  7. vonny

    vonny Member

    I agree with some of the issues within this post but in my own experience it hasn't been easy...
    I ended up getting involved with a guy... he's the father of my children but we haven't been together since my youngest daughter was a baby...

    I was unfortunate that I ended up having a baby at a very young age and because I was under 16 and classed as a child I wasn't allowed any form of benefits. It was my mother's responsibilty apparently that I was cared for as well as a baby. It was difficult for all of us because my mother was working but providing for us was sometimes a strain. I lived at home until I was 21 and in that time I didn't have a job, didn't go to college - I basiacially got up in the mornings and watched television... At this point I was able to claim benefits but when I attempted to enquire about college I was told that I would have to pay childcare... That was the biggest difficulty because I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it. At the age of 24 and having 3 children I decided I wasn't enjoying my life and my ex said to me one day that if I ever went to college he would dump me and the kids... I did decide to go back to college which was difficult at first trying to get childcare costs but I did and I got help with travelling costs. That was in 1998 when I did my GCSE's in English and Maths, diploma in music and the access course. I then went on to do a Bsc in psychology with community studies, counselling level 3 and a pgce in further, higher and adult education. I have to say that I have had immense difficulties along the way not only with money pressures but the fact I had to incorporate my studies with looking after 3 children. I lost motivation on many an occassion, but I always found the strength to carry on.

  8. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    You have done so well and are a shining example to others as to how a person can turn their life around and find purpose and success whilst fighting seemingly insurmountable problems.
    Congratulations, I am full of admiration for your staunch spirit and determination.
    - Wilkie
  9. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    I get really miffed that the government doens't support family values. When I went to uni my parents had to put both myself and my sister through, and because they both worked (moderate income) we didn't get any help with out fess. But my mates who had parents who were seperated (and earned more than my folks) didn't have to pay fair is that???

    We worked out that it would have been better if Dad moved out, and they were told that when we enquired about support to the local council.:frown:
  10. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    That is basically what the woman on the phone said to my mate. If the Dad moved out you would get allsorts of help.

    Hear, Hear!

    That bit about your ex dumping you if you went back to college. The word that springs to mind would get me kicked of tMP for life if I said it!
  11. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Yes - when I'm down in the dumps because things aren't going well for one reason or the other, watching one episode of that programme makes me feel a WHOLE lot better!! :)
  12. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    Did you do your access course at Bury College? I primarily teach A levels to 16-19 year olds, but am involved with some access teaching. I am a real fan of the course. I think it really opens doors for people who have often had a very difficult time in life. A very brave post Yvonne.
  13. vonny

    vonny Member


    Yes I did all my further education at Bury College and I particulary loved the Access course because like you have mentioned it does open doors for people who are adult returners to education (The ones who have felt they have missed out...)
    I still go into the college now because it was like my second home for 4 years:D

  14. hicks

    hicks Member

    I feel that working life is totally incompatible with families. Most employers do not support Mums taking time out to look after kids, and school holidays are a complete nightmare for parents who are working. My wife has been trying for months to find a job which fits in around school time, and was actually sacked from her last job for taking a day off when our daughter was ill. Of course the employer didn't explicitly state this as the reason, but we all knew what prompted the dismissal.
  15. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Whilst I realise that it's very easy to generalise as regards "Feckless scroungers" in the same way it's easy to generalise about immigrants, please consider both sides of the argument.

    I've worked In local government/civil service since I was 16. The last 8 years have been spent working for benefits services in one guise or another – but before I did that, I was part of the library service, mainly working evenings and weekends while I was at university.

    During that time, I got familiar with a chap who used to come in and take out children’s books. His clothes were tatty and mended, but always clean. His file said he was only allowed three loans because he lived at a “hostile address” which was a council-run homeless hostel 10 minutes walk away.

    He was always friendly and chatty when he came in, liked to discuss football too, never picked up a fine, and never had a bad word to say about anyone. I never asked him about his child/children, although I did think it was good that he was trying to push them on by taking out some of the more advanced childrens and teenage books.

    Anyway, one Saturday, he came in, checked in all his books, asked to close his borrower file, and plonked a box of roses on the counter for the staff, because we’d always been nice to him and he was moving away.

    I was sad to see him go until I saw him on an article on Calendar, our local TV news programme. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw him, and wondered what this was all about.

    It turns out, he’d got out of Armley Prison about a year before, having got sent down for 18months for handling stolen goods, breaking and entering etc. While he was inside he got some proper rehabilitation and support, and once his parole came up, he went straight.

    Except when he got out, he had the clothes he stood up in, and that was it. The local council paid housing benefit for him to stay in the hostel and he got his JSA to pay for things that weren’t covered, meals, lighting, water rates etc and he just about made ends meet. Believe me, the amounts that the government bases things on to decide how little someone can live on is absolutely pitiful, so this was some achievement.

    The thing was, all the time he’d been living in the hostel (because he had nowhere else to go and no qualifications) he’d been using the childrens books and teaching himself to read so he could join the army and provide for himself. I nearly cried when I found out he’d got in. I just felt so pleased for him – and pretty guilty because that box of roses must’ve eaten up his entire spare cash for the week.

    Yes, the system is not perfect – and I'd definitely 100% agree more incentive needs to be given to those willing to work, rather than those who just sign the claim form and switch on Trisha. However I’d argue benefits are not too high. Wages for those willing to take unskilled jobs are far too low. Fat-cat salaries and bonanza bonuses may be all the rage in the city, and 2% pay-rises look like quite a lot for them. But 2% on £6.50 an hour is absolutely nothing.

    For every thousand dole-addicts and shirkers out there, there is maybe one person who genuinely wanted to get back on their feet and simply could not have done it without the state benefits programme.

    It might not be a great ratio, but in my eyes, it’s worth it just for that one - because without benefits, they don't have a prayer.
  16. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    My best mate has been severely let down by the benefits system. Having worked continuously since she left school she made the terrible mistake of getting married. Then another terrible mistake occured - conceiving a child within wedlock! She and her husband lived in the one-bedroom starter home she'd bought for herself prior to meeting said husband (all she could afford at time). She decided it wasn't large enough for the 3 of them so she sold it and they moved into her mum's until she could find something else.

    Redundancy of her husband followed and cos they had the money from the sale of their house (deposit for next house) they were told they were entitled to no help and to live off that. She was self employed and worked until she physically became unable due to the size of her bump. Her husband could only get short contract work and the more money they spent from the deposit the less places would give them a mortgage. Baby one is born.

    She applied for council/local authority housing and was told they were not homeless/drug addicts/single parents so would have to join the long waiting list. Husband returned to full-time employment but was told he didn't earn enough to get a mortgage and they refused to take her self-emplyed earnings into consideration. So she gave up her business and took on a part-time office job. Baby number 2 on the way, they're offered a homeshare house but still requiring a mortgage of £90k. Refused by all banks. She finds out that a friends brother's partner (claiming as a single mum) has been offered the same type of house to rent (paid by DSS!).

    Meanwhile houseprices continue to rocket and they're priced even further out of the market. Getting desperate for space and her relationships with both her mother and husband suffering she goes to Housing Dept and is told if her husband left she'd get a house within days. Decides against this. Baby number 2 arrives. She's now 18 months old and they've at last been offered a house (in a really rough area, but they are so desperate they don't care).

    So can someone enlighten me as to any incentive to work, pay taxes to the letter and get (and stay) married and try to raise a family in this country?:confused:
  17. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    If local authority housing is unavailable, a person always has the option of taking a private tenancy and applying for housing benefit (In which case the state supports the individual, not the tenancy) - however this would automatically be refused if your friends had over £16,000 in capital saved, and you did mention they were putting a deposit together for a house? I would however ask how the benefits system can be blamed for the (admittedly ridiculous) spiral in property prices that the country has recently seen? Several people were and still are priced right out of the market due to banks, estate agents, and greedy property developers, but not state benefits.

    No offence intended, as I can't know the specifics of each case, but it is not the benefit system alone that has let your friend down - but a combination of factors. Benefits have to have some sort of capital exclusion value - ie: the current threshold of £16,000 which prevents housing or council tax benefit being paid. These were introduced as a necessary measure to prevent what used to happen, where someone (usually a pensioner) could quite legitimately have their rent and council tax paid by the state, yet their £100,000 savings were not taken into account. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but someone who would otherwise sleep in a carboard box on the street needs money from the state a flippin sight more!!

    It may seem harsh that your friends would be placed at the bottom of the housing waiting list - but unfortunately there has to be some order of merit, and those without a roof over their heads have to come first. It may seem awful that single parents who've never worked a day hit the top of the least much more easily than families - however the argument is that families can generally have one person working to support the others, whereas single parents find that much more difficult. How fair that is, based on how they (the single parent) got into that situation, I leave it to you to decide.

    If either of them is working at present they should be entitled to working tax credit and family tax credit, which is one of the few good measures this government has introduced to help families and encourage benefit claimants to return to work. (However thanks to gordon brown, they will not now qualify for the 10p tax rate!)

    Courting controversy for a moment - on the subject of children, single mums etc which haunts so much of the discussion on benefits:

    Do we not all have a duty to ensure we can support a child before we even consider bringing one into the world? Surely the burden of that should fall upon the individual, not the state?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2008
  18. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Yes, but she and her husband were in fulltime employment when she got pregnant both times but the lack of affordable housing for people on a low income and lack of support for those who's situations suddenly change is what annoys me. Plenty of housing for those with no self-earned income but it's those in the middle who earn but don't make enough to qualify for help that suffer. To be told she'd be better off leaving her husband for a few months is insane!:mad:
  19. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I'd agree that does sound like insanity. It appears however, that they've been given some duff info.

    Anyone entitled to in income-related benefit, ie: income support or income-based jobseekers allowance, is automatically entitled to full housing benefit and full council tax benefit. These are called passported benefits, the idea being that anyone who's financial criteria match IS or JSA(IB) will also meet those for HB and CTB. And JSA is payable from the moment someone becomes unemployed. It is not based on previous earnings. If he had been made redundant and she was not working due to preganancy, I can see no reason they would not have qualified for Income Support.

    Contributions based JSA (Or JSA(C)) is different. This used where the person would not normally qualify for income based JSA, (Usually due to savings etc) but can claim back some of their national insurance contributions. This is based on the amount of national insurance the person has paid, but does carry with it some eligibilty for HB, although not as much as income based JSA. I don't think the six grand they'd saved would have disqualified them from income-based benefit though. (Though it has been a while since I worked for the DWP.)

    Whoever told your friends that a private tenancy was not an option is completely wrong. Private tenants make up a very large percentage of the caseload of the local authority I work for. With the recent Advent of Local housing allowance (Which allows tenants to keep £15 per week of any excess housing benefit, rather than just not paying them it) it's rarely been easier to take on a private tenancy with state help until you get back on your feet. Plus, since the level of housing benefit is now set by how many rooms the family requires, rather than how much the landlord charges, Tenants can now choose their property based on their Local housing allowance rate, either taking a lower-rent property to claim the £15 per week excess, or taking a rent up to the full value of their LHA, which could mean a larger house or possibly a nicer area.

    It's actually starting to make me angry they got such poor advice!!!
  20. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member


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