02/02/2012 10:14 am
People have different views about welfare reform, benefits and how people live on benefits. I cite the following case below and ask what typical level of benefit (exclusive of housing costs) SHOULD exist for ….
gas (heating/hot water)
other expenses (transport, insurance, communications, etc.)
a) someone (say, of my age -- that’s 61 in July), single and who is disabled
b) someone single not disabled
c) per child of a single parent family
d) per child of a 2 parent family.
REAL LIFE CASE ….
Working age disabled person allocated £40-53 to live on for a week including costs of :
gas (heating/hot water)
transport to and from doctors (twice)
Transport to and from hospital (twice),
NOT EXACTLY A KING’S RANSOM or even generous is it?
THE GAS EXPENDITURE WAS REDUCED TO ZERO, A GENUINE CASE OF HEAT OR EAT! And it’s sub-zero temperatures here in leafy Cheshire.
Yet the local MP got the lion’s share of £200,000 for HIS expenses last year.
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07/02/2012 4:41 pm
To try and bring this debate away from tv licences and back to benefit levels - I personally think its relatively straight forward.
The in-depth research on this website - minimumincomestandard.org - highlights whats needed for people to be able to survive on benefits and comes up with a rate of about £7.20 thats needed for someone to be able to get by.
those on the Right will complain that this is wrong and against public feeling.
to those I can only say that the conclusions are formed from in-depth objective research which has been carried out for many years and is based on the opinions of the good British public.
07/02/2012 5:35 pm
@mrkfm - I can imagine the Tories would be thrilled, so long as that was per week!
What is needed is a regional premium, as whilst such a low hourly rate may support an individual in the rural west, it would not even pay the rent in the urban centre. The other consideration for the figure is that it should be an expression of how much to support a family, not just one individual, so that it may have comparative meaning.
07/02/2012 5:44 pm
Social landlords and HA are pushing more and more tenants into using computers (ie buying them). They also offer and run courses for tenants to learn how to use computers. this is all to advantage of the landlord, as it offers more and more of their services to tenants via the web. This is also produces great savings for the landlords as rent statements, leaflets about various issues, newsletters, etc etc are being emailed rather than posted... A lot of material, policies and plans and initatives are not delivered to tenants by post but only accessible on the landlord's website... this use of the web from landlord has been on the increase year after year. and some stupid idiots here still maintain the computer is a luxury for tenants... the least a landlord can do is provide free computers to their worst off tenants.
08/02/2012 9:18 am
Re: F451 - £7.20 per hour! Yes you're right that £7.20 per week would keep the Tories happy.
Far more interesting is the fact that that sandal-wearing, hippy liberal that is Boris Johnson - you know the one that says that the housing benefit cap is social cleansing - is of the opinion that Londoners need a minimum of £8.30 per hour to keep them out of poverty.
08/02/2012 10:18 am
Anon @ 5.44pm
Of course! While we're at it why not give them all cars as well, as its too much to expect tenants to utilise their subsidised public transport or walk isnt it.
You might not be aware of these littles thing called "The Big Society" or "Inclusion Strategies". HA/LA's are now ordered to help those less better off through either training or return to work programmes and a host of other training schemes. So for some of the less better educated on here to spout we are doing nothing to help those less better of is laughable. you expect all this to be provided at no cost, yet moan when rents go up, there is no more funding like the good ol' days when Labour wrote blank benefit cheques which we now have to pay for. Cheers.
08/02/2012 10:20 am
Again - that would be each, and higher if supporting a family. Does anyone like me remember the days when a average paid worker could support an average sized family on a single wage?
Through the 1950's and 1960's it was not out of the ordinary for a working man (as it was in most cases) to earn enough to support his partner and children, afford housing, transport and living costs, and even a modest holiday - all on one wage. Second wages allowed for luxuries, such as colour TV's and washing machines.
Just consider that compared to now where the same family would struggle to exist on two wages and you will have understood just how much the average working person has lost under the policy of greed and consumerism, the break up of Trades Unionism, the destruction of the Labour Party, and the whittling away at the social security offered by the State.
Soon, there will be a crying need for children to go out to work to contribute to the family pot, and for more children to be born to poorer families simply so that there is a prospect of support in ones old age - just as things were back in the good old days of Dickens.
What I can not understand is why certain quarters find this additional financial burden upon the poorest a cause for celebration.
08/02/2012 10:55 am
I am glad you remember the good old days... You must have been quite well off then, because not many of us have had any good old days to remember... It's no change for us at the bottom. It's yours kind who moans about everything and will be only satisfied when all social tenants will be reduced to be better off abandoning their properties rather than live in them.
09/02/2012 7:04 pm
Yes nonny - clothing is not essential either - indeed without clothing who needs wardrobes. The savings are endless.
The Tories are right, all anyone needs is sufficient food upon which to do a days' labour and somewhere to sleep for the 4 hours when not working. A fiver a day is more than enough, if we convert some old commercial units in to dorms and feeding centres for the poor. Then, all the houses that are freed up can be afforded by the middle earners, who will not have to suffer living next door to the poor. Tory Utopia, and only a couple of years away.
10/02/2012 9:10 am
Dont be childish F541.
But I do suppose you would have it the other way around? So the earners in the country continuing to pay larger slices of their salary to keep the poor? What incentive is there for personal development/ progression or to even get a job? I would also suggest it is the likes of you that have put forward that benefit increases would be 5.2% across the board, while those of us working in lower/middle class environments have had nothing in just over 3/4 years?
10/02/2012 10:00 am
This topic is extremely divisive and must have the bankers and elites laughing whilst we all fight amoungst ourselves over the peanuts.
Whilst it is backed by good intention the reality is that benefits create negative incentives to better yourself and face the responsibility of your actions. Meanwhile it creates resentment from the taxpayer.
The level of benefit is irrelevant. We must address the benefit culture because it is not a and we cant afford it anyway.
10/02/2012 10:07 am
Typical 9/02/12 5:54 pm nonny...
"Its easy to be well off when you live within your means nonny @10:55am. Rather then believing a car, Sky TV and broad band are things you are entitled to. Perhaps I am just the Ray Myers of social housing."
Nonny, social tenants need computers and education on how to use them (No in their interest but in the interest of their landlords as they are the ones driving the agenda that more and more their services are to be accessed via internet use) and you go on with your lies and anti-tenant hate by saying they are asking for sky tv and cars...
10/02/2012 10:57 am
Nonny 10-2-12 9:10am
Why not when it can be such fun!
I do not advocate benefit increases. Indeed I advocate the scrapping of every single benefit, including the many that you get, scrapping all tax allowances and all tax bandings. I advocate the replacement with a flat rate tax on all income and a flat rate premium paid to all citizens. What people earn on top of their premium is up to them, but they will pay the flat rate tax on every pound of it the same as the next person.
What I also advocate is that the wage paid for the job should reflect the value of the work done. It is ridiculous that a senior executive may lead an organisation to no advancement yet gain maximum reward at the same time as a front-line worker may achieve and exceed all of their targets, generate significant earning yet only receive a portion of that they have generated. Each should receive in proportion to the worth that they add.
The real flaw in your proposition Nonny is that the greater proportion of those dependent on benefit are earning, are working, yet remain poor. It is not a case of the squeezed middle funding the poor but a case of the poor and the middle funding the rich in ever higher proportions. That is why proportionate shares of wealth has decreased for the bottom 20% and increased for the top 10%.
A restoration of fairness in pay and taxation would allow the long put off revolution in work that ICT can permit, as well as re-empower the majority who have seen their powers eroded for decades.
You may argue to kep things as they are Nonny - but is that really what you want.
10/02/2012 3:24 pm
Shocker, because I make a few comments which offend your liberal left agenda I am branded as anti-tenant. If you can identify where I say tenants are demanding/ asking for a car/Sky TV I am waiting.
F451, and you say the rest of us are living in lies......the above is utter madness, that you actually think the above could work without the removal of human condition to acquire possessions, to better themselves of one up manship is a right good giggle. Still we shall see.
10/02/2012 3:43 pm
How does equal taxation and the freedom to earn your worth prevent you from acquiring possesions or bettering yourself Nonny?
I make no such demands (neither am I calling you anti tenant). Are we reading the same posts?
13/02/2012 3:35 am
Is anyone else confused by the different number of Nonnys, especially when they start replying to one another? :)
On to the subject at hand, the idea that people on benefits are "given" things that people in middle to lower class working households are struggling to pay for is wrong. Working families on lower incomes are eligible for various benefits and tax credits which those in non working households get as well, but that's not the end of it by far. Even the tax on your income allows you several thousands of pounds of "allowance" to reduce your costs.
The taxes you pay goes towards the public services you receive, but those people/corporations earning vast sums of monies pay a lot more tax money (I'm not talking proportionally) and tend to use less public services, so that we receive them often free or at vastly reduced costs.
Consider how much it would cost you if you had to pay for your rubbish to be cleared regularly, for the roads to be maintained, for police to patrol the streets, and lots of other services. If you think about it, the average middle to lower class working families probably benefit from over £26k a year as it is without realising it, even after taking into account the taxes they pay out.
The welfare system is set up to help anyone in need and to ensure no one is left behind, does anyone really want the cardboard cities and shanty towns that plague many cities aborad, often affecting crime and safety, tourism and manufacturing (and therefore the economy)?
While I agree there can be changes made to the benefit system, such as shopping vouchers instead of cash, ensuring all HB is paid direct to landlords, etc, this is because of a minority of people who are abusing the system. What the cap does is to punish the majority in order to "shake off" those that abuse the system, but will first hit the many people who don't know how to "play the system" and will fall through the cracks.
What it's also doing is redefining what is "minimal living" in that it seems to suggest you cannot have any means of possibly improving your life (computers these days are very useful for school studies, as well as allowing people access to cheaper goods and services), and this will do more to keep people in benefits for longer than anything else.
13/02/2012 1:31 pm
Very timely programme on BBC1 tonight at 8:30, showing the impact in the US where welfare is less accessible than the UK.
13/02/2012 2:30 pm
it no news that the US welfare system is in shmables and perpetuates unending poverty and gives little or no protections to millions of american citizens... but I welcome the bbc programme. the more they talk about what is happening in the US the more decent brits will realize how important is to defent and indeed improve and invest in the welfare section of our system.
13/02/2012 2:43 pm
I'm sure some posters will revel in seeing middle class families in line at the soup kitchens and having downsized into shared rooms as a result of the cuts in public sector jobs and he failure of the private sector to grow.
I'm sure that they will equally be pleased that the old poor and new poor are being treated with equal indiffference under the American system, but will reassure themselves that workfare will be better in Britain, its simply the Americans have not implemented it successfully.
I'm equally convinced that those same posters will completely fail to realise that within months their lives too could be turned upside down exactly the same way as some of those professionals interviewed on the programme. They too could not have expected the axe to fall on them, and realised to late that the cuts in welfare they supported now meant that they could not eat or heat their homes.
It would probably be best if these people spent the evening reading the Daily Mail or looking up Conservative Home website rather than have their delusions challenged by the reality of that they support.
20/02/2012 4:41 am
Some interesting points made in the various posts but nobody has really answered how much a person should have to live on (excluding housing costs).
IS £40-53 emough then?