Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hitting the poorest

Did you see on the news the woman who claimed benefits and could not go to work unless she received a salary of £60,000? Is this fair? Due to the complexity of the benefit system she was getting money from many directions for many reasons. She will be an extreme example and that is why she got on the news but in general people who work should get more than people who are on benefits, otherwise what is the point of working?

I hope this is not a common occurrence and in the vast majority of cases it is worth working. I have never earned anything close to £60,000 and for that matter I earn nothing like the benefits she gets. It may be the case that this is an extreme example but whether it is or whether it isn't, it is a good example of how we could be taking money off the "poorest" and still have a fair system.

Change the world


  1. You don't have 4 children and an inherited incapacitating illness either. She probably can't work. Reducing her benefits to £25,000 will just impoverish her children. She will have to put the kids in care and the result will cost the state more than it saves. There are around 50,000 families, mostly in the south-east whose benefits are more than the median wage. Reducing their benefits may please the readers of the Daily Mail, but all it means is that that Social Services will have to take up the slack. Impoverishing children is not "fair". It's just stupid.

  2. I think it's an extreme example...yet my niece.....never worked..has kids by three different dad's...gets a "car" as the youngest is I don't know...and as far as I know she has never worked...while I fight against my "disablement" on at least three counts and recognised by the OH peeps who I work for, and get no help from state in that way..and have a job.
    The world has gone mad!
    I don't want the world t say..hey look at her....until I really cvan't carry onm...but feel tiz unfair that others who have never worked get loads of "help"

  3. Thanks for your comment Jane. I have five children and as for my health - well that's a subject for many blogs. I think you know what £25 000 means but the problem is that many many people go out to work for far less than this. How can this be right? Should I give up now? Should everyone give up? It's not about average wage and benefits, it's about incentive to work.

  4. She is actually getting £37,000. Using the benefit calculator on the government website I got close to that figure fairly easily, assuming her rent is £800 a month which seems the lower scale for 4 bed houses in that area, and assuming she gets maximum disability benefits and assuming she is getting a temporary allowance for being on a government training scheme.

    The point, of course, is that one of the benefits -- for the training scheme, is temporary, and if she was working several of the benefits she is receiving would otherwise continue or be replaced, because of her disablement and because of her children.

    Her own estimate of needing £60.000 appears to ignore the benefits she would continue to receive in employment.

    She does in fact appear to believe that despite the money she is receiving on benefits she has an incentive to work, and indeed is trying to. She has a degree and she is currently doing a training course, albeit one which doesn't look hopeful of getting her a job.

    Reducing her benefits doesn't seem likely to me to achieve anything other than the immiseration of her and her children in order to please Daily Mail readers.

  5. I didn't want this blog to get personal either about this person on benefits or me, but even with this deeper explanation I am still in the position of supporting an incentive to work. I must say Jane, you are providing me with less incentive to work and more of an incentive to search out benefits. I thought the person on television came across clearly as a person who did not wish to work, but as I say, I don't want to personalise it.

  6. Thanks for your comment Sea. I have just found it as it didn't come to my mail box. I think we are losing incentives to work but I also think it is really important to care for the needy. That is the sign of a civilised society. The trouble is that the needy have 4z4s and large televisions.