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The benefits system

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posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 05:53 PM
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I don't think the benefits system in this country works. Work in any job-centre up and down the country and chances are you'll be seeing a lot of the same faces coming in week in, week out to sign on. Usually young, never having had a job and with no intention of ever getting one.

There are plenty of jobs to go around but people just won't take them because they either don't pay enough or are considered menial. This way of thinking is reinforced when people actually do the sums. A person working 40 hrs per week on minimum wage will receive £170. Tax and NI will knock that down to around £140. Now, take away from that figure your rent and council tax and you're left with only a little more than you would get on the dole.

So what can we do?

An obvious solution would be to raise the minimum wage to a level where there is a clear benefit to working, say £5.00 to £5.50 per hour. This would take a heavy toll on British business however and would not be popular with the business community.

Another potential solution, and the one I would prefer, would be to limit the time a person can receive unemployment benefits, no more life long free rides. I believe the US uses a similar system to this, but unlike the US, I wouldn't take away benefits completely.

My idea would be to keep the benefits system exactly as it is now for the first year of unemployment. After the first year, claimants would no longer receive cash from the government. Instead, they would receive a 'ration book' which could be used to get food and other essential things. Free travel on public transport could also be included.

Just a thought sparked off by an overheard conversation at the bus stop, what's everyone's opinions on this?




posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
An obvious solution would be to raise the minimum wage to a level where there is a clear benefit to working, say £5.00 to £5.50 per hour. This would take a heavy toll on British business however and would not be popular with the business community.


- The minimum wage is already £4.85/hr, many firms now pay over £5/hr.
Would this be the same or a similar kind of 'heavy toll' predicted before this Labour brought in the minimum wage Chris?

(do you need refererences? ok, enjoy.... www.politics.co.uk...


Another potential solution, and the one I would prefer, would be to limit the time a person can receive unemployment benefits, no more life long free rides.


- What "life-time free rides" Chris?
Do you have any idea of the mandatory weekly or fortnightly hoops unemployed people must now jump through in the UK?

Not to mention the pitiful levels of benefit available which practically encourage the 'black market'.


My idea would be to keep the benefits system exactly as it is now for the first year of unemployment. After the first year, claimants would no longer receive cash from the government. Instead, they would receive a 'ration book' which could be used to get food and other essential things. Free travel on public transport could also be included.


- Well I just hope you and yours never end up suffering on the recieving end of such demeaning and unnecessary treatment.

In any case since when was unemployment a major problem in the UK today?
Why the 'need' for such harsh treatment?

UK unemployemnt is currently at 4.7% www.guardian.co.uk... and UK employment is at record highs.www.bloomberg.com....

Mind you if your tory pals ever got back and brought along their trademark mass unemployment once again (afterall they managed it twice inside 10yrs last time): you might find that with 10% or 3million+ unemployed in an 'economic down-turn' or perhaps just living in an employment 'blackspot' the ideas about shirkers and easily available work might seem very different.



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 08:13 PM
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[edit on 20-12-2004 by kegs]



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 05:59 AM
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@ Sminkey:

Thanks for the correction on the minimum wage, I didn't realise it had already gone up.

The fortnightly hoops you talk about are non-existent. I know this from both personal experience and the experiences friends have had (and are having).


Mind you if your tory pals ever got back and brought along their trademark mass unemployment once again


*yawn*

/

I've got nothing against Jobseekers allowance, as long as it is for job seekers. Why do we have to subsidise those who don't want to work?

Anyone else got any thoughts on it? It can't just be me, sminkey and kegs.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
The fortnightly hoops you talk about are non-existent. I know this from both personal experience and the experiences friends have had (and are having).


- My understanding was that every week or fortnight one 'signed on' as unemployed to remain qualified for benefit payments one had to demonstrate that one was actively seeking employment.

If the benefit office staff are not applying the rules as they currently are then surely that is a different issue altogether......and why should new ones help?


Mind you if your tory pals ever got back and brought along their trademark mass unemployment once again


- Yeah ok, it was a pop but nevertheless the point regarding a change in the economy still stands.

You can get away with that kind of 'tightening up' when the employment situation is releatively good but when it isn't what do you want to do?
Bar people from even a subsistance living?


I've got nothing against Jobseekers allowance, as long as it is for job seekers.


- Chris the idea that 'they are a source of all our problems and that they aren't really interested in working and if we could just get rid of 'them' we'd all be so much happier is as old as the hills and just illusory.

The vast bulk of people want to enjoy the full benefit(s) that fully employed engagement with our society brings.....especially as the standard of living on benefits is so appallingly low.


Why do we have to subsidise those who don't want to work?


- To be honest this number of people for whom this is actually and genuinely true is so small a fringe element that I think we are wealthy enough as a society to afford them (particularly as we give them buttons anyway, something I find more scandellous).

The tory experience of cutting 16, 17 and 18yr olds out of the benefits system was something kids fom a settled background got used to but those from turbulent back-grounds found it a very difficult experience. Homeless youngsters became a significant problem back then.

Young people (especially young males) can demonstrate this tendancy for a while but most soon grow out of it, for obvious reasons.

In any case, our society experiences wider benefits from having artists and mavericks who don't utterly conform IMHO.

Why should the one requirement in life be to hire ones' self out to actually live/subsist?


Anyone else got any thoughts on it? It can't just be me, sminkey and kegs.


- Looks like it.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 05:17 PM
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Sminkey,

You're supposed to go in every fortnight and sign on. While you're there the staff member dealing with you is supposed to ask questions to find out if you've been seeking work. My experience of this has been, yoiu go in, you sign the form, you leave. I was actually in a job-centre recently and saw that the same thing is still happening. I don't know if it's because the staff are too busy or have just got tired of asking the same questions of the same people over and over but it doesn't happen.

I'm not saying 'they' are the source of all our problems. Looking back at my previous posts I may have been a bit harsh, but I see these kind of people every day where I live and it just p**ses me off. The conversation I overheard was two youngish lads and an older guy (mid 40s maybe). They were saying that they should be getting at least £100 per week from the govt. The older guy was chipping in with gems like 'what's the point in a job if you get money for nowt anyway?'.

I realise the number of people isn't that great but come on, it must get on your nerves a bit that they think nothing of living off others.

I still think there should be a limit on how long you get jobseekers allowance, maybe two, maybe four years, but not forever. Maybe raising the minimum wage aswell as this limit would be the way to go, seeing their mates with jobs being able to afford decent stuff might change their views a bit. The question then is how much can you raise the minimum wage and still be competitive?


Anyone else got any thoughts on it? It can't just be me, sminkey and kegs.

- Looks like it.


yeah, and I never even got to read what kegs wrote.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
Sminkey,

You're supposed to go in every fortnight and sign on. While you're there the staff member dealing with you is supposed to ask questions to find out if you've been seeking work. My experience of this has been, yoiu go in, you sign the form, you leave.


- Well I must admit my personal experience is from a long time ago now but I was under the impression that some sort of proof that interviews had been applied for and done was now part of it all (the 'actively seeking work' bit).
It might be that this is separate from the signing on part? I don't know JSA well enough to say, I will make enquiries.


I realise the number of people isn't that great but come on, it must get on your nerves a bit that they think nothing of living off others.


- I won't deny I personally think this is a far from ideal situation but more than anything I think it's a tragic stunting and waste of their lives when this actually happens to any long term degree.

But I also believe that sometimes there are problems and issues you just have to learn to live with because the 'fall out' and knock-on effects from any attempted remedy is worse.

We're supposed to be the 4th or 5th (depending on stats used) biggest/richest economy in the world, I just don't see worrying about such a necessarily small 'margin' is worth it compared to those 'innocent' unfortunates that might suffer from a lack of needed help.


The question then is how much can you raise the minimum wage and still be competitive?


- That's an interesting question.
The current almost £5/hr seems easily bearable for the economy (what with employment being at an apparantly record high).
Mind you I have no idea where the answer to that one can be found - ask a group of economists and......well I'm sure you know the saying!


yeah, and I never even got to read what kegs wrote.


- Me neither. Pity.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 03:31 AM
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The benefit system works, but immigrants should not be entitled to any benfits. The benefit system should be in place for cizitens who are born in this country who need help, not a group coming of a boat from Poland.

Their is nothing wrong with the system, just the wrong people are claiming it. A small group tend to leave school and live of the state, groups like this should have all benefits scrapped along with their democratic rights. You want to cheat the system, the system will cheat you. Thats my view on this matter.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 06:26 AM
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Originally posted by infinite
The benefit system works, but immigrants should not be entitled to any benfits. The benefit system should be in place for cizitens who are born in this country who need help, not a group coming of a boat from Poland.


I even covered this idea in my Immigration thread:

politics.abovetopsecret.com...


Originally posted by UK Wizard in another thread
*Those who immigrate to Britain should not receive any form of benefits for a minimum of 3 years, this is to deter those who wish to abuse the British benefits system. - This would not apply to things like the NHS.


The benefits system is abused, people see it as a one sided hand out.

One thing that comes to mind that really annoys me is when a 15 year old girl gets pregnant and is given a free council house and free hand outs from the state.

If you can't look after the child, don't have one



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:30 AM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
The benefits system is abused, people see it as a one sided hand out.


- People who think asylum seekers 'get everything' (or even people on benefits generally) are simply wrong.
You cannot just turn up in the country and start getting benefit.


One thing that comes to mind that really annoys me is when a 15 year old girl gets pregnant and is given a free council house and free hand outs from the state.

If you can't look after the child, don't have one


- So your solution for this kind of uncommon sad little tragedy is........?



[edit on 24-12-2004 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

- So your solution for this kind of uncommon sad little tragedy is........?


Tell them to stop making out they are some kind of victim that deserves state help and get a job (and finish education) and support their child like a normal citizen.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:43 AM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
My idea would be to keep the benefits system exactly as it is now for the first year of unemployment. After the first year, claimants would no longer receive cash from the government. Instead, they would receive a 'ration book' which could be used to get food and other essential things. Free travel on public transport could also be included.


Clever idea
Stops people spending their allowence on plasma screen tvs and cars.

The job seekers benefits system should be for sustaining the work seekers - food, clothing, home etc the basic living needs.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:47 AM
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Most couples now, leave school at 16, get pregnant, get a council house and live of the state on benefits. Those people make me sick, they are people in this country who need help, but dont get it due to people living off the state.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
Tell them to stop making out they are some kind of victim that deserves state help and get a job (and finish education) and support their child like a normal citizen.


- But clearly they are in circumstances not like "a 'normal' citizen".
How do you suggest a 15yr old child looks after her new child and does all this?
Some will get the support they need but in the case you described and complained about - where a local authority home is provided (almost without fail in some bloody aweful sh*thole estate) - that can hardly be the case, can it?

So just how does a new very young mother get a job and look after her child?



Originally posted by UK Wizard
The job seekers benefits system should be for sustaining the work seekers - food, clothing, home etc the basic living needs.


- You mean the barest meanest subsistance living?
I hope you never end up 'enjoying' such 'encouragement'.....or the wider social problems that invariably go with it.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by infinite
Most couples now, leave school at 16, get pregnant, get a council house and live of the state on benefits. Those people make me sick, they are people in this country who need help, but dont get it due to people living off the state.


- I am not having that.

Where does this "most couples" come from!?

Sorry I don't often ask for proof but this one is so outrageous.
You'll have to back that claim up.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:55 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
How do you suggest a 15yr old child looks after her new child and does all this?


But growing up and acting like an adult and not getting pregnant as a child. Sex Education is there for a reason, but the fools who go out and get "knocked up" deserve to live on the street.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Sorry I don't often ask for proof but this one is so outrageous.
You'll have to back that claim up.


Most of the working class girls i know had children straight from leaving school and living in council houses. Most council houses consists of these types of families.

[edit on 24-12-2004 by infinite]



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 07:58 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
So just how does a new very young mother get a job and look after her child?


I'm not opposed to some help, its the level of help that they currently recieve. The ration book idea from Chris McGee seems like a good starting point - but you don't seem to like that idea.




You mean the barest meanest subsistance living?


For the short term not long term.

Why should they have luxuries when they don't work, basic living standards (above poverty line) will keep them alive and healthy.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
But growing up and acting like an adult and not getting pregnant as a child. Sex Education is there for a reason, but the fools who go out and get "knocked up" deserve to live on the street.


- Except that by the stage you are talking about exorting them not to get pregnant is a tad late in the day, wouldn't you say?

So, of course I'm in favour of much better sexual heath but for those that didn't get the message or were unlucky etc etc what do you suggest?


Originally posted by infinite
Most of the working class girls i know had children straight from leaving school and living in council houses. Most council houses consists of these types of families.


- So you think your personal anecdote applies nationally then do you infinite?

That's not much of a basis if you don't mind my saying.



posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 08:04 AM
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sminkeypinkey is a labour supporter, labour were formed on socialists ideas, thats explain his reasons for "lets help everyone, even the cheats". For once, look at the facts and see the numerous people cheating you out of money.




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