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Wealthy Welfare...UK to Freeze Benefits as Inflation Bites?

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posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 04:39 AM
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I don't there's any conclusive answer regarding UK social security payments and this proposed freeze.

My position is that the people at the top are doing fine, some people on social security (a minority) are doing very well too. But there are many on social security ... and those in low paid jobs ... who are really struggling to keep going with food, utilities etc. I don't mean those who complain about slumming it downwards from Waitrose & M&S to Asda (and how annoying they are), I'm talking about people for whom even Aldi and Lidl are luxuries they can't afford.

The "system" could be made a whole lot better if it was simpler. The primary central government benefits are Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment & Support Allowance. And they all pay the same basic rates, yet each has it's own bureaucracy, one incredibly difficult to navigate for most people. It's the same with the benefits administered locally by the councils, each has their own systems, way of doing things, it varies from one district to another.

Administrative delays are commonplace, it's not unusual to see people waiting weeks on end to be paid. And while they wait, they either have to rely on their own savings (and many just don't have any savings), their family and friends or they have to borrow Crisis Loans from the government to tide themselves over until their benefits are sorted.

And this is the train wreck which is coming next April, one which most people don't know about. That essential, civilising part of the safety net ... the Social Fund ... is being abolished in it's entirety. That's the system which provides help in an emergency (Crisis Loans), help to those who need assistance with longer term needs (Budgeting Loans) and help to those under exceptional pressure (Community Care Grants).

For all the Social Fund has been abused, it's prevented people from being driven into the arms of money lenders, loan sharks and some of those appalling payday type companies which charge exorbitant rates of interest for loans of short term need. But it's also a safety net which too many have come to rely on, it's featherbedded many, it's completely removed any sense of personal responsibility or sense of obligation especially for many younger people.

And it's those responsibilities and obligations where the whole system is falling down. The responsibility to attend appointments on time, to sign on when you should, to be contactable for employers, to look for work ... or to take those actions which will make your health better, to give up cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, to lose weight ... there's hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who think they're entitled to all their rights but for whom the responsibilities belong to someone else.

Some of that may be resolved with the introduction of Universal Credit, assuming DWP & HMRC can make their IT systems work in real time, as they're promising. But employers who think it's OK to make new staff wait a month, 6 weeks for their wages & a benefit system without the ability to tide new employees over until they get their first wages, that isn't going to improve the chances of those who want to work.

So I feel sorry for those who are skint. I don't think a blanket benefit freeze is appropriate, too many will suffer & there's still too many avoiding/evading tax who not only need hunted down, they need severely punished.

But some of those people on benefits too really need to get a grip and understand that many working people are starting to get extremely p'd off about a system which rewards idleness and punishes employment.




posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by supermouse

Originally posted by lambros56

Hold ona sec.......
What planet are you from ?

£100,000 benefits ?
Me and my wife get less than Ten thousand.

The pensioners get Nothing.

Have i read your post wrong?


Yes you read it wrong, I said $100,000. Not pounds.

I hope you and your wife are grateful. Pensioners, by definition, get pensions, so they do get something (plus pensioners' tax credits, SMI, travel passes, winter fuel allowances, etc. etc.)




$100,000.....you`re still wrong.

Grateful for what ?
As for pensioners......do the proper research.

You should have more respect for them.
You`ll be one yourself ...........in about 50 years, probably.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 04:55 AM
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Originally posted by jude11
So what many said would never happen may already be in the works. Not just reducing benefits but actually freezing them? How is this possible?



Well, it isn't possible. Freezing benefit means not increasing the amount - not removing it. You can't freeze the amount and reduce it,



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:05 AM
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Originally posted by Freeborn

It's revealing that under this 'we're all in it together' Prime Minister the gap between the wealthy elite, who just happen to make up the bulk of all of our politicians and business leaders, and the even the average working man is widening at an alarming rate - quite clearly we aren't all in it together.


Absolutely nothing whatsoever like Blair then? Nothing like Milliband who has never worked (oh I tell a lie, he did a little newspaper work). Why do I sometimes get the feeling that if someone has money they are automatically some sort of enemy?



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 05:36 AM
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Seems to me like far too many people have things arse about face on here.

The simple fact of the matter is that this country has more than enough wealth and resource to provide a decent standard of care and benefit to all that need it.

Sure, as everyone in this thread has agreed with, we need reform to address the many loopholes within the benefit system and to stop the malaise that is the benefit lifestyle choice.
But the fact remains that any freeze in benefit levels will provide almost negligible actual savings and will cause hardship to the most needy and vulnerable in our society.

What sort of society do you want to live in?

One that is positive, vibrant and rewards endeavour, innovation and good old fashioned hard work whilst providing care for those most in need.

Or one that seeks to reward those that are more fortunate than the majority and cares little for the well being of others?

Perhaps we should bring back workhouses and debtors prisons?

All people want is a fair days pay for a fair days work.
But what options do they have?
Crappy and tedious job with no prospect of career advancement or job satisfaction all for minimum wage, (one of the worst pieces of legislation ever for working people).
University and maybe, a big maybe, the chance of a half decent job? Not now - who can afford it? (isn't it ironic that a government that moralises about debt is forcing students, mainly poor students, into massive debt?).
Or a life on benefits doing nothing?

We are beginning to beleive the lie.
The fact is that the vast majority of people on benefits have little or no choice and would much rather be working for a living.
But the government and MSM peddle the lie that benefit claimants are all scroungers and layabouts - and unfortunately some people believe it.
Much as I'm loathe to say it but it's definately classic divide and conquer tactics and blatant defelction.

Yes, we need to close these benefit loopholes.
We need to address the issues we have with scroungers and leeches.
We need to get rid of the benefit lifestyle culture.
But we need to be able to offer an alternative.
We need to get people back to work.

How do we do that?

Well, I'm no economic expert by any stretch but perhaps we could start by stopping the syphoning off of this country's wealth into the private coffers of the already obscenely wealthy elite who obviously don't reinvest that wealth back into this country and to foreign companies and their shareholders.
At the same time perhaps we could enforce this country's tax laws and gain the £120billion that annually is lost due to tax evasion and avoidance.
Then we could invest in this country, it's infrastructure, in manufacturing and new industries and technology, in the arts and perhaps most importantly in it's people.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 06:38 AM
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reply to post by supermouse
 




What parts do you doubt? Here's an example of a family on $100,000 a year benefits: www.thesun.co.uk...


First of all - The Sun is a joke and now that Striker isn't in it any more it's only good for it's horse racing tips and Page 3, it is a Murdoch paper and very much a mouthpiece for Cameron and his cronies.

Secondly, yeah, as everyone has said there are instances of excess and there are loopholes - but nowhere in the story you linked to is it mentioned that anyone in that house, or even collectively, receives 100,000 dollars or pounds p.a. in benefits - it does state that they pay £1000 per month rent to the council who paid for £100,000 of rennovations before the 'clan' moved in.



Rents are constantly rising because housing benefits are so high,


Absolute and utter bollocks!

Rents are constantly rising becasue there is such a shortage of affordable housing.
Council houses which provided ideal homes for millions of families were sold off in Thatchers right to buy scheme - which was fair enough - but instead of reinvesting this money in new council housing it was spent on other things.
As a result young families were forced into the private housing sector.
Basic supply and demand took over, house prices rocketed and private landlords increased rents alarmingly.
No cheap and clean houses for young families etc means that councils are forced to pay the amounts unscrupulous landlords charge.

You do realise that the benefit claimants don't actually receive the housing benefit - it goes direct to the landlord.



and a scheme called SMI means pensioners can spend the money they've saved to pay off their mortgages on a luxury cruise and the tax payer will pick up the payments on their mortgages.


More sensationalism I'm afraid.

Most mortgage owners have either paid off their mortgage by the time they've become pensioners or they've had their house repossesed because they couldn't afford to keep up with the payments.



The cost of living is increasing because of all the money they print to hand out as welfare.


Do you honestly believe this?


I know I'm a bit of an economics ignaramous but I thought it was because of the price increases on those luxuries like food, energy costs, petrol etc?



.... unfortunately the UK is much too generous to the undeserving scroungers -


At times we most definately are.



like the person on here who doesn't work and wants me to keep paying for his three bedroom house after 56 years,


But I don't think this is one of those instances.



The worst thing about it is that while we are suffering to pay for all these hand-outs, the recipients don't even seem grateful.


It's my experience that the majority do indeed appreciate it - in fact many are accutely embarassed and ashamed to be in that position.

A little compassion wouldn't go amiss - I assure you, karma has a habit of being a bitch at times.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 07:01 AM
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reply to post by something wicked
 




Absolutely nothing whatsoever like Blair then? Nothing like Milliband who has never worked (oh I tell a lie, he did a little newspaper work)


I assure you, I make no distinction between our major political party's - they are all equally as guilty for the mess this country is in - but the simple fact is that it's The Tory's and their lap dog subservient partners The LibDems who are responsible in the here and now at present.
It's their current and intended future policies that are compounding the issue now.



. Why do I sometimes get the feeling that if someone has money they are automatically some sort of enemy?


Not at all - I understand the need for wealth generation and that some people deserve to be rewarded for their endeavours more than others.
It is the continued accumulation of gross amounts of personal wealth, the hypocritical avoidance of tax on that wealth and the refusal to reinvest that wealth into the community and society as a whole that I despise.

Yes, some do try to do something positive with their wealth - but nowhere near enough, they are very much in the minority.

I would like to think that if I had amassed any sort of wealth then I would use that wealth to help others and society in general.

Maybe I am becoming a naive idealist in my middle age.

About time I got off my soap box methinks - a couple of afternoon liveners may be in order.
edit on 25/9/12 by Freeborn because: typo



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 07:27 AM
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DONT FALL FOR THE RICH'S TRICK OF MAKING EVERYONE GREEDY SELFISH INDIVIDUALS!

The Welfare state is not a huge burdon, yes there are some issues and loopholes but the scare stories in papers such as the Sun and Daily Mail are absolutely the most extreme cases and often are exagerated "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story". I would say the biggest issue is people who falsly claim disability payments, the problem is vast but is still not a massive burdon on us like say tax avoidance. I know many who feign depression, they are just unhappy with thier life and not even close to depression that requires extra welfare payments as they are unable to work!

I had to commit benefit fraud many years ago. I pretended not to live with my partner whom I had 2 children with. I was working for very low pay and if I had admitted living with her, I would have had to give up work as we were already struggling and could not have survived paying full rent and council tax on my wages. We would have had to go on benefits as a family. Once working tax credits came in, it stopped us being better off on benefits so we went 'legal'. See I actually commited fraud because I WANTED to work.

We live in a society. A well functioning society creates wealth (goods and services that are wanted). Each working member of that society creates there share of the wealth. Some create more wealth than others (professionals) and should get to keep more of that wealth they created. Some organise the wealth creation (managers) and others invest in wealth creation to return a profit (investors).

Some of the wealth that is created by the worker has to go to pay the managers and to give the investor profits, but HOW MUCH? This is the problem. Money that flows up the social scale does not as easily come back down (If it did the rich would not be so rich). Alternatively wealth that enters at the bottom can easily go to the top, in fact as it flows around the economy a certain amount flows up each time it 'loops' through the system, again back to HOW MUCH?

Capitalism is a race to the top, Companies have generally one major goal above all others: Deliver as much of the wealth created to the investors as possible (ROI). This is why we have ended up with massive corporations, it is the most efficient way to get as much of the wealth created by the workers to the investors and upper managers (also in the investor class).

So you need 'some' controls and restrictions (not pointless red tape), to limit the amount that can be siphoned off by the wealthy, just because they are already wealthy! What have we done over the last 20-30 years? We have removed those restrictions when we really needed a bit more. What did we get? A race to see who could create the most profit the fastest. The banks created fake profits by encourages bad loans which were wrapped up with some good loans and then sold on as a package of good loans (This is the crux, why were they rated AAA? Why has no one been held responsible?) The fake profits were siphoned out as payments to investors and bonuses to traders and executives. What happened when these loans starting defaulting en mass? The fake profits were gone which turned into losses for anyone holding the loan packages (CDOs). As it was AAA, pensions lost out big time, they only invest in AAA for security. The banks held huge amounts of this, they had generated huge fake profits by trading these CDOs after getting then labled as AAA. The profits were now gone but another race to higher profits meant the banks had leveraged (Amount you loan out compared to what you actually have) to the hilt, as the regulations for this were removed. This made them very suceptable to lots of defaulting loans, once they (obviously) came, the banks were bankrupt and the 99% had to pay for them to survive. We basically put back the fake profits that were ripped out and payed to the rich!

In short deregulation of the market enabled fraud and extreme risk taking to create fake profits with were taken away and when it all fell down the common person was left to put those fake profits back in. Yet we are told by some that it failed because we did not deregulate enough and if we go the whole hog and take away all the rules things will be great! Who are they kidding?

I would rather pay a lazy waste of space (I dont happen to think of them like that) enough money so he can survive, it is a lot cheaper than the cost of another criminal (they are pretty expensive). Even better, as a society we could find ways to stop creating so many useless wastes of space! "Oh no! It's not societies fault. It's the parents fault! Its in thier genes. its because benefits are there ...."

We are at a crossroads where the gap between rich and poor has grown so large that we are in serious danger of becoming lords and serfs again (the west has already created this in many other countries). Globalisation was always intended to do this on a world scale!

END RANT LOL



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
reply to post by something wicked
 




Absolutely nothing whatsoever like Blair then? Nothing like Milliband who has never worked (oh I tell a lie, he did a little newspaper work)


I assure you, I make no distinction between our major political party's - they are all equally as guilty for the mess this country is in - but the simple fact is that it's The Tory's and their lap dog subservient partners The LibDems who are responsible in the here and now at present.
It's their current and intended future policies that are compounding the issue now.



Hi, much as I often find common ground with your responses on ATS - this one isn't that simplistic. Labour created the boom and got out just before the bust which left the tories as the whipping boys for this. I know it's easy to blame the previous government but then again Labour spent all of their time in office doing exactly that



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:18 AM
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It seems to be a common right wing trend to demonize the people on benefits, whilst wholly ignoring (nay, sometimes supporting) the rich tax cheats like David Hartnett.

Are you people blind, deluded or just completely ignorant?



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by something wicked
 


No I think you have it wrong, Maggie started it with the first housing bubble and deregulation. Labour are just as guilty as they carried on with similar policies. In this area there is little difference between them.

DO NOT get sucked in to the left / right blame game, they only differ on the unimportant issues which have their importance artificially elevated. There is very little difference on the things that are really important, like corporate influence of government.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 10:23 AM
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reply to post by something wicked
 


It would be pretty boring and mundane if we all agreed on everything, at least we have a considered opinion and can discuss respectfully, unlike far too many.


I am in no way absolving Blair / Brown of any blame for the mess we are in because their continuation of Thatcher and Major's policies, and many of their own, contributed immensely.
But it's Cameron who holds the reigns at present and his policies are unnecessarily targetting the most vulnerable in our society whilst turning a blind eye and even condoning greater injustices and stripping the working people of the means to self betterment.

A fair days pay for a fair days work.

Don't buy into the left wing / right wing bollocks - it's nothing but dogmatic rhetoric for public consumption.
As has been said, when we get down to the nitty gritty there is not that much difference between the major political parties here the UK.
Sure, they play the blame game - Thatcher blamed Callaghan, Blair blamed Thatcher and Major, Cameron blames Blair and Brown - it's complete bollocks - they are all to blame.

They play with and manipulate peoples lives with the sole intention of restricting and inhibiting them whilst they continue to suck the life blood out of this country - all to ensure the elites maintain their control over us and continue amassing obscene amounts of money and play their power games.
edit on 25/9/12 by Freeborn because: clarity



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 10:31 AM
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I dont know anyone on benefits who is not living the same if not better lifestyle than I am and my wife and I combined bring in 60k a year. These people need to get a dose of reality. The real losers in this will be the private tennants who work for a living or those with mortgages. The long term cant be bothered mob and the countless immigrant families who get social housing straight away will continue to live a fantastic lifestyle that us workers can only dream of. The rich get richer, the worker gets hungrier.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by mr-lizard
It seems to be a common right wing trend to demonize the people on benefits, whilst wholly ignoring (nay, sometimes supporting) the rich tax cheats like David Hartnett.

Are you people blind, deluded or just completely ignorant?



So you think its fair for unemployed never had a job households to live lifestyles that amount to more than what most workers can earn? So tell me who exactly blind,deluded or ignorant? The rich should pay tax but just remember those that do pay more tax that a building full of average workers combined. Everyone able bodied should be working and paying tax, Britains borders need to be slammed shut and get the millions of unemployed in to employment, not skilled enough then train them. No British child should be relying on his parents going to foodbanks as they are poor workers while some immigrant gets a nice social house or some unemployed yob gets an cash incentive just to go for an interview. If you worked in my job and with the people I work with tou would see this rubbish every day. Yes I blame the government, I also blame us as a nation in allowing this to happen. Unless anyone here works on ground level front line then you have no idea what state this country really is in.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by SecretFace
 


Sorry, that is utter rubbish. Go live on a council estate (I come from one and regularly go back) and tell me they have a 60K lifestyle!! Maybe if they have 6 kids! And this governmernment has reduced the amount extra children bring in so closing that loophole.

I bet you have a large mortgage and a car or 2, do they?

I earn not much more than a quarter of that and I am better off than those on benefits, though not by a large margin.

The only people on legitimate benefits that have a good standard of living are those on disability.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:30 AM
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Apparently jobless rates are nearing 3 million, roughly 2.6 million, but David Cameron says that there are plenty of jobs, people are just lazy. There are roughly 400,000 jobs available, that still leave over 2 million people unemployed and claiming benefits (this is just numbers for people that claim benefits, imagine the number of people unemployed and not claiming benefits due to the social stigma?)

This would leave over 2 million people absolutely desperate for money, possibly homeless and starving. I'd George Osbourne manages to get this to happen, there will be serious backlash, especially going by the boo-ing he received at the Paralympics.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by DJOldskool
 


SecretFace is exaggerating for effect. But he's not far wrong.

Because a disabled couple, each looking after the other, in private rented accommodation can quite easily bring in over £50,000 per annum in benefits, what with Employment & Support Allowance, DLA, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit & all the other freebies that "being poor" brings in. "Being poor", they'll get interest free loans from the |Social Fund, Community Care Grants, free prescriptions plus whatever the local council offers, meals on wheels, home helps ... our council even offers free sports centre membership.

They're the exception though. Most folk are stuck on £71 per week plus their rent.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by NorthernThird
 




They're the exception though. Most folk are stuck on £71 per week plus their rent.


Not one person has denied there are faults with the system that need addressing - but rather than concentrate on the many who are expected to survive on subsistence levels we choose to whinge and moan about the minority of cases that we all agree shouldn't happen.
That's cock eyed to me.

But why not address the core issue - insufficient jobs and those there are pay piss poor wages.

Get people off benefits and into real work - those that are left are either malingerers who deserve nothing but our contempt or genuine cases who deserve a bit of compassion and a helping, caring and guiding hand.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by DJOldskool
reply to post by something wicked
 


No I think you have it wrong, Maggie started it with the first housing bubble and deregulation. Labour are just as guilty as they carried on with similar policies. In this area there is little difference between them.

DO NOT get sucked in to the left / right blame game, they only differ on the unimportant issues which have their importance artificially elevated. There is very little difference on the things that are really important, like corporate influence of government.


I'm actually saying we shouldn't get sucked into the blame game - which you actually have as if Thatcher started it, wasn't it the nurses strike that killed off the Callaghan government? This argument can go back as far as you want it to - that was my point.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by DJOldskool
reply to post by SecretFace
 


Sorry, that is utter rubbish. Go live on a council estate (I come from one and regularly go back) and tell me they have a 60K lifestyle!! Maybe if they have 6 kids! And this governmernment has reduced the amount extra children bring in so closing that loophole.

I bet you have a large mortgage and a car or 2, do they?

I earn not much more than a quarter of that and I am better off than those on benefits, though not by a large margin.

The only people on legitimate benefits that have a good standard of living are those on disability.


Are you from up north? Because down south that is far from the truth. I will tell you now in my kids school the vast majority don't work, may have one or two, at very most 3 kids and are all living lifestyles that exceed anything I can imagine. yes I do have a morgage after working 100 hour weeks to save up a deposit because the only alternative was to pay £1300 approx in private rent! We have one car, a 3 bed house, basic cable package, a small 22" tv and just about enough money to cover food for the month as well as replace clothes.

These benefit families, on average, have games consoles galore, a nice social house, at least one car, brand new designer clothes and so too the kids and eat out every day, they all even the kids have the latest phones and always a large amount of cash on them at any time. Now I don't know where you're from mate, but if thats what its like up north for you, you northern lot need to take a look at what the equivilant get down south, because here in and around London and the south east, the reality is a lot different.

So nobody here, from what I have seen at schools, from what I have seen through my work, can tell me that these people aren't living a 60k lifestyle!





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