'Troubled' Families Could Be Legally Banned From Spending Benefits On Alcohol And Tobacco

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posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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www.telegraph.co.uk...


Troubled families living on benefits will be legally barred from spending welfare money on alcohol and tobacco, under plans being drawn up in Whitehall.




Iain Duncan Smith has asked his officials to see if so-called ‘problem’ families should receive their welfare payments on smart cards, rather than in cash.

The cards would only be able to pay for “priority” items such as food, housing, clothing, education and health care.

The Work and Pensions secretary wants to stop parents who are alcoholics or who are on drugs from using welfare payments to fuel their addictions.



At the moment, the law does not stipulate how benefits are spent. So the law would have to be changed to make these changes.

On the one hand, I think there is some merit to stopping alcoholics spending their benefits on alcohol when children might be involved and are not being fed properly for example.

I've heard many stories of benefits being spent on drugs and other things whilst the kids are left to fend for themselves.

In that context, introducing smart cards that can only be spent on food,clothing etc sounds like a good idea.

At the same time, this would be one step for the government in taking away people's right to decide how they spend their money. Once one step is taken, even if that first step has good meaning, how many more steps are taken before they are running and changing other laws to follow suit etc.

What do people think?



+36 more 
posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by Wonderer2012
 


You have quid, I have a card.

I buy you food, you buy me smokes and booze.

It'll start a blackmarket subsystem, in my humble. . .


+23 more 
posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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At the same time, this would be one step for the government in taking away people's right to decide how they spend their money.


It's not their money and even though I don't mind my money helping the less fortunate, I do not want my money being spent on alcohol & tobacco for the less fortunate.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 

exactly ... it's already being done in places with such a system.
the $$ spent to initiate such a system can be better used, i'm sure.

unless said cards are biometrically activated, there is always a way 'around' the system.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 

Yeah, it's easy to circumvent such rules.



[color=595959]A Possibly [color=919191]Hypothetical Example:
There may have been times in my past when I would have accepted $125 worth of food, to pay off a debt of $100 owed to me. It is also possible that I could have even allowed them to do the shopping for me, without me even having to walk into the grocery store.

It could have been very convenient for me, while still being a good deal for the debtor also.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by Wonderer2012
At the same time, this would be one step for the government in taking away people's right to decide how they spend their money. Once one step is taken, even if that first step has good meaning, how many more steps are taken before they are running and changing other laws to follow suit etc.

What do people think?


Ultimately, in many cases, it is not their money.

I think there should be a benchmark level to decide when this comes into effect.

For instance, I pay National Insurance and have done since the age of 16. I have paid thousands to government, and in an instance of unemployment where I am claiming assistance I should be able to spend that money as I see fit.

But, if records show that I have paid £1000 into the system, that should be my limit before restrictions are placed on my spending.

If a guy has worked all his life and paid in thousands, he should not be told that he cannot spend his claimed money on whatever he wants.

But if someone has never paid into the system to begin with, they should not have the right to spend that money on anything they like.

I would welcome this when it comes to single people and families who have never worked. For instance, a teenager claiming benefits should be restricted in what they can buy with that money. A couple who had children at the age of 16 and have continued to have more without either of them working should be restricted.

The guy who finds himself unemployed at the age of 35 after working from the age of 18 should not be, nor should the working mother or father who lose their job after a decade of employment.

It shouldn't be as black and white as some would like it to be. It should depend on circumstances and the behavior of those claiming support.

I think most agree with me that we need these social systems in place. I have no problem paying taxes to support others who genuinely need it. But I am incensed by the idea that I should pay my taxes to support a lazy scrounger who thinks the world owes them something, especially when I can't even get housing as a tax-paying single person, while they are given a home that we all have to pay for!

The one thing that angers me the most about my country is that I am used as a piggy bank. I'm a single gay male, a professional who pays taxes while growing a successful business. But I am not a "priority" for housing. The people who are supporting this country financially are abused and neglected. I am forced into private renting, wasting my money, while paying taxes to support some chick who got knocked up at the age of 16 by a father who is now absent and about to do that again. I am forced to pay taxes to give parents some more money to help support a child that I am not responsible for, while I am told that I'm not a priority and don't deserve a house like they do.

All in all, I support anything that will stop people abusing the system. I just wish that it was more balanced and fair to those of us who play by the rules, work hard and support the rest of society.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by detachedindividual
 


Well I agree with you, in an ideal world, people who have never worked in their life and are receving benefits for their many children should not be spending that money on drugs or crates of beer. I too pay income tax and NI and it isn't the best when you see these layabouts, and there are thousands of them- never worked in their life- and in the UK, I'm sure our government's biggest expenditure is the welfare system.

That said, this isn't an ideal world and the fear with such actions is that at first, the smart cards stop people buying tobacco, but as you say, there are people who have worked and bought into the system, the government should not have a say how they spend their money.

It's complicated, but certainly a doorway for those inclined to increase the power of the control grid. Very often, we lose rights from what are initially good meaning solutions.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 10:34 AM
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I agree with the OP. I don't believe that benefits should be used for anything besides it's intended use.
However these cards are more that what is being said. First of all which too big too fail bank will get the contract? JP Morgan makes millions off the food stamp card. Secondly why this big push for plastic cards lately?
Many employers no longer issue checks. It's either direct deposit or a pay card.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by Wonderer2012
www.telegraph.co.uk...


Troubled families living on benefits will be legally barred from spending welfare money on alcohol and tobacco, under plans being drawn up in Whitehall.




Iain Duncan Smith has asked his officials to see if so-called ‘problem’ families should receive their welfare payments on smart cards, rather than in cash.

The cards would only be able to pay for “priority” items such as food, housing, clothing, education and health care.

The Work and Pensions secretary wants to stop parents who are alcoholics or who are on drugs from using welfare payments to fuel their addictions.



At the moment, the law does not stipulate how benefits are spent. So the law would have to be changed to make these changes.

On the one hand, I think there is some merit to stopping alcoholics spending their benefits on alcohol when children might be involved and are not being fed properly for example.

I've heard many stories of benefits being spent on drugs and other things whilst the kids are left to fend for themselves.

In that context, introducing smart cards that can only be spent on food,clothing etc sounds like a good idea.

At the same time, this would be one step for the government in taking away people's right to decide how they spend their money. Once one step is taken, even if that first step has good meaning, how many more steps are taken before they are running and changing other laws to follow suit etc.

What do people think?






Agree wholeheartedly. I've always said here in the U.S. people receiving foodstamps should have a list of what kind of food to buy (no sugary beverages, salty chips, alcohol, tobacco, etc.) since the taxpayer will probably have to pick up their healthcare tab too. Lessening the instances of diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc. from unhealthy foods purchased through taxpayer foodstamps would help this. In fact, there should be "foodstamp only" grocery stores that offer only those food/items which fall into healthy/low cost food items - cost effective i.e. store brands, not the more expensive name brands. I'm not on foodstamps and prefer some store brand canned goods based on taste and I can get for 50% or so cheaper. Shop-rite ketchup is just as good as Heinz, especially when I'm footing the bill for others.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


you are right on the money beezzer


the root problem is ADDICTION. addiction can be very hard to beat. i know a mother's friend told me once as i had once again been trying to kick the smoking habit, that even tho she QUIT OVER 50 YEARS AGO, that she STILL suffers from an urge to light up and that it can be a rather STRONG TEMPTATION. she has been a reformed smoker LONGER then she even smoked. yet still has major urges to smoke.

i had one friend who had quit for over FIVE YEARS, he got to the point he could not take it anymore and started smoking again.

i know myself when i had no income for several months i ended up scouring the streets picking up butts to re-roll so i could smoke, otherwise i went a bit loopy.

ask almost any rehabilitated alcoholic about it and they will generally say they can't safely have even ONE DRINK or they would be right back to being an alcoholic.

that says something about the POWER of ADDICTION. so we are expecting people to just quit smoking and drinking just because they are not given the money to do it?
yeah ok that will work......NOT.

like the bunny says it would just cause a nasty black market situation. in the end it would actually cause MORE HARM to the kids in the family (for those worried about the fact that kids suffer from parents buying this stuff using their welfare money). i can already see what will happen. instead of paying say $10/pack (using pricing from my area), what will end up happening is that some enterprising people (mafia/gang types especially), will end up taking say $20 worth of FOOD for that $10 pack of smokes. so the family will suffer from lack of food even more. so how does this measure actually help anyone other than criminals?

i really wish that people ESPECIALLY those in the GOVERNMENT would actually LEARN from HISTORY. just how EFFECTIVE was PROHIBITION? all it did was to create criminal activity to supply the booze people wanted. it DID NOTHING TO ACTUALLY STOP PEOPLE DRINKING. much like the "war on drugs" has done nothing to keep people from using drugs, and like prohibition just gives the CRIMINALS MONEY, even if a shipment of drugs is confiscated they still don't loose money as they just raise the selling price to cover it. and people who are addicted can do nothing but pay, which of course just causes MORE CRIME so they can afford it. one hell of a vicious circle the GOVERNMENT has CREATED.

what is really sad is BECAUSE of the "WAR ON DRUGS" some people CAN NOT AFFORD TO WORK LEGALLY FOR A LIVING. i am NOT BEING SARCASTIC IN THIS. i have done some work for a friend, he pays EXTREMELY well, i made more money working for him (perfectly legal work), then i made at my full time job in a day. well one day he asked a street beggar he knows and has used before to help out for the day. this BEGGAR apologetically REFUSED THE WORK. now why would he do that? after all doesn't he want money?
the problem is that he has a $300/day crack ADDICTION that he NEEDS to PAY FOR, in effect by working with us he would LOOSE too much MONEY. now this particular BUM trys to avoid criminal activity as much as he can, he does not like jail. but i know it certainly opened my eyes to the reality of some things, when it happened. i was rather shocked at his refusal.

so anyone that thinks that by using a card you will stop people spending money they shouldn't on cigarettes, alcohol and drugs will actually work NEEDS THEIR FRIGGEN HEAD EXAMINED. heck i understand that there is or at least was a major black market for exchanging FOOD STAMPS for DRUGS.

if they REALLY want to do something to make sure too much money is not spent on these things then i only really see 2 ways to do it. one is to GIVE these people the stuff FREE. even THAT will cause a black market as people who don't use that stuff will of course STILL take it, and trade it for what THEY want. not to mention would DRIVE UP people on welfare as why the hell should they WORK to get what others get free. the other way would be to REDUCE the price (at least for the LEGAL stuff), to make it more affordable for everyone. i know i would be rather pissed at paying more for the same thing just because i'm NOT on welfare. and because i know someone is bound to say that the high price is to stop people from smoking/drinking. if you REALLY BELIEVE that i can offer you several bridges and buildings at a good price.
(just kidding). the thing is no one i know who smokes has stopped because of the high price, most will do without things like food instead. the thing is HIGH PRICES DO NOT MAKE ADDICTION EASIER TO OVERCOME, in fact the stress from high prices tend to make people smoke and drink more to combat said stress. just like the fact of drug testing for a job doesn't make people stop using drugs, it just means that they have to steal to get their drugs



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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Welfare should go away entirely
It should not be the governments responsibility or the taxpayers
that supply the money to the governments to feed or house those that live off the system as they do.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:34 AM
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Funny you use the words "troubled families" in your description...are you trying to soften your question...it's welfare regardless of your circumstances for needed the assistance...people here in Boston MA. were in the last few years busted using their benefits cards or welfare assistance to pay for lottery tickets, going to stip joints and of course booze and cigarettes. There are clearly some loopholes in this system that for some reason or local government officials do not want to address..it's even funnier to see when they hit the lottery for millions and still remain on the government dole...yes there are those who need it but to those people they should be donating their time to make up for the difference and I would be much more at ease shelling out my tax dollars...it's sad to see people take take and take without giving something back..

link to welfare abuse

Link lottery fraud
edit on 14-10-2012 by chrismarco because: (no reason given)


+5 more 
posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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This whole idea is a joke.

First of all- I am now, for the very first time in my life, collecting benefits. I lost my job on August 28th when I showed up to work just in time to find a locksmith changing the locks on the doors and my manager outside informing us as we showed up for work that we all no longer have jobs and the business was closing. I spent 4 years at this job, working 40 + hours a week.

Anyone want to guess how much I get in my benefits?

$120 per week or $480 per month.

It is not even enough to cover my rent (which is $500 per month), and I have not included the electric bill, the phone bill or the bill for my internet. Let us not make any mistake about this, I need all these utilities in order to get a job. I can not even go into a fast food place and get an application for work, it is all done online. Plus in order to continue receiving my benefits I am required to log into the unemployment office website and go through their online listing for potential jobs in addition to making 3 work contacts per week. Should I find a job, I will be contacted by phone.

I can not afford to get a drink even if I wanted one.

Also take into account, people do not receive checks for benefits anymore. It is given to you on a debit card. So any purchase I make is already known and tracked- unless I use an ATM and take cash..... for a "small fee" of course which is paid to Chase bank.

So this idea that people who are collecting benefits are wasting the money on drugs, alcohol and tobacco in my opinion is absolutely absurd. Does it happen? I am sure it does from time to time, but I would bet my left arm it is not as widespread as Politicians are leading people to believe. People who collect benefits are still people. We need to eat, we have responsibilities, we have mouths to feed and people who depend on us and bills that need to be paid. I WISH I could afford to buy some alcohol, but that would mean I wouldn't eat for the week- not that I would be missing much from my current Ramen Noodle diet or the occasional Spam sandwich.

According to the GOP we have a food stamp President. It is so easy to get food stamps today blah blah blah... guess what? I was denied food stamps even though my benefits do not cover the rent.

But let us take this a step further. Fact is unemployment benefits is an insurance. It was already paid for by my employer through State and Local taxes which then goes into a fund. Of course this is taken into account when your employer decides how much you will be paid for your services. So in a manner of speaking- as a worker, you earned it. So who is the State to decide how I spend MY money to begin with?

Dealing with the issues I deal with today has given me a whole new perspective on people who receive "hand outs' from the Government. I barely sleep anymore. I scour the internet looking for work. I apply for any and every job I can get. I apply for jobs I know full well I can't get just in case I get lucky. I have applied for jobs at Subway and McDonald's.

The only job I have been able to find is a crappy part time job for minimum wage- and it is in a Halloween store which will close November first. As a matter of fact, this job pays on a debit card, I dont even get a paycheck and I just received my pay for the two weeks I have been working this job. Wanna guess how much that was? $84.00.

So let's do some math...

Rent $500 per month
Electric $105 per month
Phone $80 per month
internet $69 per month
total: $754 per month

Current income?

Benefits $480 per month
Part time job $168 per month
total: $648 per month.

And we have not even accounted for food or gasoline to get to work. Of course none of it will matter soon enough anyway when I end up in jail for not being able to pay my child support.

Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Clothing? Yeah I wish!



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by Wonderer2012

At the same time, this would be one step for the government in taking away people's right to decide how they spend their money. Once one step is taken, even if that first step has good meaning, how many more steps are taken before they are running and changing other laws to follow suit etc.

What do people think?


Your error here is it is not "their" money but "our" money. I would go even farther and do away with money altogether and give them tokens that they can only spend in Government controlled warehouses where there is only the basics to get.

Kind of like "Mining dollars" back when miners were paid in company credit that they could only use at the company store...
.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by Wonderer2012
 

I agree.

On the one hand in makes sense since people on welfare shouldn't get the money for free and be able to do what they want with it. On the other, it gives the government the ability to force them to buy only certain things. This might be a problem for somebody on welfare that has NO OTHER choice.

If I give my money to somebody else I should have an ability to tell them what they can and can't get. If I want, I can buy a gift card or a full year of movies at a video rental store. This way they can't spend it on something else. Similarly, I can give food to a homeless man and not money - so he doesn't buy liquor. If you earn the money yourself then you can freely spend it on what you want.

But what if I'm a disabled veteran and I'm 65+? What if I'm a vegetarian and my government REQUIRES me to eat one steak every other day or REQUIRES me to get a flu shot every year? For that matter, what if they start telling senior citizens what they can and can't buy?

It's a slippery slope but it's hard to tell how far it goes.

If you can earn your own money then do it. Freedom isn't handed out freely.
edit on 14-10-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by Wonderer2012
 


You have quid, I have a card.

I buy you food, you buy me smokes and booze.

It'll start a blackmarket subsystem, in my humble. . .


Exactly. Regardless of what laws are made, they're going to find a way aroud it


I'm right with Beezzer that there are many people who abuse the system and would love to find a way to stop the abuse.



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:56 AM
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Our government wants to be a business anyway. Evidence GM. Let the government create a business in every town for them to work, with childcare on site. Everybody can do something. Pride is a very powerful thing. I bet they would find a job that pays more pretty quick once that happened. Hey let them build solar panels!



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero
Your error here is it is not "their" money but "our" money. I would go even farther and do away with money altogether and give them tokens that they can only spend in Government controlled warehouses where there is only the basics to get.

Kind of like "Mining dollars" back when miners were paid in company credit that they could only use at the company store...
.


Umm actually it is not YOUR money. It was the employers money that goes into the unemployment insurance fund.


Benefits are paid by the state from a special fund. The fund gets its money from employers, who pay a tax specifically for this program. The funding mechanism is very different from a system such as workers' compensation, in which an employee receives payments directly from an employer through the employer's insurance company. It is also different from benefit programs that use state general fund money. The fund that pays unemployment insurance benefits is not available for other purposes.


So how exactly is that YOUR tax money?



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by MrWendal
This whole idea is a joke.

First of all- I am now, for the very first time in my life, collecting benefits. I lost my job on August 28th when I showed up to work just in time to find a locksmith changing the locks on the doors and my manager outside informing us as we showed up for work that we all no longer have jobs and the business was closing. I spent 4 years at this job, working 40 + hours a week.

Anyone want to guess how much I get in my benefits?

$120 per week or $480 per month.


What benfit is this? Not unemployment is it?

In Washington state weekly benefit amount calculations:

Average of your two highest quarters then multiplied by .0385

Weekly benefit amount examples:

If you were making 1100 per month or less then you would get 143 per week in benifits or 572 per month...

If you were making 2300 per month then your benifits would be 1100 per month

If you were making 3300 per month then your benifits would be 1600...

All a little less than 1/2 of you monthy earnings, unless you were making less than 1100 and then it is more.



It is not even enough to cover my rent (which is $500 per month), and I have not included the electric bill, the phone bill or the bill for my internet. Let us not make any mistake about this, I need all these utilities in order to get a job. I can not even go into a fast food place and get an application for work, it is all done online. Plus in order to continue receiving my benefits I am required to log into the unemployment office website and go through their online listing for potential jobs in addition to making 3 work contacts per week. Should I find a job, I will be contacted by phone.


Low income landline house phone? I think My mom pays 15 bucks per month or less. WiFi? No need for internet in the house.



So this idea that people who are collecting benefits are wasting the money on drugs, alcohol and tobacco in my opinion is absolutely absurd. Does it happen? I am sure it does from time to time, but I would bet my left arm it is not as widespread as Politicians are leading people to believe. According to the GOP we have a food stamp President. It is so easy to get food stamps today blah blah blah... guess what? I was denied food stamps even though my benefits do not cover the rent.


I don't think the benefits people are talking about is the short term unemployment ones, but the long term welfare and others. The problem with you is that you are not doing the proven formula that many use. Have a bunch of kids and those subsidies go way up....

I'm not suggesting you do, but the system is heavily in favor of this and the single, childless person is screwed.

How much were you making before you lost your job?


Also, and lastly.... As we move to a Government controlled system that Obama and crew are making out as the fix (and you can see it is not) I suggest go it the old fashion way and look to community (non-government) services out there. Many Churches offer a good deal and you don't need to "believe" or be a part of their congregation.


edit on 14-10-2012 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by MrWendal


Umm actually it is not YOUR money. It was the employers money that goes into the unemployment insurance fund.


Th OP is talking about Welfare and you are talking about unemployment...two different animals. Wefare IS "our" money.





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