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The Welfare System and Children


b6bloke
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I have been living back in Chavesville Street for a year now and seeing young mums sitting outside the house till 1am playing music, getting pissed and smoking weed is not good in many places but seeing babies in prams and small children playing on their scooters with them is just wrong.

No wonder we have kids looting if they are being brought up like this but it brings me to this question:

Why do we not instill some control on this? I mean if a couple where one or both is working would really have to seriously consider their option finacially before deciding on having another child yet a total non working couple can put the womans overies into baby making overdrive knowing the state (us) will cover the cost. My neighbour even told me she had the baby she has now just because she wanted to get out of the one bedroom flat she was in and is prepared to have a third to get out of where she is now.

My opinion is that whilst in a situation where they are having to claim off the state they should be limited to one child, if you cant afford to pay for it then you should not be allowed to have one.

Are they to blame? no is my answer. Our country is as it has a system in place which allows people to take advantage so easy it might as well encourage this .

This will only get worse unless the government puts its foot down because if children grow up seeing this they are more inclined to follow suit.

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tricky debate this as invariably someone will post "oh so you only want rich people to have children"

The state ought to support people in need , but shouldn't allow people to make living off the state a lifestyle choice ...

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Simple solution - don't pay benefits in cash. Pay them in vouchers that can't be redeemed against booze and fags. That way the needy are supported and the money is spent on things that people actually need.

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My opinion is that whilst in a situation where they are having to claim off the state they should be limited to one child, if you cant afford to pay for it then you should not be allowed to have one.

Can anybody spot the elephant in the room?

Ooh, look, there it is: Do you go for compulsory sterilisation, or compulsory abortion?

Because there is no other way to stop people breeding. The only other alternative is to let them breed, but cut their benefits. More poverty, more crime, more neglected children.

I suppose we could forcibly take all the surplus children off them and bring them up in state orphanages?

I'm not being sarcastic here, by the way, I'm just pointing out that that it is an insoluble problem in a liberal democracy.

I guess we just have to keep plugging education as an alternative, but it's a losing battle.

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If you're going to have a welfare system (and I think it's fair to say we'd rather have it than not), you will always have people that will exploit it. You will always have people who don't give a shit and promote their own well being ahead of what would be morally correct, which is of course to not take advantage of that system.

You can't really stop people having children. And you can't punish a child for having parents who are prepared to exploit the system. You can't make this problem go away without making the whole system go away. And even then you would still have kids coming into the world where they can't really survive or live well enough to make a good start in life. And then you have another vicious cycle arise, one that will see crime rocket in the years following for the kids that happened to make it through that.

I like the welfare system, it's something Britain can be quite proud of imo. It's not perfect, nothing ever is, but it's a good thing. Sadly, for things like this, it's impossible to perfect it - the sytem finds itself in a position where it must protect the vulnerable but also knows that in doing so people will exploit it... and theres nothing it can really do to prevent one whilst doing the other to it's utmost. It just can't be done.

All that can be hoped is that, as it appears to actually be, most people are honest with the system and don't take the piss.

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Its a broken system and too open for abuse. I mentioned a scenario on here before but here it is a go.

My OH's cousin (18 at the time) has wealthy parents and lives at home. His, then, 16 year old girlfriend also of wealthy decent gets knocked up. both familes could easily afford to support her/them but initially they try their luck with the local council to find them some accomodation.

First place she was offered was a brand new build 2 bed apartment with en suite. It was still not complete when she signed up to it so got to choose her own tiles and other fittings. Now we're supporting her for probably the next 18 years which is longer than she has already been alive and has enough wealth in the grand parents to cover her costs. Just one example of where this country is wasting money.

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we should rid ourselves of the (old money) elite and head towards greater social mobility, greater meritocracy, without the bullshit class prejudices that still exist. then, through education, people have a greater chance to achieve more in life than simply ****, having babies and scrounging benefits as a result.

;)

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without the bullshit class prejudices that still exist

OT do you think it still exists ? ok true Kate middleton was groomed to snarl a prince and he wouldn't have been allowed to marry Sharon from Essex , but that aside I don't see much evidence of class prejudices any more .. I even allow some of my working class chums to enter the house through the front door nowadays :winkold:

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Simple solution - don't pay benefits in cash. Pay them in vouchers that can't be redeemed against booze and fags. That way the needy are supported and the money is spent on things that people actually need.

What would your 'simple solution' actually solve?

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OT do you think it still exists ?

I believe they do.

We are pretty low down in the 'social mobility league' (and it's in decline, if i recall correctly) which suggests there is something not-quite-right with how the country is run.

Though, admittedly, it's more to do with the wage inequality than coming from a certain background these days. However I don't think having a load of Lords and Ladies sauntering around the country with an undeserved sense of entitlement helps promote the idea of an equal society.

Putting it in context of the topic, if people have greater chances in life, they are less likely to piss their life up the wall by settling for a council house with five kids. Some will still do it, of course, but not to the same extent.

Social mobility/Education be the answer. Which requires a bit of a culture change, and won't happen any time soon.

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Hmmm. Social mobility.

Ironically, it was probably easier in the "bad old days" when I wor a lad. Back then, you had your working class who actually had jobs to do, in manufacturing industry, etc., a middle class of managers, teachers and other "professionals", and the aristocracy.

If you came from a working class family like I did, you either got a job in the factory, or you went to grammar school and university (full grant, natch) and had the chance to get one of those middle class jobs. Less than 5% of the population had a degree, and it was highly prized, unlike now.

Nowadays, education costs a **** fortune, and everybody is chasing spurious "service industry" jobs, but with no fallback for the non-academic types - the manufacturing industries are long gone. So if you don't succeed academically, you're probably condemned to a life on welfare, with all the lack of self-esteem that goes with it. The alternative? Thirty thousand quid of debt (for starters), and a 2.2 B.A. in media studies and fashion design from the university of shitsville, which is going to get you precisely nowhere.

It ain't good.

EDIT: (Continued some time later...) I think what I'm getting at is that the British working class has, if not exactly ceased to exist, at best shrunk catastrophically - to be replaced by an underclass who have little hope of betterment.

This started to happen in the depression of the 1930s, but was reversed by an upturn in heavy manufacturing (largely boosted by the coming of WWII).

This time even a war won't help, as wars are fought by computers and missiles, not by ships and tanks.

And it's exacerbated by the race/immigration factor. The Windrush generation of West Indian immigrants faced horrendous racism, but they did on the whole find it easy to get jobs (that's why they'd been invited here in the first place) - labourers, factory workers, nurses etc.

And the south Asian influx (again, despite facing white predjudice) had more of a tradition of entrepreneurialism, (hence all the corner shops and restaurants), and betterment through education.

But the former jobs have dwindled, and the latter careers are massively oversubscribed.

What do employers do in times of a labour glut? They lower wages and increase hours, because they know people are desperate. It's all very well castigating a single mother for living off benefits, but if the alternative is a shit job that won't cover the cost of childcare, can you blame her?

And of course there ARE people willing to do those jobs - the next generation of immigrants (e.g. the eastern Europeans), who are already so badly off they will put up with it. And so they are exploited - but then exploitation is what capitalism is all about, after all - AND hated by the indigenous poor locals into the bargain.

Meanwhile, the sink estates and the run-down terraces are full of disenfranchised youth (often the children of the unemployed themselves) - black, white, Asian - with no future, little money, and a bombardment by the media of the message: "Look! Toys! Things! Stuff! Have it! Have it NOW!" And people wonder why they don't behave like The Famous Five.

I'm glad I'm not starting out again now from the council estate I grew up on. This time I don't think I'd have a chance.

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Simple solution - don't pay benefits in cash. Pay them in vouchers that can't be redeemed against booze and fags. That way the needy are supported and the money is spent on things that people actually need.

What would your 'simple solution' actually solve?

You would be amazed at the amount of people on benefits who smoke/drink, and are happy to discuss the amounts they spend on the above prior to sentences being handed down - but then claim poverty and an inability to feed their kids.

Remove the ability to purchase such things frees up that money to be spent on things that are important for survival.

There is no co-incidence that the "Eastern Europeans are over here taking our jobs" brigade are generally the same ones who tuck into the 5th can of Stella in the job centre queue declining work that is available to them because the either feel it is beneath them or would be too hard.

Was reading recently (can't remember the source) that of all the people claiming incapacity benefit who have now had it revoked, and been told to claim JSA instead, 30% have disappeared althougher and failed to sign on.

So 1/3 of people who claimed they were unable to work and have been assessed as being able to do so, have refused to sign onto JSA. Now why would that be? :?

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Simple solution - don't pay benefits in cash. Pay them in vouchers that can't be redeemed against booze and fags. That way the needy are supported and the money is spent on things that people actually need.

Shame that it'd be pretty much impossible to implement. Things like Milk Tokens still exist, and actually I saw a Council run scheme giving food (not money) to needy families on the news yesterday.

We do try and do it though, take the Social Fund for example. A person will say I need £x amount of money to get a new fridge cos the old one broke, and new carpets cos we had a flood and so on. These cases are looked at individually, and money may or may not be given - but when it is handed over it's just in good faith that we say 'here is the money for your new sofa'. If they spend it on drugs instead, well, not alot we can do about it. Any sort of even miniscule change will cost millions to implement, due to the number of people it will affect. Take the actual benefit computer system - it's a horribly archaic system from the 80s but due to 'financial reasons' it has never been properly updated, or better, replaced. It's like working in MS-DOS

Its a broken system and too open for abuse. I mentioned a scenario on here before but here it is a go.

My OH's cousin (18 at the time) has wealthy parents and lives at home. His, then, 16 year old girlfriend also of wealthy decent gets knocked up. both familes could easily afford to support her/them but initially they try their luck with the local council to find them some accomodation.

First place she was offered was a brand new build 2 bed apartment with en suite. It was still not complete when she signed up to it so got to choose her own tiles and other fittings. Now we're supporting her for probably the next 18 years which is longer than she has already been alive and has enough wealth in the grand parents to cover her costs. Just one example of where this country is wasting money.

Thing is your families income and capital is not assessed when claiming Housing Benefit and Income Support. Should it be? Well, perhaps, but for the time being the only things that will be looked at are your personal circumstances, and the earnings and capital you and your partner (if applicable) have. This may change with the introduction of Universal Credit - we don't really know yet.

We are pretty harsh in some areas when it comes to money in the family when claiming though - the best example is money received as a prize, could be in the form of lottery wins, or bingo, etc. A really good example, a few years ago a chap won £30k on a tv quiz show. He didn't tell us immediately, so was overpaid for that until the time we found out, and then when he was aware he had to much capital he tried to get rid of it so he could carry on claiming. Gave £10k to his wife, who took the money and ran. Gave £10k to his son, and spent ~£5k on a car. That put him under the threshold, but in the eyes of 'the soc' the capital is still viewed as being his :P He ended up with his life in tatters, all for winning a quiz show on tv. Even had to get rid of his car so he had some money to live on ;)

Is this a good time to mention I and my colleagues do recover a fair bit of money back for the tax payer from these horrible nasty layabouts ugh sorry poor unfortunate souls?

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We do try and do it though, take the Social Fund for example. A person will say I need £x amount of money to get a new fridge cos the old one broke, and new carpets cos we had a flood and so on. These cases are looked at individually, and money may or may not be given - but when it is handed over it's just in good faith that we say 'here is the money for your new sofa'. If they spend it on drugs instead, well, not alot we can do about it.

The "new for old" insurance companies handle this perfectly well. They enter into bulk buying (therefore discounted) arrangements with wholesalers and send you the fridge or the sofa.

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I am not saying take it off all those who have more than one now but get things started, not even stopping the money, just getting things moving on getting this is place. Yes it sounds very Nazi like but I think it has to stop.

If they get pregnant it does not have to go into a orphanage but to a family who can't have children.

I remember living in Newtown seeing women exchanging milk tokens for fags.

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Remove the ability to purchase such things frees up that money to be spent on things that are important for survival.

And how does your 'simple solution' voucher idea do that?

Are the vouchers going to be non transferrable?

In which places/for which services will they be redeemable?

Are you going to have different vouchers for food/utilities/clothing/council tax payments/television licence payments?

Why would private commercial organizations care about the actual goods against which the vouchers were redeemed (as long as they could still cash 'em in)?

Are you going to treat different benefits types in different ways regarding vouchers? Are you talking about JSA/ESA/IB/Child Benefit/Pensions?

Was reading recently (can't remember the source) that of all the people claiming incapacity benefit who have now had it revoked, and been told to claim JSA instead, 30% have disappeared althougher and failed to sign on.

So 1/3 of people who claimed they were unable to work and have been assessed as being able to do so, have refused to sign onto JSA. Now why would that be? :?

They may have died; they may have got better; they may have given up; they may consider themselves unable to work and, therefore, unable to claim a benefit which relies upon them being fit for and able to work; I'm pretty sure that IB was/is not an income related benefit so it may be the case that some of those people would not have got income-based JSA at all and perhaps would not have qualified for contribution-based JSA, &c.

Are you talking about people who were on IB who have been reassessed by the the new WCA?

There are a lot of figures that have been released which don't appear to add up (and some which are released to paint a specific picture, e.g. the amount who 'fail' the WCA - specifically ignoring the amount of people who appeal and win on appeal).

Anyway, the second half of the post is going very much off topic.

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If they get pregnant it does not have to go into a orphanage but to a family who can't have children.

Can you imagine the effect that'll have on that child in the future? Or the parents for that matter?

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