UK couple driven to suicide by poverty and neglect

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12 years 6 months ago #401624 by muri
as one of the founding nations of the idea of a welfare state, we have moved a long way from that direction over time.
we have an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor and research has shown that the rich are getting much richer and at a fast rate. Politicians have just taken a huge wage rise as an example, the top proportion of wage earnings pay relatively less tax with the tax changes brought in under this govt.
I spent some years on the benefit as a single mum and it was a great way of getting thru that period. My kids are really hard working and dont believe they are gods gift to the welfare state.
However, had i worked [we lived well below poverty for those years] I would have been taxed by over 60%, a higher tax rate than most have to pay
There are problems with the ease with which young kids can get the dole which can create a welfare dependency, but perhaps this points to a fault in the system and not the system itself. With such poor wage levels, then it would be tempting to live on the dole probably for some.
I believe we should have a welfare state that looks after a range of people but that the system should be more accountable.

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12 years 6 months ago #401625 by Kilmoon
Welcome to the new 'normal'.

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12 years 5 months ago #401635 by mikethebike
Cinsara you have said that you live in a rich little town where young people recieve dole and single parent benefits and state that they could work then finish your argument saying that there are no jobs in your town!
Its not about workers paying more taxes its about the way that the wealth is shared out, The point that i was making is that The present government have increased taxes for us and reduced taxes for the wealthy, whilst blaming a tiny minority for the financial burden!
How about blaming the maoris after all they are over represented?
Social Darwinism as kate put it has been tried again and again with survival of the fitest being the answer, in the glorious eighties back in the UK they said exactly the same things they sold off all the UKs assets in the name of free market economy that was going to be saviour of us all, reduced taxes and look at the sorry state of Europe now let alone the UK! The idea that beneficiaries should work is of course the ideal but the reality is that there will always be people who cant and in any event how can you work when there are no jobs to do?
Its all well and good saying get on yer bike and move to where there is work when other towns are no better and here as in many places there is simply no public transport to get there!
Anyway there will never be simple solutions to poverty and hardship but at least we could stop blaming the victims and focus on the real issues which as i see are corporate greed in the main ,when we support companies who are poluting our water ways and at the same time over charging us for produce that is grown and produced here with the justification that we should be paying international prices! Why? so they can make more profits of course, so how can it be that we pay the same price for our cheese or butter as our neighbours when it costs so much more to get it there?

Mike and Suzi living the lifestyle in sunny central hawkes bay, Still loads of animals oh and we still have our Zebra truck.

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12 years 5 months ago #401668 by 3scoremiles10
For those concerned that the source is a socialist newspaper, which I chose because it gave the most complete coverage, here are some more links:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-15645206
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8878543/...eless-situation.html
www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-...side-92746-29739580/
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2059238...suicide-poverty.html
www.mirror.co.uk/mobile/news-opinion/201...-to-115875-23552880/

Of course we should have a welfare system. I don't think as a society we want to accept people starving or freezing to death and do nothing. Relying on charitable organisations (that often have religious affiliation, and while many of these are unobjectionable you also get instances of soup kitchens feeding pork based soup to exclude Muslims and Jews) or the safety net of friends and family is not a solution in all cases.

And of course that welfare system should be run efficiently and well, providing people who need it with basic necessities such as food, clothing, heating etc, encouraging and supporting people to find jobs, and generally keeping the number of people who cynically abuse the system at a minimum.

The thing is, the people the system is set up for are, whether temporarily or permanently, the most vulnerable in our society. The support needs to be accessible to them - they need to know where to go and what support and benefits they can get easily. The freeloaders are not vulnerable - they are studiously and cynically abusing the system. Making the system more complicated and harder to access targets the people it is intended to help, not the freeloaders.

Also, a thing about freeloaders. They are inevitable, such is human nature. But they also make up only a very small minority. The government finds it convenient to make out as if the freeloaders are a major problem. They're not. There are more people currently on benefits thank a few years ago due to the global recession, not due to increased freeloading. The jobs just aren't there.

Blaming people for being (temporarily) vulnerable is appalling.

I also think unemployment is a broader issue - there needs to be better education, by which I mean not more tests but more learning. And opportunities for retraining and adult learning that are more than lipservice.

The whole histrionic 'OMG there are freeloaders on welfare' attitude of certain political parties is cheap and tacky populism, does nothing to address the real social problems, and hurts a lot of people. This is not how I think society should be.

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12 years 5 months ago #401690 by igor
The difficulty in any welfare system would seem to be in distinguishing those honest and upright citizens of good character and sober habits who find themselves in reduced circumstances through no fault of their own from those others who spend their benefit money on alcohol, tobacco and gambling while their own children suffer from hunger and ill health because they have nothing left with which to provide the necessities of life.

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12 years 5 months ago #401694 by kindajojo
Weetbix $6.00 two packets = 96 biscuits , 3 per day = 1 month.
Milk
feed a kid breakfast for a month for less than the price of a packet of cigarettes!!

I just dont accept kids should go to school without breakfast.
Family assiatance is $80.00 per week or thereabouts

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12 years 5 months ago #401697 by Cinsara

mikethebike;396998 wrote: Cinsara you have said that you live in a rich little town where young people recieve dole and single parent benefits and state that they could work then finish your argument saying that there are no jobs in your town!

That's because I said I WORK in the rich little town I don't live there.

mikethebike;396998 wrote: but at least we could stop blaming the victims

No one here is blaming the true victims. Offer a way to sort the genuine from the non genuine and we'll all be happy. Corporate greed and benefit bludgers are as bad as each other.

>

Save the Earth... it's the only planet with chocolate!

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12 years 5 months ago #401774 by Ronney
Do none of you read? Do none of you know your history? If you did you would know that little has changed in at least 200 years. The "coporate giants" were there then in the shape of mine owners, mill owners etc. in exactly the same way as they are now. The rookeries of the 1800's have been replaced by the council flats of the 1900's and much good it did anybody other than effluent didn't run in the door and on to vermin-ridden straw mattresses every time it rained.

Until man himself stops being greedy and forever wanting more, and until that same species stops the overwhelming urge to procreate his species far beyond what is necessary for survival of that species, this is going to be an on-going problem. Our intelligence and power of reasoning has made us into a pack of idiots and we could well learn some lessons from the animal kingdom. Oddly, they don't seem to have these problems[}:)]

Cheers,
Ronnie

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12 years 5 months ago #401782 by Mich
Well put, Ronnie. We were just talking about the greed/wanting more thing over breakfast yesterday. What happened to having sufficient (says she, looking guiltily at her OTT quilt fabric collection...)? Everywhere you go these days there are advertisements urging people to buy, buy, buy - as if you're not complete without the latest and greatest. It's a difficult issue, really. Businesses need to make money to survive and employ people, so advertising is a necessary evil in my view. However, I have some difficulty with the tactics used to encourage people to buy things that really add little value to our lives - and in some cases are detrimental. (And no, that doesn't apply to quilt fabric, LOL. A large number of my quilts are given away to keep people warm - but I 'fess up to an ongoing battle of always wanting more.)

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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12 years 5 months ago #401795 by Aria
I like the proposal by Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie called The Big Kahuna. Worth getting the book out and having a read. Also summarised here;

www.gmi.co.nz/bigkahuna/

And you can plug in your own financial circumstances and see how it would affect you. Personally, we would end up paying more tax, given present circumstances, because the capital we have accummulated isn't returning the 6% target set by the policy - but what we'd likely do is redeploy that capital to structure our business interests toward more profitable ventures - or just decide to pay the higher tax to retain the easy-going life :-). Either way, we would not go hungry - that's the main point with respect to those who have capital (i.e. means).

In summary the way I read how our society is financially structured - for those with accummulated capital, present tax laws provide tax concessions for the easy investment options, and present welfare policies provide disincentives to self-help (i.e. share accommodation, or seek part time work due to the marginal rate of tax paid by beneficiaries who want part time work).

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12 years 5 months ago #401818 by reggit

igor;397056 wrote: The difficulty in any welfare system would seem to be in distinguishing those honest and upright citizens of good character and sober habits who find themselves in reduced circumstances through no fault of their own from those others who spend their benefit money on alcohol, tobacco and gambling while their own children suffer from hunger and ill health because they have nothing left with which to provide the necessities of life.


Yes and then you get into the quagmire of the Victorian era 'deserving poor'...and who decides who is deserving or not? How the heck do you decide on 'good character' and 'sober habits' (apart from the obvious use of the word sober) - and how do you deal with kids of those who are not, or are they just collateral damage?

I have not yet seen a decent study of habits of those on benefits and what they do/don't spend their dollars on. So despite a few examples thrown up of those who spend all their dosh on 'bad stuff', how much, we can only wonder, is this a red herring so we don't have to feel bad about those folk who are struggling?

Neither have I seen work done here on deciding on a 'living wage' (as has been done in UK) as opposed to minimum benefit and assuming that is enough...

What's the old saying: 'there but for the grace of god go I'.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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12 years 5 months ago #401822 by Clods
Apparently there was a very recent TV programme raising awareness/money for the poor in the UK, but it was hard to take kids seriously saying we sometimes have nothing to eat, and no electricity, when they are sitting in front of a huge flat screen TV, and there are 2 computers in the room.

2 horses, 15 Chickens, 1 goat, 2 pigs, 1 cat

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12 years 5 months ago #401825 by Cinsara

Clods;397207 wrote: Apparently there was a very recent TV programme raising awareness/money for the poor in the UK, but it was hard to take kids seriously saying we sometimes have nothing to eat, and no electricity, when they are sitting in front of a huge flat screen TV, and there are 2 computers in the room.

I was watching some daytime talk show when I was sick one day and it was about beneficaries in the UK. Bottom line was people couldn't afford to go out to work such was the difference in the wages compared with their benefit. One single dad would lose something like 150 pounds a week if he went to work, and another lass was pregnant with child number 5 and she was getting HUGE money.

>

Save the Earth... it's the only planet with chocolate!

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12 years 5 months ago #401846 by reggit

Cinsara;397211 wrote: One single dad would lose something like 150 pounds a week if he went to work.


Unless you know the figures involved, and what is considered a 'living wage', there is no way of knowing whether this is an indictment on the benefit conditions being too cushy or the wages he can receive being too pitiful.

Which is why there is such a lot of research in UK about a 'living wage' vs 'minimum wage'.

As for mums on DPB or equivalent...unless the kids are results of immaculate conceptions, I wish the spotlight would also be turned more often on the fathers of the kids who aren't paying what they should.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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12 years 5 months ago #401855 by max2

tigger;397236 wrote:
As for mums on DPB or equivalent...unless the kids are results of immaculate conceptions, I wish the spotlight would also be turned more often on the fathers of the kids who aren't paying what they should.


the aussie child support office is already very good at doing that, they assess fathers under ''capacity to earn'' if Mother lodges an assessment objection, but its hopeless to try to get it the other way....[}:)]

(the following isn't in reply to your post Tigger, just me going on with the theme).

Herein lies the problem as i see it. We have govt departments assessing people in many different ways as to their ''capacity to earn'' and whether they qualify for sickness benefit or not and cash is deposited into bank accounts. I am aware of a current case where the woman involved is trying to get on benefit for a respiratory condition, yet she frequents the smokers area with both puffer and fag in hand whilst at work. Go figure.

I watch a youngish couple walk past my office window nearly on a daily basis pushing a pram and she is obviously pregnant again. They appear fit enough, appear to be ''wealthy'' enough to afford another child and takeaway for lunch, but are unemployed. Should the social $$ go towards supporting them? How about applying the ''capacity to earn'' theory to them?

My former neighbour (WINZ paid rent) was often seen in her pjs at 2.00pm of an afternoon doing a spot of weeding, and still up at 2.00am in the spa on the verandah whilst the rest of us tried to sleep before milking and going off farm to work. Whose the mug?

We have just got to stop giving out $$'s to those ''capable of earning'' and instead provide food from a food bank. (not vouchers, too easy to trade). Bring back home visits/inspections by the authorities (as they used to in the UK in the 1940's and accompany you shopping) don't like it, then don't claim tax payer provided benefit.... we have to toughen up. Only then can we truly help (and have the $$'s available) to those really in need. :)

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