I got stopped by one of those people you tend to avoid in the high street. You know the ones? The ones that are always trying to get you to sign up to something or sell you something. This guy wasn't trying to get me to sign up to anything though. All he wanted was my signature. Why? Something to do with tax credits. They have started a big petition nationwide to stop it being taken away or reduced. Usually my head is in the sand when it comes to anything benefit wise as we are not entitled to anything. Nada. And yes, I have thrown a little strop when our child benefit was removed too. I gave up my job relying on that child benefit money when J turned one. Daddy M is the one and only breadwinner bringing in a regular and reliable income which has to cover everything the four of us ever needs. However, if his income was split between the two of us then we would be entitled. How is that fair? So yes, I have thrown a strop sometimes over benefits when I couldn't afford to go for a coffee and cake with friends.
Talking benefits usually turns into heated discussions. We are very lucky that we now live a fairly comfortable life without the need of benefits. However I would not be where I am today if the benefit system was not there. Growing up my dad got ill. Arthritis took over his body making him give up his own business and my mum unable to work due to looking after four children and my dad. We relied on those benefits. They kept us going, put clothes on our backs, and food on the table. We didn't live a lavish lifestyle by any means, but we grew up happy knowing that there was something there in place to stop us ending up in care or on the streets begging.
Fast forward a few years and we know of a small minority of people "working the benefit system". Doing nothing illegal but knowing how they can get as much as they can for doing as little as they can. This is where the system is open to abuse. It needs sorting somehow. A husband and wife, for example, living separately for the full purpose that the wife can claim full benefits and the husband bringing in his usual wage and paying for a smaller place to live with lower living costs. They are officially doing nothing wrong as they are not living together but they know how to work it, and at what cost to a stable family lifestyle?
With it being such a hot discussion point My Voucher Codes conducted some research about how people feel about Benefit Britain. They asked 2158 UK adults over 18...
“Do you believe the current benefit system in the UK is too generous?” Over 51% said, no it was not too generous, whilst 31% said yes it was and 18% said it depends on the circumstances.
I agree with the 18% that it depends on the circumstances. In an ideal world, each case should be looked at separately. Every family is different, every situation is different. No one is the same. I know due to the tax credit cut that a family that was made redundant at the start of the year, who relied on benefits for a while but got back out there and got jobs again are now going to be worse off then when they were on benefits. How is that right? How is that teaching our kids that if they do well at school and aspire to get a job that they will be rewarded, whilst those that didn't work hard, don't get a job and still get a decent amount of cash for it? This is what makes me angry.
I know not everyone receiving benefits gets a decent amount of cash. Most that do receive the benefits are in need of it, and it does just about bring enough in to put second hand clothes on their backs and food on the table. Or help towards child care options so they can work.
Its the very small minority of people on benefits that "work" it and end up with a better lifestyle than the hard workers out there, working every possible hour they can to provide for their family. Its the ones the media likes to do full page spreads on. Boasting what they get with their thousands of pounds a month benefits. Its the small amount of people that abuse it that has ruined the system and it may now be starting to fail those that are in need of that extra back up if they fall on hard times. They are what is wrong with the benefit system in Britain today.
Moreover, the small minority of folk who actually abuse the system have turned the benefit system into a taboo subject, a war of opinions where honest folk who use benefits for honest reasons, as the system was intended, get tarred with the same brush and labelled "spongers", etc. They're the ones I feel for in all this mess!
I will stop my ramblings now and go back to digging my head in the sand and saying nothing.