Are Food Banks Feeding The Problem?

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 1:06 pm

Whilst reading through the thread on how much trade unions are affecting Labour's chances of election, some posters mentioned food banks.

One of the easiest things for any society to do is blame the poor for their plight. It eases consciences and soothes any sight of the uncomfortable. In his “Theory of Moral Sentiments”, Adam Smith wrote “How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion we feel for the misery of others when we see it.”

To avoid then, “deriving sorrow from the sorrow of others” with the consequent necessity to do something about it, we blame the sufferer. If only they worked harder, like ourselves, they wouldn’t be so impoverished.

There is, however, an equal temptation and that is to see the poor as inanimate objects, nothing more than flotsam and jetsam on the vast sea of economic forces. They are less than nothing. There has been plenty of this attitude in evidence in the way the increasing numbers of food banks in Britain have been reported in our press. A study by Oxfam and Church Poverty Action found that around 500’000 people now use them. In a country where it was recently announced that up to a third of the food produced is thrown away, for the sight of people queuing up for charity handouts to be called “Dickensian” and “Victorian” is something that we as a people should be deeply ashamed of.

The main villain of the piece, for most, is the reduction of state benefits that have left unemployed people, or those on the lowest wages, with insufficient money to buy food. What the recent explosion of food banks makes clear is that the cuts to our welfare state have, in effect, pauperised a considerable proportion of the population.

Our social policy has acted in favour of pauperisation by making the difference between low paid work and benefits for the unemployed almost non-existent. We have also failed to educate people in poor areas so that they are incapable of changing their lives for the better and this is highlighted by the uncomfortable truth that, in a time of high unemployment we still need to import foreign labour to do unskilled jobs. Part of the problem for that last reason is that foreigners are much more mobile whereas people living in Britain are often so poor that they cannot move to where the jobs are.

Above all, we have demoralised a significant proportion of the population to the point where people lose the sense that they are living off charity.... living at the expense of others.... which, if they were not so desensitised to this by resignation they would naturally feel unease at. And so they disguise or suppress their feelings for the sake of their own self esteem and what should be a short term stop-gap becomes the norm. The accepted state of things.

We have seen an increase in the number of people losing benefits for failing to keep appointments, for whatever reason, at Social Security offices. No matter what else government departments may do slowly or inefficiently, when there is an opportunity to stop somebody’s payments, they are right on the ball with lightning speed. By stopping payments and blaming it on fecklessness, ministers are able to portray social pathology as licence, improvidence and dishonesty. The government then blames the poor for their own plight and makes statements in Parliament, saying that everybody who is out of work is a shirker, lying in bed all day and sponging off the state. It makes it easier for them to justify more cuts and in this way, the wheel turns full circle.

The growth of food banks has produced some public unease in what President Eisenhower might have called “The Industrial-Charity Complex.” Whereas what we should be seeing as a temporary stop-gap is slowly but surely becoming for the poorest, a way of life with no prospect of improvement and this is something we should all find disturbing.

As well intentioned and, in some cases, as necessary as food banks are, we shouldn’t be letting our government abrogate its responsibilities to the people by just allowing things to roll along and letting the poorest become accustomed to accepting this as their lot forever at the cost of any hope or aspiration for the future.
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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 7:07 pm

I don't often agree with what you say, 4L, but I do love your style of prose!

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Post by Rowley on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 7:21 pm

I agree with pretty much everything he says and also admire his prose and ability to articulate his arguments, a win win for me. Really do not know enough about the subject to comment but think for a developed country ot have sections of society who need to rely on food banks is pretty shameful in this day and age.

Really do think there is an alarming tendency to portray anyone on benefits as scroungers currently. Am not naive enough to think there are not people who do not abuse the system but there are also a lot of people on benefits for who the same is not true.

As I have said previously a friend of mines fiancee recently was made redundant, no real fault of her own just a reflection of the economy being in the toilet. They have a kid and a house and so she had no choice but to go on benefits until she found a new job. Thankfully she did after a couple of months and has worked ever since. Personally would find any characterisation of her as a scrounger as hugely offensive as I know nothing could be further from the truth, particularly when one considers that had she remained on benefits she would have been a tenner a week worse off, however she did not consider doing this as she wanted to work, rightly I should add.

Would guess it will be quite some time until you read a story like that in any of the tabloid press.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 7:22 pm

That example, Rowls, is exactly what the welfare state should be there for. A safety net to catch people when they're falling and provide temporary assistance till they get back on their feet.

However that is not what it has become, and that is the problem.

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Post by Lumbering_Jack on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 7:38 pm

Only 10 quid a week worse off? How much benefit do you get when you lose your job?

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Post by ShahenshahG on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 8:02 pm

53 quid a week

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 11:11 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:That example, Rowls, is exactly what the welfare state should be there for.  A safety net to catch people when they're falling and provide temporary assistance till they get back on their feet.

However that is not what it has become, and that is the problem.
Let me guess you think people enjoy the lavish lifestyle of living on £7 a day?

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Post by Duty281 on Fri 08 Nov 2013, 12:06 am

£56.80 a week is the unemployment benefit if you're in the lower age bracket.

That's...£8 a day...by gum, it's over £8 a pound a day!

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Fri 08 Nov 2013, 12:14 am

Duty281 wrote:£56.80 a week is the unemployment benefit if you're in the lower age bracket.

That's...£8 a day...by gum, it's over £8 a pound a day!
I think the minimum I could survive on a day would be £25 (175 a week). just paying bills alone and nothing else costs me between £60-£80 a week and then I have to pay for travel and clothing and running my car and paying Council Tax etc which would probably come close to £175 a week.

That is the absolute minimum just to survive really without taking into consideration money needed for social activities such as going to the swimming pool, pub or cinema or even getting a takeaway.

How anyone survives on just £56 a week JSA is beyond me, I know I couldn't.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Fri 08 Nov 2013, 7:23 pm

Superb stuff again from the lion.........

The problem you have is If you stand up for genuine people on benefits these days you get labelled as a shirker-sympathiser.......

Also agree with rowley that good people lose their jobs all the time through closures and we need a secure net to help these people.......I have no time for people that don't want to work....

I think work is good for people......It helps with self esteem and it gives back to society......

However I don't want corporations getting slave labour.......My idea would be one day a week work experience...Improving the environment by cleaning up canals, roadways and other stuff.........Leaving the rest of the week for looking for work.......

Also helps them getting into the habit of work..preparing them for the environment.

As for foodbanks.........Must be a terrible hit on your pride to have to go to them.......

For most people...........

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Sat 09 Nov 2013, 2:21 am

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Superb stuff again from the lion.........

The problem you have is If you stand up for genuine people on benefits these days you get labelled as a shirker-sympathiser.......

Also agree with  rowley  that good people lose their jobs all the time through closures and we need a secure net to help these people.......I have no time for people that don't want to work....

I think work is good for people......It helps with self esteem and it gives back to society......

However I don't want corporations getting slave labour.......My idea would be one day a week work experience...Improving the environment by cleaning up canals, roadways and other stuff.........Leaving the rest of the week for looking for work.......

Also helps them getting into the habit of work..preparing them for the environment.

As for foodbanks.........Must be a terrible hit on your pride to have to go to them.......

For most people...........
Good post and I agree with the majority of it. I also think it is important to highlight that the majority of people on benefits are actually in employment but their wages are so low that the government has to 'top them up' by giving them working tax credits or housing benefit or council tax benefit.

If the government introduced a living wage rather than the minimum wage then the benefits people would claim would be reduced due to people having enough money to live on.

Some of the posters on here seem to think that all benefit claimants are lazy shirkers etc when the facts are that the overhwhelming majority of benefit claimants are either in work, pensioners or the disabled. Unemployed people claiming jsa make up the smallest claimant group and research has highlighted that the majority of jsa claimants usually stop claiming before the 6 month period highlighting that jsa is working as a temporary benefit acting as a saftey net for the unemployed.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Sat 09 Nov 2013, 5:46 pm

I didn't differentiate between the jobless and the other benefit claimants..

You were right to pick up on that.

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 09 Nov 2013, 11:01 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Superb stuff again from the lion.........

The problem you have is If you stand up for genuine people on benefits these days you get labelled as a shirker-sympathiser.......

Also agree with  rowley  that good people lose their jobs all the time through closures and we need a secure net to help these people.......I have no time for people that don't want to work....

I think work is good for people......It helps with self esteem and it gives back to society......

However I don't want corporations getting slave labour.......My idea would be one day a week work experience...Improving the environment by cleaning up canals, roadways and other stuff.........Leaving the rest of the week for looking for work.......

Also helps them getting into the habit of work..preparing them for the environment.

As for foodbanks.........Must be a terrible hit on your pride to have to go to them.......

For most people...........
Good post and I agree with the majority of it. I also think it is important to highlight that the majority of people on benefits are actually in employment but their wages are so low that the government has to 'top them up' by giving them working tax credits or housing benefit or council tax benefit.

If the government introduced a living wage rather than the minimum wage then the benefits people would claim would be reduced due to people having enough money to live on.

Some of the posters on here seem to think that all benefit claimants are lazy shirkers etc when the facts are that the overhwhelming majority of benefit claimants are either in work, pensioners or the disabled. Unemployed people claiming jsa make up the smallest claimant group and research has highlighted that the majority of jsa claimants usually stop claiming before the 6 month period highlighting that jsa is working as a temporary benefit acting as a saftey net for the unemployed.
I certainly agree. clap

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 11:46 am

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:That example, Rowls, is exactly what the welfare state should be there for.  A safety net to catch people when they're falling and provide temporary assistance till they get back on their feet.

However that is not what it has become, and that is the problem.
Let me guess you think people enjoy the lavish lifestyle of living on £7 a day?
I don't think anyone, anywhere in the country, lives on JSA.

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Post by Lumbering_Jack on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:13 pm

I used to live in a rough area. Out of the 40 or so flats in the street, I'd say 10 households had one or more people going to work.

They rest certainly weren't living off JSA. I don't know what they were getting but it certainly wasn't 53 quid a week. They always had money for nights out, cigs and nice clothes (although they were probably nicked). So in addition to JSA they'll be in receipt of housing benefit, free council tax, 1 quid utility bills (a marvelous scheme where lazy types get free stuff), child support (which wasn't spent on the child) plus whatever else they could get their hands on.

This is my experience Of people on benefits, and having also worked for a social landlord it has done nothing to change my view. Do stats back up my thoughts, who knows... But I really don't see where all these poor soles on benefits who want to get off them are.

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Post by seanmichaels on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:20 pm

What job only pays £65 ish a week?

Even for u18's that is less than 20 hours per week. Sympathise in the fact that childcare is expensive an a balance has to be sought, but that is a consideration or a consequence of having a kid. If you can't afford one, don't have one surely?

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Post by Lumbering_Jack on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:39 pm

I agree Sean but it will breach your human rights of a right to a family life, which is basically a license to scrounge.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:42 pm

seanmichaels wrote:What job only pays £65 ish a week?

Even for u18's that is less than 20 hours per week. Sympathise in the fact that childcare is expensive an a balance has to be sought, but that is a consideration or a consequence of having a kid. If you can't afford one, don't have one surely?
Not a consideration unless you're not sufficiently 'hard-up'/'normal' enough to secure significant welfare income.

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Post by Lumbering_Jack on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 12:43 pm

Let's not forgot that being a 'full time mum' is just as hard as a job.

And the moon is made of cheese.

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Post by seanmichaels on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 1:15 pm

In all seriousness I've only recently realised how tough it is to bring up kids. The thing that irks me is that you'll end up having to get a licence to get a dog one day but they'll always let any old scumbag have a kid. Shocking seeing some of the pram wielding folk in town centres these days.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 1:31 pm

I wouldn't undersell the toughness of parenting. My only irk is that the 'full time mum' claim, often comes from parent's with kids in school. If being a stay at home parent is tough when your kids at school, it's miles harder for working parents who do all or most of the stay at home stuff AND hold down a full or part time job.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 6:56 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:I wouldn't undersell the toughness of parenting.  My only irk is that the 'full time mum' claim, often comes from parent's with kids in school.  If being a stay at home parent is tough when your kids at school, it's miles harder for working parents who do all or most of the stay at home stuff AND hold down a full or part time job.
Agree entirely.......It's only those without kids that don't realise how time consuming and generally hard work caring for small kids are...

Much rather work fulltime than have to stay at home as a parent.......

Stay at home mothers who do the job properly are unsung heroes.............Bloody hard work as any Man knows when his Mrs has been away or I guess If his Mrs has run off with the milkman...

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 7:00 pm

My niece/god-daughter was born only 11 weeks ago and I was up to see her this weekend. Seeing what my cousins were doing/going through as first time parents brought it home that. whilst it must be terrifically rewarding, it's also stupendously draining.

Like I said, once they're in school I think it tails off a bit, and that's where I think the 'stay at home parent' ardours are over-sold, but it sure as hell never looks easy.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 1:48 am

So what some people are saying is that poor people should be banned from starting a family? The view some people have is that if you can't afford a baby then don't have one. WHat about disabled people should they be banned from having a child as well because they too are on benefits. What about someone who has worked for 30 years and paid into the system but has lost his job due to redundancy and have to claim jsa etc, should he/she be banned from starting a family? What about people who are in employment but whose wages are so low they need to be topped up by benefits, should they be banned from starting a family too?

How will we implement this ban? will it be a criminal offence for someone earning below x amount a year to have a baby? what would the punishment be? a jail sentence?

Would we just stop giving child benefit to families who have children but who do not earn enough money? WHat would happen to the children, will we leave them to starve as the parents have no money and are banned from getting any benefits? Would we take the children away and put them into childrens homes? It would cost more money for the taxpayer having to put children in childrens homes and it would also result in the child's career prospects being massively reduced.


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Post by The Fourth Lion on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 9:55 am

I am terribly disappointed at some of the responses to my original post, and the conversation which has ensued from it.  

I had hoped for a topical discussion on the merits / demerits of food banks.  What has happened instead, is a denigration of anybody who doesn't fit within the comfortable social class of what some might call "Decent Hardworking People".  I can see a lot of stereotyping that is not supported by any evidence or even rational analysis.  

Please indulge me while I qualify myself:  I'm speaking from the heart now so I apologise if I come over as being a bit 'over emotive'.

I am from the 'baby boomer' generation.  Born in the post war years when families were generally larger.  My mother had 8 children, two of whom died in infancy.  My father fought in North Africa and Italy during WW2.  I grew up on a crowded council estate in South London, went to a tough school and played on 'bomb sites'.... areas of devastation left behind by the Blitz, some of which weren't cleared away until the mid 1960s.

My dad worked for London Transport.  He worked hard to support his family.  Mum stayed at home mostly, but had a small cleaning job that brought in a few pennies.  My sisters became surrogate mothers at an early age, looking after the younger brothers and sisters as soon as they were able.  

Does this sound like a 'hard luck' story..?  I hope it doesn't.  It isn't meant to.  My family wasn't unique.  Everybody on our estate was the same.  We all had nothing.  

But dad had fought the Nazis so we could keep our country and way of life.  A way of life where people cared about each other.... where we gave a damn.   In the post war years, Britain was financially far worse off than it is now.... the country really was skint, having poured what wealth there was into a ruinous war.  We owed the USA a massive debt (at over the odds interest) that it turned out wouldn't be paid off until 2006.

And yet..... during that time (late 40's and 50s), we built the Welfare State and the NHS.  Why..?

So that ordinary people wouldn't starve.  So that kids could get a decent education.  So that nobody would have their gas or electric cut off.  So that everybody who needed medical treatment would get it, free of charge at the point of need.

That was something that we, as a people, could be proud of.  

And the human rights laws that are so scorned today..... who wrote that legislation..?   The British, that's who.   Well, not entirely all by ourselves, but we had a major input into the drafting of the first European laws on human rights.  Rights that are universal and undeniable to everybody, one and all.

When I hear politicians talking about scrapping human rights legislation I become truly scared.  Why would anybody scrap human rights laws...?  Only one reason I can think of:  To deprive people of their human rights.  They talk about replacing it with some vague 'charter' or other, but that wouldn't be law.  It would be, well.... sort of.... guidelines, really.  And we all know what they're worth.  When it comes to scrapping human rights law, we should be afraid.  Very afraid.

I've grown up believing that the British people are humane, civilised and compassionate.  I am generally proud of my country and am comfortable in my own skin when I tell people where I come from.

But slowly, and surely, all the advances we made off the back of the sacrifices of those who fought in two terrible world wars, to protect our liberties, freedoms and values, are being chipped away at.

Those things we should hold dear are being chipped away at remorselessly, not by the so-called 'scroungers' or the single parent families (we had single parent families in the baby boom years too... there was a boy who lived next door to us whose father was killed on D Day at Gold Beach.  Look that up, LJ and learn a thing or two) but by the those who like to dress themselves up in the patronising, self-aggrandising title of "Decent Hardworking People".

Me..?  I'm now semi-retired.  Never had a day out of work until I was in my late 50's and was made redundant.  I am self employed now and only work when I feel like it, but my wife and I are comfortably off and well set up for when we both retire for good.  

But we haven't forgotten where we came from.

We don't look down on people and criticise them for being poor.  We don't hack away at their support systems and try to make them feel less than human.  We don't sit in lofty judgement, as if we are better than them... no, not just better.... superior.  

We still feel those British qualities that our fathers fought to preserve and worked so hard to create in the post war years.  We don't want to see them relentlessly eroded until they no longer exist, creating an underclass of wretched un-citizens who are stripped of all dignity, hope and aspiration.

Because hey, people... that's what's happening.  That wasn't what dad fought for.  That wasn't what those brave men stormed the beaches at Normandy for.  That wasn't what the post war men of vision wanted to become of us.

Call me old fashioned if you will.  I don't mind.  Stereotype me as a liberal bleeding heart.  I've heard that one before too.  But as I slide inexorably into my dotage, I can at least be proud of one thing.... My wife and I brought our family up with the right sort of social mores.   Nothing special, really.... they aren't saints.... but they know the value of compassion and humanity.... for those less well off than themselves.  They realise what we have, and want to keep it there... for those who need it.... whoever they are.

And when ordinary people are reduced to living off handouts of food and an increasing number begrudge them of it, I wonder where we, as a people, are really headed.

Britain in the 1940's was worth fighting for.  Is it now..?

I wonder how, in a country that is amongst the richest in the world, how we can have a society where the 'haves' are so greedy and self centered that they want to keep everything for themselves, and give nothing back.  Where it is all about 'me, me, me and to hell with everybody else'.  I wonder how we could have come to the point where some of our people would cut off help to the needy, just so they can screw another penny off their rate of income tax.

The thing I wonder most of all, is how we could have spawned such a section within our society.  Where did we go wrong..?

Where did we go so terribly wrong..?
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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 11:11 am

The Fourth Lion wrote:I am terribly disappointed at some of the responses to my original post, and the conversation which has ensued from it.  

I had hoped for a topical discussion on the merits / demerits of food banks.  What has happened instead, is a denigration of anybody who doesn't fit within the comfortable social class of what some might call "Decent Hardworking People".  I can see a lot of stereotyping that is not supported by any evidence or even rational analysis.  

Are you just seeing what you're choosing to see though? (something I'm sure many of us are guilty of)

Because it appears first hand experience doesn't count as evidence in the eyes of those who want to insulate a chosen group from criticism (this cuts both ways). LJ (who I can't say I agree with much of the time) worked for a social housing provider and was in contact with said group on a daily basis. I used to work as a valuer/inspector of social housing and also came into contact with same said group on a daily basis. Many of us grew up in similar environments also. LJ has pointed out he did. I went to a state school which had your classic mix of producing everything from people now dead or in prison, to barristers, doctors and even Prem footballers. Many people commenting aren't part of the Guardianista chattering classes but people with their own real experiences of many walks of life who feel like those experiences should count towards an opinion, not be disregarded because they don't fit someone's self-chosen moral paradigm.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 11:15 am

Though, to address your request for more OP related discussion, I too agree that the increasing prevalence of food banks in 21st century Britain is a damning indictment of our society and what it has become.

However I arrive at that conclusion from what I suspect is a totally different angle to you.

I wonder, for example, how many of those people using food banks have ever heard of Mumma Jack, let alone tried one of her recipes?

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 11:29 am

Champagne_Socialist wrote:So what some people are saying is that poor people should be banned from starting a family? The view some people have is that if you can't afford a baby then don't have one.

I believe people are simply saying that it is people's own responsibility to exert financial prudence and that, if they choose not to, they shouldn't be turning to the tax-payer to bankroll their decision.

WHat about disabled people should they be banned from having a child as well because they too are on benefits.

Who said that? That said, there is some legal precedent to this, in particular regarding severe mental disability, where the courts have stepped in.

What about someone who has worked for 30 years and paid into the system but has lost his job due to redundancy and have to claim jsa etc, should he/she be banned from starting a family?

If he's been working 30 years he'll be past starting a family anyway, nice strawman though, very emotive.

What about people who are in employment but whose wages are so low they need to be topped up by benefits, should they be banned from starting a family too?

Again, I don't believe anyone said that. If anything, that's a great example of how the system should work for people. Help those that are helping themselves.

How will we implement this ban? will it be a criminal offence for someone earning below x amount a year to have a baby? what would the punishment be? a jail sentence?

Would we just stop giving child benefit to families who have children but who do not earn enough money? WHat would happen to the children, will we leave them to starve as the parents have no money and are banned from getting any benefits? Would we take the children away and put them into childrens homes? It would cost more money for the taxpayer having to put children in childrens homes and it would also result in the child's career prospects being massively reduced.

And this is why nothing will ever change. People that abuse the system (note the qualification, this is not 'all people') will always know that the 'think of the children' defence trumps any other argument.


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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 11:39 am

FL - how much were your school fees and why did you choose to send your kids there? I'm finding it hard to reconcile this point with your views on the inbalances within our society.

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Post by Lumbering_Jack on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 11:54 am

Enough of the sob story fourth...

As you've pointed out you are middle to upper class so forgive me if I find it hard to sympathise.

The benefits system is abused throughout the country. One only has to look at council estates and social landlords to get a view of the wide spread abuse. Not all people are like this but it is certainly not a tiny minority.

People need to take responsibility for their own life. If you can't afford to raise a second child (every responsible person should probably be allowed one) then don't have one. If you do, you should not be turning to the state. Child benefit is capped at 500 a week, an obscene amount of money for doing nothing. Why should those who don't work be better off than some who do.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:03 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Many of us grew up in similar environments also.
Laugh 

Not you though. Don't forget I know exactly where you grew up. I almost know the street, assuming you were being truthful in one of our PM discussions.

What's the cheapest house round that part of the town you grew up in? £500k? £750k? Whats the most expensive? Comfortably over a million.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:07 pm

Have to agree with LJ. If we were in the houses of Parliament I'd be raucously cheering and waving a bit of paper at the opposition leader at this point.

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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:10 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Many of us grew up in similar environments also.
Laugh 

Not you though.  Don't forget I know exactly where you grew up.  I almost know the street, assuming you were being truthful in one of our PM discussions.

What was it Coxy used to call you?

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:18 pm

seanmichaels wrote:
Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Many of us grew up in similar environments also.
Laugh 

Not you though.  Don't forget I know exactly where you grew up.  I almost know the street, assuming you were being truthful in one of our PM discussions.

What was it Coxy used to call you?
Difference is, TopHat and I had a grown up discussion via PM. It just so happens that I have a friend who lives in the same place as TH grew up. Coxy volunteered his information on the main forum.

And lets not let the truth get in the way of a good story, it was you that exposed him, he just blamed me.

For the record, I think the exact term was "little stalkerish wa*ker". As I said at the time, how dare he call me little.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:34 pm

seanmichaels wrote:Have to agree with LJ. If we were in the houses of Parliament I'd be raucously cheering and waving a bit of paper at the opposition leader at this point.
You and LJ are more right wing than Attila the hun..........So it's no surprise there is it.

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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:35 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
seanmichaels wrote:
Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Many of us grew up in similar environments also.
Laugh 

Not you though.  Don't forget I know exactly where you grew up.  I almost know the street, assuming you were being truthful in one of our PM discussions.

What was it Coxy used to call you?
Difference is, TopHat and I had a grown up discussion via PM.  It just so happens that I have a friend who lives in the same place as TH grew up.  Coxy volunteered his information on the main forum.  

And lets not let the truth get in the way of a good story, it was you that exposed him, he just blamed me.

For the record, I think the exact term was "little stalkerish wa*ker".  As I said at the time, how dare he call me little.
I'm guessing Tophat is a Pinner or Potters Bar sort.

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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 12:38 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:
seanmichaels wrote:Have to agree with LJ. If we were in the houses of Parliament I'd be raucously cheering and waving a bit of paper at the opposition leader at this point.
You and LJ are more right wing than Attila the hun..........So it's no surprise there is it.
I'm not really politically minded. The fact that LJ makes a reasoned factual argument as opposed to some sentimental guff puts me in his corner on this one. In 2005 I visited the Normandy beaches and war graves to pay respects but I don't think it enhances my opinion on the merits of the welfare state.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 1:00 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Many of us grew up in similar environments also.
Laugh 

Not you though.  Don't forget I know exactly where you grew up.  I almost know the street, assuming you were being truthful in one of our PM discussions.

What's the cheapest house round that part of the town you grew up in?  £500k?  £750k?  Whats the most expensive?  Comfortably over a million.
Lol I meant similar between ourselves. I definitely did not grow up on a housing estate and am sorry if my post pertained to otherwise.

But I did have a mixed upbringing. Yes I had a nice stable family home to go to, but that's only one small part of town. My point was as much about growing up 'around' that life as 'in' that life. Like I said, the people I grew up with vary now between prisoners and ex-cons, dead gang-violence victims, drug dealers and abusers to tradesmen, school teachers, accountants and barristers. The whole gamut of various walks of life. Chuck in fairly extensive professional experience and I do not believe I am talking from a position of total ignorance. And if 4L wants to chuck in parental sob-stories then my mum's folks came over on the boat from Ireland with quite literally nothing and my dad grew up on a council estate in a single parent family. I don't think that's relevant, but following on a theme....

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 1:02 pm

seanmichaels wrote:
Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
seanmichaels wrote:
Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Many of us grew up in similar environments also.
Laugh 

Not you though.  Don't forget I know exactly where you grew up.  I almost know the street, assuming you were being truthful in one of our PM discussions.

What was it Coxy used to call you?
Difference is, TopHat and I had a grown up discussion via PM.  It just so happens that I have a friend who lives in the same place as TH grew up.  Coxy volunteered his information on the main forum.  

And lets not let the truth get in the way of a good story, it was you that exposed him, he just blamed me.

For the record, I think the exact term was "little stalkerish wa*ker".  As I said at the time, how dare he call me little.
I'm guessing Tophat is a Pinner or Potters Bar sort.
Haha, nah, North Herts, as it happens.

Still, it's not quite the same as being a celebrity schmoozing hedge-fund magnate with a global property portfolio...... Whistle

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 1:11 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Haha, nah, North Herts, as it happens.  

Still, it's not quite the same as being a celebrity schmoozing hedge-fund magnate with a global property portfolio...... Whistle
We are both North-Herts. Hug The only difference is, I am northern therefore much more of a man than you (although half as fat).

I don't actually have a global property portfolio, yet. Trying to deal with the Spanish is like trying to deal with the poor. Draining and hard work.

Isn't it you that is the Nicholas van Hoogstraten of North London now, anyway?


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 1:15 pm

Hahahahaha fair play Tina, that post genuinely had me in stitches.

Didn't think you were NH though, thought we'd managed to fob your lot off on South Cambs or something.....

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 1:21 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Hahahahaha fair play Tina, that post genuinely had me in stitches.

Didn't think you were NH though, thought we'd managed to fob your lot off on South Cambs or something.....
All in jest, old boy.

I don't think so. As far as I know we are still under North-Herts. I gave up on our council after they fined a local farmer who had the temerity to use his tractor in moving a massive rock to block off an access path to his land. He did it after spending about 6 weeks trying to evict some gypsies from his field....

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 7:10 pm

The Fourth Lion wrote:I am terribly disappointed at some of the responses to my original post, and the conversation which has ensued from it.  

I had hoped for a topical discussion on the merits / demerits of food banks.  What has happened instead, is a denigration of anybody who doesn't fit within the comfortable social class of what some might call "Decent Hardworking People".  I can see a lot of stereotyping that is not supported by any evidence or even rational analysis.  

Please indulge me while I qualify myself:  I'm speaking from the heart now so I apologise if I come over as being a bit 'over emotive'.

I am from the 'baby boomer' generation.  Born in the post war years when families were generally larger.  My mother had 8 children, two of whom died in infancy.  My father fought in North Africa and Italy during WW2.  I grew up on a crowded council estate in South London, went to a tough school and played on 'bomb sites'.... areas of devastation left behind by the Blitz, some of which weren't cleared away until the mid 1960s.

My dad worked for London Transport.  He worked hard to support his family.  Mum stayed at home mostly, but had a small cleaning job that brought in a few pennies.  My sisters became surrogate mothers at an early age, looking after the younger brothers and sisters as soon as they were able.  

Does this sound like a 'hard luck' story..?  I hope it doesn't.  It isn't meant to.  My family wasn't unique.  Everybody on our estate was the same.  We all had nothing.  

But dad had fought the Nazis so we could keep our country and way of life.  A way of life where people cared about each other.... where we gave a damn.   In the post war years, Britain was financially far worse off than it is now.... the country really was skint, having poured what wealth there was into a ruinous war.  We owed the USA a massive debt (at over the odds interest) that it turned out wouldn't be paid off until 2006.

And yet..... during that time (late 40's and 50s), we built the Welfare State and the NHS.  Why..?

So that ordinary people wouldn't starve.  So that kids could get a decent education.  So that nobody would have their gas or electric cut off.  So that everybody who needed medical treatment would get it, free of charge at the point of need.

That was something that we, as a people, could be proud of.  

And the human rights laws that are so scorned today..... who wrote that legislation..?   The British, that's who.   Well, not entirely all by ourselves, but we had a major input into the drafting of the first European laws on human rights.  Rights that are universal and undeniable to everybody, one and all.

When I hear politicians talking about scrapping human rights legislation I become truly scared.  Why would anybody scrap human rights laws...?  Only one reason I can think of:  To deprive people of their human rights.  They talk about replacing it with some vague 'charter' or other, but that wouldn't be law.  It would be, well.... sort of.... guidelines, really.  And we all know what they're worth.  When it comes to scrapping human rights law, we should be afraid.  Very afraid.

I've grown up believing that the British people are humane, civilised and compassionate.  I am generally proud of my country and am comfortable in my own skin when I tell people where I come from.

But slowly, and surely, all the advances we made off the back of the sacrifices of those who fought in two terrible world wars, to protect our liberties, freedoms and values, are being chipped away at.

Those things we should hold dear are being chipped away at remorselessly, not by the so-called 'scroungers' or the single parent families (we had single parent families in the baby boom years too... there was a boy who lived next door to us whose father was killed on D Day at Gold Beach.  Look that up, LJ and learn a thing or two) but by the those who like to dress themselves up in the patronising, self-aggrandising title of "Decent Hardworking People".

Me..?  I'm now semi-retired.  Never had a day out of work until I was in my late 50's and was made redundant.  I am self employed now and only work when I feel like it, but my wife and I are comfortably off and well set up for when we both retire for good.  

But we haven't forgotten where we came from.

We don't look down on people and criticise them for being poor.  We don't hack away at their support systems and try to make them feel less than human.  We don't sit in lofty judgement, as if we are better than them... no, not just better.... superior.  

We still feel those British qualities that our fathers fought to preserve and worked so hard to create in the post war years.  We don't want to see them relentlessly eroded until they no longer exist, creating an underclass of wretched un-citizens who are stripped of all dignity, hope and aspiration.

Because hey, people... that's what's happening.  That wasn't what dad fought for.  That wasn't what those brave men stormed the beaches at Normandy for.  That wasn't what the post war men of vision wanted to become of us.

Call me old fashioned if you will.  I don't mind.  Stereotype me as a liberal bleeding heart.  I've heard that one before too.  But as I slide inexorably into my dotage, I can at least be proud of one thing.... My wife and I brought our family up with the right sort of social mores.   Nothing special, really.... they aren't saints.... but they know the value of compassion and humanity.... for those less well off than themselves.  They realise what we have, and want to keep it there... for those who need it.... whoever they are.

And when ordinary people are reduced to living off handouts of food and an increasing number begrudge them of it, I wonder where we, as a people, are really headed.

Britain in the 1940's was worth fighting for.  Is it now..?

I wonder how, in a country that is amongst the richest in the world, how we can have a society where the 'haves' are so greedy and self centered that they want to keep everything for themselves, and give nothing back.  Where it is all about 'me, me, me and to hell with everybody else'.  I wonder how we could have come to the point where some of our people would cut off help to the needy, just so they can screw another penny off their rate of income tax.

The thing I wonder most of all, is how we could have spawned such a section within our society.  Where did we go wrong..?

Where did we go so terribly wrong..?
Can I be the first to say what a great post ths is and it sums up my views perfectly.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 7:30 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:So what some people are saying is that poor people should be banned from starting a family? The view some people have is that if you can't afford a baby then don't have one.

I believe people are simply saying that it is people's own responsibility to exert financial prudence and that, if they choose not to, they shouldn't be turning to the tax-payer to bankroll their decision.

WHat about disabled people should they be banned from having a child as well because they too are on benefits.

Who said that? That said, there is some legal precedent to this, in particular regarding severe mental disability, where the courts have stepped in.  

What about someone who has worked for 30 years and paid into the system but has lost his job due to redundancy and have to claim jsa etc, should he/she be banned from starting a family?

If he's been working 30 years he'll be past starting a family anyway, nice strawman though, very emotive.

What about people who are in employment but whose wages are so low they need to be topped up by benefits, should they be banned from starting a family too?

Again, I don't believe anyone said that. If anything, that's a great example of how the system should work for people.  Help those that are helping themselves.

How will we implement this ban? will it be a criminal offence for someone earning below x amount a year to have a baby? what would the punishment be? a jail sentence?

Would we just stop giving child benefit to families who have children but who do not earn enough money? WHat would happen to the children, will we leave them to starve as the parents have no money and are banned from getting any benefits? Would we take the children away and put them into childrens homes? It would cost more money for the taxpayer having to put children in childrens homes and it would also result in the child's career prospects being massively reduced.

And this is why nothing will ever change.  People that abuse the system (note the qualification, this is not 'all people') will always know that the 'think of the children' defence trumps any other argument.

So what some people are saying is that poor people should be banned from starting a family? The view some people have is that if you can't afford a baby then don't have one.

tophat wrote:I believe people are simply saying that it is people's own responsibility to exert financial prudence and that, if they choose not to, they shouldn't be turning to the tax-payer to bankroll their decision
.

Why stop at removing child benefits for poor mothers. How about we remove all benefits for parents because after all why should the tax payer be forced to pay for someone else's kid. So anyone who sends their kid to a state school should be banned from having a kid because state schools are a benefit because they are free for the parent but paid for by the tax payer.

Anyone whose child will use the NHS should be banned from having a kid because once again the nhs is a benefit as it is free to the mother but paid for by the tax payer.

All this focus seems to be on child benefits which is peanuts compared to the other benefits parents receive such as a free education paid for by the taxpayer aand a free heaalthcare paid for b the taxpayer. Why should the tax payer pay for these services for other people's kids?

WHat about disabled people should they be banned from having a child as well because they too are on benefits.


tophat wrote:Who said that? That said, there is some legal precedent to this, in particular regarding severe mental disability, where the courts have stepped in.


Well you are against parents on benefits bringing up children. That is your ideological view, therefore you should be against disabled people being parents as well because they too are on benefits and there child will be paid for by the tax payer.

What about someone who has worked for 30 years and paid into the system but has lost his job due to redundancy and have to claim jsa etc, should he/she be banned from starting a family?


tophat wrote:If he's been working 30 years he'll be past starting a family anyway, nice strawman though, very emotive
.

Start working at the age of 16 and after 30 years you are 46. Plenty of 46 year old men who are fathers. But the scenario could hve been 20 years or 15 years or even 10 years.

What about people who are in employment but whose wages are so low they need to be topped up by benefits, should they be banned from starting a family too?


tophat wrote:Again, I don't believe anyone said that. If anything, that's a great example of how the system should work for people.  Help those that are helping themselves.


You are confusing your own argument. On the one hand you are saying it is financially wrong for someone to have a child if they can't afford it and the tax payer should not have to foot the bill in terms of paying for benefits yet on the other hand you are condoning a parent from having a child if they are in employment even if their wages mean they can't afford a kid and need to have benefits.

Make your mind up, are you in favour of benefits for children or are you against it?

what it looks like so far is that you are just looking for an excuse to punish the unemployed poor because you are happy paying the benefits to a parent who is in employment but who is financially wrong by having a kid because her wages are so crap she can't afford to bring up the kid and will need your tax to pay for her benefits but if that same parent was unemployed you would be against giving her your tax to pay for the benefits for her child.



Would we just stop giving child benefit to families who have children but who do not earn enough money? WHat would happen to the children, will we leave them to starve as the parents have no money and are banned from getting any benefits? Would we take the children away and put them into childrens homes? It would cost more money for the taxpayer having to put children in childrens homes and it would also result in the child's career prospects being massively reduced.


tophat wrote:And this is why nothing will ever change.  People that abuse the system (note the qualification, this is not 'all people')will always know that the 'think of the children' defence trumps any other argumet
t.

And quite rightly so, we don't live in a caveman society where we leave children to die of starvation etc we look after the vulnerable people in our society and that means making sure everyone who is vulnerable has enough food and clothes and housing to survive.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 8:09 pm

Ok, I've changed my mind, you're definitely right. It's unquestionably the superior moral and logical position to screw the responsible and pander to and enable the irresponsible.

Let's all take up the view point, let's all quit work and go reproduce with gay abandon, and then enjoy the fruits of everyone else's labours to pay our bills.........oh, wait, that doesn't work.....

What's it like up there on that so high moral pedestal? Air thin at all??

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 8:44 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Ok, I've changed my mind, you're definitely right.  
Obviously I am right.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 9:13 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:So what some people are saying is that poor people should be banned from starting a family? The view some people have is that if you can't afford a baby then don't have one.

I believe people are simply saying that it is people's own responsibility to exert financial prudence and that, if they choose not to, they shouldn't be turning to the tax-payer to bankroll their decision.

WHat about disabled people should they be banned from having a child as well because they too are on benefits.

Who said that? That said, there is some legal precedent to this, in particular regarding severe mental disability, where the courts have stepped in.  

What about someone who has worked for 30 years and paid into the system but has lost his job due to redundancy and have to claim jsa etc, should he/she be banned from starting a family?

If he's been working 30 years he'll be past starting a family anyway, nice strawman though, very emotive.

What about people who are in employment but whose wages are so low they need to be topped up by benefits, should they be banned from starting a family too?

Again, I don't believe anyone said that. If anything, that's a great example of how the system should work for people.  Help those that are helping themselves.

How will we implement this ban? will it be a criminal offence for someone earning below x amount a year to have a baby? what would the punishment be? a jail sentence?

Would we just stop giving child benefit to families who have children but who do not earn enough money? WHat would happen to the children, will we leave them to starve as the parents have no money and are banned from getting any benefits? Would we take the children away and put them into childrens homes? It would cost more money for the taxpayer having to put children in childrens homes and it would also result in the child's career prospects being massively reduced.

And this is why nothing will ever change.  People that abuse the system (note the qualification, this is not 'all people') will always know that the 'think of the children' defence trumps any other argument.

So what some people are saying is that poor people should be banned from starting a family? The view some people have is that if you can't afford a baby then don't have one.

tophat wrote:I believe people are simply saying that it is people's own responsibility to exert financial prudence and that, if they choose not to, they shouldn't be turning to the tax-payer to bankroll their decision
.

Why stop at removing child benefits for poor mothers. How about we remove all benefits for parents because after all why should the tax payer be forced to pay for someone else's kid. So anyone who sends their kid to a state school should be banned from having a kid because state schools are a benefit because they are free for the parent but paid for by the tax payer.

Anyone whose child will use the NHS should be banned from having a kid because once again the nhs is a benefit as it is free to the mother but paid for by the tax payer.

All this focus seems to be on child benefits which is peanuts compared to the other benefits parents receive such as a free education paid for by the taxpayer aand a free heaalthcare paid for b the taxpayer. Why should the tax payer pay for these services for other people's kids?

WHat about disabled people should they be banned from having a child as well because they too are on benefits.


tophat wrote:Who said that? That said, there is some legal precedent to this, in particular regarding severe mental disability, where the courts have stepped in.


Well you are against parents on benefits bringing up children. That is your ideological view, therefore you should be against disabled people being parents as well because they too are on benefits and there child will be paid for by the tax payer.

What about someone who has worked for 30 years and paid into the system but has lost his job due to redundancy and have to claim jsa etc, should he/she be banned from starting a family?


tophat wrote:If he's been working 30 years he'll be past starting a family anyway, nice strawman though, very emotive
.

Start working at the age of 16 and after 30 years you are 46. Plenty of 46 year old men who are fathers. But the scenario could hve been 20 years or 15 years or even 10 years.

What about people who are in employment but whose wages are so low they need to be topped up by benefits, should they be banned from starting a family too?


tophat wrote:Again, I don't believe anyone said that. If anything, that's a great example of how the system should work for people.  Help those that are helping themselves.


You are confusing your own argument. On the one hand you are saying it is financially wrong for someone to have a child if they can't afford it and the tax payer should not have to foot the bill in terms of paying for benefits yet on the other hand you are condoning a parent from having a child if they are in employment even if their wages mean they can't afford a kid and need to have benefits.

Make your mind up, are you in favour of benefits for children or are you against it?

what it looks like so far is that you are just looking for an excuse to punish the unemployed poor because you are happy paying the benefits to a parent who is in employment but who is financially wrong by having a kid because her wages are so crap she can't afford to bring up the kid and will need your tax to pay for her benefits but if that same parent was unemployed you would be against giving her your tax to pay for the benefits for her child.



Would we just stop giving child benefit to families who have children but who do not earn enough money? WHat would happen to the children, will we leave them to starve as the parents have no money and are banned from getting any benefits? Would we take the children away and put them into childrens homes? It would cost more money for the taxpayer having to put children in childrens homes and it would also result in the child's career prospects being massively reduced.


tophat wrote:And this is why nothing will ever change.  People that abuse the system (note the qualification, this is not 'all people')will always know that the 'think of the children' defence trumps any other argumet
t.

And quite rightly so, we don't live in a caveman society where we leave children to die of starvation etc we look after the vulnerable people in our society and that means making sure everyone who is vulnerable has enough food and clothes and housing to survive.

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Post by Lumbering_Jack on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 9:25 pm

Talk about taking things to hyphen extreme CS.

I've never seen so much rubbish written.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 13 Nov 2013, 12:46 am

Try again CS.......lol

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Wed 13 Nov 2013, 1:05 am

TopHat24/7 wrote:Try again CS.......lol
Are you sure you are 29? I notice that you sometimes write comments not to add to the debate but so that you have the last word. Having the last word doesn't mean you have won the debate or anything in case you didn't know.

I also think comments such as the one I have quoted above highlights that you are not debating the issue, rather you are debating the poster which is rather sad.

Well done clap

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