Friday, August 07, 2009

Benefit Busters

I was really excited to hear about a program on Channel 4 which was going to look into how "the government is attempting to revolutionise the benefits system".

Promising an "all out attack" and a "no nonsense Yorkshire lass", I was imagining how those MP's were going to squirm.

Imagine my disappointment to discover that instead of hitting some of the biggest piggies in the country, it'll instead focus on the most vulnerable members of our society ... yawn.

According to the BBC, the amount of benefit fraud in the UK was around £2.6 billion in 2007, approximately 2% of a £130 billion (or thereabouts) yearly budget.

If the investment houses aren't making a better than 2% profit on the £175 billion quantitative easing program, I'd be gobsmacked.

This is the sort of benefits we can ill afford. Get your act together C4.


ukbix said...

Will be watching to see how they decide to go with this series.

They could show the truth, or it could just be another propaganda excercise in order to bash the sick/disabled/unemployed.

ukbix said...

ps - did you notice its sponsored by volkswagen?

Google their history re being in favour of forced labour.

Anonymous said...

It was hilarious how yvette the one who said she was paid too much in benefits didn't take the job cos it didn't pay as much as her benefits. I can't afford to come off benefit she bleated. when hayley yells that they should be taking jobs at Mcdonalds or Burger King, I wanted to remind her that it was recently in the papers that the fast food industry are turning away as many as 45 people per day because there are no jobs. Hayley was lucky that a new store opened as it created new employment whilst ignoring the facts that there is very little existing opportunities. It only came out later in the show that these were not real jobs but some kind of job trial or placement.

RR said...
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RR said...

It makes me frustrated - I worked for as long as I could, until I had to/wanted to stay at home and look after my three daughters two of whom suffer from chronic illness. I ABSOLUTELY HATED being on benefits, hated not working, it meant I was very often wrongly judged and treated badly by people, some of whom I had previously thought were friends, many of whom were from the very system who are meant to help, their spiteful comments and arrogant judgemental attitudes towards me and worse my daughters left me feeling shocked but hurt, belittled, degraded, insulted and guilty for looking after my unwell daughters!
We didn’t have luxuries; fancy clothes, internet, game consoles, colour TV, etc. Lived in a rural area with no buses so a car was essential in order to get to any shops, school, doctors, hospitals etc, I had an old car, often in need of repair, a very expensive item, unlike the four wheel drives others’ brought their children to school in, others’ liked to look down on us ‘poor’ folk. My girls were quite socially isolated as we didn’t have funds to run the car unnecessarily. We wanted to move but I had to make a difficult decision to refuse the one council house in a village that was offered to us; it didn’t have heating which would have had a detrimental effect on the girls’ health and having recently accepted a grant towards heating installation and unable to get another for two years we were tied to the current accommodation... we were caught in a trap.
Upon learning we should be entitled to DLA I claimed, but then had to deal with the process of appeal that dragged out well over a year. I was sent a copy of all paper work relating to the case, including a doctor’s report which stated future prognosis for my daughter, things I was not ready to know, it shook my world. The appeal resulted in 4 panel members making the unanimous decision to award DLA. When the letter finally came “we are pleased to inform you that you are entitled to DLA”, it was a double edged sword, after all I didn’t really want it, I just wanted my daughters to be well. For a chronic illness they only awarded for 4 years and with two of the years almost up by the time of the award, it was soon time to go through the whole upsetting process again.
The money helped but we were far from well off and I would not buy things on credit as debt was an unnecessary stress my life could do without; life was stressful enough, so I just struggled to manage with what we had. Time with my daughters was more precious than anything else, but it would have been nice to treat them a little.
I was shocked at other more fortunately well off peoples wasteful and selfish ways; a trivial but meaningful example; a friend threw out luxury food items that had passed their sell by date by a day, foods I would loved to have been able to afford for my girls. A friend, who was building a house, got depressed as she had to stay in temporary accommodation – a nice little house - for a few months, a friend who had a brand new car, joked that my car was from the bangers club. Receiving charity was both a blessing but humiliating, a charity helped us get a new cooker and a holiday a ‘very well off friend’ said “we should all have sick kids so we can get help”, needless to say she is not a friend any longer, I could tell many more instances of others’ cruel words and actions but I hope these few instances emphasise the way we were made to feel ostracised, bullied and judged because forced to be on benefits.
Eventually due to fate, circumstances changed, and through very hard work II got away from the benefits system and am now a university Lecturer – no thanks to anyone other than my family and myself. In some ways I am glad I saw the appalling attitudes of others’ so that I can ensure never to be like them in any way!
Don't abuse the welfare system but equally don't abuse those who need to be on the system!

Anonymous said...

Why have three children if you couldn't afford them? You made the choices, but you expect everybody else to pay for them.

RR said...
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RR said...

Yes I made choices - I worked and could afford my children until they became so ill that I had to make a choice to either; do what any loving mother would want to do and nurse them myself, or continue working and get someone else to look after them (the latter would cost the state much more than paying us benefits by the way). When I had my children I did not know they would be unfortunate enough to inherit a life threatening recessive illness from both myself and my husband as it had never appeared in either of our families before. One daughter was 10 the other 3 before it showed. Then we learned there had been a 1 in 4 chance of them getting the illness; 2 of my 3 children had inherited it. It effects them to a varying degree; causing problems with the liver, spleen, kidneys, there are risks of internal bleeding, their blood counts are low meaning a higher risk of bleeding and infections, low haemoglobin and iron means they get exhausted, sometimes they are in excruciating pain, due to high risk factors they can’t do contact sports or horse riding or trampoline or anything that could cause internal injury, one daughter has had to have dialysis – 8 hours a night EVERY night, eventually she was very lucky to receive a kidney transplant (this is her first – they don’t last forever), (oh I expect with your attitude we should not have ‘expected’ /hoped for someone to help us by GIVING us a kidney???) (Sorry for the sarcasm there but sometimes I really get sick of attitudes like yours). The girls spent much time in hospital undergoing all sorts of scary and sometimes painful tests and operations– of course they wanted me there with them.
Unfortunately sometimes these stressful situations break families – even though my husband could not take it, I of course have stuck by and been there for my children. Why don’t you get on at the SYSTEM and ask why THEY didn’t make HIM pay for HIS children!!
Annoyingly there are people who abuse the system; they make it hard for the people who really NEED help, but it is the people with poor attitudes towards those in need that make it worse. Often people who need help can have difficult or sad circumstances in their lives that are hard enough to deal with without also being victimised, humiliated and accused of being spongers by the narrow mindedness of people presuming that everyone is expecting others’ to pay for them or presuming they want to be on benefits. Believe me there are many people who NEED to ask for help even when they really DO NOT want to.
I certainly did not expect or want anyone else to pay for my children. My family, who all work, have paid more than enough tax to pay for us. Now I work again and pay a high level of tax, and am happy that it goes to help the needy.
As a matter of interest what would you have done while worrying you were losing a child or worse two? Would you have gone to work or stayed with them and been glad for the time with then and THANKFUL to the people who care enough to WANT to help others in NEED? It was people like YOU that made my life so much harder.......
but worse than that – it made my poor girls lives more difficult than they needed to be! SHAME ON YOUR SELFISH NARROW MINDED attitude.

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