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Benefits...Again!

morstarmorstar Posts: 3,896
edited October 2013 in The cake stop
Conservatives are on another assault on benefits.

In simple terms, benefits are an issue but they are not the be all and end all and a significant realingnment of welfare expenditure isn't the cure to economic woes.

So what's going on?

Is it media just jumping all over it because it's an easy story to sell?

Do the Conservatives genuinely have no idea how to move forward other than by stopping 'scrounging'.

Is as much effort being put into collecting the missing taxes?

Seriously, it seems to be the only government initiative. Making work pay is surely as much about job creation as it is about disincentivising claiming.
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  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    Once you have a minimum wage above what is competitive on a worldwide basis what else can you do?
    Discuss.....
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Tory's need to focus on the "tax scrounging" being carried out by the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the UK every day.
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  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    Daz555 wrote:
    Tory's need to focus on the "tax scrounging" being carried out by the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the UK every day.
    Maybe they should focus on them but they won't. What with being core contributers and voters and all.
    Corrupt? Of coarse. Your not that naive are you?
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • daviesee wrote:
    Once you have a minimum wage above what is competitive on a worldwide basis what else can you do?
    Discuss.....

    You do what the Germans did - produce world class industrial and consumer goods and, until the Chinese overtok them about 3(?) years ago, were the largest exporters of such goods in the world. Of course, it meant that they adopted such dangerous (and probably socialist) practices as having union representatives on company boards, foremen in car plants and other factories who have engineering degrees and a society which near venerates engineers (people with degrees, that is, not someone who may be a skilled machinist).

    Oh, and you have regional banks whose branch managers don'thave to refer every commercial loan to head office and who know their local economy and firms extremely well.

    Aren't you glad that we weren't so beconomically and politically backward?

    Oh, and by the way, their industrial relations practices were written by a British Army officer in the immediate post-war period - obviously a dangerous subversive.
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  • wrote:
    So what's going on?

    Divide and conquer.

    Politicians making people blame each other for the problems usually caused by politicians themselves.

    Bad journalism doesn't help. When they write any sensationalist tripe because it makes a good story that sells.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 3,896
    I'm curious re the divide and conquer bit.

    I know this is a big part of it but, apart from those to whom scroungers are the biggest issue in the country, won't it potentially backfire?

    At some point, will even the average working man who doesn't like scroungers wake up and think, hang on, that is the only issue they've tackled!
  • crispybug2crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    morstar wrote:
    I'm curious re the divide and conquer bit.

    I know this is a big part of it but, apart from those to whom scroungers are the biggest issue in the country, won't it potentially backfire?

    At some point, will even the average working man who doesn't like scroungers wake up and think, hang on, that is the only issue they've tackled!


    The "scroungers" are brought up by the Tories to try and bring on board UKIP supporters and to minimise any losses in the upcoming general election. The Tories well remember the damage done to Labour when the SDP was formed and split the traditional Labour vote. UKIP are threatening to do the same damage to the Tories and now they are playing to the 'Daily Heil' tendency to keep them sweet.


    David Cameron's 'Hug A Hoodie' seems an awful long time ago doesn't it?
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,459
    I'm struggling to see why people don't think it is reasonable for people receiving benefits whilst being out of work to have to put something into the community. It can be of benefit to them as well as it can put a purpose back in the life of someone who may have given up or help them to learn skills to make them employable whilst helping their communities in some way. Everyone seems to overlook the third part of the policy - the pledge to help with issues such as addictions or educational issues preventing people being employable.

    Obviously it's politics so they may well just ignore the help part and no doubt some cynical businesses will abuse the scheme rather than pay for employees (I'd like to hear how this will be prevented) but taking things at face value I really don't see it as a case of unfortunate people being labelled as scroungers.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 3,896
    In principle, I don't have a problem with the simple concept of putting something into society.
    However, this issue appears to be the primary issue for our ruling party. It is admittedly a huge issue but it's far from the biggest issue facing Britain right now. Add in the fact that there aren't enough jobs and more jobs actually addresses a huge part of the problem and the constant attacks are just so uninspired.
    Ultimately if the government is paying for benefits people to work, isn't this just the same as more public sector employees. Ironically, the Conservatives are expanding the public sector.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    daviesee wrote:
    Once you have a minimum wage above what is competitive on a worldwide basis what else can you do?
    Discuss.....

    You do what the Germans did - produce world class industrial and consumer goods and, until the Chinese overtok them about 3(?) years ago, were the largest exporters of such goods in the world. Of course, it meant that they adopted such dangerous (and probably socialist) practices as having union representatives on company boards, foremen in car plants and other factories who have engineering degrees and a society which near venerates engineers (people with degrees, that is, not someone who may be a skilled machinist).

    Oh, and you have regional banks whose branch managers don'thave to refer every commercial loan to head office and who know their local economy and firms extremely well.

    Aren't you glad that we weren't so beconomically and politically backward?

    Oh, and by the way, their industrial relations practices were written by a British Army officer in the immediate post-war period - obviously a dangerous subversive.

    I'm an engineer. With a degree.

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  • pinnopinno Posts: 40,226
    Where do you start? The Tories have made more U turns than a lost shepherd on cider.

    We do not have a coherent plan when it comes to education. We have pandered to the middle classes who want their child to have a degree even if its a Mickey Mouse BA. Governments have used education as a political football and not as a means to increase the economic sustainability of the nation. Polytechnics have gone, apprenticeships are few and far between.
    The make up of industry is still not meritocratic and is heavily under-invested. We muddle through everything and half of the UK has been sold off, so we have little control over global economic changes. For every 1 industrial position lost, you have to replace it with 3 in the service sector but the service sector is fickle and the first to suffer under economic downturn.
    Unemployment in sink areas have now gone into 4th generation and we blame them for societal ills. We created that unemployable underclass by sheer neglect. In the modern economic world, cannon fodder is insufficient to run industry - there's too much competition and the shift of unskilled work going East (for the UK) is irretrievable.
    The Germans, Japanese and Koreans do it because of the collective will within the core of politics and society that is fabricated at best in the UK.
    I would suggest that Britain is a broken island needing a seismic shift in political and social culture to have any chance of not being blown around in whatever economic climate that may come our way.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 14,790
    It amazes me how people on here don't seem to mind being mugged off. I assume most on here work and pay tax. Those on here who are seeking employment, good luck to you and I hope you get all the support to which you are entitled, both financially and morally. But any who are career scroungers are beneath contempt.
    I had a full and frank exchange of views with my brother in law today. He was bemoaning the standard of living of the political classes and the unfairness of the 'bedroom tax'.
    I snapped and said that he must be demoralised at where his taxes are being spent, knowing full well that he hasn't paid any for years. I then accused him of not working or looking for work for the last twenty years. He became indignant and protested that it had only been ten years!
    During this time, neither he nor his wife have worked. They have three children, the oldest being 21, the youngest 12. His wife claims to be agoraphobic and can't work and therefore they claimed benefits. During this time she drank so much that earlier this year she suffered liver failure and he now claims to have cut his drinking down to 3 or 4 cans a night.
    His wife now qualifies for a car on mobility. (Forget for a moment this she agoraphobic) and they are now the proud owners of a 13 plate Honda Civic, which they use to enjoy many a pub lunch.
    Makes you proud to go to work and be a taxpayer.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 14,790
    I agree with Pinar in respect that there does need to be a seismic shift. People need to realise that the world owes them FA and they need not to rely on others for handouts. The benefit system should be a safety net and I don't begrudge anyone a penny who is striving to help themselves. The feckless and lazy need to change their mindset.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 44,019
    ballysmate wrote:
    I agree with Pinar in respect that there does need to be a seismic shift. People need to realise that the world owes them FA and they need not to rely on others for handouts. The benefit system should be a safety net and I don't begrudge anyone a penny who is striving to help themselves. The feckless and lazy need to change their mindset.
    +1

    What wrong with clamping down on scroungers?

    What amazes me is how some people think that there is this bottomless pit of money available to set the country to rights if only people would pay their 'fair share'. One eyed Gordon thought that was the case and look what a frikkin mess he made of the country's finances. Well they can all f*** right off, I pay way too much tax to support people who moan that their social isn't enough to pay for a Sky TV package :evil:

    Rant over....
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  • morstarmorstar Posts: 3,896
    For the record, I don't have a problem with a benefits overhaul. My question is why is it the only plan the current government keeps coming back to?
    Just clamping down on benefits will not get the UK back on track.
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    Is it there only plan?

    Or is it the only one being reported?

    I cant be bothered finding out.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Perhaps they feel guilty, after all they caused the problem :wink:
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 14,790
    team47b wrote:
    Perhaps they feel guilty, after all they caused the problem :wink:

    bth_thmillangonefishing.gif
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Ive mentioned this in a similar post before.
    Global economists have written about the declining tax rate and its possible benefits in a high tax society and I agree with it.

    Have a set tax rate aver and above what is liveable, and then decrease tax the more you earn.
    This would stop loopholes which cost billions and make people want to earn and export from here.
    I can go to the IRS and work a deal on taxation if I have enough revenue yet I cant do it in my own country which inevitably makes people set up elsewhere and we get 100% of nothing.

    example;

    £15,000 = no tax
    £16,000 - £25,000 = 20% tax
    £25,001 - £35,000 = 19% tax
    £35,001 - £55,000 = 18% tax
    £55,001 - £99,999 = 17.5% tax
    £100,000 - £150,000 = 17.25% tax
    £150,001 - £1,000,000 = 17% tax

    This is just an example but I GUARANTEE it would bring in more revenue to the government purses. At the moment, most people I know who take in around the £250,000 - £1,000,000 a year mark pay 10% !!!
    Living MY dream.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    ballysmate wrote:
    team47b wrote:
    Perhaps they feel guilty, after all they caused the problem :wink:

    bth_thmillangonefishing.gif

    caught the wrong type of fish, threw it back :wink:
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    VTech wrote:
    Ive mentioned this in a similar post before.
    Global economists have written about the declining tax rate and its possible benefits in a high tax society and I agree with it.

    Have a set tax rate aver and above what is liveable, and then decrease tax the more you earn.
    This would stop loopholes which cost billions and make people want to earn and export from here.
    I can go to the IRS and work a deal on taxation if I have enough revenue yet I cant do it in my own country which inevitably makes people set up elsewhere and we get 100% of nothing.

    example;

    £15,000 = no tax
    £16,000 - £25,000 = 20% tax
    £25,001 - £35,000 = 19% tax
    £35,001 - £55,000 = 18% tax
    £55,001 - £99,999 = 17.5% tax
    £100,000 - £150,000 = 17.25% tax
    £150,001 - £1,000,000 = 17% tax

    This is just an example but I GUARANTEE it would bring in more revenue to the government purses. At the moment, most people I know who take in around the £250,000 - £1,000,000 a year mark pay 10% !!!

    There are several things I don't really follow with this VTech.

    I can sort of follow this for the very high earners who currently are able to avoid taxes through various loopholes but even at 17% they are still going to pay more than they do now so surely they would still go through these loop holes?

    If you paid no tax up to a certain level (which I know is the case now) surely people play the system so that their 'earnings' fall just below the tax threshold?

    As for the lowest earners paying the highest taxes, well I really can't see that being a popular vote winner :wink:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    arran77 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Ive mentioned this in a similar post before.
    Global economists have written about the declining tax rate and its possible benefits in a high tax society and I agree with it.

    Have a set tax rate aver and above what is liveable, and then decrease tax the more you earn.
    This would stop loopholes which cost billions and make people want to earn and export from here.
    I can go to the IRS and work a deal on taxation if I have enough revenue yet I cant do it in my own country which inevitably makes people set up elsewhere and we get 100% of nothing.

    example;

    £15,000 = no tax
    £16,000 - £25,000 = 20% tax
    £25,001 - £35,000 = 19% tax
    £35,001 - £55,000 = 18% tax
    £55,001 - £99,999 = 17.5% tax
    £100,000 - £150,000 = 17.25% tax
    £150,001 - £1,000,000 = 17% tax

    This is just an example but I GUARANTEE it would bring in more revenue to the government purses. At the moment, most people I know who take in around the £250,000 - £1,000,000 a year mark pay 10% !!!

    There are several things I don't really follow with this VTech.

    I can sort of follow this for the very high earners who currently are able to avoid taxes through various loopholes but even at 17% they are still going to pay more than they do now so surely they would still go through these loop holes?

    If you paid no tax up to a certain level (which I know is the case now) surely people play the system so that their 'earnings' fall just below the tax threshold?

    As for the lowest earners paying the highest taxes, well I really can't see that being a popular vote winner :wink:

    They only pay the tax on the difference.
    They wouldnt pay tax on the entire 16-25k, only on the amount, so if they earnt 18k they pay tax at 20% of 2k.

    Its similar to whats there now.
    At the moment, most high earners are paying 40% by definition yet anyone who owns a company or is moderately clever pays 20% or even 10% and as low as 2% if you want to play the system !
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  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Doesn't everyone earning over 16k pay the 20% too?

    Isn't this thread about beneffits, are people really earning over 16k in benefits?

    Can't believe how low UK taxes are.

    Sorry if I missed the point.




    (Still believe it was the tories who caused the problem, as admitted by a prominent Tory on R4 yesterday)
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    VTech wrote:
    arran77 wrote:
    VTech wrote:
    Ive mentioned this in a similar post before.
    Global economists have written about the declining tax rate and its possible benefits in a high tax society and I agree with it.

    Have a set tax rate aver and above what is liveable, and then decrease tax the more you earn.
    This would stop loopholes which cost billions and make people want to earn and export from here.
    I can go to the IRS and work a deal on taxation if I have enough revenue yet I cant do it in my own country which inevitably makes people set up elsewhere and we get 100% of nothing.

    example;

    £15,000 = no tax
    £16,000 - £25,000 = 20% tax
    £25,001 - £35,000 = 19% tax
    £35,001 - £55,000 = 18% tax
    £55,001 - £99,999 = 17.5% tax
    £100,000 - £150,000 = 17.25% tax
    £150,001 - £1,000,000 = 17% tax

    This is just an example but I GUARANTEE it would bring in more revenue to the government purses. At the moment, most people I know who take in around the £250,000 - £1,000,000 a year mark pay 10% !!!

    There are several things I don't really follow with this VTech.

    I can sort of follow this for the very high earners who currently are able to avoid taxes through various loopholes but even at 17% they are still going to pay more than they do now so surely they would still go through these loop holes?

    If you paid no tax up to a certain level (which I know is the case now) surely people play the system so that their 'earnings' fall just below the tax threshold?

    As for the lowest earners paying the highest taxes, well I really can't see that being a popular vote winner :wink:

    They only pay the tax on the difference.
    They wouldnt pay tax on the entire 16-25k, only on the amount, so if they earnt 18k they pay tax at 20% of 2k.

    Its similar to whats there now.
    At the moment, most high earners are paying 40% by definition yet anyone who owns a company or is moderately clever pays 20% or even 10% and as low as 2% if you want to play the system !

    I realise that it's only the difference that gets taxed but it's still a potential fiddle isn't it :)

    That thing about high earners is exactly what I was trying to say, there are always options to play the system, so whatever you do tax wise people will always find a way around it, especially if you are a mega earner and can pay an accountant to do this for you :wink:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    team47b wrote:
    Doesn't everyone earning over 16k pay the 20% too?

    Isn't this thread about beneffits, are people really earning over 16k in benefits?

    Can't believe how low UK taxes are.

    Sorry if I missed the point.




    (Still believe it was the tories who caused the problem, as admitted by a prominent Tory on R4 yesterday)

    I think those were fictitious amounts VTech gave as an example but you'll pay tax on what ever earning falls above the tax free limit.

    As for benefit income being taxable, the following are taxable via income tax;

    * the State Pension
    * Jobseeker’s Allowance
    * Carer’s Allowance
    * Employment and Support Allowance (contribution based)
    * Incapacity Benefit (from the 29th week you get it)
    * Bereavement Allowance
    * Pensions paid by the Industrial Death Benefit scheme
    * Widowed Parent’s Allowance
    * Widow’s pension

    And yes, I suspect that many do 'earn' more than 16k in benefit :roll:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • bdu98252bdu98252 Posts: 171
    It is those working at the bottom who are the ones that get screwed the most. They go to work for 40 hours a week in a minimum wage job that they probably don't like only to come home and find that their next door neighbour has had all day off and is on not that much less than them. This assumes that they are on the sick, have a house and are reaming the system for lookig after their significantly disable children.

    Personnally I don't mind so much as in my house in the country I don't meet them or have to interact with them. All I have to do is pay a little bit in tax a year to keep them in their depressing existence. The good news is that there is a tax threhold the general population will accept before the poor are cast adrift so it is unlikely that I will see 80% tax rates again.

    There are clear studies that show that high tax rates make people with comfortable lives become less economically active to reduce tax and gain life quality or if sufficiently well off leave and run the business from somewhere with nicer weather. I know I would be taking more time of if I had to pay higher tax as working would then be of no benefit to me.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 14,790
    team47b wrote:
    Doesn't everyone earning over 16k pay the 20% too?

    Isn't this thread about beneffits, are people really earning over 16k in benefits?

    Can't believe how low UK taxes are.

    Sorry if I missed the point.




    (Still believe it was the tories who caused the problem, as admitted by a prominent Tory on R4 yesterday)

    The 'problem' is an over generous benefit system. Are you saying that the Tories are responsible for making it so generous and are now trying to fix it?
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Doesn't an average family of 5 on benefits take home equivalent to a £48k salary and as much as a £150k salary ?

    Free rent so if you live in london that could be a lot, free school, medical, prescriptions, afterschool, cars if claiming sick, no council tax, lower bills, etc etc etc etc etc.

    Although I am not keen on paying more than I owe, I like the fact that when MINI-Vtech's eat, its Daddy-VTech paying for it. When Mrs-VTech shops, its Daddy-Vtech buying the shoes/clothes etc.

    I have friends on benefits who earn more than friends who work.
    I have a family member who is on benefits and always has been, he can never work as he picks up just over £500/week and no one would ever pay him that, thats on top of free everything.
    Living MY dream.
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 6,755
    Myself and the Missus both work, own our own home (tiny but nice) and have a 3 year old son we love to bits. Nursery fees for 3 days a week are £750 a month, (grandparents help out the other two days of the working week) akin to having a second mortgage to pay. We knew it would be expensive to have children, it was our choice and we make do.

    My wife's old school friend has never worked, got knocked up by a dodgy boyfriend who then left. Lives with her mum and grandad, gets given a 3 bedroom council house plus benefits. Her mum sells her own house, moves into the council house with bags of money and they're all happy as Larry! No nursery fees and no mortgage, doesn't need to work.... It's a hard life.

    Sorry, what were we talking about?
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Like Sean says, the system is very frustrating as it is.

    I work full time and earn what many would consider a reasonable wage (if you look at the tax band I fall in to anyway!), Mrs 77 does not work as when the junior 77 number 2 came along we decided as family that we wanted Mrs 77 to be a full time Mum to them, our house is nice but small, especially as the family grows up.

    We don't have lots of extravagances such as a 50" plasma smart screen TV or sky TV but we just about get by and make do but there will be many people who are on benefits etc that will have a larger house than us because it is deemed 'necessary' and have the 'income' for a lot of things that we do not.

    Sure I'd like a bigger house for my family but I, like VTech, am proud of the fact that I support my family and am able to sufficiently provide so that my wife can be a full time Mum :D
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
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