Bebefit system refit Your suggestions pleas

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by slim, Oct 25, 2006.

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  1. We seem to have hijacked the Gun thread and it is becoming more of a Chac/Benefit/Social debate.
    I think my extreme right wing views on the benefit system are well known. So what reforms would members suggest may best be applied to the system to make it fit for purpose.
    I have put this thread in Current affairs so please only serious suggestions which could make a difference.
    A more light hearted thread will be put on Diamond Lills for all of us who like to take the p!ss
  2. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Moving slightly away from benefit reform, can I suggest a possible solution to some points raised here and elsewhere?

    As we know there is an evident problem with social disorder; some offenders are 'let off' in the eyes of some, and oters are imprisoned. As we also know our prison are almost full to capacity, and many prisoners are released unreformed or rehabilitated, and often go on to commit more serious offences.

    Could a social reform programme be implemented whereby, rather than an offender authomatically being 'banged up' he is forcibly employed (under strict supervision) working within the community he has harmed?

    A more intense version of Number 9 Punishment perhaps? The benefits of this are obvious. More space is created in prisons; offenders are seen in public by the victims of their crimes, and are shamed by the circumstances of them doing menial but worthwhile tasks; and slowly but surely the community itself will see an improvement in the appearance in their locale and will also see that offenders are able to reform, given the opportunity. Obviously offenders that do not comply with the sensible but strictly monitored regime of this will be penalised accordingly.

    I know it might appear a bit uptopian but it's a start, isn't it?
  3. I like the idea sarge. How about starting a new thread on crime & punishment in the same vein. i.e. One on Current affairs where we can all be serious and the other on Diamond Lills for all us p!ss takers?
  4. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    If you spread the thread it will only confuse people; ones who have a valid point will post in Lills, and vicky verky! And since when has Jack been serious for that long?! 8O
  5. Just thought we could have a seperate area for serious & non serious.
    Seriously I do like your idea of punishment RN style for offenders rather than probation or prison. However how long would it be before the toerags went to the European court to complain that their civil liberties were being abused?
  6. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The right to live in a peaceful and safe environment compared to a (self-perceived) infringement of their civil liberties? I know which side a court would sit...
  7. Unfortunately the judicial system both here & in Europe seem to lean towards the perpetrator of the crime & not the victim
  8. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Suggesting that the case for the prosection has to be justifiably stronger!
  9. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Simplify and harmonise the benefits and taxation systems; give everyone a personal allowance, say for arguments sake, 12000 GBP. If you earn less than this amount, then the benefits system will pay you the difference, and if you earn more than this amount, then you will be taxed on the difference at a flat rate, e.g. 25% (actual levels selected to ensure it is cost neutral at worst, and does not disadvantage current recipients). For married couples (and civil partnerships) there should be a mechanism where partners can transfer a proportion of their personal allowance across when their partner is not working. Children's allowances? I don't know, perhaps continue with Child Allowance as per today and not give any additional incentives.

    This should greatly simplify the payments system, and reduce the admin burden that ther is today. People will once again become responsible for paying their own bills from thier income and will have to budget accordingly - (although perhaps we need to introduce the concept of fiscal responsiblility and budgeting into the education system and give people an education in living rather than worthless bit of paper!).
  10. Seems feasible, however wouldn't this system still give those that can work but wont work even more money?
  11. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Well if some people in RR had their way, to sterilise them and send them overseas! lol
  12. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Possibly but only to a certain point, say subsistence level rather than comfortable existence level; but the big difference, is that any new system should not overly penalise people who want to work - if they earn more money then they should, above a certain level, see the fruits of their labours; today's benefits system unfortunately often penalises people for working and actually discourages people from working.
  13. This is, I recall, broadly what Frank Field advocated and the Government buried. The real problem with this formula is that given the mean wage, after tax, most of the UK population would be entitled to top up benefits. For example in the civil service, most full time staff earn well under £12,000 after tax, NI and pension contributions (at 3.5%) have been deducted. This would involve both enormous cost and be extremely embarassing to sucessive governments who have been sheltering behind statistics that put a rosy gloss on the reality of immiseration in Britain. In political terms - honesty is impossible. The present system, whilst imperfect, avoids this.
  14. Unfortunately unless this or the next government does something drastic to overhaul both the benefit system and the minimum wage then we will continue to have a system where for many they are financially better off on benefits.
    These benefit claimants are really not to blame, who in their right mind would work a 40 hour week and then find that after working expenses had been deducted they were worse off than when unemployed. The system needs overhauling to ensure that this never happens.
    At present many unemployed layabouts are receiving more in benefits than the tax paying worker who is helping to support them earns
  15. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Ah yes the "old when we said to think the unthinkable, we didn't think that you'd think up something as unthinkable as this" brushoff!

    Its not merely imperfect, its fundamentally flawed - the system does not in any way help getting people back to work, and once you're on benefits you're trapped in the system. It needs someone from outside the political establishment (and its cronies) to look objectively at the way social security is supposed to work and to put in place a complete new system that meets these needs. The continual peripheral tinkering is not helping, in fact its majing the system ever more complex to administer which is self-defeating, even self-consuming - if its costs 100 GBP to administer 50 GBP of benefits, why not cut the costs, give the claimaint 75 GBP and pocket the difference?
  16. Personal, as I've posted before, the important thing is to get the balance between though who are blatantly scrounging off the system v's thoughts who have fallen on hard times and are using it as a temporary measure to get themselves back on their feet.

    I was in a strong relationship (or so I thought) for 2 years before deciding we would try for a child. It was agreed because of the nature of my ( then) partners work ( submariner) it was best for me to give up work to care for the child full time, as this was socially and ecomically the best thing for us and the child. The relationship then lasted for a further year after the child was born, before it broke down and the father left the flat we had been renting and paying for.

    I have worked since I left school at 16 to 25 and paid tax and national insurance during this time, as well as voluntary NI contributions while not working during maternity leave.

    I have been claiming income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit, I only actually get my income support as cash, which amounts too approx £60 a week, this is actually less that my full award but deductions are made for a community care grant (used to finish my council flat with curtains, carpet, sofa, cooker (all brought second hand)), Voluntary NI contributions and water rates.

    I don’t have Sky TV, Cable, and internet or smoke, I drink occasional. I don’t own a car and buy most of mine and my Childs clothing second hand. I do not own car ether. My mobile phone is a nokia 3330 which is one of the first ones ever to come out, it was brought second hand for £20 and is a pay as you go, I spend about £5 a week on it.

    Instead of going back to work in my old job, I have decided to go back to college to retrain, this is mainly because of the unsociable hours of my last employment ( NAAFI) and the belief that I can make a difference to people lives. I could have quiet easily found another low pay/status job but felt that this wasn’t the best way for me to provide family and break the chain of reliance on the state.

    Once I go to university I will no longer claim income support and will have to claim for maintenance grant like every other student the only difference being mine will be slightly higher and I will only have to pay back a certain percentage.

    I spend about £25 pounds a week on food, I try my best to buy the best quality I can afford, a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, processed food are off the menu as best as possible with a small child. I spend £10 a week on gas and electricity, and at least another £10 on transport to and from college and twice a week to my voluntary work at the Sea cadets.

    Yet I’m still made to feel like vermin for claiming benefits, people speak down to me and judge me because of it.

    I’ve said before I feel that people should only be paid benefits for a small amount of time,

    If they are doing training like me, it should be for a recognised HE course, basic skills (reading, writing etc) or for a useful job at the end of the training, doing AS media studies, pay for it yourself then. Also benefits should ( like the EMA) only be paid if you are making satisfactory progress and have good attendance, currently all I do is go once a year tell them I’m doing my course and that’s the end of it, no check is made.

    Currently you are a single parent you are only asked to look for work/ do a training course if your child is over 14, this should not be the case you should be encourage to do them as soon as your maternity leave ( say a period of 6 months like working people) is up. However a radical overhaul of childcare provisions will really make this a reality

    Only a small amount of ‘disabilities’ should prevent work, mandatory day centre attendance should be put in place for all thoughts claiming incapacity benefits, independent doctors and occupational therapist should make assessment of these peoples claims every month not every 6 months to a year like it is currently. Apart from the really obvious illnesses and disabilities that prevent work. Drug addicts and/ or alcoholics should have to attend weekly checks and only allowed their tokens (see below) if they are shown to be clean, these should be done at random with the power to visit the persons home. One missed check should equal and automatic ban from claiming for 3 months.

    Secondly all benefits should be paid in a token or ration style system; Utility companies should be allowed to make claims directly to social services for gas and electricity used.

    Food and clothing, petrol or and bus tokens should be issued like the old fashioned rationing system, a basic allowance each week, with the chance to save up for anything outside this allowance with in reason.

    Sorry for the longness of this post but hope it will help people be better informed about the system as well as reasons why change is needed.
  17. Womps you are doing all you can to improve your position. Social security was meant for this. On the completion of your university course hopefully you will be able to once again become a tax paying member of the public. Eventually you would have paid back any benefits that you have been given.
    I do hope however this ex is paying towards the upkeep of his daughter, too many men expect to have their cake & eat it. this leaves the rest of us paying for his cake.
    Where the system is falling down is when young girls get pregnant and think that it is then their god given right to be supported for the rest of their lives.

    Good luck with your course.
  18. I should add to Womps comment that 90% of people with or who have suffered from mental health problems and gone on to benefits never get the opportunity to work again because of discriminatory attitudes by employers - including the civil service.
  19. Womps,

    clearly you are trying your best to improve the situation you find yourself in and I for one wish you every success with your course and future employment. It is a shame and unfair that someone like you is tarred with the same brush as the many scroungers who do abuse the system.

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