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lobsterboy e2
11 14.2k 13 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2011 11:36PM

Quote:Here are a couple of figures to ponder. Number of incapacity benefit claimants:

1975........600,000
2011.....2,500,000



Well my brother-in-law drunk himself to death. He would hold down a job for a few months then in one week drink a huge amount of vodka and spend a week or so unconscious, would lose his job and be back on the dole. Now I guess he would be on incapacity benefits rather than unemployment benefit, so that sort of thing could explain some of the change.

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Fishnet 10 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2011 11:46PM

Quote:I'm now a single mother on benefits, the most despised member of society....

I think that even the Daily Mail would be able to see the difference between you and the archetypal 'single mother on benefits'.



That's just it though, what is the archetypal single mother on benefits?

A woman happily married whose husband suddenly walks out on them?

A widow?

Someone who had a genuine accident?

A very young woman doing it to get a council flat?

The media takes the worst example, even if it's the least common, and forces us to believe that is the norm and ALL single mothers on benefits are like that, just tar everyone with the same bad brush.

All benefits are seen like that as well though, not just single mums, the word 'benefit' is usually followed by 'scrounger' thanks to the media.

My friend's husband is out of work because he got made redundant, he refuses to pick his kids up from school in case people suspect he is out of work and on benefits because he's at the school during the day.
25 Apr 2011 11:59PM
The government manipulate the figures on unemployment and incapacity benefit to suit their own purposes. A very dear friend of mine at the age of of sixty one was made redundant from a well paid job, he went to the job centre to sign on and to look for work. He was given a time and date to go back for an interview with an advisor ( a month later ) He duly turned up for the interview and the first words out of the advisor's mouth were " Your sixty one what do you want to look for another job for, go to your doctors and get a sick note and stay on the sick until retirement". Needless to say he reported the advisor the his senior managers, and he went on to get another job. I think it was a common occurrence at the time, and may even be still happening. So the government need to look at the things that are happening in their own departments than to go on a witch hunt and cut benefits for claimants that are genuine.
strawman 11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2011 12:45AM
As the average age rises will the number receiving incapacity benefit not also rise? Do those numbers discriminate between those who are retired or not? My 77 year old mother receives attendance allowance and I think that is an incapacity benefit for example.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
26 Apr 2011 12:47AM

Quote:That's just it though, what is the archetypal single mother on benefits?


You're quite right, in a way. The tabloids do not distinguish. There is a feeling amongst some of "Why should I pay my taxes to bring up other people's kids, when I've had to pay for my own kids out of my post-tax income"


Quote:The government manipulate the figures on unemployment and incapacity benefit to suit their own purposes


Nobody is obliged to claim incapacity benefit. Not for nothing is is sometimes called "Bad back benefit" !!
StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
26 Apr 2011 4:34AM
For some it becomes a Catch-22 situation; they're homeless because they're out of work, and they can't get a job because they have no fixed address. Sad.Sad
jondf 8 2.7k
26 Apr 2011 12:26PM

Quote:.....what is the archetypal single mother on benefits?


Yep, that occurred to me as I typed the earlier piece. Uppermost in my mind was a teenager who might see the prospect of having a child as a way to make her boyfriend stay with her but he doesn't, a way to get accommodation quickly, a way to have a cuddly toy that relies on its mother for everything....until the child starts to grow up and she loses interest and control. I expect there are a few more examples of the archetypal single mother syndrome but for better or for worse, that's how they get portrayed in the media. I guess what we're comparing here is dignity, respectability and intelligence with the opposites of those words. Unfortunately there are countless numbers of women in-between those two extremes.
mattw 11 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2011 1:24PM

Quote:loathed and slated by the likes of the Daily Mail

I think the Daily Mail hates everybody.

If you want to see just how seriously the Daily Mail takes their 'anti scrounger' stance, then look into how much tax they pay.

And if you want to chear your self up: The Dily Mail song
Fishnet 10 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2011 4:15PM
Lol, I liked that song.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
27 Apr 2011 1:58AM
Great song! Grin
janeez e2
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2011 1:34AM

Quote:Yep, that occurred to me as I typed the earlier piece. Uppermost in my mind was a teenager who might see the prospect of having a child as a way to make her boyfriend stay with her but he doesn't, a way to get accommodation quickly, a way to have a cuddly toy that relies on its mother for everything....until the child starts to grow up and she loses interest and control. I expect there are a few more examples of the archetypal single mother syndrome but for better or for worse, that's how they get portrayed in the media. I guess what we're comparing here is dignity, respectability and intelligence with the opposites of those words. Unfortunately there are countless numbers of women in-between those two extremes.



I am appalled at these comments and find them immensely disturbing. Your assumption is that all young girls are the same. Your views are sexist in the extreme and outrageous. You assume all these young women will eventually just abandon their offspring as they have a lesser intelligence than someone like yourself. Don't hide behind the media. This is your view! And where are all the fathers in your comments? The only mention of them was to suggest these girls had set out to trap them by getting pregnant.

My daughter is a single mother with a 3 year old son. She claims working tax credit to pay for his childcare while she does a full time job. She certainly did not get pregnant to keep her boyfriend or to get accomodation or any of the other insidious suggestions you have made. She is, like the majority of these other girls, a fantastic mother who has to deal with people like you!
StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
28 Apr 2011 4:35AM
What amazes me, is the excuses some people can come up with to explain their own dilemmas.Grin Single mothers are the least of your worries; most I know are just like Janeez's daughter, described above. And it's strange that the male of the species is always let off the hook. There are going to be a lot more single mothers, and it's not self-insemination, if that's a word.
meercat 5 278 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2011 7:42AM
It makes my blood boil seeing threads like this, how about instead of commenting on the minority of people who falsely claim benefits, we look at the people up the money ladder who rip this country and it's people off to millions of pounds in avoided taxes or the likes, they are far worse than anything mentioned on here, yet again it is this countries total misleading press giving us skewed figures while ignoring the real stories of the world!
digicammad 11 22.0k 37 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2011 8:23AM
That's because, unfortunately, real stories don't sell papers. The papers do run headlines about greed (usually bankers these days) but wealthy people have more ability to sue, so the poorer people become the papers' targets of choice.

At one time it was only really the red tops which delighted in sensationalist reporting, but now once supposedly reputable papers are just as bad. In fact they may be worse as they don't waste any space on tacky so called glamour photos.

I gave up reading papers a long time ago and rarely believe what I see on the television news. If it was up to them we would still be burning witches. The population only have themselves to blame for the standard of reporting, if they didn't lap it up and keep buying and believing there may be a chance some decent reporting would re-emerge.

Ian
LindaD3x 10 197 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2011 9:03AM

Quote:Don't tar everyone with the same brush, I am recovering from mental health issues and have been claiming Incapacity Benefit for 3 years after having a breakdown, photography has been the one thing that has stopped me going right over the edge.


Terry I don't think we do tar everyone with the same brush and I sincerely hope that you're feeling alot better now. People like yourself don't choose to be in the situation you find yourself in, you are there because of circumstances and that is a real shame.

Our gripe on here is to do with the thousands of people who 'could' work but choose not to. Actually I know people who are on benefits and who can't afford to come off them because they will lose 'housing benefit' 'free prescriptions' 'free vet care' 'free school meals' 'free school transport' and the list goes on. They would have to find a job that paid their benefit and compensated for the list of 'add on's' as jondf mentioned.

Its a vicious circle. Boredom, the people they mix with, drugs & alcohol, fitting in.....

Personally I think benefits should be given for a set period of time then assessments made to see whether you're fit to work if you're genuinely not... fine...but if you are these people should be encouraged to work even if part time and a % of benefits still allocated.

Ok that's me done... I could waffle on about it for ever but i'll spare everyone Wink

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