Neither, I spent my whole life working before retiring recently - I think I earned my pension. And I speak from experience of the benefits system, as that's what I spent my working life in. So I can say with some authority that there is actually a tiny percentage of those claiming working-age benefits who are the sort BeSpoke seems so aggrieved with. You shouldn't believe everything the right-wing press says about claimants, they have an agenda of their own, which it seems to me is to denigrate those less fortunate in order to draw attention away from the real villains, the feral elite (not my phrase).
N that there is actually a tiny percentage of those claiming working-age benefits who are the sort BeSpoke seems so aggrieved with. You shouldn't believe everything the right-wing press says about claimants, they have anesg prwinght e rid th rea agenda of their own, which it seems to me is to denigrate those less fortunate in order to draw attention away from the real villains, the feral elite (not my phrase).
I don't read the right wing press and am certainly not hoodwinked by their propaganda... or that from the liberals or socialist parties either. WRT benefits and working... I have worked hard my whole life although I have also been in the unfortunate position of having been made redundant a number of times and have claimed benefits during periods of unemployment. However, I have always had the attitude that I would take any work available rather than rely on the state and worked very hard to gain an education and experience that would enable me to improve my career prospects and ultimately my financial position (which is currently adequate to support my family but certainly not great)
WRT the number of scroungers... there are plenty of them around here, let me tell you. I live in a fairly small town and know many personally. The favoured trick is to claim based upon a feigned illness or affliction that can't be disproved by a doctor... say back pain or depression since the benefits are potentially greater and enable the claimant to stay on benefits for years on end without too much hassle from the authorities.
My personal opinion is that the benefit system is all wrong... the amount of benefit a claimant can receive far outweighs the amount they could hope to earn. Particularly if they live in an area where rents are high. IMO total benefits should never exceed the minimum wage. If that means people have to move to cheaper accommodation, then so be it.
And the latest from St Ian Duncan Smith is that he will withdraw tax benefits from low paid workers if they are forced to go on strike. Getting benefits never has been easy,
Firstly:- No one is "forced to go on strike" and secondly:- Presumably, the logic is, tax related benefits are only payable to those who are paying tax. Someone who is on strike, will not be getting paid and won't be paying tax, so aren't entitled to claim tax related benefit.
I have been on strike once and we were forced to take action due to the totally unacceptable working conditions. We were still paying tax as our strike pay kept us above the minimum. I have worked in a profession where being in between jobs is the norm and where I have done anything that will keep the wolf from the door and that has included stuff that nobody else wanted to do. Saying you can get a job nowadays is wishful thinking and most jobs are only part time. Rents are high because rent controls were ended in the 80s and landlords can get away with charging whatever they want. I started working in 1953 at the age of 14, evening work so my parents could afford to let me stay at school, and still have to work to survive. My personal experience is that this is the worst time for anybody who wants to work, and to damn people who suffer from depression is very shortsighted and having worked with diabled people that is not something that can be faked easily. We still had rationing when I started working, nobody went hungry then, we didn't need food banks for the poor either.
Instead of damning the workers who have to claim housing benefits because rents are too high we need to do something about the crooks who are milking the system by charging them.
Also if you do genuinely know people who are ripping off the benefit system have a bit of civic pride and report them. You can do it anonymously. Otherwise like most of the reports about it in the press I shall take it as anecdotal.
The majority of strike action is pay related... nothing wrong with people fighting for a better wage, so long as I don't have to pay for it
Magaret Thatcher (whom I detest) ruined industry in this country but the unions were so millitant back then that it was too easy for her.. politically. Basically people were just sick of all the strikes and power cuts. I started out working for British Rail. The workshops were closed down by Maggie's govt and the unions were basically useless and a bit corrupt in places (some of the shop stewards took voluntary redundancy (basically were paid off) and one of the main union men got a public sector management job after the closure... (again, I suspect that this was a pay off for not making too much fuss). I have never been in a union since.
With regard to disability and depression... as I have said, I have no problem with people who are genuinely unable to work. But I know a number of people who have never worked. I grew up with these people and counted them as friiends (and still do). They know how to work the system. simply reporting them as "faking it" would be ineffective and impossible to prove
As for rents:- Maggie thatcher's "right to buy" policy was the nail in the coffin for publicly owned housing. Basically opening the door for rip off landlords. However there has to be a cap... Even the current £500 per week is much too high.. translating as it does to £25000 per year or the equivalent mortgage of £500,000 or more.... A massive disincentive to work that also serves to inflate house prices and rents.
My personal preference would be to scrap all working tax benefits and force a large increase in the minimum wage. After all why should the tax payer subsidise companies like MacDonalds.
I'm not sure where that mortgage figure comes from or what it means, Bespoke.
I live in a street of flats and houses which were originally local authority owned. About half still are, and the other half are owner occupiers or "investment" properties which are privately let. Some of the people here aren't working and must be living on benefits, there is one successful businessman living here with his extended family and the rest of us have "normal" jobs. I expect some people earn considerably more than me, there are people who probably earn less than me.
I don't feel the need to stand in moral judgement about any of them. Why do you?
£500,000 mortgage, 25 years at 5% interest would cost £2956.35 per month (repayment) or £2083.33pcm (interest only) i.e. £480pw http://www.bbc.co.uk/homes/property/...lculator.shtml
To get and indeed to be able to afford such a mortgage you would need to have a household income of between £120,000 (i.e. at 5x income) to £167,000 (at 3x annual income).
Clearly many if not most people would struggle to afford such a mortgage and it would be a very difficult for someone receiving that level of benefits to find a job well paid enough to allow then to do otherwise. Basically they are living beyond their means and the taxpayer is funding it.... Except that there aren't enough taxpayers, paying enough to fund it.
In reality the country as a whole is living well beyond it's means and the Government routinely borrows over £100 Billion every year to cover the shortfall..... As the Greek people have discovered, this can only go on for so long...
Should I judge the morals of others?... Why not?... Given what is at stake, I think we all should be a bit more concerned about such things.