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Welfare Reform Bill

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Welfare Reform Bill

I was a bit surprised not to see a thread for this already.  At the risk of the whole debate getting too heated too quickly (since the issue seems to give rise to very strong views on both sides), what do the people here feel about capping benefits at the equivalent of a salary of £35K before tax.
Actually I'm genuinely interested in both sides.  Apparently it will (only) affect around 67 000 families - so presumably there are 67000 families getting over £26000 a year in benefits.  I assume, maybe wrongly that most of those live in or around London (or one of the other large cities), and have large families, but that may be just prejudice.

/runs for cover
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

£26000 equates to about £500 per week..... which on the face of it seems a h**** of a lot of money .
However, this is not paid as "one" benefit.... and can be a range of benefits that add up to the total figure.
In which case it is then becoming "which benefit" is to be singled out to be "cut" from the recipient, to remain underneath the £500 limit....
Not an easy choice....
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

I think it'll bring the housing market back down to earth with a bump and stop landlords from milking the state for every penny its worth.
It may also trigger a whole new recession too when landlords find they're screwed for their mortgage payments and tennants are voting with their feet.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

Think the whole issue needs careful discussion,
The Child Benefit Payments could be changed as an example, "Abolish Child Benefit Payments for 3rd and additional children born after 1/1/2013". This would bring the UK population growth back on the agenda and at the same time bring in the subject of  "benefit migration".
I'd need to be convinced with a valid argument for keeping anyone claiming benefits for long periods in the same "rent paid housing", when the working population normally have to 'move with the job'.
Quote from: Sprite
I think it'll bring the housing market back down to earth with a bump

@sprite, good point, but the housing market does need sorting out. Specifically 'mortgage interest payments' should not be 'offset against rental income' before tax, unless the government do the same for first-time buyers. It is not a level playing field.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

I Would fully support the bill.
No one should be paid more than £26,000 in benefit except in exceptional circumstances such as having a severe disability where you need the money for carers.
It cannot be right that people who work end up with less money that someone on benefits. Few countries, if any pay out the amount we do and I think America limits the total number of years you can claim benefits for.
On of the main problem areas is London with sky high rents but for me the solution is simple, move to another part of the country where rents are much lower. There are plenty of places I would like to live but simply could not afford to do so, no one will subsidise the rent for me to live there so why do it for anyone else.
Much is being made about the fact that reduction in child allowance will result in children suffering but the reality is that child benefit also subsidises the parents some of whom never seem to be without a can of Lager or a fag in their hand and moaning about how hard they are done to.
I Don't recall my parent getting any child benefit for me and we only got it for our second child.
I Can think of many other things this money could be used for !
I also note that a Labour MP (I think it's Rochdale) has said he thinks this figure of £26,000 is to High !!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

If I understand it correctly, some benefits wouldn't be counted, such as disability benefit.
John
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Re: Welfare Reform Bill

I have to admit that I don't see why there is Child Benefit. Surely it's up to the parent(s) to ensure they make their funds meet the needs of their children rather than the state giving a helping hand. Obviously those who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own should get extra help to ensure the children's needs are taken care of but not to the extent it funds iPhones, top-of-the-range trainers, huge TV, etc.
Quote
I also note that a Labour MP (I think it's Rochdale) has said he thinks this figure of £26,000 is to High !!
I'd love to know how those amounts are attained by claimants - is the truth being stretched or they simply know how to play the system totally to their advantage?

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Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

To have a net income of £26K a wage earner would have to earn a gross salary in the region of £32k. This salary level is aspirational even in the London area in many cases. I wonder how many people complaining that £26k is not enough have the ability to earn this level of salary.
Community Veteran
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Re: Welfare Reform Bill

There should be a consolidation of benefits, with recommendation from the various Benefit Agencies as to what should be paid. At present there are loads of Departments and agencies with payments and credits schemes which creates much more opportunity for over payments and parallel claims, not to mention the manpower needed in the back office to process the payments, refunds, replacement credits etc etc.
The obvious "Daily Mail" cases where a poor family choose to live in a large expensive house should be eliminated, but we need a scheme where less fortunate are kept sheltered, safe, fed and warm and if possible/appropriate found a new job even if that requires a family move to another location.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

Listening to Ian Duncan Smith I think his plan is to bring all benefits under one agency to simplify the system and to cut out fraud. 
Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

To prevent fraud Shutter's idea about a 'snitch line'  (cable theft thread) would be a good one.
In Australia most government departments have a DOB line ("DOB them in", not DateOfBirth, .......Immigration, Taxes, Benefit fraud, no car tax).
Not sure I go as far as offering rewards for successful ‘captures’ though.
Community Veteran
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Re: Welfare Reform Bill

Quote from: journeys
Quote from: Sprite
I think it'll bring the housing market back down to earth with a bump

@sprite, good point, but the housing market does need sorting out. Specifically 'mortgage interest payments' should not be 'offset against rental income' before tax, unless the government do the same for first-time buyers. It is not a level playing field.

Indeed, it's been out of control for years.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

I wonder if the £26k also includes 'benefits in kind' such as free school meals, free prescriptions and  whole range of other things that working people have to pay for (I actually doubt that it does).
If benefits are paid at a reasonable rate to cover all the necessary basics (housing, food, clothing, utilities etc.) then there should be NO need for additional benefits (though I'm personally in favour of providing necessary fares or travel pass to attend job interviews).
Another 'fiddle is all the college courses provided free to the unemployed, a great idea in many respects but, at least in some cases, there seems to be no limit to how many courses will be paid for instead of expecting people to use the qualifications from previous free courses to actually gain employment (or allowing further courses to those who have previously chosen to drop out of the last one provided by the state).
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Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Welfare Reform Bill

As I understand it the £26k figure includes all benefits although the Lords have passed an amendment tonight to exclude child benefit.  It is expected the Commons will reinstate it when it returns to the House.
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Re: Welfare Reform Bill

Quote from: artmo
To have a net income of £26K a wage earner would have to earn a gross salary in the region of £32k.

I'm sure the figure is over £34k gross.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.