/ Could you survive on £53 a week? IDS could...

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Jimbo W on 01 Apr 2013
I'm sorry if you like this guy, but, to put it in George Monbiot's language. He is an inveterate bastard:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21993453

Let's see if he'll put his most of his wage where some charity is for a few weeks and prove it:

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/iain-duncan-smith-iain-duncan-smith-to-live-on-53-a-week
John_Hat - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:


I could have done in the past when I was living in a single room in a shared house, and have indeed done so, and in fact lived on a lot less, but I couldn't now.

To survive on that I would have to massively downsize my accomodation and lose the car, and pray I didn't have any outstanding debt. Oh, and not live in London. Oh, and of course not have any dependents.
Jimbo W on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to John_Hat:

> I could have done in the past when I was living in a single room in a shared house, and have indeed done so, and in fact lived on a lot less, but I couldn't now.
> To survive on that I would have to massively downsize my accomodation and lose the car, and pray I didn't have any outstanding debt. Oh, and not live in London. Oh, and of course not have any dependents.

Renting a room with three others in a sh1tty part of town, the cheapest I managed to pay was £140/month, £35/week, and that was 12 years ago. On £53/week, that would leave £18/week to feed, wash and clothe myself, contribute to a share of the bills and get job applications presumably through internet at the library / job centre, and printing off, again at the library, and probably spend alot of time in the library reading books and keeping warm... ...wait a second.. ..what is it that's happening to our libraries?
stroppygob - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: I could get by on it sure. Wouldn't want to have to though, would rather stack shelves in Tescos.
Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Does the £53 include rent? No state assistance for housing now?
andy - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: i read it that he has £53 after housing costs?
off-duty - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

1) His actual words were "If I had to I would"

2)The quoted £53 was after rent and bills had been deducted.
The New NickB - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

It is unlikely to include rent, although might need to include topping up of housing benefit and now bedroom tax and a portion of council tax.

Depending on the exact circumstances it could anything from spartan, but tolerable to absolutely impossible.
The Lemming - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

So, the £53 is spends?

The New NickB - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) I could get by on it sure. Wouldn't want to have to though, would rather stack shelves in Tescos.

I guess most of us would, problem is there are 5 times as many people looking for work as there are job vacancies.
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

1) His actual words were "If I had to I would"

53 quid doesn't keep one in foie gras for the week

2)The quoted £53 was after rent and bills had been deducted.

You might get all the rent paid if you are lucky. Bills nada.

D
andy - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> So, the £53 is spends?

Yes. "Spends" on food, transport, clothes...

This, remember, is a bloke that works and his benefits are to supplement his income.
Jimbo W on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> 1) His actual words were "If I had to I would"

Easy to say from his position. Which is precisely the point...

> 2)The quoted £53 was after rent and bills had been deducted.

Okay.. ..I had mistaken housing benefit cut, for removed...
off-duty - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> 1) His actual words were "If I had to I would"
>
> 53 quid doesn't keep one in foie gras for the week
>
> 2)The quoted £53 was after rent and bills had been deducted.
>
> You might get all the rent paid if you are lucky. Bills nada.
>
> D


It's not benefits. He was a market trader.
off-duty - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> Easy to say from his position. Which is precisely the point...
>

There are different implications to "Yes I could" (Your OP) and "Yes I would" (His words)

Jimbo W on 01 Apr 2013
The New NickB - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
> [...]
>
> There are different implications to "Yes I could" (Your OP) and "Yes I would" (His words)

Yes, you usually get certainty from politicians, that is how you know it has no substance.
Jimbo W on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> There are different implications to "Yes I could" (Your OP) and "Yes I would" (His words)

You're right.. .."could" is conditional, "would" is harder, more definite, that's even worse!!
Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: If not £53, what figure would you set jsa/uc at?
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Around 100 a week.

D
off-duty - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> You're right.. .."could" is conditional, "would" is harder, more definite, that's even worse!!

Yes - "could" suggests that it was entirely possible, "would" suggests he would have just had to get on with it. No suggestion it would be easy or in anyway desirable.

Given the interviewee was a (clearly failing) market trader and the lack of exact specifics with their exact financial details it sounds like an, unfortunately increasingly common, Today programme ambush.
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

You're right.. .."could" is conditional, "would" is harder, more definite, that's even worse!!

Alternatively "could" suggests that it was entirely possible, "would" suggests he would have just had to get on with it.

Given the lack of exact specifics with the interviewees details it sounds like an, unfortunately increasingly common, Today programme ambush.

You don't like politicians being asked to account for their actions or is it just tory ones?

D
stroppygob - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> I guess most of us would, problem is there are 5 times as many people looking for work as there are job vacancies.


A good reason to curtail EU immigration then?
off-duty - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to off-duty)

> You don't like politicians being asked to account for their actions or is it just tory ones?
>
> D

I think the point could have been made better without a headline "£53 a week" when we have no real idea about where that number was pulled from and how it relates to a single parent with (almost) joint custody of two children who is working as a market trader with unknown assets, unknown expenditure and unknown business skills.
Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin: On jsa alone that'll add about 4 billion a year to the bill, quadruple that (at least) if you're going to increase IS and pensions accordingly. And what about all the other benefits? Are you going to double those too?
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

A good reason to curtail EU immigration then?

nope.

plenty of work for motivated skilled & semi skilled professionals, just not for uneducated work shy knackers

D
The New NickB - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
>
> A good reason to curtail EU immigration then?

Plenty British nationals on these forums living and working in the EU.
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

why increase pensions accordingly?
what about all those other benefits - indeed what about them

not my suggestion.

D
Camm on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
I'm spending that on takeaways alone at the moment... but sure if I had to.
Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin: But jsa and is are paid at the same rate, surely you'd increase is as well?
At least you're happy with level other benefits are set at.
andic - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

A mate of mine was unemployed for aout 4 months after his PhD waiting to start a job, he got about £300 a month for rent and jsa he wasn't on he beer every night but he got his finger out and wrote up and seemed to manage okay. With rent paid you could live on 50 quid a week no bother most of us do; I live with my GF and we spend £50 on food p/w and perhaps another 40 on bills and treats. We could get by on less if need be but it looks like we'd have change from the allowance anyway.
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Nah just get rid of it, scratch JSA and IS and tax credits and all that form filling bollocks and employs thousands of unproductive state workers in Newcastle and sucks up even more of our taxes. Produce a single benefit that you could feed and cloth yourself with outside a Dickens Novel.

It's f*cking expensive to live here in case you haven't noticed.

D
andy - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to andic: Don't you buy clothes? Don't you travel anywhere? Really? My daughter's bus to school costs £12 a week. Yes, we could make her walk an hour each way to school, but we live in the 21st century, not the 1850's.
Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin: Sorted, fill a slip in, take it to the post office and get £100 a week. Count me in, nice little top up.
off-duty - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to andic) Don't you buy clothes? Don't you travel anywhere? Really? My daughter's bus to school costs £12 a week. Yes, we could make her walk an hour each way to school, but we live in the 21st century, not the 1850's.

Which is why the whole suggestion is such a load of nonsense. He has two children who live with their mother 3-4 days a week. Does he also get child benefit? What is her income? Is he paying CSA? Does he count as "bills" money towards school dinners etc?
It really is a number pretty much plucked out of the air.
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

No pride then man?

D
Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin: Free money, innit?
Dauphin - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Dauphin) Free money, innit?

No you know very well it's not free. I am though in favor of subsidizing individuals rather than giving tax breaks and public purse largesse to corporates.

D
Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin: Individuals are subsidized (if that's how you want to phrase it), that's the benefit system.
salix on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

So what? Most estimates put tax evasion at about 70 billion/year of lost revenue, while so called benefit scroungers only manage to get away with about a billion a year. Seems like clamping down on the latter is getting into seriously diminishing returns, where as the former is ripe for the picking. Just it's harder to pressure people you went to school with and easier to put the screws on people you've never met who've been conveniently scape goated by the press
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Sir Chasm - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to salix: We should definitely make tax evasion a crime.
andic - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:
I don't have any kids but, if I was on jsa it follows I'd be in line for child support and more housing etc. and as I pointed out we would have some change and could cut down so yeah I recon I wouldn't have to take the naturist route at job interviews.

stroppygob - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> Plenty British nationals on these forums living and working in the EU.

See that word "working" there.....

The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> See that word "working" there.....

Yes, what don't you understand?
New POD - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> after rent and bills had been deducted.

Hell yes then.

£35 on food
£2.50 on phone and internet (£10 a month contract)
£5 on household items (soap, bog roll etc)
£5 on Clothing (For my once a year clothing shop)
£2.50 on bus fares
£6 Spare (Save up for emergencies)

It's a little tight, but SURVIVE I could.

The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to New POD:

You haven't caught a bus recently have you.
Hirosim - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
>
> I could have done in the past when I was living in a single room in a shared house, and have indeed done so, and in fact lived on a lot less, but I couldn't now.
>
> To survive on that I would have to massively downsize my accomodation and lose the car, and pray I didn't have any outstanding debt. Oh, and not live in London. Oh, and of course not have any dependents.

get your facts right. Its 53 quid after the state has sorted your housing and bills out. Yes I could live on that, and I'd be grateful to have that and accomodation paid. The idea is that one should work if they want a more fruitful lifestyle
Hirosim - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to New POD)
>
> You haven't caught a bus recently have you.

He wouldn't be commuting everyday would he? The odd trip to a job centre?
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> get your facts right. Its 53 quid after the state has sorted your housing and bills out. Yes I could live on that, and I'd be grateful to have that and accomodation paid. The idea is that one should work if they want a more fruitful lifestyle

In this particular case the guy is working, if you do the sums with benefits you generally have to live off substantially less.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> He wouldn't be commuting everyday would he? The odd trip to a job centre?

The example this based on is a working guy, but even if he isn't, job centre, shopping, job interviews, etc. £2.50 won't cover most single journeys in my experience.
MG - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
> [...]
>
> In this particular case the guy is working, if you do the sums with benefits you generally have to live off substantially less.


So £53 is not so unreasonable? I would have thought for a few months, after housing and bills, it would be fine. Long term it would be miserable, but then long term there would be other possibilities.
Hirosim - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
> [...]
>
> In this particular case the guy is working, if you do the sums with benefits you generally have to live off substantially less.

Yes thats my point, for years there has been more incentive to claim benefit than work harder. I'm all for changes like this.

Hirosim - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
> [...]
>
> The example this based on is a working guy, but even if he isn't, job centre, shopping, job interviews, etc. £2.50 won't cover most single journeys in my experience.


Move to Yorkshire then :-)

The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Yes thats my point, for years there has been more incentive to claim benefit than work harder. I'm all for changes like this.

Not really true and the point of this is that the changes are actually making it much harder for someone who works, but is on a low income.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
>
> Move to Yorkshire then :-)

Why? I am also pretty sure the buses are not any cheaper there either.
Hirosim - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
> [...]
>
> Why? I am also pretty sure the buses are not any cheaper there either.

Well you stated you couldn't get a single for under £2.50.
For starters a full price single from east sheffield to lodge moor(Peak's end) is £1.30

Ego thats half -price?
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
>
> So £53 is not so unreasonable? I would have thought for a few months, after housing and bills, it would be fine. Long term it would be miserable, but then long term there would be other possibilities.

I don't know the full details of this case, but it sounds like the guy is working, but on a low income and receiving some state support, which is now being cut. Other possibilities would only really be a better paying job, which may not be very easy to achieve.

I suspect he is slightly better off than a lot of people on benefits, but it does rather suggest that working people are being hit buy the cuts, not just the "lazy dole scroungers" as the government would like us to think.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Hirosim:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Well you stated you couldn't get a single for under £2.50.
> For starters a full price single from east sheffield to lodge moor(Peak's end) is £1.30
>
> Ego thats half -price?

I said most! Sheffield has traditionally always had some of the cheapest bus travel in the country, the south Manchester University corridor is another example of cheap bus travel, but for the other 99% of the population it is considerably more expensive.
Rob Exile Ward on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:Idan DS (who I actually think is quite well meaning) made a silly response to a silly story. The bloke he was responding too and been running a failing business for 2+ years, which was why his income was so low. Ironically I was in the same position many years ago, - even running my own market stall! - and when I finally stopped trying, and claimed benefit, I was almost instantly much better off.

I think the State has had its return since then though.
Hirosim - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
> [...]
>
> I said most! Sheffield has traditionally always had some of the cheapest bus travel in the country, the south Manchester University corridor is another example of cheap bus travel, but for the other 99% of the population it is considerably more expensive.

Jesus I give up with this conversation.

You said 'MOST' singles cost more that £2.50
I said with a smiley face (meaning don't take TOO seriously) you should move to Yorkshire cause its cheaper.

YOU said, no it wasn't cheaper.
I have demonstrated it is considerably cheaper.
Now you say' oh I knew it was cheaper!!!!................

Obviously you don't like people calling you out on stuff, even if its TRIVIAL
Go wear a hair shirt or something, i'm out of here
ads.ukclimbing.com
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
> [...]
>
> Not really true and the point of this is that the changes are actually making it much harder for someone who works, but is on a low income.

Not really. The point is that if you ambush a minister with half a story and a good quote you are likely to get headlines.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

£53 per week assuming that I was living alone, rent/mortgage was taken care of, council tax and utilities were paid then absolutely. Ive lived on less and you can do it quite healthily. Porridge for breakfast, jacket potato or similar for lunch (tin of beans or tuna lasts for two days), liver, mackerel, soaked dried beans or other healthy cheap protein for tea with carrots, spinach or other inexpensive vegetables.
Indy - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> 2)The quoted £53 was after rent and bills had been deducted.

I think that it depends.

if its short term then being total impartial I'd say yes it is doable. If it was more long term then I think your definitely going to at the very least going to have to make some hard decisions. Maybe thats the point?
wilkie14c - on 02 Apr 2013
andrew breckill - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: I could, it would mean no phone/Internet/tv. No alcohol and no treats, so all food cooked as it is now from scratch, I wouldn't have the expense of meat as I shoot, so rabbit, wood pigeon and what ever other game meat I can shoot would form basis of diet. I suppose it depends on you interpretation of the word live, it wouldn't feel like living, more like survival. Thing is people who are used to work will struggle with the lack of activity, and can soon lose motivation once the rot sets in. The long term unemployed (by choice) are just living a hellish existence of waiting on the fortnightly check and regularly end up using the likes of cash converters to pawn what little of value they have and are stuck in a loop of misery. Politicians are completely missing the point when they make such statements, it is simply ludicrous for a millionaire to even imagine having to exist on so little.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Hirosim:

I suggest you chill out.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Not really. The point is that if you ambush a minister with half a story and a good quote you are likely to get headlines.

It does reflect a reality for millions of people on low incomes though.
dissonance - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

wonder if he realises that he wont be able to use expenses to pad it out.
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) Politicians are completely missing the point when they make such statements, it is simply ludicrous for a millionaire to even imagine having to exist on so little.

Good point
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Hirosim)
>
> I suggest you chill out.


Looking at the posts - I think he/she was right no?
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> It does reflect a reality for millions of people on low incomes though.

True enough

Indy - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> It does reflect a reality for millions of people on low incomes though.
I notice you use the phrase low income so assume you mean people on minimum wage jobs. I'm wondering if you add up all the benefits housing, unemployment etc how that compares to a low paid worker. Is that the true scandal?
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
>
> Looking at the posts - I think he/she was right no?

I don't, 99% of people relying on public transport, £2.50 a week would not be enough for travel, even with lots of walking. The fact that a single across Sheffield is £1.30 does not disprove that.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Indy:

The scandal is that people working full time cannot earn enough to get by. For a single person in most of the country, they will be better off working, but not always by much and the governments latest policies are making that harder.
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Simon_Sheff)
> [...]
>
> I don't, 99% of people relying on public transport, £2.50 a week would not be enough for travel, even with lots of walking. The fact that a single across Sheffield is £1.30 does not disprove that.

Okay man whatever.

off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> It does reflect a reality for millions of people on low incomes though.

Does it? It's a pity they had to use such a nonsense example to make their point then.
andic - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Simon_Sheff)
> [...]
>
> I don't, 99% of people relying on public transport, £2.50 a week would not be enough for travel, even with lots of walking. The fact that a single across Sheffield is £1.30 does not disprove that.

The original outline budget specified another £6/wk surplus so actually there would be upto £8.50 for busses and that is probably enough to get to 1-2 interviews and out to the peak for a mid week solo.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Does it? It's a pity they had to use such a nonsense example to make their point then.

I am sure the guy concerned is glad you think his life is a nonsense.
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> The original outline budget specified another £6/wk surplus so actually there would be upto £8.50 for busses and that is probably enough to get to 1-2 interviews and out to the peak for a mid week solo.


The point is actually that NickB is never wrong!
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Simon_Sheff)
> [...]
>
> I don't, 99% of people relying on public transport, £2.50 a week would not be enough for travel, even with lots of walking. The fact that a single across Sheffield is £1.30 does not disprove that.

It's a good job that the man in the example had a diesel van then.
ads.ukclimbing.com
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andic:

The whole budget was a bit silly, but clearly the bus travel bit stood out. Lets not be peak centric.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> (In reply to andic)
> [...]
>
>
> The point is actually that NickB is never wrong!

Who shat in your breakfast, in this case it is pretty obvious that I ain't.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> It's a good job that the man in the example had a diesel van then.

We aren't talking about the man though are we, we are talking about someone else's budgeting.
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> It's a good job that the man in the example had a diesel van then.

lol
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> We aren't talking about the man though are we, we are talking about someone else's budgeting.

Yes your right again Nick.
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> I am sure the guy concerned is glad you think his life is a nonsense.

I hope your inability to distinguish between a nonsense example of low income and a description of someones life as "nonsense" is some kind of debating technique rather than an example of how you try and make a rational point.
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> We aren't talking about the man though are we, we are talking about someone else's budgeting.

Which makes the £53 pounds a week a figure entirely plucked out of the air then.
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> I hope your inability to distinguish between a nonsense example of low income and a description of someones life as "nonsense" is some kind of debating technique rather than an example of how you try and make a rational point.

Well there is certainly a relationship between the two. If the example is a true, albeit anecdotal account, then it is not nonsense - full stop. It represents a real world example of how people are existing within the system. Do you think government chosen and regurgitated stats are any more reliable? It is not a nonsense example, because it makes us all look at how some less fortunate than ourselves are having to live their lives! And one would hope would invoke a degree of empathetic ability. Of course it is possible to survive on very little, but that is the point, it is survival, and the reason why IDS's comment is so stupid is because the contextual disconnect between his lifestyle / existence, and that of his ministerial colleagues, and the reality for those at the other end of the income spectrum. Frankly, his comment, and the associated political policy, does make a nonsense of those lives. It conflates survival with living what most would regard as a reasonable existence. While I regret coming off half-cocked with my misunderstanding of what was actually said by David Bennett, I don't regret my criticism of this thoroughly malignant government, and IDS in particular, who I don't for a minute think has evidence any genuine concern for humanity. "Inveterate bastards" has it right...

http://www.monbiot.com/2013/04/01/the-spark-of-hope/

...talking of which, what do people think of "land value taxation" and "basic income"?
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> Which makes the £53 pounds a week a figure entirely plucked out of the air then.

If you deny any individual reality, you must logically deny all stats on which individual realities are the necessary basis. What a prick.
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> If you deny any individual reality, you must logically deny all stats on which individual realities are the necessary basis. What a prick.

In answer to this and your previous post.

It is a nonsense example because we have absolutely no idea of the reality of this example.
At its extreme it could be a single dad renting a hugely expensive property, with vast assets in terms of stock, renting a lock up and running a brand new Mercedes van. He might be trying to sell expensive designer bikinis in the worst winter for years, in the most inappropriate market possible.
If people want to discuss surviving on low incomes then it might be better to start with a known example otherwise the numbers really are being plucked out of the air.

As for the prick comment. Nice.
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> If you deny any individual reality, you must logically deny all stats on which individual realities are the necessary basis. What a prick.


Sorry your the prick
Indy - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> The original outline budget specified another £6/wk surplus so actually there would be upto >£8.50 for busses and that is probably enough to get to 1-2 interviews and out to the peak for a mid >week solo.
You can claim for expenses like travel to an interview from the Job Centre.

The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to andic)
> [...]
> You can claim for expenses like travel to an interview from the Job Centre.

Has anyone tried? My experience is very out of date, but a dozen or so years ago I was unemployed for a little while and travelling the length of the country for job interviews, It was costing me a fortune and I struggled to get anything out of the job centre. Maybe not a typical example, but my experience at the time.
The New NickB - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Which makes the £53 pounds a week a figure entirely plucked out of the air then.

Or alternatively a response to a comment on the thread.
Rob Exile Ward on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: This is getting out of hand and silly. I heard the original interview, the bloke had had significantly bad luck but was being ultimately foolish; had he not been self employed - in a failing business - then he would have either been hugely better off on minimum wage or hugely better off on JSA and other benefits. The original story was a bit like finding someone on benefits who is burning fivers and then asking how much they had to live on afterwards, and IDS was extraordinarily stupid in responding.

IIRC IDS has made significant attempts in the past to square the various circles that are involved in paying benefits - e.g. providing incentives for people (who can't earn much, at least to start with) to get into work, while maintaining benefits at a civilised level. Personally I don't doubt his genuine concern, I do doubt both his competence and visceral grasp of some of the issues he is attempting to tackle.
999thAndy on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
> [...]
>
>
> Sorry you're the prick

Fixed.

I'm guessing that ^^ makes me Spartaprick too. ;-)

Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> It is a nonsense example because we have absolutely no idea of the reality of this example.

Yes, and so you choose to doubt it, envisaging all sorts of negatives of how it could be bollocks, and no positives of how it could be underplayed. It reveals your prejudice:
At its extreme it could be a single dad renting a hugely expensive property, with vast assets in terms of stock, renting a lock up and running a brand new Mercedes van. He might be trying to sell expensive designer bikinis in the worst winter for years, in the most inappropriate market possible.

> If people want to discuss surviving on low incomes then it might be better to start with a known example otherwise the numbers really are being plucked out of the air.

Go on then, give us some known examples and stats based on indisputable individual people's figures!
andic - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to Simon_Sheff)
> [...]
>
> Fixed.
>
> I'm guessing that ^^ makes me Spartaprick too. ;-)

Nah, they don't even sound the same.
Rob Exile Ward on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Jimbo, did you even HEAR the original interview?
New POD - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to New POD)
>
> You haven't caught a bus recently have you.

No. Pubic Transport? horrid. Yucky. I'd need special bus trousers.

I was thinking I'd save my £2.50 up, and eventually have enough for a second hand bike, and then I wouldn't need the bus.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Yes, and relistened to it.
Postmanpat on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
and the reason why IDS's comment is so stupid is because the contextual disconnect between his lifestyle / existence, and that of his ministerial colleagues, and the reality for those at the other end of the income spectrum.
>

Given that virtually no politician will have experienced life on benefits for any sustained period should they all be excluded from commenting on or voting on plies regarding benefits. Only a few have been bankers or haulage contractors. Should they be stopped from commenting on those industries.

Should George Monbiot restrict his columns to organic farming in mid Wales and academia?

Indy - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/travel-to-interview

The only reason I know about it is that a relative was recently unemployed and he got it. Not sure how new it is or how hard or easy it is to get but he got it. He also said at the time that you could claim for other things as well.
Simon_Sheff - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) Jimbo, did you even HEAR the original interview?

Doesn't appear so.
Jim C - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Dauphin) On jsa alone that'll add about 4 billion a year to the bill, quadruple that (at least) if you're going to increase IS and pensions accordingly. And what about all the other benefits? Are you going to double those too?

Don't forget to add on the cost the £45K tax cut for those at the top end,the ones that decide to pay any tax that is.

(Oh I forgot, giving them money was going to encourage those with money to work harder, and therefore pay more tax ! It will be interesting to see if that works out, or if they use it on more holidays)



Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> and the reason why IDS's comment is so stupid is because the contextual disconnect between his lifestyle / existence, and that of his ministerial colleagues, and the reality for those at the other end of the income spectrum. Given that virtually no politician will have experienced life on benefits for any sustained period should they all be excluded from commenting on or voting on plies regarding benefits. Only a few have been bankers or haulage contractors. Should they be stopped from commenting on those industries.

Well, actually yes, in a sense, because I wouldn't want anyone to become an MP until they'd reached 50yrs or over and gained a good spectrum of experience, and by proxy, at least the possibility of exposure to some spectrum of the experience of people. However, avoiding that, they are perfectly entitled to comment, but a little revelation of a universal rather than uni-focal empathetic ability is to be preferred.
Steve John B - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
>
> Should George Monbiot restrict his columns to organic farming in mid Wales and academia?

Yes please.
andy - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> The original outline budget specified another £6/wk surplus so actually there would be upto £8.50 for busses and that is probably enough to get to 1-2 interviews and out to the peak for a mid week solo.

It probably is in Sheffield. It costs £3 return for my 12 year old to go 3 miles to school and back (£12 with a weekly pass). Adult fare is more.

And we're in Yorkshire...

I went to Leeds today on the train - £10.50 return.

I make that point not because I want to show that pubic transport is expensive in North Yorkshire (which it is) but that those people who say "I could live on fifty quid a week easy - three tins of beans and wipe my arse on grass" are missing the point that to do it for months (even if it's eighty quid) isn't easy when you take into account stuff the rest of us take for granted - like getting the bus, buying shoes/warm clothes/underpants/socks.
Jim C - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/travel-to-interview
>
> The only reason I know about it is that a relative was recently unemployed and he got it. Not sure how new it is or how hard or easy it is to get but he got it. He also said at the time that you could claim for other things as well.

My daughter, got help to attend an interview a few months back because she was in Scotland and the interview was in London, snag was they had so many applications they said they would only interview 200 applicants in the first batch ! Later when she got an interview for a admin job locally for the Transport police, there was a girl with a degree in criminology applying. What a waste of talent there is out there.

Sir Chasm - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andy: If you're unemployed or on wtc most authorities give your kids a free bus pass.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to andic)
> [...]
>
> It probably is in Sheffield. It costs £3 return for my 12 year old to go 3 miles to school and back (£12 with a weekly pass). Adult fare is more.
>
> And we're in Yorkshire...
>
> I went to Leeds today on the train - £10.50 return.
>
> I make that point not because I want to show that pubic transport is expensive in North Yorkshire (which it is) but that those people who say "I could live on fifty quid a week easy - three tins of beans and wipe my arse on grass" are missing the point that to do it for months (even if it's eighty quid) isn't easy when you take into account stuff the rest of us take for granted - like getting the bus, buying shoes/warm clothes/underpants/socks.

Totally agree.

I made a comment above that I could live on £53 per week, but this is food only assuming that everything else, and I mean everything else, such as clothing, travel, stuff like the serving or replacement of boilers and the like.

£53 on food in a week, easy, including other stuff, not at all.

Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:

> I make that point not because I want to show that pubic transport is expensive in North Yorkshire (which it is) but that those people who say "I could live on fifty quid a week easy - three tins of beans and wipe my arse on grass" are missing the point that to do it for months (even if it's eighty quid) isn't easy when you take into account stuff the rest of us take for granted - like getting the bus, buying shoes/warm clothes/underpants/socks.

Exactly, its not the fact that you could technically survive, its the effect that it would have, psychologically and physically on you.
Postmanpat on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> Well, actually yes, in a sense, because I wouldn't want anyone to become an MP until they'd reached 50yrs or over and gained a good spectrum of experience, and by proxy, at least the possibility of exposure to some spectrum of the experience of people.
>
I agree with the gist of that but given that IDS had "proper jobs" in the army and defence industry and spent some time on benefits before becoming an MP at just under 40 he is closer to your specification than most of them.

timjones - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Indy)
> [...]
>
> My daughter, got help to attend an interview a few months back because she was in Scotland and the interview was in London, snag was they had so many applications they said they would only interview 200 applicants in the first batch ! Later when she got an interview for a admin job locally for the Transport police, there was a girl with a degree in criminology applying. What a waste of talent there is out there.

Wasted talent or too much money wasted on qualifications that there isn't adequate demand for?
andic - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Indy:

I heard a toe curling story where a graduate had asked the job centre to pay his train fare to attend an interview in that there London (from Doncaster). On arrival at the interview the guy manager who met him asked; 'what's all this from the job centre asking us to give them your travel expenses?'

Don't know if it is still like that but what were they thinking, it hardly gives a good impression.
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I agree with the gist of that but given that IDS had "proper jobs" in the army and defence industry and spent some time on benefits before becoming an MP at just under 40 he is closer to your specification than most of them.

I agree, and I actually recognise to an extent R.E.Ward's +ve atrribution to him, but the other aspect is the distortion due to the party machine in an adversarial system. Compare interviews of IDS in the years before the election and over the last years. There is a paradigm shift in rhetoric and empathetic focus.
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

> I agree, and I actually recognise to an extent R.E.Ward's +ve atrribution to him, but the other aspect is the distortion due to the party machine in an adversarial system. Compare interviews of IDS in the years before the election and over the last years. There is a paradigm shift in rhetoric and empathetic focus.

David Willetts is another MP who has demostrated that same shift.
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> Yes, and so you choose to doubt it, envisaging all sorts of negatives of how it could be bollocks, and no positives of how it could be underplayed. It reveals your prejudice:
>

I was trying to highlight what a silly figure and example it was to make a point. I don't believe I have made any comment on whether the point itself is valid.
I queried the assumptions on the basis of reading the articles by the Guardian, the Telegraph and at least one other article about the interview. I also listened to the full interview rather than the link you posted.

You on the other hand appear to have misquoted IDS, initiated your post on the basis of a partial interview and based your initial points on an incorrect assumption about how housing benefit factored in to the figures.

Then you call me prejudiced. And a prick.
>
> Go on then, give us some known examples and stats based on indisputable individual people's figures!

Well, since it's your thread and you are the one who is expressing outrage at this appallingly low amount of money shouldnt you be the one to explain the numbers.
Postmanpat on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> [...]
>
> David Willetts is another MP who has demostrated that same shift.

Well yes, but as you say it is the unfortunate by product of our adversarial culture, both between politicians and by the media. IDS is notably bad at dealing with this in interviews.

Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> I was trying to highlight what a silly figure and example it was to make a point. I don't believe I have made any comment on whether the point itself is valid. I queried the assumptions on the basis of reading the articles by the Guardian, the Telegraph and at least one other article about the interview. I also listened to the full interview rather than the link you posted.

Which point? What was it you regard as nonsense? If you want a full breakdown of an individual's finances of course it's going to be more exhaustive in print, or perhaps in a detailed discussion on the money programme. That doesn't make the point nonsense at all! I had heard the full interview on the today programme, I just hadn't found a quick link to it!

> You on the other hand appear to have misquoted IDS, initiated your post on the basis of a partial interview and based your initial points on an incorrect assumption about how housing benefit factored in to the figures.

I did not misquote IDS, he answered a could question with a would answer, which frankly doesn't makes a rat whisker difference to the meaning I was discussing. I know he wasn't saying that he would actually do it, I know he would be able to do it if he had to, but the point is it is a reflection of the systemic demonisation of the benefit scroungers (or low paid workers) that could afford such flippancy.

> Then you call me prejudiced. And a prick.

Hey, well feel free to give a much more detailed account of yourself and your view, but my name is Iain Duncan Smith, and therefore, you're a prick.

> Well, since it's your thread and you are the one who is expressing outrage at this appallingly low amount of money shouldnt you be the one to explain the numbers.

Thought not.
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Well yes, but as you say it is the unfortunate by product of our adversarial culture, both between politicians and by the media.

Do you see it as merely an unfortunate side-effect, or something in need of rectification?
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> Which point? What was it you regard as nonsense? If you want a full breakdown of an individual's finances of course it's going to be more exhaustive in print, or perhaps in a detailed discussion on the money programme. That doesn't make the point nonsense at all! I had heard the full interview on the today programme, I just hadn't found a quick link to it!
>

The point is nonsense on the basis of the example provided. If someone is only surviving on £53 a week it's quite important to know what they count as bills or expenditure that lies outwith that £53. For example he discussed filling his van up with diesel - was that taken from his £53 or not?
You might consider that some guy on the radio quoting some number is a suitable basis to start an attack on a person or policy, I prefer to have a little more information first.


>
> I do not misquote IDS, he answered a could question with a would answer, which frankly doesn't makes a rat whisker difference to the meaning I was discussing. I know he wasn't saying that he would actually do it, I know he would be able to do it if he had to, but the point is it is a reflection of the systemic demonisation of the benefit scroungers (or low paid workers) that could afford such flippancy.
>

Fair enough if you consider "would" to equal "could" and that his answer was flippant and the policies equate to demonisation, then clearly I must be the prejudiced one.

>
> Hey, well feel free to give a much more detailed account of yourself and your view, but my name is Iain Duncan Smith, and therefore, you're a prick.
>

What's the point- you have judged me on what I haven't said and insulted me to boot.

>
> Thought not.

I can only repeat - if you want to argue about a figure of £53 then perhaps you should be backing up the numbers, or just explaining them, otherwise with no context the suggestions about what would or wouldn't need to be sacrificed to survive becomes meaningless
Rob Exile Ward on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: ' IDS is notably bad at dealing with this in interviews.'

Her certainly was on this occasion. You could practically hear him sweating over the radio!

Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> The point is nonsense on the basis of the example provided. If someone is only surviving on £53 a week it's quite important to know what they count as bills or expenditure that lies outwith that £53. For example he discussed filling his van up with diesel - was that taken from his £53 or not? You might consider that some guy on the radio quoting some number is a suitable basis to start an attack on a person or policy, I prefer to have a little more information first.

Give us an example, then, of how you would hold IDS to account?
Postmanpat on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> Do you see it as merely an unfortunate side-effect, or something in need of rectification?

I see it as a serious problem in many spheres of life but I am not sure it can be "rectified". It is embedded deep within our cultural tradition.

The alternative tradition of consensus building (in Japan) leads to a lack of transparency and the cutting of corrupt back room deals....

Rob Exile Ward on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: What this incident really shows it that John Humphries is a useless interviewer, managing to obscure rather than clarify the issues by focusing on a single not very representatove example.

What would have been far more interesting is some substantive issues, e.g. how he expects people being penalised for having an additional bedroom, to find other accomodation when there is a national shortage; or, if benefits are at low levels anyway, how he expects people to live (legally) when their benefits are cut even further because their circumstances have changed and they now have a spare room.

But no, Humphries replaced asking the important and difficult questions with a simplistic and trivial one, which to be fair IDS totally fluffed.

Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> Fair enough if you consider "would" to equal "could"

I didn't say that. I said he answered a could Q with a would A, and for that reason, and the meaning of the point made, the grammatical distinction didn't weigh on the matter!

> and that his answer was flippant

Are you suggesting that it was a careful answer?

> and the policies equate to demonisation, then clearly I must be the prejudiced one.

Of course they do, the stats speak for themselves, no one in government is highlighting that the majority affected by the bedroom tax would be disabled, or that there isn't sufficient smaller available housing stock, they only highlight the (un)fairness aspect of tax-payers subsidising their extra bedrooms. In my book that's demonisation.

> What's the point- you have judged me on what I haven't said and insulted me to boot.

No, I've judged you on what you have said.

> I can only repeat - if you want to argue about a figure of £53 then perhaps you should be backing up the numbers, or just explaining them, otherwise with no context the suggestions about what would or wouldn't need to be sacrificed to survive becomes meaningless

Tell me, which government stat is based upon such a nuanced account of individual finances?
Postmanpat on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> But no, Humphries replaced asking the important and difficult questions with a simplistic and trivial one, which to be fair IDS totally fluffed.

But Humphries and the BBC will celebrate at scoring some points a creating a "story" which can be run for the next 48 hours or so. Muppets.

Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I see it as a serious problem in many spheres of life but I am not sure it can be "rectified". It is embedded deep within our cultural tradition.
>
> The alternative tradition of consensus building (in Japan) leads to a lack of transparency and the cutting of corrupt back room deals....

What's the penalty for such corruption? How about keeping the party system, but banning the whips, and encouraging or necessitating free votes, along with guideline tariffs of life imprisonment for evidence of corporate collusion in voting. That would remove the necessity for PR, because a vote for the man is a vote for the man, and not necessarily a vote for the party. Minority party votes become as relevant given the constant requirement for consensus.
Sir Chasm - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Haven't the government stated that the disabled won't be subject to the bedroom tax?
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> [...]
>
> Give us an example, then, of how you would hold IDS to account?


I would produce an example of someone who is able to say I earn x amount a week doing this job. When I have paid all my bills, gas, leggy, sky I have y amount left to pay for anything else - like food, bus fares or diesel. I look after two kids but my missus gets the child benefit. I'm expected to get them to school and feed them 3 nights a week.
The cuts to housng benefit mean that in order to stay near my childrens mother and their school I now have to stump up another z quid a week.

Since that appears to be a similar situation to what is being discussed except with all the numbers basically being plucked out of thin air and all the context being invented by non-prejudiced, un-pricks like yourself
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> But Humphries and the BBC will celebrate at scoring some points a creating a "story" which can be run for the next 48 hours or so. Muppets.

I disagree. The rhetoric from IDS is all about fairness, but fairness for whom? Frankly those who can afford not to require fairness for themselves. His interview made revealed the absurdity of the rhetoric.
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) What this incident really shows it that John Humphries is a useless interviewer, managing to obscure rather than clarify the issues by focusing on a single not very representatove example.
>
> What would have been far more interesting is some substantive issues, e.g. how he expects people being penalised for having an additional bedroom, to find other accomodation when there is a national shortage; or, if benefits are at low levels anyway, how he expects people to live (legally) when their benefits are cut even further because their circumstances have changed and they now have a spare room.
>
> But no, Humphries replaced asking the important and difficult questions with a simplistic and trivial one, which to be fair IDS totally fluffed.

Easy there, you are at risk of being labelled a prejudiced prick ;-)
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> Easy there, you are at risk of being labelled a prejudiced prick ;-)

Au contraire, no danger there.. ..plenty of balance from REW!
off-duty - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
>
>
> No, I've judged you on what you have said.

Really? I'm certainly judging you on what you have said. Which to be honest I found a bit atypical of your usual posting and attention to detail.
Rob Exile Ward on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: I thibk you're projecting on to the interview the view that you already hold.

From my perspective, the example they chose was absurd, - he had chosen to be self employed, his business had failed, yet he was avodiding the sensible course of action which would be to let it go and claim his full benefits entitlement, JSA and all the rest. I can speak with some authority about this, having been in practically an identical position even down to staying close to my son (which, incidentally, I never expected the state to pay for, which meant in my case a lot of hitch hiking.)

There are real issues about poverty traps, housing inequalities, disincentives to work and all the rest that have to be tackled for everyone's sake, not least many of the benefits' recipients, (even the hideous Frank Field would agree with that); leaping on silly examples doesn't seem a sensible way of discussing them.
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Haven't the government stated that the disabled won't be subject to the bedroom tax?

Have they? Its news to me if they have.
http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/article/bedroom-tax-and-home-discomforts

And this from:
http://www.housing.org.uk/policy/welfare_reform/%E2%80%98under-occupation%E2%80%99_penalty.aspx

Who will be affected? All claimants who are deemed to have at least one spare bedroom will be affected. This includes:
- Separated parents who share the care of their children and who may have been allocated an extra bedroom to reflect this. Benefit rules mean that there must be a designated ‘main carer’ for children (who receives the extra benefit)
- Couples who use their ‘spare’ bedroom when recovering from an illness or operation
- Parents whose children visit but are not part of the household
- Disabled people including people living in adapted or specially designed properties.
Postmanpat on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> What's the penalty for such corruption?
>
Not much because they are all at it. Best example was PM Tanaka in the 70s who only got caught because foreigners (Lockheed) were involved, resigned as PM, but became more powerful than ever as a "shogun" behind the scenes. Wheels of justice so slow he died before they caught up (think Berlusconi without the the showmanship).
>
>
How about keeping the party system, but banning the whips, and encouraging or necessitating free votes, along with guideline tariffs of life imprisonment for evidence of corporate collusion in voting.
>
Step in the right direction but promotion would still depend on toeing the line.

Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> > How about keeping the party system, but banning the whips, and encouraging or necessitating free votes, along with guideline tariffs of life imprisonment for evidence of corporate collusion in voting.

> Step in the right direction but promotion would still depend on toeing the line.

But in that situation, the back benches would be far more powerful, so toeing a party line would take on a whole new meaning.
Jimbo W on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) I thibk you're projecting on to the interview the view that you already hold.
>
> From my perspective, the example they chose was absurd

From my perspective, it resonated, and here's why:
- he had chosen to be self employed
..because he had been made redundant, which is a very relevant phenomenon in the UK at the moment
- his business had failed
..but he'd done what the government have been repeatedly saying that they want people to do which is to try to take the entrepreneurial route
- yet he was avoiding the sensible course of action which would be to let it go
..well this seems to me an entirely forgivable common human problem, which is how difficult to know when to say enough is enough. It also requires that you know / feel that you have work alternatives, which if you come from a work culture is the way you think, rather than about further appropriating upon yourself the stigma of benefits

> I can speak with some authority about this, having been in practically an identical position even down to staying close to my son (which, incidentally, I never expected the state to pay for, which meant in my case a lot of hitch hiking.)
> There are real issues about poverty traps, housing inequalities, disincentives to work and all the rest that have to be tackled for everyone's sake, not least many of the benefits' recipients, (even the hideous Frank Field would agree with that); leaping on silly examples doesn't seem a sensible way of discussing them.

Well I wouldn't disagree that it is a highly polarised methodology, but so is the rhetoric of fairness.
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Sir Chasm - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Fair enough, although parents with disabled children (and some other groups ) are exempt. I'm not sure accuracy and facts count for too much though.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.