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Benefits/entitlements

Are benefits are no longer a safety net, but a career choice?

Are benefits a burden, duty, need, obligation, or even necessary.


Who deserves or should get benefits and how much should they get.

Who deserves benefits

As you can see from the table above there are many types of people who get benefits. Some are needier and more worthy than others.

Causes/Effects

People on benefits work options are limited.
People say there is no jobs in their area.

What is the welfare state for?

To eradicate squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease OR encouraging citizens to do the right thing - to work, to save, to take personal responsibility?

Reasons benefits fail

Whether you support benefits or not, not many people believe the benefits system are being run effectively.
  • Welfare benefits have been set too high, disincentivising work and marriage
  • Rigorous conditions have not been attached to benefits
  • Means tested benefits have become more important than insurance benefits - adding to the disincentive to work, saving and self reliance
  • Needs-based benefits have encouraged broken parenting
  • People who are allowed no responsibility become irresponsible.
  • the Government relies on goodwill for people to work when people make only marginally more by working.
  • We should expect those on welfare to move if they can have other opportunities to work.
  • The welfare state has become dysfunctional - government simultaneously sees people in poverty it charges income tax.
  • Benefit bills need to be sustainable, we have an unsustainable pensions policy, it doesn't matter how many people get old or how many workers there are.
  • Many beneficiaries are in work, as well as out of work.
  • Benefits create "culture of entitlement"
  • Benefits can apply straight away and people can get comfortable on them easily.

"give people a hand up, not a hand out"
-- Bill Clinton

Who is entitled to what?


"Why should one person have to sacrifice their welfare for anothers?"

   --  Richard Epstein

Those who have the biggest sense of entitlement are the Govt. 
They demand the right to tax you, demand NI contributions, VAT, council tax, fuel duty, stamp duty, and all the other stealth taxes.
They then say you are the one who has a sense of entitlement if you want to claim something back.


So even though the advice is there that a family needs £x to raise y children, some people still think it's ok (and society's problem) for them to have more children than the experts suggest they can afford. 

there are people in this world who live in real and absolute poverty watching their kids die of starvation or treatable illnesses, try telling them they need a western benefit to live acceptably


The one thing that winds everyone up is that the people who do work for a living is no better off than those who don't. Working should always increase ones standard of living but sadly that's not always the case. Someone on benefits with enough children can have a better standard of living than other workers, which is totally wrong. The standard of living should come from what your worth to society.

Workers are sick and tired of being told they are "privileged" for having a job. Privilege is surely being supported by those in a position better off than yourself without having to lift a finger to earn it! People on benefits should be forced to earn that privilege by doing community work.

"Errrr the lunatics have taken over the asylum."

Is it the beneficiaries money or the tax payers money?

Socially acceptable wage
'Socially acceptable' is a subjective measurement, and as such has no part in a serious debate on poverty. It is irresponsible to even refer to it.

Living wage
Things like the living wage creates artificial unachievable norms.

Conditions

Should we limit the number of children in families that have benefits?
Should people on benefits be able to earn more than those who are working?
Should people who have an income receive benefits?
Should immigrants receive benefits?
Should those who live in expensive areas receive benefits?
Should benefits vary per region?
Should benefits have a time limit, to be used as a springboard only?
Should benefits be linked to wages or inflation?
Should benefits be paid for in cash?
Should beneficiaries be asked to give something in return? (do community work, or other work)
Should benefits be given to those who have caused their own situation?
Should people who could stay with family or friends be eligible for benefits?
Should people on benefits have accommodation better than people working?
Should benefits be linked to what is put in?
Should benefits cover just water, electricity,telephone and food? or More?
Should benefits be given to those with savings?
Should benefits be universal?
Should benefits go up by the same amount as wages?
Should benefits be based on need or entitlement?
Should benefit payments be capped?
Should benefits be tax free?
Should more benefits be paid to someone unemployed than someone earns in the workforce in the same situation.
Should those on benefits be made to feel shame?

Fairness

  • People feel distraught when they go to work and see their neighbours with drawn curtains living off them.
  • Many people believe benefits are too high and discourage people from work.
  • Even people on benefits resent others on benefits, especially is the others get more than them.
  • Some people would like welfare to reflect how much they have paid in.
  • Should be based on prior contributions, need, or given to everyone regardless of need or contribution. 
  • Something should be given in return for benefits.
  • People get enraged when they see they are not that much better off than someone who is not working.
  • Resentment builds in the benefit system where people are perceived that they could work, should work or not claiming at all.
  • Benefit cap so that no beneficiary can have more than the average wage.
  • Why should those on benefits be shielded from decisions that people in employment have to make? like downsizing house to save money.
  • Fairness to those in work as well as those out of work.
  • The bargain is taxpayers are happy to pay benefits to those who are sick, care responsibilities or can't work. Also those out of work, but expect those to look for work.
  • Deserving poor and undeserving poor is just making a distinction between those who should qualify for a benefit.
  • Its unfair to take money from hard working people to give to people who could be working themselves.
  • The welfare system needs to treat the taxpayers who pick up the bill fairly, not just those claiming benefits.
  • Some people say tax avoiders should be taken care of before looking at benefit recipients, but benefit recipients are the ultimate tax avoiders having a negative tax rate.
  • Many workers cannot afford the luxuries their labours are providing for those too lazy to work
  • If immigrants can come to this country with no skills and find work, why cannot beneficiaries?
  • Benefits should be a safety net - but not something that gives claimants an income out of reach of many hard-working families.

Eligibility

The system of working-age benefits had gone "truly awry".
It is necessary for unemployed people to prove they are capable of doing a job by means of an interview prior to getting the job and reviews during the course of having said job to show they continue to be capable. 
The same standards should apply to benefits seekers to prove they deserve the benefits in the first place. And recipients should then be reviewed at a timely periods to confirm they continue to be deserving of benefits. Don't view this as being tough, its just common sense.

Those within the benefit system grow up with a series of expectations: 
  • you can have a home of your own, 
  • the state will support you whatever decisions you make, 
  • you will always be able to take out no matter what you put in.
This has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. 
  • That it pays not to work. 
  • That you are owed something for nothing.
 It gave us millions of working-age people sitting at home on benefits even before the recession hit. It created a culture of entitlement.

Have governments tried to get more people eligible for benefits by changing definitions, like broadening out who is in the disabled category?
Should those that are disabled automatically get benefits, or should they be made to do what work they can. Disability is a wide category. Stephen Hawkins can work.

Vouchers

"In the United States in the 1960s, welfare rights campaigners argued for food stamps for certain groups on the basis that some of them were alcohol abusers"

Is it better to incentivise good spending than to control it through a prepayment card?

Some people argue that vouchers for food stigmatise those on benefits, but if given on a prepayment card no-one need know, and other subsidies like family allowance could be paid in the same way to reduce stigma. Other alternatives could be put forward to reduce it. Benefits are supposed to be only a short term measure, so the stigma should pass.

Should first year benefits be paid in cash and future benefits be paid with vouchers?

Could the government give a choice to beneficiaries a smaller cash payment a larger voucher card.

If they are going to spend our hard earned money, it should only be on essentials.

Which countries are vouchers already in place? Australia? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18951205

Benefits for a year then any job must be taken, not just one you are looking for.

Why bother with vouchers, why not give them food parcels.

The morality of living off other people


An honest man is one who knows he cannot consume more than he has produced.

   --  Ayn Rand

The morality of living off other people

Quote 210Nothing is given to man on this earth. Everything he needs must be produced. And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways - by independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. The creator's concern is the conquest of nature. The parasites concern is the conquest of men.
-- Ayn Rand


The number of beneficiarys does not change the nature of the action, it merely increases the number of victims

   --  Ayn Rand

They should not be called Benefits or entitlements, they are actually a subsidy. Likewise with calling it income.

Who is worse, the benefit scroungers or the enablers.

Peter Schiff talks about how the Government is moving further left

Peter on entitlements

  • "If we don't cut entitlement spending, the entitlements will be worthless"

Ron Paul on Benefits

Child benefit

The child benefit cut, saving for an evaporating pension while paying for parents in long-term care, not to mention helping the children pay for university. Is this the end of being comfortably off, asks Michael Blastland in his regular column.

Put it this way: every £1bn is the equivalent of taking away services or money worth £1,000 from one million people, every year.

Do you cut your standard of living or dip into the house that you hoped would bolster your pension?”

End Quote Michael Blastland
Which one million people would you have in mind?

And that's just the first billion. There are another 84-ish to go. Which is why the politics of cuts grows nasty. The Chancellor says we are all in it together, invoking a sense of collective sacrifice. Your country needs you, says David Cameron, pointing our way.

But I see no volunteers. Instead, the one collective effort on view is to duck - and point elsewhere. The "middle" points at the "scroungers" at the 'bottom'. The "bottom" points to the broader shoulders higher up. Both point to the "top". And the "top" says it pays for everything already and should get something back.

Well, it could be worse. Actually, it will be worse. There are bills not yet fully in the equation, like that for long-term care as the population ages.

Everyone points out that life is expensive enough already. If you are in the middle or perhaps above, do you save for the children's university fees, or your mother's long-term care, or maybe your own? If you lose universal benefits, like child benefit - worth £1,750 a year for two children - that adds up over 18 years to about another £35,000 gone.



How to reduce the bill

Is the benefits system even affordable?
  • Those on a benefit must go on a budgeting class
  • If you can't get rid of a benefit, you should be able to raise the age of eligibility, or other conditions to get it.
  • Conditions should apply to benefits.
  • Tests should be carried out for eligibility
  • Real solution is to more people into work.

Alternatives

People can pay into a fund they control (like Chile) rather than a slush fund.
Charities can provide assistance.

Reference

Sources

Links

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19792066       256
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20459252 (should beneficiaries manage their own money)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21706978 Benefits stats
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22065978 How much do people need to live on.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26743802 Welfare cap
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