Sunday, 23 September 2012

Why work?

I know a teacher who had a conversation with a pupil recently, where the pupil made some worrying conclusions on life:
His Mum and Dad do not work and have never worked.  They drive a car that is only a few years old and live in a nice well maintained 3 bedroom house, with large garden.  The benefits that they accrue provide enough cash to live on and even pay for a holiday abroad every summer.  The house, council tax and all medical needs are met by the taxpayer.  In years to come, they will continue to rely on the state for everything and we will pay it, including nursing home care and pensions.
The kid has decided, at around 14 or 15 years of age, that this is a pretty good life and working is for fools.  Why work when the taxpayer will pay you to be lazy?   Why work when the taxpayer will provide a nice house, maintain it and keep you healthy?... for your whole life.
This isn't some silly made up story, it's reality.  There are a couple of websites that you can look at to see what benefits you can get and it's staggering - but only if you have no assets.  I calculated that a small family can easily obtain over £19,000 in benefits each year and that's before the extras such as prescriptions, school meals, maintenance on the house and a host of allowances available at the Jobcentre.
Yes, you need to be a little lucky to get the house, but once you're in, it's a bitch for the authorities to pass that on to a family in need once your own children leave home.
And then you have others living in real poverty and really struggle simply due to a different family structure and/or location, especially older people.  The whole system needs an overhaul and the scroungers benefits reduced to provide for those who better themselves through training or working in low paid jobs.  Those that really want to work should maintain benefits when they need them and those who refuse to work, have them taken away.  The Politicians have said this should be the case for years, yet it never happens.
The threshold where there is little point in working is quite high.  Have a few savings, a little pension income and your own house and you are shafted financially. 
Let me be very clear here: people that are searching for jobs in this tough economy have my admiration, but there is still an underclass that think that working is for mugs. This really has to stop. The kid in question doesn't realise that education gives him choice in life and that he will never fulfull any meaningful dreams relying on benefits, but for now he sees this lifestyle as a way to lay back and enjoy free money.


  1. I agree with you. There is a major problem with the so called benefits system and people taking advantage of it in the worst way. You describe the situation very well. There is a need of a helping society, but better checks should be in place...

  2. I live opposite a family, all of which are unemployed. They also have a good car, Sky TV and even get their groceries delivered.

    Benefits make it easy.