to worry that some people on benefits won't manage when payments are made monthly

(362 Posts)
SuedeEffectPochette Tue 12-Feb-13 22:08:43

Of course, many people on benefits are doubtless great at managing a budget, but at the moment people are paid weekly, so if money runs out, it's only a day or so (still bad enough). But when payments are monthly, some people may have a couple of weeks of no money - what is going to happen to them? Also Housing Benefit won't be paid direct to landlords any more, which will lead to a massive increase in homelessness if that money is not passed on. If you have run out of money for food, you won't be paying any to your landlord will you? I think the government should stick to weekly payments.

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:31:40

i realise that my first post seems as if i think it should be paid monthly. i dont, i just personally find it easier to work with a monthly figure and that's all i was saying. i wasn't saying it should be like this for everyone.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:32:32

Incidentally, when CB changed from being paid weekly to monthly, single parents could opt to keep their weekly. I dont know why they were allowed to do this, but I chose to do it as I was on my own at the time and still do. I have to say that knowing I will get that on a Monday, every week, is a big help especially on the last week of the month.

Mixed feelings here. Personally monthly would be easier than fortnightly.

Often we find that all our bills come out within 2 weeks, which can be disastrous.

Booyhoo

Over here there is going to be a choice of monthly or fortnightly.

And HB direct to LLs is staying.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:34:52

Boo I like having both. Before H got made redundant we had 2 budgets. The monthly "wages" budget that paid all the billsand the weekly "TC" budget that covered the shopping (he was on a low income despite working 50+ hours a week sad ). Anything left over went into the child benefit account for clothes, shoes, trips, emergencies etc.

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:35:22

"What will happen to people during the transision from weekly to monthly... will they be left with nothing for upto four weeks?
It is all very well going from one month to the next with a full months wage but not four or five weeks on one weeks worth of benefit money."

if they paid it for the month ahead instead of in arrears would that get rid of this issue?

OptimisticPessimist Tue 12-Feb-13 22:35:49

It's the transition that worries me most tbh. Like Boo I think it would probably be easier monthly, I'm always forgetting I've got bills coming out (same date every month, but different days of the week obviously and I think in days rather than dates) so to be able to have them all come out at once would be great. I don't have a massive problem with it being changed for new claims, as long as there's protection for vulnerable people. The problem is that people with existing claims will have to go four or five weeks without any money when their claim is transferred, and that's what worries me. I'll be trying to save enough to cover the transition period, but any people aren't really aware of the changes UC will bring - especially those who only claim tax credits and not unemployment benefits.

I would much prefer monthly. It would mean I could pay all the bills, keep the money I need for each week and then know what I have left for clothes/car repairs or other one off expenses.

Can you tell I budget to the last penny? blush

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:37:28

They should just be glad they're getting the money!

Well obviously we are. I spend my day curtseying to all you tax payers, the same tax that my husband and I have both paid but no longer do thanks to redundancy. Sheesh!

But as I said what about those who are vulnerable and who already struggle with a weekly budget? I can imagine that there will be a massive increase in child neglect with this too.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:39:18

if they paid it for the month ahead instead of in arrears would that get rid of this issue?

Unlikely. JSA is paid in arrears as you are signing to confirm that you were available for work in the previous 2 weeks and that you were seeking work. Paying it in advance would bring all sorts of issues. I really dont see how it is workable.

andubelievedthat Tue 12-Feb-13 22:39:55

YANBU, its a straightforward money saving exercise by the govt. LOUMAe why not try getting the monkey off your back?

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:42:28

good point bogey, i also kept my CB and TC weekly and yes that is the money i get the shopping, electric, petrol, and weekly monies to dc's various clubs with on a monday.

although if pushed i think the only thing i couldn't change to monthly would be the grocery shopping. but i totally see how others just couldn't do this.

i have always chosen to have my Hb paid to me as i know that if stuck i can always choose to feed my children and deal with LL later. i know that isn't maybe the best scenario for the LL but for me it is important that i have that choice. i have needed to do it maybe 3 times in 8 years of renting and have always called LL first and asked if it was ok. i know others wont be as lucky with their LL's though.

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 22:45:07

"Can you tell I budget to the last penny? "

same. it is very difficult to work out what is available to spend on the 1st of feb out of a fortnight's IS in order to leave enough for the monthly bills that will be coming out at the end of feb.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:45:31

Perhaps this is the ultimate cost cutting exercise. Give an addict £400 (say) on the 1st and a fair few will be dead by the 7th.

5madthings Tue 12-Feb-13 22:48:10

I think this could cause problems for lots of people, especially the vulnerable.

When I had ds1 we got our child benefit paid weekly as we were students. Its still paid weekly now 13yrs later and ever tho dp is paid monthly and we budget etc its actually very handy to know we have a certain amount going in each week and makes it easier if something unexpected comes up etc.

foslady Tue 12-Feb-13 22:48:43

I worry for those with an addiction of some kind - for what could be the 1st time they will have a large amount of money going into an account. Imagine how worried a partner will be not knowing if the account has been raided and therre's no money to feed the kids for 3 weeks?

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:48:52

Down to the penny here too. One thing about earning a shit wage is that being on JSA isnt quite so much of a shock! Our outgoings were pared down the minimum until.......we looked at our budget and realised that we could afford a new car (well, new to us). So we got one, on finance (a good deal to be fair)........ten days before H got to work to be told his unit was closed and he was out of a job. No notice, no pay, no nothing. We cant sell it or hand it back because we would still owe as the depreciation (even with a used car) means it is worth less than we owe on it sad

porridgewithalmondmilk Tue 12-Feb-13 22:49:20

rhondajean - I'm not benefit-bashing, but honestly, how isn't it a decent amount? hmm

Friend is a single parent to two children and gets £1600 per month in benefits. No disability benefits, "just" housing benefit, council tax benefit, income support, child tax credits and child benefit.

On top of that the children go to nursery three days a week and are fed there - she doesn't pay for that. Plus milk and vegetable tokens.

I really can't see how that isn't enough, sorry?

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 12-Feb-13 22:49:51

That's a bit extreme Bogeyface. Give anyone £400, say, on the 1st and it will be difficult to imagine/plan for what you will need on the 25th. It will also be tempting to splash the £400 a bit, because you have it, I imagine. It's going to be awful and it will be the people who are most vulnerable who will suffer most.

Startail Tue 12-Feb-13 22:50:59

It's not just the transition that will be difficult, it's every time people in temporary work come on and off benefits.

I loan out my phone often enough as it is to the nice lad next door.

He frequently ends up flat broke between jobs (hence no mobile credit). I fear that monthly payments would mean even longer before his money comes through.

He's not very bright and has no family support, budgeting is not a skill he's ever learnt.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:51:36

It is extreme, and I was being facetious, but the fact is that you give an addict say £400 and they will blow it and then what? Starvation, begging, prostitution or theft presumably. I am just saying that it has not been thought out at all. I agree with you that, as always, the worst off will suffer most. sad

poppypebble Tue 12-Feb-13 22:51:42

I have a family member who won't manage monthly payments some months. He has schizophrenia and just won't cope when he is unwell.

However, no doubt when he is forced into work and can't cope (we know this, he's had 3 breakdowns already from trying to go back to work) he'll kill himself, thus rendering the budgeting problem non-existent.

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 12-Feb-13 22:54:44

It's awful but it's also just not going to save money overall is it? Not with more people forced out of housing or having to resort to desperate measures of some sort to make ends meet.

Bogeyface Tue 12-Feb-13 22:55:05

Friend is a single parent to two children and gets £1600 per month in benefits. No disability benefits, "just" housing benefit, council tax benefit, income support, child tax credits and child benefit.

For every "friend" like this, there are hundreds of families like mine. We dont get anywhere near that. And how much is your friends rent? She doesnt get that to spend, it pays her rent! Our income was low before redundancy we managed on only slightly more than that with a mortgage. £1600 minus housing costs isnt that much you know.

rhondajean Tue 12-Feb-13 22:56:06

Porridge - how much of that £1600 is taken up on housing and council tax costs?

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