to be getting a bit fed up with squeezed middle bashing.

(112 Posts)
rosieposey78 Thu 10-Oct-13 17:22:56

Ie those single income families with an income of 50 to 60k who are apparently moaning about the loss of £20 per week. If that is a problem they have made wrong financial choices or are bad with money etc etc.
Well we are almost a single income family who has lost child benefit. Some £50 per week. No proble with that. We just have to be a bit careful but we can cope. We do however pay loads on fuel. Dh has long commute and live in fairly expensive area so no we are not rich and do not avoid paying our dues. We opted out of child benefit.

thecatfromjapan Thu 10-Oct-13 22:54:10

Really, if people in a First World country are going without food - and we know people are, because there are food banks and plenty of evidence - it is a disgrace. And there needs to be a lot more anger.

A censorship of problems of smaller magnitude - on a public forum - is not necessarily the ideal solution. In fact, I would argue that it serves to normalise what should be absolutely shocking. You start thinking that it is somehow OK that people are so hard up. That a lot of people are hard up and having problems. And you start to get a real underestimation of how many people are finding things hard.

Responses like "Oh, just budget better" are crazy because they individualise what is, in fact, a structural economic issue - shared by a lot of people. not just one or two flibbertigibbets who spend (enormous) sums of money on fluff.

There is a structural problem. I think it's probably under estimated.

Speaking out about the level of hardship that many people are experiencing in no way should minimise the fact that some people are suffering very, very much. It should make us more, not less, angry - because this is what should make us think "Most of us are in this together - and we are furious". It's not a temporary instance of belt-tightening - it's a structural change in capitalism. and it's worsened by a political will to cynically utilise an economic shock to erode public goods.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 10-Oct-13 22:39:33

It is becoming increasingly difficult for most people though or parents are having to make choices because of changing gov policy.
It is hard to have more sympathy for one group than another.
Clearly on a public forum like this it makes sense not to moan if you know where your next meal is coming from, because there are plenty who don't.

thecatfromjapan Thu 10-Oct-13 22:37:12

You know, the idea that a lot of people, even those on higher incomes, are finding it tough is not incredible. Interest rates are being kept low precisely because a tax rise, an interest rate rise, will hit large numbers of people hard. There would be economic mayhem. And a lot of unhappy voters. Which is why it's not happening.

And yes, it is shit that benefits are being attacked whilst interest rates and taxes remain low. It is utterly crap that the already-vulnerable are being subjected to an economic onslaught that it would appear that the better-off are being protected from.

However, that still doesn't mean that those supposedly on higher-incomes aren't finding things tough.

For my money, I think it points to a new economic reality. The supposedly well-off are paying wodges of "their" money over to ... who? ... for what? ... where is it going? How can people, who on paper should be having such a luxurious lifestyle, be finding things hard? Why are they doing it? What do people fear?

Old-style exploitation was quite straightforward: it resided in the disparity between the money paid to the worker for their labour and the price the product of their labour was sold for (- and we should add the impact of the ghost of the cost of labour extracted by slavery and the value extracted from resources essentially stolen by colonialism). This is new-style exploitation, where people are exploiting themselves through commodification of things such as shelter ...

I don't know ....

Anyway. I know I am bloody cold, and I don't have much of a lifestyle, and I look forward to my old age with a touch of terror, frankly.

ubik Thu 10-Oct-13 22:30:27

I am not saying we can't afford school lunches we can

Well ok

I'm not sure what the problem is then, really. You would like the extra money, it is handy. Well yes. I would like a dishwasher.

rosieposey78 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:28:04

I accept that many people are far worse off than us. I have every sympathy and would never criticise them or suggest they are poor budgeters or need to move from an expensive area. Although i accept maybe others have.
Yet today i have seen loads of people saying things like that about that rich top 10 percent earning 50( plus. That was before this thread.

thecatfromjapan Thu 10-Oct-13 22:14:11

I'd like non-means-tested benefit, higher taxes and lower property prices/lower rents.

It's no surprise that taxation went down, the double-income, long-working-hours, super-stressed, time-poor, resources-poor, on-paper-well-off family emerged - and property prices soared to soak up all that excess income they (now theoretically) had.

I think we should be worrying less about the narrow bands between who does and doesn't qualify for now-means-tested CB, and thinking really, really hard about how we are going to protect what remains of the welfare state.

Really.

comewinewithmoi Thu 10-Oct-13 22:12:59

Just yuk

ReallyTired Thu 10-Oct-13 22:12:48

We are very close to the 50K bracket. Infact DH has seen a tax advisor to see how we can keep our child benefit. He has suggested all kinds of ways we can LEGALLY reduce our tax liablites. For example DH has upped his pension contributions. It is stupid that all families earning close to the threshold have been made to do self assessment. I suspect the costs of implementing this stupid policy will cost more than it saves. (Especially as many people will seek tax advice to fill out their self assessment forms and learn about loop holes.)

I feel that the attack on 50 to 60K earners will damage the ecomony. If DH gets a bonus for good work then we are likely to lose some child benefit. We need people to be encouraged to work hard to get the country out of this mess. People will only work hard if they get to enjoy the rewards.

Personally I would like to see child benefit scrapped and universal free school meals for all state school kids. Lower income familes could be helped out with increasing working tax credit.

rosieposey78 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:10:56

ubik that is exactly what i mean. I am not saying we can't afford school lunches we can. But i am naturally frugal so i spending £20 per week on something i can do cheaper is crazy.
Especiallyl when we lost 188 per 4 weeks in child benefit.
Honestly is that kind of cooment really any different to the woman on we pay your benefits telling the benefit claimant that she shouldn't buy a chicken.

Wallison Thu 10-Oct-13 22:09:39

It wasn't a personal attack so much as an acknowledgement that with your deeply perceptive barbs about me posting and wanking you saw to the bottom of my poor trollish soul - after all, if I disagree with you, I must be trolling, right? Still, report me if you must - I am sorry that you feel so threatened as to have to do so.

utreas Thu 10-Oct-13 22:06:48

All categories are struggling because in recent years we have been living unsustainable lifestyles and we are having to readjust them.

Retropear Thu 10-Oct-13 22:02:31

And what Cat said.

thecatfromjapan Thu 10-Oct-13 22:02:11

I've read the mn guidelines Wallison. smile

That last post was a personal attack, however.

Retropear Thu 10-Oct-13 22:01:48

If 50 is wealthy well um so is 80k.Sooooooo either get rid of it for both(and help with childcare) or give it back.The unfairness and stupidity of it is just mind boggling.

Carolmillen Thu 10-Oct-13 21:59:14

£20 a week is £20 a week - it pays for stuff and you get used to it. Some miss it more than others and some people might still need it - even if under the rules they are no longer entitled to it.

ubik Thu 10-Oct-13 21:59:07

It is unfair that couples with double income are still given CB but single income families are not.

But - is this really causing hardship for people in that income bracket? Really? Even in oh-so-dreadful London? I'm sceptical.

Retropear Thu 10-Oct-13 21:54:34

It's the unfairness of it and stupidity that gets my goat.

ubik, its already been said up thread its all dependent on where you live, mortgage, rent etc.. In some areas in will be seen as a lot, in others its just not, so many different reasons, scenarios etc

It cant be generalised.

Wallison Thu 10-Oct-13 21:52:48

Don't kid yourself, thecatfromjapan - you haven't even got the balls to actually address me on here, never mind in real life. Btw, if losing £20 a week off your £50k+ income really means that you don't have enough money to turn the heating on, then I suggest that you do as I do and have a little wank (crying is optional) each time you post - not only will it warm you up, but you get that lasting afterglow as well.

ubik Thu 10-Oct-13 21:48:55

comewithwine = i think you may have had too much...confused

Struggling to pay school meals for your children is a terrible state of affairs - but with a good income like that, there must be some room for manoeuvre.

valiumredhead Thu 10-Oct-13 21:46:54

Good post cat

Retropear Thu 10-Oct-13 21:46:03

We can manage bu feel it,who wouldn't?

comewinewithmoi Thu 10-Oct-13 21:45:38

Round of applause ubik really wish matters could see out

ubik Thu 10-Oct-13 21:43:20

Why's it crap? Our income is much less than that and we afford 2 school meals +childcare for the third child.

Mind you our energy costs have just gone up 8 per cent so no central heating for us this winter.

thecatfromjapan Thu 10-Oct-13 21:39:39

carolmillien Yes. I would. To be absolutely honest, if someone said that to me in RL, I would almost certainly say a great deal more than that.

But it wouldn't happen.

Because people don't say that sort of thing in RL.

They don's say stuff like that in RL because a. You would have to be seriously off-kilter in your social interactions to say such a thing b. You know that the reaction you will get will range from (i) being completely socially frozen-out by the person you have said that to, to (ii) violence - seriously: people hit people for rudeness of that magnitude.

It is rude/malicious/inane/goady/stupid: any or all of these.

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