Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Treat kids as money boxes...

Regular readers will know that some of the benefits that your humble Devil gets most angry about are those surrounding children.

There are two strands to this ire. The first is a simple indignation that I—a childless man whose lifestyle is not only unsubsidised but heavily taxed (and sometimes illegal!)—should be forced to subsidise the lifestyles of those who choose to have children.

The second is based not on petulance but on a real concern for the kind of mentality that child benefits induce. Let me elaborate...

This year, it was reported that some GCSE students were visited by Michelle Obama, and one of them found herself inspired.
... before meeting Mrs Obama, Talitha didn’t see the point in school. She hung out with kids who didn’t take work seriously and was ready to throw her life away—to become a "stereotypical baby-mum", as she told the Times.

Why? Why would you saddle yourself with an expensive, time-consuming, helpless human being? Yes, all your friends may be doing it—but why are they saddling themselves with an expensive, time-consuming, helpless human being?

Because they will be paid for doing so.

More importantly, why should a visit from a strong woman convince Talitha that her hitherto chosen route may not be, y'know, entirely fulfilling.

Because using another human being simply as a way to gain money and a council flat is a pretty low ambition. And not just "low" as in morally suspect, but "low" as in "a pathetic way to waste your potential".

No, I'm not doing down those who choose to be mothers because they want to care for a child: I am condemning those who want to have a child because they cannot think of any other way to fulfil themselves—or, in too many cases, to make a living.

And of course critics tell me that no one would actually have a child simply for the money—that would be awful. Well, yes—yes, it would.
The 36-year-old woman is accused of shaving her son’s head and eyebrows and forcing him to wear a bandana to school to make it look like he was receiving chemotherapy.
It is alleged she then swindled the authorities by claiming a carer’s allowance, tax exemptions and a disability allowance for the boy, who is now aged nine.
Gloucester magistrates’ court was told how the mother allegedly forged doctors’ notes and prevented the boy and his seven-year-old sister from taking part in school activities by leading them to believe they were too unwell.

Of course I object to the £100,000 scammed out of our taxes by this pathetic excuse for a human being. But more, I object to the way in which she treated her poor children—she made them suffer simply so that she could get more money.

But what do you expect when our entire benefits system is set up to encourage people to pimp their children?


thenewcomer said...

Are you playing the Devil's Advocate here?

How can the measly tax-benefit grudgingly wrested from the state and life in a council house be so appealing that young Talitha and others actively and consciously choose this life? That they drift into it is more testimony to the lack of viable, feasible alternatives, rather than the attractions of life as a single mom in a council block. That's similar to the claims made that (fake) refugees flock to western countries for the "soft" life of living on government handouts.

the women, the refugees, the insane... brush up on your Foucault.

Devil's Kitchen said...


Remember that many of these kids come from a family consisting of "life as a single mom in a council block". Only, it is their flat in the tower block, not their parent's.

Welfare, with a child, is reasonably generous:

1) Child Benefit: £20 pw
2) Tax Credits: £60 pw (yes, even if not working)
3) Jobseekers' Allowance: £60
4) Go to the top of the housing list, and...
5) Rent: £free (Housing Benefit up to £400 pw)

No, it's not a fortune. But when you are 16, even £60 pw seems pretty hefty amounts of money.

I think that you're right when you imply that people need aspirations: but then, that's why I rail against those who would deny children a good education.


JuliaM said...

"That they drift into it is more testimony to the lack of viable, feasible alternatives, rather than the attractions of life as a single mom in a council block. "

By 'viable, feasible alternatives' I suspect you mean jobs paying slightly more than the money they get given in handout. But you might be surprised by what they themselves would understand by those terms.

Premier league footballer, pop star, etc...

Anonymous said...

I am not entirely sure that a good number of people have babies for the benefits, some do, but I suspect most are just careless.

But I am entirely convinced, from what I see first hand, that once they start getting the benefits, they loose any intention of working.

It's not a bad life to live in terms of material wealth (I mean those on benefits are still richer than half the world and their fore bearers), it's just an utterly dreary life.

But then most of these people never had any ambition anyway.

Personally, I have no ambition, I am happy to just plod through life, just no on someone else's wallet if I can help it.

ChrisM said...

". brush up on your Foucault."


MattG said...

As a resident of South Manchester I see this sort of thing first hand all the time. In fact I even have relatives who have consciously taken this "career path". These people can't be bothered to remember anything they learned in school but know every scam and loophole going when it comes to extracting money from the state.

Example 1:

My cousin and her husband are two perfectly able-bodied people in their late 30s and neither of them have ever worked. The state applies no pressure on them to work. They live a very comfortable life in their large council house. They have several large flat screen TVs and their 3 kids all have their own laptops. They don’t have any credit either, they burnt those bridges many years ago but running up as much debt as possible then declaring bankruptcy (which elicits no fear for those with no “real” earnings!). They have a much, much better life than my girlfriend’s family who live in a short distance away but have chosen to work to support themselves. They earn very little from their low paid jobs but as they have no kids below 16 they get very little assistance from the state. How they haven't chosen to "shrug" (as a wise woman once said) given the people they have living around them is almost beyond me.

I think if the Devil is guilty of anything then it's not realising how much you can claim if you really milk the system. There is far more available to you than the list above if you know what you are doing. Which brings me on to.....

Example 2:

Someone I know runs a child minding firm in these parts. Most of parents do not work yet the state pays through the nose for their children to have child care so they can "look for work". Most of these people have been "looking" for work for several years and the state continues to pay for their childcare so they can watch Jeremy Vile uninterrupted. Contrast that with the guys I work with who have to pay many hundreds of pounds a month for their childcare as both parents need to work to make ends meet.

And God help her if she books a week of holiday! Those parents go absolutely mental at the thought of having to look after their own kids for a week, even though they have nothing better to do!

Example 3:

My brother and sister in law can't be arsed raising their kids and as a result their two sons are unruly, trouble causing little shites. Not their own fault you might say, but we are where we are. They are frequently excluded from school for assaulting teachers and other pupils.

You would think that a stern talking to for the mother and the kids would be in order to try and address this. But no, all that has happened is that they have decided the poor loves have A.D.D. (which is bollocks!) and their mother now receives a very handsome carer's allowance for each of them, on top of the free house and all the other benefits she gets. So now the government are effectively incentivising people for raising their kids badly!

Ultimately, although these people would be considered immoral by lots of us, they certainly aren't stupid. They can see that it is far more lucrative to milk the system than to take the jobs available to them, and most of them now consider themselves "too good" for taking a menial job on minimum wage. After all, those jobs are for foreigners, right? They don't even seem to realise that if you don't ever apply yourself that is exactly the sort of job you deserve!

This obviously cannot continue, but this is now so ingrained in our society that the eventual resolution will result in social fallout on a scale that has never been seen before.

JuliaM said...

"This obviously cannot continue..."

Yes, thank god we've got a Tory government now to sort it all ou..

Oh. Right.