Synyster Graves

Poverty, what poverty?

by on Sep.06, 2012, under General Rants

Ok, so in the same vein as my previous rant on My Tax Money there’s a new uproar in the media over “Save the Children” claiming that the government is doing such a bad job we now have prolific child poverty; and that this charity, which usually deals with 3rd world nations struck my famine and real poverty, needs to step in to help those impoverished in the UK. Here’s a BBC article on the matter: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-19478083.

This is completely ridiculous and I can’t really be bothered to read into their motivation for these statements but it’s got to be political. I’m not defending the coalition government, they are a bunch of useless retards, but this particular issue isn’t their fault. I’m sorry to say it’s not even the preceding Labour government’s fault (lefties are usually a good scape goat). This is the fault of the parents, not the state.

Firstly I’ll tackle people out of work: using an average family of 2 adults and 2 children; both adults out of work; paying rent of £800pcm; and a council tax bill of £1000pa. I’ve always found Martins Money Tips to be a good source of money related information, so I’m going to use his benefits calculator for this example (http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/benefits-check). The results are in, and;

Means-tested income entitlements
Tax Credits £5,927.60 £113.68
Income Support £5,811.32 £111.45
Means-tested bill reductions
Council Tax Benefit £999.57 £19.17
Housing Benefit £9,733.33 £186.67
Other income entitlements
Child Benefit £1,757.21 £33.70
Total Entitlements £24,229.03
per year
£464.67
weekly

You should not have to pay Council Tax as you qualify for full Council Tax Benefit. Our calculation is based on you receiving £113.68 from child tax credit.
You should not have to pay rent as you qualify for full Housing Benefit.
For more information on what qualifies see eligible rent for Housing Benefit Our calculation is based on you receiving £113.68 from child tax credit.


This family would be entitled to over £24,000 from the state which puts them well over the £17,000 mark that save the children claim puts a family into poverty. So as for people who are out of work claiming that they don’t have enough money to feed or clothe their children, all I can think is that they are spending their benefits money on booze, cigarettes, drugs, clothes and feck knows what else for themselves instead of feeding their children. In which case they should be chemically neutered and not allowed to breed any further.

People in work who do legitimately earn their money, but are still classed as low income (under £17,000pa) have more sympathy from me. Let’s take the same family set up as above, but this time one of the adults is on the national minimum wage (£6.08 if you’re over 21) and works full time (7.5 hours a day, 5 days a week). This would put them on £11,856pa gross and £10,596pa net. And the results here are:

Means-tested income entitlements
Tax Credits £8,367.19 £160.47
Means-tested bill reductions
Council Tax Benefit £188.68 £3.62
Housing Benefit £7,097.93 £136.12
Other income entitlements
Child Benefit £1,757.21 £33.70
Total Entitlements £17,411.01
per year
£333.91
weekly

Your full Council Tax bill of £19.17 per week will be reduced to £15.55 per week because of your entitlement to Council Tax Benefit. Our calculation is based on you receiving £46.79 from working tax credit and an Income of £113.68 from child tax credit.
Your full rent of £186.67 per week will be reduced by £136.12 per week because of your entitlement to Housing Benefit. This means you will have to pay £50.54 each week. Our calculation is based on you receiving £46.79 from working tax credit and an Income of £113.68 from child tax credit.


This means that on top of the £10,596 that go into our family’s bank account each year, the government will top that up with a further £17,411, that’s £28,007 per year!

Luckily for me I’ve not been in a position where I’ve had to claim benefits of any kind (yet!), but I am 100% sure that it’s a fuck load harder to get hold of that money than just filling in a couple of forms; however if you really needed the money, you’d jump through hoops to get it, or at least I would.

Ok, so given these facts I don’t really see how there are that many people in the UK who are living on the poverty line, and for those who are, £17,000 is more than enough to live on. By “live”, I mean “survive”, i.e. fulfil all your basic needs; food; heat; shelter etc. (which is a lot more that many millions of people in 3rd world countries around the globe have). Taking some average bills from various places around the internet I’ve come up with a quick list:

Gas & electricity £1,009*
Water £360
Food £4,160 (at average of £80 per week)
Rent £9600 (as used in my examples)
Council Tax £1000 (as used in my examples)
Phone Line Rental £96**

Think I’ve missed something off the list? Yes, yes I have, and here are the rest of the items you’re thinking of:

Mobile Phone Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Internet Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Sky/Cable TV Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Beer/Wine/Spirits Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Cigarettes Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Nights out Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Shopping Spree Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Movie rentals Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Computer games Luxury, not a necessity: £0
New Sofa Luxury, not a necessity: £0
Hair Dye Luxury, not a necessity: £0

And don’t forget, quite importantly:

Contraception FREE

Why have I included a landline as a necessity and not a mobile? Well you need some way for an employer to contact you after a job interview other than by post, and a landline is the cheapest and most reliable option.

So, back to our calculations, that’s a total of £16,225 in expenditure, for our unemployed family that leaves £8,004 per year left over, or £667 per month. I fail to see how having £667 spare a month to spend on your child’s school clothing; school outings; shoes; stationary; along with any luxuries you want to purchase for yourself (beer, babysitter, cigarettes, etc), puts someone in the poverty bracket?

Here’s an illustration to further my point:

Moral of the story: Stop buying fags and booze; spend some money on your children instead.

* http://www.supermarket.co.uk/energy/average-electricity-bill-cost.html
** http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/displayTopic.do?topicId=31674&s_intcid=con_intban_hp_ph

:, , , ,

Leave a Reply

*