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Benefit rules

Nick Robinson | 12:56 UK time, Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Changes to benefit rules (to allow people to earn more before they lose housing and council tax benefit) together with increases to child benefit and child tax credit are designed to get the government back on course to meet their target to halve child poverty by 2010.


  • 1.
  • At 01:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Charles E Hardwidge wrote:

This is a welcome change. Investing in loss, or the low road, returns opportunity from the rich to the poor who will be more able to succeed, play an active role in society, and contribute towards long-term wealth creation and national wellbeing.

  • 2.
  • At 01:15 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Helen wrote:

My husband earns 18,000 a year and i have taken 5 years off work to be stay at home mum, we have a mortgage and only receive child benefit and working tax credits, which is £130.00 a month. I am not entitled to job seekers although i have worked from the age of 17 to 34 and want to go back to work part time this is proving difficult due to child care costs and not being offered any help with this. Because i am not one of the governments statistics, ie not showing as unemployed how is this budget going to help my husband and me and how do these people get all these benefits when they have never worked.

  • 3.
  • At 01:38 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Benefits should be cut and preferably cease to those families who only breed for the sake of "government" money. If you cannot afford to have children, DONT.

  • 4.
  • At 01:39 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • John McCollum wrote:

Working as I do with those having come through the care system now looking for work and homes, this, depending on the significance of the changes involved, could really make a huge difference to the chances of successfully achieving real progress.

  • 5.
  • At 01:44 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • angela wrote:

it will work as long as illegal immigrants don't cash in on this. children deserve to have thesebenefits and help from the government.

  • 6.
  • At 01:44 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Rebecca wrote:

A good move and one that is about 20 years late IMHO, since it was mooted in the early eighties.

The welfare trap is a serious brake on the economy since for a single parent to return to work would require somewhere in the region of £30k pa to compensate fully for loss of benefits.

I hope that the footsoldiers of the Government Gang in Whitehall do not louse it up

  • 7.
  • At 01:47 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • angela wrote:

it will work as long as illegal immigrants don't cash in on this. children deserve to have thesebenefits and help from the government.

  • 8.
  • At 01:48 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • paul wrote:

If a job doesn't justify paying a living wage it shouldn't be part of our economy - either the job isn't really needed and goes, or it is and will become better paid.

If someone is working they should not need benefits - is is just a dependency culture that gives the government more control over the british public, rather than the public being in control of the government.

  • 9.
  • At 01:59 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Des Fogerty wrote:

How exactly does the government define and measure 'child poverty'?

  • 10.
  • At 02:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Tony Humphreys wrote:

Yet another headline grabbing statement which is so far from the reality it is silly.
There are a majority now living solely on benefits simply because they get enough to live comfortably on without looking for work.
Its not that they will aspire to want more, they are comfortable doing nothing now. We need to make it harder for them, so they need to go to work. If that means their children are plunged into poverty, then get hard on them to provide, not give them my money to do nothing.
This policy will just make the gap between the tax payer and the work shy even wider.

  • 11.
  • At 02:29 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Thomson wrote:

This is more about taking from those who work hard to give to those who don't and to pay for the pensions of politicians, civil servants and local government staff so that they will (continue to) vote for MPs who will keep them in unstressed luxury.

  • 12.
  • At 02:59 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

Why doesn’t the Government introduce legislation that if people on Jobseekers Allowance don't get a job within a year then they get no money? I as a tax payer am not prepared any longer to go and work 40 hour weeks while people sit at home and accept Jobseekers Allowance for doing nothing. Most of them anyway probably are working as gardeners or cleaners.

  • 13.
  • At 03:20 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Mrs A Turtle wrote:

can i just point out that families on income support do not benifit from a rise in child benifit as income support dept class child benifit as income and deduct child benifit payents from there income suport payments pound for pound, so if a family receives £75.00 a week entitlement the weekly rate of child benifit is taken of thus putting up child benifit does not make these families any better off.

  • 14.
  • At 04:15 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Janet Farquharson wrote:

I agree with some of the previous comments, I also think that when people come to this country they should not be allowed to go on benefits till they have put some money into the kitty. Other countries do not allow people to go to their country unless they can afford to keep themselves or have someone there who can keep them. Re once again having a go at people on incapacity whilst I know there are some people on it that should not be, these people are very seldom the ones that get the hassle. Most people on incapacity have worked in my case I had a very high powered job which I loved with a very high salary, I developed a few conditions that make it impossible for me to work, unless I could get a job that let me take days off when I cant get out of bed or start late because it takes me so long to get up and dressed plus a lot of other factors, as I said I got a good salary and if it had been possible for me to continue to the burks at parliment think I would give this up for the pittance I get from incapacity, people who are long term social get alsorts of help with glasses and dentists (if you can get one) but long term incapacity do not get any help with this my husband worked until he was 70 and diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, because he worked at times on sites where his salary put him in the supertax band so he paid more in to the kitty which gives him a few pound more on his pension, this made us 5pence over the limit to get any help. I am not moaning about my lot but it makes my blood boil when you hear how much it costs to keep some young yob in prison, the government should be doing something to make kids go to work, then overhaul the dole lot then look at long term incapacity if they could get me a job that would fit in with my condition believe me I would love to work, I was asked to attend a series of 3 interview to get me back to work, the best they could offer me was proof reading!!! and asked me to go self employed bet all these people who come into the country either legal or illegal do not get harrased,.

  • 15.
  • At 04:23 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Janet Farquharson wrote:

what a load of nonsense do the government really think that people on long term incapacity dont want to work most of us have had good jobs I was in a very senior position with a world wide company and had an fantastic salary I ended up with 3 disabilitating conditions which means I need help getting out of bed and getting ready, i cant drive long ditances some days I am fit for nothing, (not depression) and I get a pittance for not being able to work, all this is going to do is put pressure on already vunerable people, who really do not need it, unlike being on social security or jobseekers i do not get help with my council tax, dentist (if you can find one) glasses, the list goes on. My husband worked till he was 70 then we sold our lovely house to pay off the morgage we bought one with the profit we made off the house but nothing like we were used to but at least we will have a roof over our head, I agree there are some people who should not be on invalidity but how did they get there. Also the biggest drain on our country is keeping all the incomers we would not be able to go to their country and get benefits I say charity begins a home the government should remember than.

  • 16.
  • At 05:03 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Julia Spence wrote:

Why are we made to wait until next April for the rise in Child benefit. If you are going to put it up why not this April. If in a job you were told you were having a pay rise but not for a year there would be uproar, but no we just take it as read.

  • 17.
  • At 05:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Bradley Martin wrote:

Why if tax on alcohol and cigarettes can be added immediately, do we have to wait 18 months before families on benefit must work to get more money?

  • 18.
  • At 05:51 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jon Doe wrote:

Regarding benefits, I was on IB, having previously been on a very good income. The Govt must be insane in thinking that I would have given up a £47k pa job to be receiving £4.5k pa!. I recently returned to work as I HATE being on benefit, had no support whatsoever, the job didn't work out as I returned too early, and here I am left in limbo, and have to start the process all over again, much to my humiliation, despite the assurances that were given when I discussed wishing to return to work with the liars at the DWP.
Typically of this Government & departments, the goalposts were moved and their word was/ is not honoured.

Having seen certain expose s of statistics, particularly for IB, I think it is a fact that more than 40% of Pakistani and Somalian immigrants are claiming.....
yet which group are the Govt. targetting, you guessed it, the indigenous population. They need to look elsewhere.

Try getting legal aid,it is nearly impossible if you own (or have a mortgage on) a property, yet the UK can afford Cherie Blair et al to represent foreign nationals at taxpayers expense, when I can't even get access to an NHS dentist or an MRI scan.

Yet they are happy to take V.E.D. off me at exhorbitant rates and at what looks to be retrospectively under the proposed 'green' sham, capitalising on the fact that despite living rurally and needing a car, I have no chance of affording something newer.

This is of course based on the flimsiest of evidence and dodgey computer models and reports sponsored by HM treasury (Stern)

Why are the polar ice caps melting on Mars? must be too many gas guzzlers there! Yet the IPCC refused the Danish request to take solar activity into account regarding climate change. The geological record shows the truth (tillites etc)

  • 19.
  • At 06:48 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • David Shapcott wrote:

Stop Immigration then we could afford to give pensioners a better deal. All immigrants know that Britain is a soft touch thats why 90% of third world immigrants head for the UK!!

  • 20.
  • At 08:41 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • mrs n rosevere wrote:

the rise in fuel bill is a welcome for the over 60s but what about the disabled! i am 57yrs and i have been registered disabled for some years. i need my heating during these cold winters and my bills are sometimes 300+ a quarter with storage heaters "WHY DO DISABLED PEOPLE NOT QUALIFY FOR SOME FORM OF HEATING ALLOWANCE"!

  • 21.
  • At 08:51 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • john fairest wrote:

For those of us that earn less than 15.000 a 4% rise is not by definition keeping up with the increases that the government and utilitees increase are living costs by. however signing on isnt an option . End result fighting the debt issue til we are successfull in finding a new position

  • 22.
  • At 09:02 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Barry Bishop wrote:

Child Benefit.
Can anyone tell me if this money really does reach the child?
Or is where I live the norm with child benefit - more fags, more booze and more bets for the parents?

  • 23.
  • At 09:03 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • imfedup2 wrote:

£18000 per year plus £130 per month for one child.I have worked for 52 years and reared a child without family allowance. My state pension rises to £90 per week which is £4500 per year or £4750 with heating allowance. Don't tell me about poverty pensioners have paid in more than any yet are continualy left behind

Thats Vicky Pollard and Jermaine sorted then :)


3rd Earl

  • 25.
  • At 10:38 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Annette Brandwood wrote:

I am a divorced mother of two girls aged 15 & 18 the youngest daughter has gone to live with her father & the eldest girl lives with me & my partner . I work part time & have a mortgage & pay for all the bills, my partner pays for the food. My eldest daughter is in full time education which she has been in since leaving high school, I do not receive a penny of benefits for her ie: Child Benefit, Recently my ex-husband has claimed CSA from me & I have been told by the CSA that it doesn't matter how much my mortgage is that I have to pay for, as this is not taken into consideration, neither is any of the bills that come in. So it looks like my eldest daughter will have to abandon her further education to try & get a job, otherwise we will lose our house. The system makes my blood boil. I have never asked for hand-outs, but when I am told that I should be able to claim Working Tax, Child Tax & Child Benefit,because of a low wage, it works out that we are earning a few pound more than the legal requirement.

  • 26.
  • At 12:15 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Clive Solby wrote:

Not sure I would want to work alongside some of the morons out there anyway. How about linking benefits to crime reduction. If you commit crime then you lose a percentage of your benefit. caught three times then lose it all. Most of them are already robbing and taking benefits If you go to prison then no benefits for 6 months on release If caught as drug dealer etc and are on benefits then any occupants of that premises pay back every penny plus interest or goods removed plus loss of tenancy. This government have not the backbone to reduce crime but penalise genuine benefit claimants while dishing out punitive punishments to those wrecking our lives. Just read the headlines today to see the sort of people in our society.

  • 27.
  • At 03:09 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Laura McLaren wrote:

I can't believe all the hard hearted and/or amateur Dr's these debates draw out. I'm disabled and went throught the hoopla of claimimg DLA and believe me I'm not living a life of luxury - the extra money is the difference between myself and my 8yr old living in poverty (yes it exists in this country) - the Child Benefit increase won't make a difference to me as it's deducted from your Income Support as prev stated. CHild Benefit should be means tested and the most money go to the lowest imcome children and make a real difference.

Goods and services are going up in price far further than my income. I pay Gas. Electric and Water, Food, Telephone etc same as any working or rich person just my proportion is higher due to low income.

When my son is off school I worry because he won't get his school meal that day and I have to feed him and go without myself, this doesn't help my health much.

I'm 29, I had higher ambition for myself than living like this as do the majority on Benefit and I don't agree that getting us all jobs will be that easy. In the real world employers want dependable people and despite ehat they would say in public privately don't want to employ the disabled esp mentally ill.

  • 28.
  • At 04:07 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • dominic oremus wrote:

Just used the bbc calculator(budget).
If i earned £30,000 a year i would be £293.00 better off,wait for it!,on earnings of £10,000 a year i would be £107.00 worse off.Where is the fairness.The low paid are once again feeling the screw turning.

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