It’s a fact. People living on benefits are having the time of their lives—and at the expense of the public purse too. These lazy skivers are scrounging so much state money that they don’t need to work. They lumber around all day every day, eating takeaways, drinking beer and watching their flat screen TVs while their countless kids do nothing but play on their top-of-the range gaming consoles and smart phones.
The only time they’re put out is when they have to sign on at the Jobs and Benefits office, which they always drive to in their BMWs—in case you didn’t know it, the BMW is the car of choice for people signing on.
Who needs to work when you can get more on benefits than the honest-to-goodness strivers who are out there working hard and paying their own way?
But let’s break it down. Just how good is life on benefits?
Well, let’s take a typical skiver, a single person, over 25, claiming Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit. That Jobseeker gets a handsome sum of £7,602.40 per year, or £146.20 per week no less. Of course, about £73.10 goes straight to the jobseeker’s landlord. In reality, our Jobseeker lives off £73.10 a week minus another £10 or £20 which goes to the landlord because housing benefit doesn’t foot the full rent. So, what we’re looking at here is a hefty annual income of between £2,761.20 and £3,281.20.
But there are bigger rewards to be had from the benefits system.
What about the skivers who are making a killing by having kids? What about a lone parent; over 25; with a child under 5; and private renting? Well, every week they get Income Support of £73.10, Child Tax Credits of £63.94, Child Benefit of £20.70 and Housing Benefit of around £89.53. Leaving out the Housing Benefit, since that goes to the landlord, they get a weekly sum of £157.74—although that’s before paying out the £10 or £20 top-up for the rent—that gives a grand total of £8,202.48 per year.
A person could have a great time on that amount of money. But it doesn’t end there. Some people get even more.
Say there’s a family made up of an unemployed couple; renting; with five children, two of whom have severe disabilities and are receiving high rates of Disability Living Allowance; and one parent receiving carer’s allowance. Or it might be a couple; renting; with five children; both parents and one child all with a disability; one child and one parent both receiving high rates of Disability Living Allowance; the other parent receiving mid-rate of Disability Living Allowance. Those lucky families could be in receipt of benefits around £50,000.
Granted, these higher benefits are paid to cover extra expenses resulting from their disabilities, making them necessary to keep the family out of severe poverty and allow them to live life with some dignity. But still, they must be having a ball on £50,000, right?
Now, let’s return to our average jobseeker. How does their income compare against the highest incomes, the incomes of say, a top footballer or the CEO of a bank or a big corporation? Well, a top footballer can earn up to £160,000 per week; the CEO of a big corporation can earn about £150,000 per week (that’s about 130 times more than the lowest paid employee); the CEO of a bank earns a mere £60,000 per week on average.
Okay, salaries like that are somewhat more than £73.10 a week but those big earners are so talented, so uniquely skilled, so hard working, so valuable to society in the services they offer, that they surely deserve the income they get. A society that allows many, many people to live on less than £100 per week while a privileged few get by on over £100,000 is surely a great place to live.
It has to be the reason why people on benefits are living it large. I just wish I didn’t have a job and could claim benefits too. Don’t you?
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