Friday, 2 May 2014

Why Is There Even ‘Debate’ About This?!

The debate over benefits claimants being denied money from a hardship fund if they smoke or own a satellite dish has reopened.
I … I just …
Rob Waltham, of the council's ruling Conservative group… "There is strong evidence to suggest that the spare room subsidy has stimulated a return to work among long term unemployed.
"Locally we have established a policy which supports residents with grant assistance. "There is, however, an eligibility criteria which prevents residents who smoke and have satellite television from securing this assistance.
"Conversely, if a resident has genuine need we do support them.
"I know of many residents who work hard every day and don't have these luxuries, and quite rightly they believe it is wrong to expect taxpayers to fund these life choices."
Well said!

13 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

What about those who enjoy the occasional pint or Big Mac? There's a risk of sliding into lifestyle fascism here.

The Cowboy Online said...

It isn't lifestyle fascism though, is it? Satellite television and smoking both require a degree of funding and they're not essentials. If you're looking for extra money to spend then cut the non-essentials, don't expect the taxpayer to foot the bill.

Budvar said...

I have a rather large satellite dish, motorised as a matter of fact. It doesn't cost me a dime. Do you mean "Have a sky/cable subscription"?

Budvar said...

Oh I think there's an element of lifestyle fascism alright, as Mudgie points out.

We in the west have come to expect a certain standard of living, and rightly so in my book. These eco-nutjobs wont be happy until we all take up Tee-pee living and a diet of gruel.

Rightwinggit said...

"I have a rather large satellite dish, motorised as a matter of fact. It doesn't cost me a dime. Do you mean "Have a sky/cable subscription"? "

Tell me, how do you decrypt the various feeds?

Are you being naughty?

Kath lissenden said...

As the partner of someone who is disabled and who get's care allowance of £50 a week for my 24/7 care of that partner (because he needs 24/7 care) we have what the council class as a spare bedroom, but it's not spare as I sleep in it, my partner is too ill for us to share a bed, this is not taken into consideration.
My partner will never be fit to work again and I can't work whilst he is ill. We have had some days during the winter where we cant have the heating on because we can't afford the gas.
We are in genuine hardship.
We don't want to live this way.
We have no TV at all let alone satellite and yes I do smoke but that doesn't make me a criminal or a bad person, I don't drink and smoking is the one thing I have. Some may term smoking a luxury but to me with the stress I am under it's a necessity.
So because I smoke and have a disabled partner that makes me a bad person and a criminal who does not deserve any sort of life.

andy5759 said...

I take the view that this could be the thin end of a very slippery slope. What claimants do with their hard-claimed is entirely up to them in this"free country". I claim Carers' Allowance, that's all, and I am considering subscribing to broadband (and stuff). Just lucky to have some savings, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Kath

More than a few people in Africa, Asia and South America suffer genuine hardship. They would describe everyone fortunate enough to live in western Europe and North America, as being incredibly well off.

But who cares about a few million foreigners, we don't see them, we don't care about them, far better to keep throwing money at other white people that moan about how unfortunate they are.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for your situation, Kath.

Like it or not, the council doesn't pay for your extra bedroom - somebody who works does. It's hard to believe, but taxpayers don't generally live in country piles. we live within our means, and if we can't, we are just as miserable as you.

The demonization of smokers is another matter. Successive governments have seen to it that only the wealthy and the poor smoke. The scum should shake their teeth out with Parkinson's.

Budvar said...

Oh yes Anon do let's throw money at the 3rd world.
Do you remember the "Live Aid" fiasco back in the 80s? The only thing that did was fund a civil war for a further 10 years...

Twenty_Rothmans said...

Rob Waltham, of the council's ruling Conservative group… blah blah blah
There is, however, an eligibility criteria which prevents residents who smoke and have satellite television from securing this assistance.


Illiterate twunt.

I don't mind people on benefits being told they can't smoke because they put the party into power that gave us the 2007 smoking ban. I'd like to know why he doesn't extend his fatwa to KFC, it's not as though he'll lose any votes...

JuliaM said...

"There's a risk of sliding into lifestyle fascism here."

As Cowboy Online points out, benefits are for essentials, not luxuries (though a Big Mac hardly counts, I suppose..).

"So because I smoke and have a disabled partner that makes me a bad person and a criminal who does not deserve any sort of life."

No, not at all, but there are other (free) pleasures to be had, so smoking is - rightly - classed as unnecessary.

"I don't mind people on benefits being told they can't smoke because they put the party into power that gave us the 2007 smoking ban."

Damn good point!

Curmudgeon said...

"As Cowboy Online points out, benefits are for essentials, not luxuries"

I accept this applies to things like a SkyTV subscription which involves a specific monthly expenditure that can easily be cancelled.

But if you start saying people can't have any benefits simply because they do certain things (which may not actually involve much expenditure) then it is becoming judgmental.

If someone is seen having a single fag, which someone else might have given to them, is that cause to stop their benefits? Also bear in mind that giving up smoking is not necessarily easy.

I would prefer the approach of saying "here's some benefits, it's up to you what you spend them on, but if you spend them on luxuries rather than essentials don't come back whining that you want some more."