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  • Property-a-holics

    Millions of working families one push from penury

    This article picks up on something I touched on in a related thread, questioning the taxation of low incomes especially of parents using the example of a friend: single mum, working, gross income £1600, net £1200 trying to provide for 2 young kids.

    Read the whole article here

    Almost 7 million working-age adults are living in extreme financial stress, one small push from penury, despite being in employment and largely independent of state support, according to the most comprehensive study yet of the finances of employed households, commissioned by the Guardian.

    Unlike the "squeezed middle", these 3.6m British households have little or no savings, nor equity in their homes, and struggle at the end of each month to feed themselves and their children adequately. They say they are unable to cope on their current incomes and have no assets to fall back on, leaving them vulnerable to something as simple as an unexpectedly large fuel bill.

    The findings challenge the argument made by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, who said last week that parents should get a job to ensure their children are not brought up in poverty.

    "These figures are a mega-indictment on the mantra of both political parties, that work is the route out of poverty," said Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead and former welfare minister who is now the coalition's poverty tsar. "What's shocking about this is that these are people who want to work and are working but who, despite putting their faith in the politicians' mantra, find themselves in another cul-de-sac. Recent welfare cuts and policy changes make it difficult to advise these people where they should turn to get out of it: it really is genuinely shocking."

    This group are "traditionally proud, self-reliant, working people", said Bruno Rost, head of Experian Public Sector, who used more than 400 variables from Experian's database and government research to identify those belonging to At-Risk Britain. After removing from the research households in the "most deprived" categories, Rost's team focused on those working but are nevertheless suffering high levels of financial stress.

    He also looked at respondents' attitudes, behaviour and outlook.

    "These are the new working class – except the work they do no longer pays," Rost added. "These people say that being forced to claim benefits or move into a council property would be the worst kind of social ignominy and self-failure."

    Challenging the government's claim that people are better off in work than on benefits, the exclusive research found that 2.2 million children live in families teetering on an economic cliff-edge – despite one or both adults earning a low to middle income. The households in trouble include couples without children who earn a gross annual income of between £12,000 and £29,000, or couples with two children on between £17,000 and £41,000.

    Revealing thathaving a job is no protection against homelessness and destitution in modern-day Britain, the findings challenge David Cameron's claim to be committed to "a fair society in which effort is rewarded [and] work pays".

    The findings echo a report by Oxfam last week that more people in poverty were working than unemployed and the number in work but claiming housing benefit had more than doubled since 2005, to nearly 900,000. People in work were increasingly turning to charities for help, Oxfam said, with thousands more accessing food banks this year than last.

    (For the rest of the article follow link above)


    If a family on benefit can receive up to £26000 where is the incentive to work. and everything is paid for?

    How many families combined earn £26000?

    Anyone earning less would be better off on benefits.As for some of these people saying they would suffer social ignominy and consider it social failure, I don't believe that is the way the should look at things.

    It would not be their fault they find themselves in such circumstances.

    The economy is flooded with immigrants reducing wage levels so that it is not possible to make work pay.

    I don't blame them giving up the unequal struggle.

    Unless the job you have pays significantly more than what someone on benefits could achieve it really is NOT worth working.,

    I don't and wouldn't consider that was their fault.

    They would be just a victim of of political policies and not themselves responsible.

    They should therefore not think they are failures nor should they feel  any sort of social stigma.

    I think that is largely self-imagined anyway.

    People understand the way things are and don't blame these people..

    The system needs to change.

    Stopping EU migration is the first thing to do.

    Whether you like it or not it is a fact that this migration has taken jobs that should be done by British citizens.

    The free movement of labour has proven to be an unmitigated disaster for lower waged people.

    They have efectively been side-lined from these migrant jobs and are now forced to remain on benefits as it is just not worth working anymore.

    This costs the govt a fortune in benefits

    This policy is madness.

    This is not to blame the EU migrants themselves.

    Had I been one I would have come to the UK aswell.

    Govt policy must change regarding immigration.

    Work will not pay despite their attempts to make it so.

    Wage levels at the lower end of the market need to substantially rise to make it worthwhile to come off benefits.

    Therefore the minimum wage needs to rise to a living wage of say £8 ph rand to be increaqsed.

    Benefits shoulkd be progressively reduced so that it is just about tolerable but no more so , to encourage people back to work on the new 'living wage'

    Of course NONE of this will happen so expect the govt welfare bill to increase even more and for even more EU migrants to come here.