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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

British welfare cuts start to bite

Marie Buchan 31, has eight children and lives in Birmingham in the UK. In September this year, her benefits were cut by $A147.50 per week and Marie now finds it impossible to survive.

The relationship with the father of all the children broke down this year and she is now a single parent.  The children's ages range from 2 months to 12 years and she has to live on $A3597.66 a month. 

Marie was on the waiting list for a four bedroom house but lost her place when she fell behind in her rent. She sleeps with three of her children in one bedroom, another four share a second bedroom and one son has a third bedroom to himself.

She's already been to court once for rent arrears and currently still owes four weeks.  The logical next step is eviction.  'It's normal policy for social housing landlords not to transfer households to larger properties when there are rent arrears, especially at this level' a DWP spokesman said.

The British government had an epiphany and discovered that people like Marie were getting more in benefits than the average working family.  The Brits created an "entitlement" mentality that's goes back decades. There is really no incentive to work anymore in Britain, generations of losers have never had a job.

And Marie knows she doesn't need a husband, she can survive very well without one.  The British taxpayer guaranteed her a modest, comfortable lifestyle, up until September it was easy, but not anymore.

The benefits cap, introduced in September by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) means nobody gets more than 500 pounds a week ($A900) , no matter how many children they have.

"We've been working with claimants for 18 months to help them prepare for the cap" a DWP spokesman said. "Already 18,000 people potentially affected have been helped into work, as those receiving working tax credits are exempt."

The DWP estimates the radical reforms have led to 36,000 people trying to find work. 

The annual British welfare bill last year was 208 billion pounds,($A373,667,840,000.00).