Umm, yes, and?

They will be forced to work even if their partner is employed but has their wages topped up with universal credit; in other words, if your partner is forced to work for such poverty wages that they have to be augmented by benefits, then you too must work, generally also for poverty wages. The childcare may ostensibly be free, but it comes at considerable cost for many of the poorest in the land.

This is to distinguish between the deserving poor – those who are trying but can’t make it – and the undeserving – those not trying. Before asking for other peoples’ taxes at gunpoint, a useful enough distinction to make.

And?

11 thoughts on “Umm, yes, and?”

  1. Under new rules, parents in receipt of universal credit can be docked benefits if they are not available for work up to 30 hours a week once their youngest child turns three.

    How many jobs are 30 hours per week, 9-3 (school hours), term-time only? In practice these parents merely have to be *available* for these non-existent jobs; not actually in work.

  2. Hold on, I’m only on my first cup of tea, so I’m not up to speed yet. But are they complaining that in order to get government-funded childcare during working hours, the condition is that you must be going to work?

  3. ” But are they complaining that in order to get government-funded childcare during working hours, the condition is that you must be going to work?”

    I think the complaint is that if one partner goes out to work, and their earnings are low enough to qualify for UC, then the other partner has to go out to work too, as a condition to get that UC.

    Basically, hubby can’t go out to work for minimum wage (and get his wages made up by UC to pay for all his household expenses etc) while wifey sits at home looking after said kids. She has to go out and get a job and put the kids in a nursery.

    Which kind of makes sense. UC is a ‘household needs’ based benefit, so it hardly makes sense to allow one element of the household to sit at home doing nothing (and paid for by the taxpayer) when they could be contributing to the household income with some work.

    The article seems to be basically say that one person in a 2 adult household should be paid in work benefits that allows the other person to live for free without working at all. Which seems a rather generous incentive for lots of people (mostly women) not to work at all.

  4. From the point of view of the children, and eventually of society at large, being looked after in the early years by a mother is better than being “looked after” in a nursery.
    Paying NIC from one pocket and getting UC in the other is plainly ridiculous.

  5. “From the point of view of the children, and eventually of society at large, being looked after in the early years by a mother is better than being “looked after” in a nursery.”

    Well in that case you have to accept that the Guardian has a point then. Maybe for all the wrong reasons, but still a point…….

  6. By the time kids are 3 they should be socialising with other kids. It used to be the mothers would natter and the kids would all play together in the street, but that doesn’t really work any more. Hence nursery places.

  7. A good point Ted:
    for a median wage earner, marginal income taxation is 38.5% on any additional income you earn stroke generate for your employer.
    You can’t transfer all your tax allowance to your spouse, unlike the Isle Of Man.
    Childcare expensive anyway, but at the margins the financial incentives to split up e.g. 25% of your property tax, lone parent premiums in the calculation of benefit claims, can mean fewer couples stick together and fewer grandparents are around to provide for free when called on nicely.
    The applicable allowance in UC for a couple is 84.80/single 133.80/couple (should be 169.60/couple).
    Housing the most expensive per sq.m in Europe – down to nationalised government restrictions including on height.
    The UK is phucked – congrats on winning Independence from us colonisers in the 1770s, try to keep it so.

  8. If the complaint is “the benefits system won’t allow me to work and the missus to look after the kids”, then I’m tending to agree. Without insisting that it should be imposed on people, hubby *should* be able to earn enough to keep wifey at home looking after the kids. (Shuffle placeholder labels of household members to taste) It shouldn’t be the case that people *need* two incomes to run a household (rather than chosing to have such an expensive household that two incomes are needed to run it).

  9. @ Andrew M
    A key phrase is “up to” – so if there’s a job dishing out school meals in term-time Mum needs a good reason for turning it down. There are only few jobs at exactly 30 hours per week (or 50 hours per week) but plenty < 30 hours.

  10. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    “By the time kids are 3 they should be socialising with other kids.”

    It’s almost as if some terrible mass insanity descended upon us the last 3 years to kibosh that. Can’t put my finger on it.

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