Grumpy Old Man Part 1
Made My Blood boil!
I got very annoyed one Friday listening to Radio 5. There was an interview with an Anna Taylor who was complaining that she would lose out to the tune of £89 per week if she got a job, rather than claiming benefit! This is a woman who has been “on the sick” for a number of years but is well enough to have given birth to five children in the last five years. Her husband/partner does not work either. Between them they “earn” in benefits the equivalent of an annual salary of £35k.
It made me so mad. She gets paid £35k per annum so that she and her partner can stay home 24/7 “bringing up” five kids under the age of five. I don’t know for sure, but I guess that £35k is probably more than a properly trained and qualified Nanny would earn. Someone who has worked hard to get a job as a Nanny.
What really grated was the woman’s attitude. Her whole defence was that she was only getting what she was entitled to and that it was ridiculous that she would be worse off if (and this is a huge, huge if) she got a proper job. I am sorry! The ridiculous thing is that the Government is willing to use my hard-earned tax contribution to fund a family of layabouts and enable them to afford five kids. As far as I am concerned there is an easy way to resolve this dilemma…Cut her benefits by a couple of hundred quid a week and force the parents out to work!!!
My mom and dad were hard up when they were bringing me and my sister up. My dad’s final year annual salary before retirement was less than my first year starting salary of twenty years ago. And he had worked for some 35 years for the same company! My mom often held down two jobs at a time to make ends meet. She took night shift work in factories so that she would always be at home when my sister and myself came home from school. And dad would be there when mom was at work. And, if dad had to work at night too, then a relative would be called upon to look after us.
The only Government benefit we got as a family was the family allowance and my university grant. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how lucky I was to have had my university education funded in this way. I’m not sure that I could have survived in this current world with loans and huge overdrafts.
But, even then, while a student, I topped funds up myself with two scholarships, that I earned, and by working every Summer holiday! Including a job stripping asbestos from a factory. Wearing full breathing apparatus with an industrial vacuum cleaner strapped to my back up the top of a ladder! And, another job cleaning out oil sumps under tyre presses during the industrial shutdown weeks in Birmingham.
That was one helluva job. It involved being lowered on a rope down a sump shaft that was about one metre square and several metres deep. It was so hot that we worked in ten minute shifts. Ten minutes down the sump and ten minutes on the rope. When in the sump, a bucket would be lowered and you had to dig out all of the gunk, rubber and oil at the bottom of the sump and pass the bucket past your face back up to the top. It was quite horrific when you got to the bottom. Rubber beetles live on this stuff. Rubber beetles are like a cockroach’s worst nightmare. Huge. Scary buggers! Not the kind of thing you want to pass by your face by the bucketful!
My mom and dad worked every hour that God sent; took every and any job that they could to put food on our table and to give my sister and I the opportunity to go to university. They worked hard. They never had a credit card and they only bought what they could afford and when they could afford to have it. They saved for things like camping holidays or for the colour TV. They saved so that they could afford their babies. They were hard working, working class, looking to do better for themselves and their kids.
And then this Anna Taylor comes along complaining that she can’t find a job paying her £35k per annum to bring up her five kids. She left school at 16 and she aspires to a salary that kids who have put themselves through university would aspire to. And, she sees it as an entitlement. She genuinely believes that she is doing her bit by bringing five kids into the world.
Indeed, many sprang to Anna’s defence on the radio chat show, explaining that with our increasingly elderly population, we’re more and more reliant upon children growing up and becoming the tax payers of the future to pay for our pension and health care. I’m sorry! It is actually the past generations not the future ones that have paid for my pension and health care. The past generations and the current workers such as myself.
And, are you really trying to convince me that these five kids, given the example of their not-so-hard-working or civic-minded parents will develop a strong work ethic, get themselves a good education and solid jobs, paying lots of taxes into future social-welfare funds. They will be unusual if they do. I so hope they prove me wrong. Or, is it more likely that we will have another five adults living off entitlements/benefits, producing other kids for the state to feed and clothe, while they sit around all day watching Sky Movies, Jeremy Kyle and Judge Judy on their huge plasma screens. I wonder.
Also, when did it become Government policy in this country to pay people to breed? C and I, unfortunately, have not been able to have children. Not through lack of trying. For many years my annual bonus, which is a reflection of how hard I worked, was spent on privately funding IVF or other fertility treatment, without success. £35k would pay for about ten such procedures, every year! Could you imagine the furore if people such as C and I got that.
So, Mr Brown, please review the benefit system in this country. Think a little more about the tax payers, the hard workers. I am not saying that we shouldn’t look after the weak, the poor and the needy. Indeed I am more than happy for my tax pounds to go towards the needy and to pay for the pensions and health care of those people who have worked hard all their lives. But, you cannot convince me that giving someone £35k is the answer to anything. That woman’s attitude is proof enough.
Why pay benefits for five kids? Why not limit it to two and force would-be parents to think about the consequences of their actions and to develop a social awareness? My mom and dad planned their family, why shouldn’t these? And, by planning, I mean they worked out if and when they could afford a family rather than whether or not the state benefits would cover the additional cost.
Why not make benefits conditional upon certain caveats, such as attending parenting classes, guaranteeing to take the kids to the park twice a week, the kids’ attendance rate at school, etc. And while I think about it, why don’t we bring back National Service? I don’t necessarily mean putting young men into the army and sending them off to fight an illegal war somewhere. But, why not work as hospital porters, or visiting the elderly in hospices, or as support staff in the fire service, the police, or painting civic buildings. Anything to give them a work ethic and a sense of pride and discipline. I think this would solve your ASBO culture and the underage pregnancy rate in one fell swoop.
It just makes my blood boil.
OK rant over. I think I’m turning into Jeremy Clarkson….
Entry filed under: childhood memories, Economy, Politics, rant, TV. Tags: anna taylor, ASBO culture, benefit class, benefit culture, Birmingham, family planning, government policy, grumpy, grumpy old man, jeremy clarkson, Jeremy Kyle, judge judy, national service, on the sick, parenting classes, radio 5, rant, rubber beetles, social decline, summer jobs, taxation, white trash, working class.