Bad things happen to good people

by workshyscrounger

I just read a comment under a sensible article about the benefit cap:

Claudia asks “Should we take potential economic downturns into account when we plan our families?”. Well, Claudia – yes. And where we live. And what the job prospects are where we live. It’s called living and planning within your means and it’s something we need to get back to.

Let’s assume that my partner and I both work and have an average income. Before deciding to have children, we’d have to consider the following possibilities:
– redundancy (eg main employer outsources or factory is closed)
– becoming disabled
– our area being “regenerated” and our rent going through the roof
– the pregnancy resulting in twins when we only planned one child
– stock market crash wiping all our investments
– my partner or I dying and leaving the other with one income and then losing even that because of their inflexibility due to childcare commitments
– my or his parents needing 24/7 care and one of us having to quit work leaving us with one income

There’s probably thousands more scenarios to consider. Following the commenter’s logic, I cannot guarantee that none of these will happen and I have no resources to cope with the fallout (who does?) and therefore should not have children.

Beveridge created social insurance. As with any insurance, you pay the premiums so that when the unthinkable happens, you have a support net. However, you might never have to resort to it. Being jealous of benefit claimants is like telling your neighbour whose house burnt down that at least now they can get new furniture and be housed in a substandard B&B until their claim comes through.

What fun – it’s like going on holidays!

Whereas you have to live in your boring old flat and the sofa is looking a bit tired. I hear bold prints are in fashion this year.

Most benefit claimants are not fraudsters. Most benefit claimants do go back to work. Benefits are not a lifestyle choice – just calculate how much you would get. Living on benefits is not a matter of buying value products – it’s waiting till even they are reduced. The biggest chunk of welfare are pensions. There are many disabled people who cannot work even though they would want to. There are more people seeking employment than there are vacancies. One hundred percent employment is not possible. ANYONE might end up on benefits tomorrow – fate is fickle. Tragedy happens all the time.

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