mirrorshard: (Default)
If you resent minimum wage requirements, and you also resent the size of the housing benefit bill, you are not only an arrant hypocrite, but a rather foolish one. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be that uncommon in the general public, who have apparently not grasped some fairly simple facts.

1) Most people who are claiming housing benefit are in work. They're claiming housing benefit because their employers are not paying them enough for them to pay their rent along with all the other useful things in life. There are a number of entirely legal ways to do this, ranging from zero-hours contracts (where you might work 20 hours a week at minimum wage, and take home £130, or you might not work at all) to "apprenticeship" positions paying £2.50 an hour. Or, indeed, paying a full-time minimum wage to someone who is trying to support a family on it.
and five more points )
mirrorshard: (Default)
Or, Why filling in the forms really is hard work, and why the process sent my mental health spiralling downwards.

A lot of you, O my readership, have been on government benefits or had a partner or close friend who has, and for you there is no need to explain that it really is unpleasant, counterproductive, interminable, and soul-destroying. On the other hand, there's a pervasive sense amongst some sections of the British public (and the media) that benefits are money for old rope; all you have to do is fill in a couple of forms, turn up to a couple of interviews, and then you're living the life of Riley.

So here's how it works. )


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