Thursday, 1 November 2012

Hello- and what do you think? (Snappy title, eh?)

On a whim I'm jumping on the blogging bandwagon...so this may be the only post that ever gets written. I have no plan and no theme...so this may degenerate into photos of the menagerie doing 'cute stuff'.

Anyhow, I was watching Sky News paper review this morning, and one of the guests (whose name I  can't remember) picked this story to talk about: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2225987/Angela-Epsteins-furious-attack-Government-My-family-losing-child-benefit-just-earning-100k.html
 The guest was very unsympathetic to the view in this article- which I am too. Not so much because as a non-child owning person I resent paying for other people's children (which was the view of lady on t'telly) but because I am flabbergasted that you could perceive that you need an extra £1,700 per year when you earn £100K. I'm not sure I could manage to spend £100,000 per year! (Ok, that is a lie- I would have a horse and a great big shiny horse box).
If we accept the premise that we as a country need to spend less on benefits (which I am sure not everyone does), a cut like this seems like a reasonable way to do it- providing that make it means tested does not cost more in admin than it saves. Also- it would possible be fairer if it was done on household income, rather than there being a cut if one parent earns over a certain amount.

I may be totally alone in this- if Eamon Holmes is to be believed- as he seemed to think that 'the nation' would agree with Jackie the sports presenter who had 'some sympathy' with the author of the article. (Although said sports presenter thought that having a MacDonalds in the athletes village at the Olympics was not at all weird, so I reckon I'm not going to agree with her very often!)

Is my idea of a resonable income completely off? Or should I just stop watching Sky News...?

4 comments:

  1. Hi
    I do get your view, the problem is, as middle earers, confortable but not rich, we constantly get squeezed, it is the only benefit we are entitled to and easy to take away. We may not need it you say, but I would rather see them deal with tax avoidance loopholes. If vodafone, Starbucks, Boots, top shop, gary Barlow, to name but a few all paid tax as due in UK then deficit would be solved. It just seems that atking on the mgarich is not an option, yet squeezing more from the hardworkers in the form of tax rises, pension contribution rises with actual pension cuts, removal of childbenefit and pay freezers for vital public workers such as nurses, police. teachers and social services....well, that's fine!

    rant over, its not that I totally disagree but......

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    Replies
    1. I definitely agree with you on the loophole closing and taxing the mega rich (although £100K seems fairly rich to me!) and if that did solve the debt problem then no problem with keeping it as a universal benefit.
      I suppose the real issue that I have is that in my head, benefits are for the hard up, and I can't make 100K equal strapped for cash...

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  2. OK... my mind is blown. You mean to tell me that everyone in the UK gets a child benefit from the government regardless of income level?!? Plus, everybody gets free health care? I think we're living in polar opposite universes!

    Guess I have mixed feelings about it - and since I don't have any idea how £100K translates to US dollars, I can't really comment on the income levels. Part of me thinks it would be amazing to live in a country that had such benefits to begin with - can't imagine it actually. But part of me thinks it's sort of silly to give government benefits to people who obviously don't need them. Maybe it would make more sense to provide services like child care free of charge to everyone?

    I do admit that as someone who is child free by choice I do get a tad bit annoyed by having to support everyone else's kids - at the same time, I recognize that paying for public education isn't really paying to educate your own kids, it's paying to live in an educated society.

    Gonna have to mull this one over for a while...

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  3. Yup- also all people over 60 get a bus pass. And the winter fuel allowance (although there was some talk of cutting those too- but the admin involved in making them means tested makes it cheaper to just pay it to everyone).

    £100K is about $160K to give you an idea. Not sure how much more tax you'd pay on that here compared to the US (especially as the family in the article are duel income, so it gets more complicated...)

    The welfare state is pretty amazing- we do take the NHS and its amazingness for granted! I am not sure if the treatment and care in the US is better for being private or not. I always get annoyed and defensive of the NHS when I hear politicians in the US saying how dreadful systems like the NHS are- how can it be bad that when something happens- like when I got bitten by a dog last year- I just go to hospital, get stitched up, get given a big pack of antibiotics, and have weeks of appointments with nurses and it costs me nothing (well, obviously we pay through taxes, but I don't have to work out if I can afford treatment!)

    Anyway- I think it would make a lot of sense to have free childcare. You have to earn about £20K plus to make it financially worthwhile to go back to work (this is a bit of a guess, but I definitely know that if I had a child I would probably spend more on childcare than I earn).

    I've never thought of paying for other people's children's education as a problem- probably because, as you say, you might not like the society you get if education was not free!

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