Yesterday I made a knee-jerk reaction post on Facebook to a report I saw on the news. It highlighted the plight of many families who are going to be directly affected by the benefit cap brought in across the UK later in the year.
The report showed one woman with numerous children (I don’t recall if she had a partner or how many kids, some mentioned maybe 6) complaining how she will struggle to live on £1300 a month, this is AFTER her major bills (rent, gas, electric etc) have been paid. In hindsight, I maybe should not have been so critical of this particular woman who appeared on TV in two different official Arsenal shirts and who’s children were dressed in rather expensive ski jackets. I say this because I do not know her individual circumstances but I used her as an example of how I hardly saw this as “living on the bread line”.
This comment caused somewhat of a stir on my Facebook wall with over 70 replies and viewed by over 7800 people (*edit – 8300 and rising). Many of the comments mirrored my own initial thoughts about how crazy this seemed, and it also provoked a lot of talk about people needing to wake up to what the government are doing and why it is unjust that the ‘fat cats’ get millions in bonuses and expenses while ‘we’ all suffer. There were one or two (IMO) unjust remarks about people not being allowed to have kids, but again there IS some weight in this comment too in certain circumstances.
I am nowhere near qualified to get into a political debate. To me all politicians are as bad as each other and whilst some people condemned society for adopting an “I’m alright Jack” attitude, I also think that sometimes this is the only way to make sure you are taken care of how you deserve to be. This does not mean I am a selfish person, far from it. It has been pointed out to me by many people I am a ‘sharer’. Don’t even think about asking me for a chip though ! I believe in helping others where possible, but help them to help themselves.
The benefit system in the UK is totally screwed, from what I can gather. I have first hand experience of friends and family who would not be able to survive without the benefits they get and yet I also have friends and family who have done nothing to better themselves because of the help they have received down the years. Controversial ? Maybe. Offensive ? Not intentionally, but again – Maybe.
I totally understand why someone would resent working a 40 hour week to earn less or the same as what they get on benefit for doing absolutely nothing, but these people have no vision. Unfortunately they won’t see the error of their ways until it’s too late.
I could go on and on here about various examples of cheating the system, the winners and the losers, personal tales of life growing up. I know what it is like to have no money. If you follow my blog or listen to my various podcasts you will know I am able to talk from experience and have a voice on the matter, so I have no problem in doing so. I commend anyone that fights the power and believes they can make a difference on the grand scheme of things, I admire their passion and commitment, although I really don’t see anything changing soon.
I fear for the future like everyone does. I am guilty of burying my head in the sand at times. I don’t know what lies around the corner but I do know that waking up to the news of the horrendous explosions in Boston makes me grateful for every breath I take and that those close to me are safe.
I, as I’m sure you do, know people currently fighting a battle against terminal illness, mental health issues, against crippling debt and the fear of losing their homes. A 20 something year old mother was found dead yesterday at the foot of a high rise car-park with no signs of foul play, I won’t say what appears to be the obvious, but her 3 children were found dead at her home and it now comes to light she was 8 months pregnant. THAT is hardship right there.
My thoughts this morning go out to the people who are REALLY struggling in life. That is all I am trying to say.