State Benefits for Voluntary Unemployed

  brindly 16:00 09 Jan 2012


What I am at a loss to understand and I have submitted this question to newspapers and politician without answer is......when you receive benefit this should be viewed as unearned income and taxed as the humble worker who is taxed in his pay/salary. We hear of people gaining a state benefit income sometimes in the region of £100,000 per year and if you were working this would be taxed. The interest on my savings are taxed - because they are called unearned income - WHATS THE DIFF. PLEASE DO NOT THINK i AM AGAINST DISABLEMENT BENEFIT - I.m talking about idlers and people who say they are too fat to work or have headaches! Everybody should be taxed at the same rate laid down by law however their income is obtained

  Terry Brown 17:42 09 Jan 2012

According to government figures the money they receive is taxed at source (taxed before the get it) therefore the amount issued is actually higher than the stated amount. I assume that if they save any it will be taxed in the same way as anybody else.

What I object to is the fact that certain people who have children living elsewhere in the world can claim UK child allowance for them. I know (because I work with some of them) that a percentage of their money is send 'Home' to their family's elsewhere in the world.

I have no objection to looking after your family, but if the taxpayer is paying for an extended family- That is wrong!!


  brindly 19:47 09 Jan 2012

Sorry about the Maisy sig, slip of the pen, any thoughts on this subject are welcome.

Terry Brown: I am shocked, that would mean anyone receiving £90,000 would actually be getting the equivelent of £140,000 being taxed at 50% ??? Christ what a fool me and my wife have been working in excess of 50 years each, Sacrificing holidays and the like to be able to buy our house and have some savings in our old age.No wonder people from all over the world risk life and limb to get here.

  OTT_B 20:30 09 Jan 2012


Not all benefits are taxed at source; payments like JSA and SSP and Maternity pay are. Other benefits such as Council Tax benefits, tax credits and housing benefits are not.

I understand your point about long term unemployed people who milk the system with no intention of working, but the number of people this includes is quite small, as a percentage of the whole. In May 2011 there were 800,000 people who had been unemployed for more than a year. To bring that into perspective, there are 8 million people who are economically inactive (not in paid work, not retired and not claiming benefits) and 29 million people who are in paid work.

But from that 800,000 people, you need to remove the people who are genuinely trying to find work and those who genuinely can't work. What you'll be left with is a comparatively small number.

So, while I agree that 'benefit scroungers' (I don't like the phrase) should be curbed, you shouldn't over estimate then number of people involved, or the amounts they typically receive on a sustained basis.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:21 09 Jan 2012

I realise it may be somewhat controversial, but I am of the opinion that all public sector workers, i.e. anyone paid out of the public purse, pay no income tax. They are in fact tax consumers, not tax producers. Were this not true then the government could employ us all and the country would be financially secure overnight!


  OTT_B 21:44 09 Jan 2012

fourm member

Housing benefits don't usually work quite like that. The amount received is fixed according to the area you are in and the ages of the residents, and ages / genders of any children.

So, a 4 bed house in Chelsea will see up to £400 per week paid in housing benefits. But that would likely require a couple with 3 children of wide variation in age (e.g. 3 years, 10 years and 16 years old). If a couple with no children were living at the same house, the benefit entitlement would be closer to £225 per week (i.e. the 'average' amount of rent for a 1 bed house in the area, since a couple with no children only technically need single bedroom accommodation).

Exceptions are sometimes made by local authorities when no stock housing is available for families that need housing immediately. In the past this has involved the council paying full rents for some extremely expensive properties. That's when you see the press pouncing on the situation with over dramatised headlines. But these are the exceptions, not the rule. Personally I'd rather see these exceptions being made (providing they are well managed), than see a family homeless.

The benefits system s ridiculously complicated, but it needs to be to allow provisions to make sure that no one is left to rot. The major problems come through mis-management and when the people who are supposed to administer the system don't understand it....and that happens all too often.

  OTT_B 21:47 09 Jan 2012


I suspect that public employees pay tax because the government gets income from it - and that counts towards GDP. It's a good way to cook the books!

  Forum Editor 23:01 09 Jan 2012

"I suspect that public employees pay tax because the government gets income from it"

I don't know, but I guess they they might pay tax for two reasons.

  1. Different Ministries must account to the treasury, so PAYE contributions from civil servants go into the HMRC pot, and that goes to the treasury. Money to pay the staff comes from the treasury in the first place, so in effect it recoups some of the money it hands out. It keeps the accounting straight - money in,and money out.

  2. Civil servants don't all remain as public servants - lots of them move out into the private sector, and again it probably makes things easier for HMRC if they have a tax record for each person. It would add an extra administrative layer if they had to treat civil servants differently.

I'm guessing,as I said.

  Woolwell 23:22 09 Jan 2012

Government employees have income which may come only from the state or they may have other sources of income too eg interest, other employment and it is simpler to treat all the same. You also have to take into account tax allowances and how they vary for different people.

  Condom 00:18 10 Jan 2012

Terry Brown My best friend (UK born & bred) was killed in a car accident 2 years ago in northern Thailand. At the time his Thai wife was 8 months pregnant and they also had a 2 year old daughter.

I have absolutely no argument about her receiving maternity allowances for the two childen and widows benefit from the UK exchequer as he worked and paid his taxes like most good citizens do. Her income is now probably more than most of her fellow villagers earn which will also allow her to help her own parents but I know she would much prefer to have her husband than the money.

I had her to stay a few months ago while she was bringing some of his ashes back to his family in Guernsey and it was a delight to see her smiling and laughing again. Most benefits which the UK pay out go to the correct places but with any structure of this magnitude there will always be some who try and buck the system.

There is no easy way to stop all of this without harming the needy and every Government of all persuasions understnands this despite all the political rhetoric which eminates from time to time.

  sunnystaines 08:37 10 Jan 2012

there are so many genuine hardship cases out there we do not hear about. only the ones that are lazy or taking advantage or using fraud of the system get in the press.

i think its too complex and needs an overhaul to simplify it.

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