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This is a question First World Problems

Onemunki says: We live in a world of genuine tragedy, starvation and terror. So, after hearing stories of cruise line passengers complaining at the air conditioning breaking down, what stories of sheer single-minded self-pity get your goat?

(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 12:00)
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Come on folks, it's not that hard
People on £40+k per annum don't need chid benefit and never HAVE needed child benefit. The wank-pot that was the last Labour Government should have removed this 'benefit' from the higher paid when they had the chance. End of (as they say).

Now the argument is about "It's not FAIR! If there are two parents working and they both earn just under £40k, then they still get it, but if I'm on £45k and my wife doesn't work then I'll lose it. Boo Hoo."

My question is: why the fuck can't the Government work out how much a FAMILY earns and stop giving child benefit to any FAMILY that earns over £40k??

Everyone's happy then, right?

I have to admit some bitterness here; as a couple, we've never earned anything approaching the higher tax threshold. While Sprog Grimsdale was growing up, we were variously: both mature students, both working at low paid jobs, one of us working, one self-employed etc etc. We were never on benefits, but had Tax Credits for a while, which were unaccountably then clawed back from us over a year or so.

I have no idea how it's OK for people on benefits to take home as much as someone on the average income! Why can't they take home the same as someone on the bottom 10 percentile??

Grrr. I get more Daily Mail every year, but only because Society is a pile of putrid, pink, pestilential pants.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:02, 78 replies)
Mrs Vagabond and I are DINKies.
You're all very welcome.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:08, closed)

only cause youre pushing rope sunshine. theyve got pills for that nowadays.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:15, closed)
No. It's because neither of us want kids.
So - you're doubly welcome.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:34, closed)
It is probably a good idea Vagabond, judging from your wedding photo below.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:37, closed)
I think
red suits his wife.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:41, closed)
I think the one in the red looks alot like Quentin Tarantino.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:51, closed)
Why? You think us ugly?
That haircut cost pounds!
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:49, closed)
It is alright big man, no one is judging you.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:51, closed)
You say that. They all SAY that.
But I know the truth.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:33, closed)

thats what everyone says when they first go to the clinic

(but joking aside, i was the same and then life changed and now i have stepkids)
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:50, closed)
You look after another man's kids?
That must hurt.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:22, closed)

Fuck no.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 18:57, closed)

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:44, closed)

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:47, closed)
There's no place for racism in this day and age, Rory.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:23, closed)
Needs more spunk.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 20:04, closed)
I do feel rather screwed over.
I have a massive student loan which people wheras people who went to uni previously were given grants.
My pension is being cut and I will probably have to work until I am 70 whilst my pay is being frozen.
I am now not going to be paid child benefits when I have children because I've waited until I can afford to start a family.

It's all very well saying that higher earners should pay for everything but I work long hours without any sort of break and it's taken me years to get to the stage where I earn a decent salary. I feel that people who can't afford to support a family should wait until they can before burdening the rest of society by having children.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:24, closed)
exactly this^
Minus the student loan, but long hours, hard work, and sensible choices.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:44, closed)
Problem here is
it's difficult for anyone who is affected by it to complain, because all they'll get is a rain of shit down on them from the peanut gallery.

The single biggest problem is, as we all know, the anomalous problem of single earning vs double earning families. That is unfair, it should be addressed.

Someone earning just over the threshold, with 2 kids is getting their monthly disposable cut by about 5%. It's not the end of the world, but it's still a cut.

It's also relevant, and bring on the shitstorm, where you live. If you're in a typical part of London, 40k isn't actually a fortune. You mortgage for a 3 bed house is going to be well over £1,000.

There are going to be some people who will genuinely feel this. Not enough for their to be a good argument against cutting it, but don;t assume everyone who complains is just a greedy fucker.

I'm one of the ones who will get hit, BTW.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:31, closed)
I'm working on a response that takes the opposite position, but this is a tough one to argue...

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:00, closed)
tell me
to move to Nottinghamshire, and cycle to work.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:09, closed)
I hear what you're saying and you're right
I was just adopting a polemical role for the sake of the question. I don't actually have all the answers - except sack the government and put me in sole charge.

So I feel your pain too and everyone else's too.

The main answer is: Do what you think is right, when you think it is right and you will be closer to happiness than if you do what is wrong in your own eyes. [if that makes sense]
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 12:11, closed)
I don't think the problem is taking CB from those earning £42k
it's taking CB from those earning £42k while leaving it for couples earning £80k that's the issue.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:31, closed)
Child Benefit is a universal benefit.
Yes, this puts lefties like me in the uncomfortable position of arguing in favour of giving money to the already wealthy, but I'd rather this than make people jump through hoops to get it, as Child Benefit is a good thing.

As for you getting your benefits "unaccountably" clawed back: I highly doubt this. HMRC can't take money off you on a whim (even though it may seem that way, sometimes). Yes, challenging them can be a long-winded, frustrating purpose, but see it through, and they will either give you back your money, or give you a full explanation of why they were entitled to take it (I've done this, on behalf of my mother, when they took way too much tax, and for myself, when my tax credits stopped - in the former, we got the money back, in the latter, I got an explanation).

As for pegging benefits income to the bottom 10%, I'm not in a position to drag up the figures, but you do realise that benefits are calculated based on what people need, not what they deserve (a subjective measure, if ever there was one), right?
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:44, closed)
I don't want to be pegged in the bottom for benefits.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:51, closed)
I bet you love it,
you slag.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:01, closed)
Some fine points MM
regarding benefits being based on a 'liveable' income. I want to know why employers aren't similarly charged. This would, perhaps prove hyper-inflationary, as incomes soared all over the country, and thus prices would follow them rapidly.

It would stop the whole economy being funded by govt. borrowing to subsidise low paid workers/unemployed people, but it may help to encourage the unemployed to take a job...

I'll stop now, I'm getting a headache.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:33, closed)
You are very wrong
Paying top rate tax (but only just) means I contribute a lot already. I'm not super rich.

Overall tax contribution is a combination of the amount you pay Vs any breaks or allowances. Child benefit is like the UK's rebate from the EU - overall my contribution seems fair.

The problem I have is that I was not consulted, no one mentioned it during the election and I am going to be the equivalent of £3k poorer when this happens.

Apart from that, what a nice day it is again today.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 9:55, closed)
No, if you pay top rate tax, you earn enough not to need any child benefit.
It shouldn't be a reward for having children, it shouldn't be money that is used to fund a different part of your life. It should be to make sure that children aren't disadvantaged just for being born. Nothing more.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:05, closed)
Always going on about kids eh Peter

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:07, closed)
It's a universal credit precisely becuase the intention
is to stop kids going without essentials. I'd far rather have it paid out to all, than it be means tested and risk those who need it most missing out.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:18, closed)
Which would be fine if we were running a surplus and could afford just to give everybody exactly the same,
but given that we're not and we can't, a few top rate tax payers having to buy supermarket own brand pesto isn't exactly top of my priorities to give a shit about.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:26, closed)
And our top rate
taxes will still be dished out to lazy Stella swigging students.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:28, closed)
Different argument though, innit.
Anyway, I can't take you seriously anymore, you don't get The Simpsons.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:30, closed)
Making CB means tested,
increases the risk of those who most need it going without (I believe it's been demonstrated that well educated, middle class types are far more likely to apply for the benefits that they are entitled to).
Do you really think that CB is the cause of our financial deficit, or that cutting it will put our economy back in the black?
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:40, closed)
No, I don't believe that, nor do I think I have said that.
And I wasn't really arguing that means testing was neccessarily the way forward, I'd need to be bette informed to have a clear opinion on that. I don't believe I mentioned means testing, to be fair.

My point, my only point, really, was that at the moment it's clearly going to some people who don't need it and it wouldn't be a bad thing to find a solution to that. And not paying it to anyone in the higher tax bracket seems like a pretty good way to go about it from where I stand. As Username_Whatsit said earlier, yes, there may be a handful of people who feel an impact, but realistically, if you are paying the higher tax rate, there will be somewhere else you can save the money back.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:47, closed)
you want it to be restricted, based on income, but not means tested, and you don't think it has any bearing on the current deficit, but cite the current deficit as a motivation for restricting it?

2/10 - see me after school
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:51, closed)
That must be one of the most dull posts I have ever read.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:54, closed)
You should read the one above it.
Some worthy cunt arguing that people with more money don't need to be given as much as people with less.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:58, closed)
The people with more money
might just have worked for it.

I'm struggling with the 'given' bit. I know there's something wrong with that statement, but I'll sound like a raving Thatcherite if I get the wrong answer, which I'm not.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:03, closed)

To be fair, this wasn't meant to be a serious contribution to the discussion, just a bad joke about how tedious and worthy I have been coming across in this thread.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:15, closed)
Again, you are putting words into my mouth. (well, fingers)
I didn't say it had NO impact, You asked me if I thought it was the cause, and I don't. I think, among many savings that need to be made, it can be a contributing factor to helping improve the situation.

And I'm not sure that means testing and based on income are the same thing. Correct me if I am wrong, but just saying 'You pay the higher tax rate therefor don't qualify for child benefit' is not the same as means testing.

At the end of the day though, none of my arguments really make any difference to the fact that I just feel, morally, that a flat rate child benefit regardless of need is not the way things should be done.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 10:57, closed)
The fact is
the UK as a whole could do with the savings.

The people who lose the benefit won't starve, they'll just mumble into the times for a few months.

Upshot is, the govt can safely do this, the 'victims' will not be marching on Whitehall.

They really should address the dual income thing though, it really is pretty brainless, and doesn't need a genius to figure out.

If they're saying a family on 40k a year don't need the benefit, they should apply that evenly.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:06, closed)
Ahem and now for the unjust bit -
Mr Osborne confirmed the cut would hit homes with a single or two high earners but families with two parents on incomes up to £44,000 - which might add up together to over £80,000 - would keep the benefit.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:12, closed)
Yes, that's
what I was talking about.

It's a different argument to the usual one.

Most gripes are about the poorer people losing. This one is about affluent people winning.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:20, closed)
It's just been badly managed
In essence the pittence (£20 per week) that is given anyway should be given to poorer households where it actually makes a difference, that will be a weeks shopping for people in poverty, so agree with your argument from a pratical sense but once again the cabinet of millionaires has got it very wrong.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 12:46, closed)
Means testing using income tax thresholds is still means testing.
Y'know what? I think Vagabond is right - this really is dull as fuck.
We should just agree that I am right, and move on. That way, everyone's happy, especially me.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:07, closed)
Ah! If you'd phrased it like that before, I'd have realised you were right all along.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:12, closed)
Closest I've ever come to winning an arguement.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:18, closed)
"I think"
Hahahahahaaha bless your cottons.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:48, closed)
I conform,
I consume, I obey.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 11:56, closed)
I fail to see what's wrong with 'means testing'
Some old duffers think it means a return to the 1930s or something, but in this digital age, are you really suggesting there isn't some way of doing this without those wishing to apply having to queuing up in a smoky, dingy office and signing on the line every month!!

Flippin' Google could write a piece of code for HMRC to do this in an afternoon.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 12:31, closed)
The top rate of income tax...
...is actually 50% on earnings above £150k a year. If you're employed then I assume the following to be the case.

I assume that you mean you're earning more than £42,475 per annum? If so then it's 40% levied on whatever you earn over and above that amount. Given that your Employees NI contributions for amounts over and above £42,475 fall from 12% to 2%, you're not as worse off as you might think.

The median gross pay (as per April 2010) in the UK was just over £25k a year...if you're in the top ten percentile of earners in the UK (and in the top 1% of earners worldwide) then just how the heck do you justify receipt of a welfare state benefit?

Surely a better place to put the money would (interest on our QE payments, aircraft carriers and Trident subs aside) be a national child minding scheme akin to the system operating in Scandinavia which would mean both parents would be able to work and thus create more wealth?

Just a thought...
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:11, closed)
Once again Pyjamaman steps in with common sense to spare
And I like the idea of proper childcare funded by Govt. This can replace the tax relief on nannies that rich people can also claim, while their poor relatives can't claim for Granny picking up the kids after school five days a week and giving them tea.

[love to the Hen Woman!]
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:38, closed)
Well maybe
But if our house looses it, I would need a £2.4k payrise to cover the difference. That is a lot of money, no matter who or what you are.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 15:56, closed)
I went for years without a pay rise
Every time I got an increase I'd have an equal and opposite increase in pension contributions, or I'd have to start paying back student loan, or I'd lose my tax credits, or pay for Sprog to go to Uni. And don't forget tax rises, VAT hikes, inflation...

Need I go on? I need about a £10k rise this year just to put me in the position I was in five/six years ago.

So join the club.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 16:38, closed)
So it does all just boil down to
'Why should I be worse off, I'd rather it was you'
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 16:56, closed)
No, I'm a Cameron-ite
We're all in it together, so let's all agree to whinge as loudly as we can to show our solidarity.

I've given up waiting for any sort of fairness in this world or the next, but I'm learning to live without hope - and like it.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 17:16, closed)

But going without a pay rise is a bit different to taking a £2.5k pay cut.

I have no problem with it being taken away in a fair manner, but have a run down period so people can adjust their financial commitments.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 19:23, closed)
but, right, my husband i on the higher tax rate.
i'm not, and our household income is under £80k pa (just). and i'll lose child benefit, even though my daughter is not my husband's child. i don't know what my point is here, exactly, i just wanted you to know how well off we are.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:00, closed)
You've let yourself down Janet

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:22, closed)
i know. but it felt so GOOD.

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 19:10, closed)
It's both easier and cheaper...
...to leave it universal, and just jiggle the income tax rate / thresholds a bit to balance the books.

If you make it means tested, then someone has to do the test, administer it, ensure compliance, sort out the daft edge cases, defend it in parliament, and generally waste a whole load of expensive legal time and effort that would be better spent sorting out corporate tax loopholes.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:17, closed)
But they don't.
They literally just need to attach it to your tax code.

There is no 'testing' that would need to be done then.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:33, closed)
I've never understood why they have the ludicrous tax credit system
with all it's complex admin and stupid proceedures, when simply altering tax codes could give the same effect.
If you work for the government you're paid, then taxed, then given tax credit. Why not just pay the net amount, once??
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:48, closed)
plus, you can't be overpaid..
if you earn more above the threshold, more tax is taken off automatically.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:50, closed)
That's pretty much what I meant
...since your tax code is effectively just an adjustment to your tax thresholds.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 17:51, closed)
I think this is relevant to the discussion
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 13:43, closed)

I don’t see why I should lose the benefit just because I’m not stupid or lazy enough to get paid a pittance. It’s people like me who create the tax revenues that supports this country, and my wealth trickles down to the poor people, lined up to suckle like little pigs.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 14:35, closed)
Oh god.
This is how a fish must feel when it see's a juicy maggot that it knows is attached to a hook. It wants to bite, so so desperately wants to bite...

*swims away*
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 15:15, closed)
*Throws in grenade*
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 16:45, closed)
I pretty much mean every word

(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 19:38, closed)
Take it away ? - No no no no....
Every family should get CB regardless of means or income. Everyone should have the right to spend it on beer and cigs regardless of personal finances. Send your kids down the offie with it and appreciate the real benefit to having children.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 15:06, closed)
And what about those
that spend it on a rather good St. Emillion?

Have some heart man, are you saying I am only worth a bottle of mediocre Shiraz??

I shall go to whitehall and upset a litter bin.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 15:14, closed)
A good point
Who am I to deprive you of the essentials in life? I say old chap lets Occupy Oddbins.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 15:26, closed)
Upset a litter bin? How do you do that?
Tell it it stinks and is full of crap?
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 15:31, closed)
I think everyone should get child benefits regardless of whether they have children.
Then people would think twice before reproducing as they could spend the money on themselves instead.
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 15:19, closed)
Jerry Sadowitz
"Not only did my Mum smoke while she was pregnant, she sent me out for the fags."
(, Tue 6 Mar 2012, 17:52, closed)

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