Friday, 12 July 2013

A small step onto my soapbox due to our County town of Ipswich being featured on the BBC

Did you see that programme last night? It was called something like " We're the tax payers who pay your benefits" and paired up people on benefits with people working hard but not earning very much. It was a surprise when Nick Hewer, one of the presenters, said " we're off to Ipswich". Hardly ever featured in TV programmes but chosen apparently for it's averageness (is there such a word?). I was interested to watch as I like to know how it is that some people can or can't manage on benefits without looking for a job and others who want to work but can't find work so are forced into benefits. Having read lots of historical books about workhouses or even earlier when there was no help at all for people unable to work, I wouldn't like to see the country going back to that. What annoys me is that some folks receive more in handouts than others who work. One woman featured had a dog, cats and various other assorted pets and treated herself to nights out with vodka as a norm.  I expect many people watching thought " Hang on, something's not right there." The programme continues next week. I shall watch. Him Outside HATES programmes like this - full of whingers he says. Part of me agrees but the other bit thinks what would we have done if we hadn't been able to somehow manage on the very average council roadmans income.
How did we pay a mortgage and survive?
 Him Outside worked lots of overtime in summer ( surface dressing roads) and in winter ( on the gritting lorry). We grew our own stuff right from the start, meals were made from scratch, bought clothes and toys  from jumble sales, holidays were a week in a tent, cars were old. Going to the pub was definitely out and takeaways were a special treat. We had evenings out - volunteering as Cub and Scout leaders! We once qualified for free milk- for about 6 weeks until summer overtime started. I did small jobs when I could - dinner lady, child minding, cleaning. Outgoings HAD to be less than income and were pared to the bone.
When our eldest was about  9, she asked if we could pay for one of her friends to go on a school trip as her friends mum couldn't afford it. I asked her where had we seen her friend playing as we came back from Grandma's last Sunday? - In the garden of the local pub with her mum and dad drinking nearby. I explained we chose to do things differently. I don't think the children knew how little spare cash we had because we always found what they needed for school trips etc. Luckily all this was in the mid 1980s before the age of mobile phones, computers, designer clothes and other must-have gadgets. There were less outside pressures on families then I think.

Back to normal diary mode and


All this lovely reading for free, I'm glad that part of peoples taxes are spent on libraries. We earn so little that we don't even pay any taxes any more! So who am I to say what taxes should or shouldn't be spent on. Perhaps I should keep my thoughts to myself!!


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