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Old 12-11-2015, 02:53 PM   #1
ColinEssex
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Is it worth working?

An acquaintance of mine I meet from time to time is aged 50. He has virtually never worked apart from "cash in hand" jobs. He has a nice little flat supplied by the council, rent is paid by housing benefit, all bills are paid by the council except gas and electric. Any work needed in the flat is paid for by the council. He has a free bus pass so can effectively travel by bus anywhere in the UK for free.
He gets unemployment benefit and clears around 800 to 900 per month.

He lives alone, and has just discovered if he goes to the Salvation Army and pleads poverty, he gets a voucher for free food from the food bank. He has never paid tax or a national insurance stamp.

He gets free optician glasses and free dental care and obviously free healthcare and free prescriptions.

I left school at 15 and worked till I was 60, never been on the dole or claimed anything. I paid everything myself.

Who is the mug?

Col

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Old 12-11-2015, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: Is it worth working?

I think all of us in the UK who worked for a living know the answer to that
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:12 AM   #3
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Re: Is it worth working?

How does he get a bus pass at 50, is there something you are not telling us?

Brian

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Old 12-12-2015, 11:37 AM   #4
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Re: Is it worth working?

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Originally Posted by Brianwarnock View Post
How does he get a bus pass at 50, is there something you are not telling us?

Brian
I just assumed that as he was on the dole he automatically got one, I have no idea. If one is on the dole does one not get one normally?
You can't be expected to pay bus fares to interviews, which he does badly at on purpose, because on basic wage he would lose all the things he gets for free.

He got 5 supermarket bags of food for free yesterday from the food bank, he told me today he hasn't got enough cupboard space.

Do you think the benefit system needs adjusting?

Col
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
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Re: Is it worth working?

Of course the benefit system is flawed, but to make it fair would require an army of inspectors and could cost more than it saves, nonetheless I am sure some simple changes could be done, tightening it up would be a vote loser, we saw what happened when Maggie tried to introduce the Poll Tax, one of the best ideas ever, mind you it was badly sold and implemented.

The Americans went to war on the slogan
" no taxation without representation"
We should have
"No representation without taxation"
And don't get me started on postal votes!

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Old 12-12-2015, 02:29 PM   #6
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Re: Is it worth working?

The problem with a poll tax is that it is exclusionary. The UK, as with the USA, grants all citizens the right to vote. Hell, unlike in so many states, in the UK even prisoners, the homeless, and mental institution residents are allowed to vote. The poll tax, however, undoes that - it effectively states that you aren't a citizen unless you meet a certain arbitrary financial standard.

Poll taxes serve no purpose other than disenfranchising the poor, making them, at best, second-class citizens.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:18 AM   #7
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Re: Is it worth working?

The poll tax was on a sliding scale, my old mum who only had her state old age pension managed to pay it.

Why should those who do not contribute have a say in how the money is spent?

Brian

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Old 12-13-2015, 04:17 AM   #8
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Re: Is it worth working?

Those who choose not to work (I'm not talking about those who do want to work) have a belief it is their right to do so. Consequently they also either have to believe that everyone else has an obligation to support that belief or have no sense of where the money comes from (like children and pocket money).
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:26 AM   #9
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Re: Is it worth working?

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The problem with a poll tax is that it is exclusionary. The UK, as with the USA, grants all citizens the right to vote. Hell, unlike in so many states, in the UK even prisoners, the homeless, and mental institution residents are allowed to vote. The poll tax, however, undoes that - it effectively states that you aren't a citizen unless you meet a certain arbitrary financial standard.

Poll taxes serve no purpose other than disenfranchising the poor, making them, at best, second-class citizens.
A few points you may not have got quite right, Froth.

The UK still denies the vote in parliamentary elections to those who are insane, members of the House of Lords and those in prison with a sentence of longer than one year. There has been a decision by the European Civil Rights Court to change the law as regards to prisoners but this has not yet gone through.

The so-called Poll Tax or Community Charge was brought in by Maggie Thatcher to replace existing local taxes. It had nothing to do with your right to vote.
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:42 AM   #10
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Re: Is it worth working?

It is a tax that prevents people below an arbitrary income from voting. It is blatantly and obviously disenfranchisement of the poor.

Just because you (Brian and CJ) don't feel that poor people are citizens, it doesn't mean you're right. All I see is you spouting that old belief that the poor are not deserving of the same rights as those who aren't poor, that they are somehow inferior to you.

I will admit that I don't know your unwritten constitution as well as I know the written American one, but so far I have found anything in your laws and other documents saying that poor people are less deserving of rights than affluent people. It's the same 'they aren't really people' crap we have to deal with here, too.

There's a reason we amended our Constitution to flat-out outlaw the poll tax.
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:44 AM   #11
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Re: Is it worth working?

Also, Rabbie, I have read in a couple places that those who are voluntarily committed still have the right to vote in the UK; only the involuntarily committed do not. Has that changed, then?
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:47 AM   #12
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Re: Is it worth working?

You have it round the wrong way - The tax was based on the number of adult people in the house, not their voting rights.

As it happened if they decided not to put themselves on the electoral register (to try and avoid the tax) then they lost their right to vote. (This is a very simplified version... but you get the idea)
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:07 AM   #13
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Re: Is it worth working?

"If you don't pay this tax, you don't get to vote."

That's a poll tax, no matter how you disguise it.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:17 AM   #14
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Re: Is it worth working?

The same rules still apply now - if you don't sign up for the Electoral register you can't vote, and it's illegal to misrepresent who lives in the house.
They just don't base a specific tax on you living there. However there is a local tax based on the value of your house.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:28 AM   #15
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Re: Is it worth working?

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Who is the mug?

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It's a very subordinate lifestyle. I don't think it would have suited you.

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