I was looking on Facebook yesterday when I saw a post on a group page stating that David Cameron was in Alnwick for the day as part of his visit of the Berwick Constituency. Of course, most people on the group page had their views on the visit and a harmless post soon turned into a political argument.
One comment made by a woman, really boiled my blood. She wrote (and I must add the grammatical errors were all part of her post); ‘But now more difficult for folk who don’t have large deposit to buy [property]… Tories are literally killing poor people off, have incited racial and disability hatred again, hugely destroyed NHS and education ie selling schools by the back door… So tell me, when is it ok for the 6TH RICHEST COUNTRY to need food banks? Zero hour contracts stuff up EVERYONES career opportunities, low pay only benefits business leaders, who often don’t pay corporate tax and if tories get in wave bye bye to child benefit and working tax credit so many families rely on… Think about our whole society, end capitalism and start caring about each other again DIVIDE AND RULE IS WINNING’
Nothing like being on your soap box love, eh? Obviously, I couldn’t resist commenting back to her over-the-top post so I wrote the following comment;
‘1. The only reason people go to food banks is because if they can get something for nothing, they will… And if chavs can go to food banks then they have more money to spend on crap tattoos and cheap cider.
2. It’s probably a good thing that welfare is cut considering how much it costs the country to keep people who refuse to get a job and who just pop kids out for a living… Prime example, I know someone who is easily on £26k a year in benefits. That’s a disgrace!
3. I have no problem with immigrants who come to the UK to actually WORK, the ones I have a problem with are the ones who come over to abuse the benefits system and commit crimes. [This point was in response to another comment she made to another member of the group].
4. Zero hour contracts only screw you over if your employer has that policy, not everywhere has zero hour contracts.
5. Overseas aid should be stopped, I don’t see the point in sending money to other countries when our own is in financial crisis. [Again, in response to another members comment].
6. Don’t even get me started on the EU- waste of time and money.’
I then got a notification informing me that the woman on her soapbox had commented back to me. This time she wrote; ‘Clearly you have never fallen on hard times ie illness, redundancy and had no family to help. And Btw people don’t get money, the landlord gets housing benefit. If one has worked, got credit card etc then is made redundant £74 or whatever it is is not enough and EU stated that our benefits are too low, much lower than other countries. EU has helped us trade, protected human and workers rights etc etc… Compassion and a caring society would stop all of this I’m alright jack attitude.’
By now she was really starting to annoy me with her socialist bullshit so I responded by stating; ‘Our benefits are too low?! For who? The people doing sod all, whinging about having to look after their kids but not complaining about the money that’s coming in? Oh and by the way Housing Benefit only amounts up to £6k of that £26k the person receives so what about the other £20k she has left to do what she wants with? Or does that not matter? If you’re made redundant and have credit cards etc then an agreement can always be made with the companies you owe the money to, but then again redundancy is no ones fault, the benefit system should be there for the people who actually need it, it shouldn’t be there to be abused by the lazy scroungers who only have kids to get out of getting a job. Everyone should stand on their own two feet and take responsibility for their own lives, end of the day if you don’t work and have kids you shouldn’t expect the taxpayers to foot the bill, especially when the majority of taxpayers have children of their own to feed and clothe.’
Funnily enough she didn’t respond back to me after the above comment. But I did get 5 likes on each of my comments so its nice to see that some people agree with me.
I decided to research into what she had said about other EU member states having a higher benefit rate than the UK, this is what I found on the Telegraph’s website:
|Country||Health care||Child benefit||Unemployment benefit||Housing benefit|
|Austria||Available immediately, but only if you pay ‘social insurance’||Immediate payment of £89 per month||Only available to people who have paid social insurance||No equivalent scheme|
|Belgium||Available after a year||£115 per month, available immediately||Have to have previously worked in Belgium||No national scheme; amounts vary regionally|
|Bulgaria||Free emergency care immediately; other treatments only available if you pay social insurance||Targeted schemes restricted to Bulgarian citizens||Minimum of nine months of working in the country required to qualify||Immediate monthly allowance but only if you have a local authority home already|
|Cyprus||Free, available immediately||Immediate yearly payment of £444||Six months of work in Cyprus required to qualify||Immediately available, limited to £506 per month|
|Czech Republic||Available immediately but cash charges apple||£23 per month available immediately||12 month minimum qualifying period||Available immediately|
|Denmark||Free, available immediately||Up to £161 a month available after 12 months||Minimum of one year’s work required to qualify||No equivalent scheme|
|Estonia||Available immediately but cash payments required for some treatments||£16 per month available immediately||£12.50 per week available immediately||No equivalent scheme|
|Finland||Public health service charging flat-rate fees. Available immediately||£88 per month available immediately||Basic weekly unemployment allowance available after two months||Up to 80% of housing costs available immediately but system varies regionally|
|France||Only available with a card proving entitlement, issued to residents||Immediate payments, but only for parents with more than one child||Four month qualifying period||Immediate; scheme based on house size and local factors|
|Germany||Only available with a health insurance card||£155 per month available immediately||Immediate means-tested allowance for jobseekers who have made “intensive efforts” to find work||Full amount of housing costs available immediately|
|Greece||100 days of work required to qualify||No equivalent scheme||Minimum of six months of work required to qualify||No equivalent scheme|
|Hungary||Not immediately available||£40.60 per month available immediately||Minimum qualifying period of 360 days||No equivalent scheme|
|Ireland||Free after living in Ireland for three consecutive years, but free immediately to UK citizens||£110 per month available immediately||£160 per week available immediately||Immediate rent supplement providing short-term support|
|Italy||Free, available immediately||No equivalent scheme||Qualifying period of three months||No national scheme; varies according to region|
|Latvia||Public health service with fees for GP and hospital visits, available immediately||Immediate monthly payment of £9.30||One year qualifying period||Varies locally|
|Lithuania||Three months qualifying period but “urgent care” free immediately||Immediate monthly payment of £24||18 month qualifying period||No equivalent scheme|
|Luxembourg||Not available immediately, as insurance-based||£157.10 per month available immediately||Minimum of six months of work required to qualify||Immediate rent allowance of up to £104.90|
|Malta||Free, available immediately||Immediate payment of up to £81.55 per month||Immediate means-tested benefit of up to £16 per day||No equivalent scheme|
|Poland||Free, available immediately||Immediate payment of up to £54 per month||Qualifying period of one year||No equivalent scheme|
|Portugal||Free, available immediately||Monthly payment of up to £40||Qualifying period of 180 days||No equivalent scheme|
|Romania||Six month qualifying period, except for emergencies||Monthly payment of up to £20||Minimum qualifying period of 12 months||No equivalent scheme|
|Slovakia||Immediately available; nominal cash payment treatments||Immediate monthly payment of £19||Minimum two year qualifying period||No equivalent scheme|
|Slovenia||Available immediately but required to pay minimum of 10% of some treatment costs||Immediate payment of up to £97 per month||Minimum contribution of nine months||Only available if you already have social housing|
|Spain||Only available with a card proving entitlement||Immediate payment of up to £20 per month||Immediate payment available based on a variable proportion of average wages||No equivalent scheme|
|Sweden||Available immediately; basic fees for care||Immediate monthly payment of £101||Six month qualifying period||Immediate monthly allowance of up to £125|
|Holland||Only available with a certificate proving entitlement||Immediate payment of £943 per year||Six month qualifying period||Means-tested, available immediately|
|UNITED KINGDOM||Available immediately and free of charge under the National Health Service||Paid immediately if the child is under 16, or 16-19 and in education or training, and the claimant has an individual income of less than £50,000. Amount is £20.30 a week for the eldest or only child, £13.40 per additional child||Immediate payments of £71.70 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) after proving you are actively seeking work. EU migrants have to pass the “right-to-reside” test to show they are “economically active”. The European Commission wants to abolish this test. There is also contribution-based additional JSA which is only available after working for at least two years.||Available immediately if you are on a low income, whether you are working or unemployed. How much depends on individual circumstances, but amount cannot normally exceed £250 per week for a one bedroom property, or up to £400 a week for four bedrooms or more.|
|Sources: European Commission guides to social security and health care in member states, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Department for Work and Pensions.|
So apparently the benefit rates in other EU Member States are higher than the benefit rates in the UK… Not according to the above table. I might have to copy the link to this blog post to the woman who seems to believe that the UK has low benefit rates.
And all of this stemmed from David Cameron paying a visit to the Northumbrian town of Alnwick. Oh and I think I shall keep it brief about the socialist with the ukulele who sang “fuck off back to Eton” to the PM, I mean clearly the guy doesn’t have a job because if he did he would be there rather than making a nuisance and a complete tit of himself on the streets of Alnwick.