Expert tells York audience: Give gift cards not food to those in need

Dr Cameron said using cards instead of food donations would free up volunteers' time (library picture)

Dr Cameron said using cards instead of food donations would free up volunteers' time (library picture)

Published in News by

DONORS to food banks should give supermarket vouchers rather than food, it has been said in a lecture in York.

Dr Helen Cameron said such a move would free volunteers from the time taken to sort food, and also allow recipients to continue to shop as a family and buy the food they choose.

Emergency food could become “a way of life” for many people because of the Government shake-up of the benefits system, she said in the lecture at the Salvation Army citadel last week.

As reported in The Press yesterday, the number of people receiving support from food banks has soared in York and North Yorkshire, with almost 2,000 children and 6,000 people overall receiving such help in the past year.

Dr Cameron, a guiding light of the Salvation Army, said a new crisis could unfold because of the introduction of Universal Credit, making life harder for many vulnerable families.

She called for a new approach, in a lecture entitled ‘The morality of the food parcel’, as part of York St John University’s series of Ebor Lectures.

She has been looking at the way in which churches have responded to the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis with the provision of emergency food.

Dr Cameron asked: “When the benefit system finally moves over to four-weekly payments, will a proportion of people find that every month ends with a crisis and resource to food banks becomes a regular way of getting by?

“This is certainly the experience of The Salvation Army in the USA as I have already indicated.”

Churches are already reviewing how they feed the hungry. She says a whole new approach may be needed based on plastic rather than physical food.

She continued: “Every major supermarket allows you to put cash on a plastic card at their tills which you can then give as a present.

“If you regularly give food to a food bank then save up until you would have donate £5’s worth of food and put the money on a plastic card and hand it in.

“By giving plastic, you will enable households to continue their chosen eating habits,” she continued. “You will release volunteers from sorting and moving food to have more time to support clients.”

Dr Cameron is a practical theologian and founding Director of the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology where she holds a fellowship.

She is also head of public affairs for The Salvation Army. She has written books alone and with others on practical theology, theological reflection and the mission of the local church.

The Press has been running its Stamp Out Poverty campaign since December 2012, aiming to help local anti-poverty charities, raise awareness of the nature and extent of local poverty and tackle stigma.

Comments (33)

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9:25am Tue 10 Jun 14

JNikko says...

Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you.
Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you. JNikko
  • Score: 52

9:33am Tue 10 Jun 14

Digeorge says...

The food parcel may indeed become a 'way of life' for some people, people play the system. Like I said deserving cases for some but not for others, it is weeding out like the present mortgage system on what exactly you spend your money on.

When the Church becomes involved in an albeit 'odd' way when they have millions in investment accounts etc, it makes me angry. Charity begins at home and that means organisations such as the Church put their own hands in their pockets and the serve in it.
The food parcel may indeed become a 'way of life' for some people, people play the system. Like I said deserving cases for some but not for others, it is weeding out like the present mortgage system on what exactly you spend your money on. When the Church becomes involved in an albeit 'odd' way when they have millions in investment accounts etc, it makes me angry. Charity begins at home and that means organisations such as the Church put their own hands in their pockets and the serve in it. Digeorge
  • Score: 26

9:58am Tue 10 Jun 14

Thecynic says...

JNikko wrote:
Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you.
I have to agree here. Whilst I support foodbanks helping the needy, I fear that giving them gift cards could lead to abuse in some cases. I think Dr Cameron hasn't really thought this through fully. Quite a few of the items donated are items on special offer, such as 'buy one get one free' offers, which in that case costs the pruchaser nothing, they simply give to the food charity something that might otherwise not get eaten or thrown away.
Like you, I'll stick to donating products, which I think target the needy more effectively.
[quote][p][bold]JNikko[/bold] wrote: Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you.[/p][/quote]I have to agree here. Whilst I support foodbanks helping the needy, I fear that giving them gift cards could lead to abuse in some cases. I think Dr Cameron hasn't really thought this through fully. Quite a few of the items donated are items on special offer, such as 'buy one get one free' offers, which in that case costs the pruchaser nothing, they simply give to the food charity something that might otherwise not get eaten or thrown away. Like you, I'll stick to donating products, which I think target the needy more effectively. Thecynic
  • Score: 33

10:06am Tue 10 Jun 14

oi oi savaloy says...

Another resident of cloud cuckoo land! Woo hoo straight to the beer and wine section, thanks oh gullible one's!
Another resident of cloud cuckoo land! Woo hoo straight to the beer and wine section, thanks oh gullible one's! oi oi savaloy
  • Score: -17

10:10am Tue 10 Jun 14

GB-Yorkie says...

As JNikko has rightly said, giving vouchers opens the system up to abuse with people potentially buying alcohol, cigarettes, DVD's and other non-food items. The current food bank system already has flaws, with a small minority of people using them abusing the banks in various ways including claiming they are on benefits when they are actually in full time employment. A TV documentary has exposed this, and I was actually shocked to learn that some food banks even provide things such as Birthday cakes, which I personally wouldn't class as an essential item. It's also a valid and interesting point that Digeorge raises about the irony of the church being involved in these schemes, yet that are rich with property and money in bank accounts, yet I don't see them opening up churches for homeless people to sleep in.
The whole benefits needs a shake up, and personally I'm all for issuing a percentage of any benefit claim as a voucher that can ONLY be spent on food. Although there are many genuine cases for food banks, there are also many that spend their money on other things before food...
As JNikko has rightly said, giving vouchers opens the system up to abuse with people potentially buying alcohol, cigarettes, DVD's and other non-food items. The current food bank system already has flaws, with a small minority of people using them abusing the banks in various ways including claiming they are on benefits when they are actually in full time employment. A TV documentary has exposed this, and I was actually shocked to learn that some food banks even provide things such as Birthday cakes, which I personally wouldn't class as an essential item. It's also a valid and interesting point that Digeorge raises about the irony of the church being involved in these schemes, yet that are rich with property and money in bank accounts, yet I don't see them opening up churches for homeless people to sleep in. The whole benefits needs a shake up, and personally I'm all for issuing a percentage of any benefit claim as a voucher that can ONLY be spent on food. Although there are many genuine cases for food banks, there are also many that spend their money on other things before food... GB-Yorkie
  • Score: 25

11:01am Tue 10 Jun 14

Boadicea says...

I don't think they should be given gift cards.
If they cannot afford food then it is food they need and should be given.
I don't think they should be given gift cards. If they cannot afford food then it is food they need and should be given. Boadicea
  • Score: 29

11:01am Tue 10 Jun 14

CommonSense!! says...

I couldn't have put it better Yorkie, rather than give benefits as cash give them as food vouchers, redeemable solely against supermarket value ranges, not DVDs, big TVs, strong lager or tracksuits. See how many people continue to milk the system then!

As to the suggestion of just giving cash (equivalent) to food banks, as if that is a good idea. The recipients will see it as another way to avoid doing a day's work without the stigma of being bailed out by the generosity of others.
I couldn't have put it better Yorkie, rather than give benefits as cash give them as food vouchers, redeemable solely against supermarket value ranges, not DVDs, big TVs, strong lager or tracksuits. See how many people continue to milk the system then! As to the suggestion of just giving cash (equivalent) to food banks, as if that is a good idea. The recipients will see it as another way to avoid doing a day's work without the stigma of being bailed out by the generosity of others. CommonSense!!
  • Score: 19

11:38am Tue 10 Jun 14

Grumpy Old Man says...

Part of the problem is the supermarkets, with their bogofs and food wastage. Why should we add to the problem and increase supermarket profits by following this crackpot idea. Dr Cameron, you clearly haven't thought this through.
Part of the problem is the supermarkets, with their bogofs and food wastage. Why should we add to the problem and increase supermarket profits by following this crackpot idea. Dr Cameron, you clearly haven't thought this through. Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 25

12:07pm Tue 10 Jun 14

tegularius says...

The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake!

And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire.

So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.
The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake! And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire. So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant. tegularius
  • Score: 30

12:22pm Tue 10 Jun 14

CHISSY1 says...

Thats no good.It would mean people having to walk round a Supermarket and actually selecting food.Or would they have a personal shopper.
Thats no good.It would mean people having to walk round a Supermarket and actually selecting food.Or would they have a personal shopper. CHISSY1
  • Score: -20

12:26pm Tue 10 Jun 14

YorkCityLuke says...

tegularius wrote:
The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake!

And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire.

So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.
I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.
[quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake! And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire. So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.[/p][/quote]I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating. YorkCityLuke
  • Score: 17

12:45pm Tue 10 Jun 14

CommonSense!! says...

I am cynical of those living off benefits, yes.

Go stand outside a job centre for a few hours and tell me how many of the people going in are trying their hardest to maximise their chances of paying their way in society. I'd also like to know how many you see who are worthless drains on society determined to milk the system for every penny whilst contributing zero. I bet the ratio surprises you.

As an employer we get idiots sent for interviews who have no intention of taking a job, they turn up late, if at all, dressed in dirty tracksuits, without an ounce of employability. Their CV is a screwn up sheet of A4 with a childish scrawl across it and they expect a good salary and minimal hours. As I say that is the few that turn up, interview through the job centre and you can expect 70% no show in my experience.

Getting out of your happy little ideal world where everyone is a worthwhile member of society and contributes so much and you will find that there is a growing culture of it being acceptable to contribute nothing whilst taking everything they can, the suggestion that food banks should be given cash instead of food will just further that culture.
I am cynical of those living off benefits, yes. Go stand outside a job centre for a few hours and tell me how many of the people going in are trying their hardest to maximise their chances of paying their way in society. I'd also like to know how many you see who are worthless drains on society determined to milk the system for every penny whilst contributing zero. I bet the ratio surprises you. As an employer we get idiots sent for interviews who have no intention of taking a job, they turn up late, if at all, dressed in dirty tracksuits, without an ounce of employability. Their CV is a screwn up sheet of A4 with a childish scrawl across it and they expect a good salary and minimal hours. As I say that is the few that turn up, interview through the job centre and you can expect 70% no show in my experience. Getting out of your happy little ideal world where everyone is a worthwhile member of society and contributes so much and you will find that there is a growing culture of it being acceptable to contribute nothing whilst taking everything they can, the suggestion that food banks should be given cash instead of food will just further that culture. CommonSense!!
  • Score: 9

12:52pm Tue 10 Jun 14

tegularius says...

YorkCityLuke wrote:
tegularius wrote:
The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake!

And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire.

So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.
I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.
I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid!

Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity.
[quote][p][bold]YorkCityLuke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake! And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire. So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.[/p][/quote]I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.[/p][/quote]I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid! Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity. tegularius
  • Score: 11

1:00pm Tue 10 Jun 14

MarkyMarkMark says...

I feel simply forcing people into the supermarkets to do their own shopping is potentially unwise.

Remember the reason the majority of the supermarkets are donating and supporting the food bank directly is because they're shamed into it, and it helps their "image". It's not altruism. Anything that allows them to increase their profits at the expense of others is to be regarded with suspicion.

In addition, part of the model the food banks use is to provide a "balanced" food parcel, with a reasonable variety of essential foodstuffs. I know it might not be as nice as going for your own groceries, but it does ensure a more balanced diet for a few days.

The idea of "food stamps" sort of works - but how long then before the supermarket produce a "food stamp" range using inferior products?

And finally, and probably most importantly, whilst people are in the food banks, waiting for their parcels, they get to talk to other people, gaining support and encouragement. In some cases, they're given warm drinks and a meal. In most cases, they get some contact which draws them into society. One of the main issues around poverty is the way in whihc it isolates the poor. Simply issuing a card to those who meet the criteria would remove much of this social contact.

Remember, the workers are volunteers. They are usually good-hearted and give the time freely - so what's the big drive to free more of their time up?
I feel simply forcing people into the supermarkets to do their own shopping is potentially unwise. Remember the reason the majority of the supermarkets are donating and supporting the food bank directly is because they're shamed into it, and it helps their "image". It's not altruism. Anything that allows them to increase their profits at the expense of others is to be regarded with suspicion. In addition, part of the model the food banks use is to provide a "balanced" food parcel, with a reasonable variety of essential foodstuffs. I know it might not be as nice as going for your own groceries, but it does ensure a more balanced diet for a few days. The idea of "food stamps" sort of works - but how long then before the supermarket produce a "food stamp" range using inferior products? And finally, and probably most importantly, whilst people are in the food banks, waiting for their parcels, they get to talk to other people, gaining support and encouragement. In some cases, they're given warm drinks and a meal. In most cases, they get some contact which draws them into society. One of the main issues around poverty is the way in whihc it isolates the poor. Simply issuing a card to those who meet the criteria would remove much of this social contact. Remember, the workers are volunteers. They are usually good-hearted and give the time freely - so what's the big drive to free more of their time up? MarkyMarkMark
  • Score: 25

2:09pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

As well as cigarettes and alcohol being "off limits" with gift cards there should be some control over the types of food allowed. Garlic would be off limits as this stinky French food is unnecessary and only for the rich and posh. Sugar, salt, pepper and paprika shouldn't be allowed either, they don't need it and its bad for them. Coffee is too trendy, but tea is OK. Please only let them have white bread and none of the stuff with bits in - it's a fad. Turkey twizzlers are fine and battery eggs, not free range. Some sort of control is vital on foreign foods as well as its encouraging ethnics. Margarine is a Tory food, skimmed milk is Green party, Jam is Labour grub and Beef is UKIP fodder - so ban it all as party political.

Finally could the coupons be printed in black and white rather than lashing out on toffee nosed full colour printing.

:-)
As well as cigarettes and alcohol being "off limits" with gift cards there should be some control over the types of food allowed. Garlic would be off limits as this stinky French food is unnecessary and only for the rich and posh. Sugar, salt, pepper and paprika shouldn't be allowed either, they don't need it and its bad for them. Coffee is too trendy, but tea is OK. Please only let them have white bread and none of the stuff with bits in - it's a fad. Turkey twizzlers are fine and battery eggs, not free range. Some sort of control is vital on foreign foods as well as its encouraging ethnics. Margarine is a Tory food, skimmed milk is Green party, Jam is Labour grub and Beef is UKIP fodder - so ban it all as party political. Finally could the coupons be printed in black and white rather than lashing out on toffee nosed full colour printing. :-) Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: -3

2:26pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Tom6187 says...

JNikko wrote:
Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you.
I have always said that benefits should be paid in voucher form instead of cash, the vouchers should only allow the purchase of food, clothing and essentials. This would stop the less honest claimants from spending their giro on fags, booze and drugs and feeding their kids on the cheapest rubbish they can find.

To stop them trading them for cash, simply make each one personalised and make it compulsory that they show ID when using them. Obviously that's a great way of going about it, so we will never see it for that reason.
[quote][p][bold]JNikko[/bold] wrote: Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you.[/p][/quote]I have always said that benefits should be paid in voucher form instead of cash, the vouchers should only allow the purchase of food, clothing and essentials. This would stop the less honest claimants from spending their giro on fags, booze and drugs and feeding their kids on the cheapest rubbish they can find. To stop them trading them for cash, simply make each one personalised and make it compulsory that they show ID when using them. Obviously that's a great way of going about it, so we will never see it for that reason. Tom6187
  • Score: 11

3:00pm Tue 10 Jun 14

york_chap says...

I find it frustrating that some families who live solely on benefits and claim they can't afford to pay their bills/buy food etc can still somehow find the money for cigarettes every day, and alcohol, tattoos, smart phones, pets, expensive trainers, large televisions and a Sky package. Benefits and food banks should be a last resort - not a lifestyle option.

I generally avoid the benefits-related documentaries on tv, but the 5 minutes of one I did see, featured a delightful overweight woman with tattoos and gold jewellery, smoking a fag, whilst ringing up the council (on a fancy smart phone) about not being able to afford the bills/rent etc - whilst her partner and a massive dog lounged about on the sofa behind her.

People need to get their priorities straight and leave the food banks and benefits to those who genuinely need them from time to time.
I find it frustrating that some families who live solely on benefits and claim they can't afford to pay their bills/buy food etc can still somehow find the money for cigarettes every day, and alcohol, tattoos, smart phones, pets, expensive trainers, large televisions and a Sky package. Benefits and food banks should be a last resort - not a lifestyle option. I generally avoid the benefits-related documentaries on tv, but the 5 minutes of one I did see, featured a delightful overweight woman with tattoos and gold jewellery, smoking a fag, whilst ringing up the council (on a fancy smart phone) about not being able to afford the bills/rent etc - whilst her partner and a massive dog lounged about on the sofa behind her. People need to get their priorities straight and leave the food banks and benefits to those who genuinely need them from time to time. york_chap
  • Score: 11

3:24pm Tue 10 Jun 14

I'msohappy.com says...

tegularius wrote:
YorkCityLuke wrote:
tegularius wrote:
The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake!

And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire.

So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.
I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.
I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid!

Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity.
Dignity comes from getting out there and earning our own money and not expecting us tax payers to provide for every benefit scrounger and their offspring.
It must be a great way of life to get up every day and chill out round the TV and in the sunshine whilst teaching the afore mentioned offspring that life is great living on benefits, such great role models.
[quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]YorkCityLuke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake! And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire. So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.[/p][/quote]I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.[/p][/quote]I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid! Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity.[/p][/quote]Dignity comes from getting out there and earning our own money and not expecting us tax payers to provide for every benefit scrounger and their offspring. It must be a great way of life to get up every day and chill out round the TV and in the sunshine whilst teaching the afore mentioned offspring that life is great living on benefits, such great role models. I'msohappy.com
  • Score: -3

4:25pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Firedrake says...

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that people who make the most fuss about so-called "benefit culture" and "social security cheats" are perhaps betraying a deep-seated strata of personal insecurity. Are they - perhaps - only a generation or two away from from the gutter themselves? The kind of people whose parents or grandparents "pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps" and are therefore able to look back in horror at where they came from, terrified that - in these increasingly perilous times - they may be destined to return there anytime soon?

If so, they have my sympathy; but to distort this not unreasonable fear into a hatred of the less fortunate is nothing short of irrational. It's almost as if they are engaging in a kind of magic thinking ... an atavistic demonization of today's poor in the hope that it will somehow banish them to yesterday. I am not decrying the pulling up of bootstraps. That is to be commended, of course, but we should never lose site of those we left behind. Offering a helping hand ( by way of a foodbank or whatever) is surely a moral obligation, even if only as a token of gratitute for one's own good fortune. And heaven forbid we actually trod on anyone to get where we are!

Of course, authentic socialism (properly applied) might well render such charitable acts redundant, but I am increasingly astounded by the irony of the fact that so many people who reject such charitable projects as "lily livered do-gooding" also seem to regard socialism as the ultimate evil.

Well then: reject socialism if you must, but be sure to increase your charitable giving accordingly. Philanthropy, after all, is the traditional means by which capitalism salves its conscience!

Of course there are a few real fraudsters out there: always have been; always will be. Serious social analysts (left and right) have always recognised (and accepted) this; but the real humanitarians amongst them also accept that a feckless minority cannot be used as an excuse to with-hold assistance (whether in the form of entitlement to benefit or charity) from people who have fallen on (or been born into) increasingly hard times.

Sometimes, "carrying" the reprobates and "shysters" is the price which has to be paid for social justice. Better by far that a few reprobates are caught in the safty net than a host of genuinely deserving unfortunates fall through it.
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that people who make the most fuss about so-called "benefit culture" and "social security cheats" are perhaps betraying a deep-seated strata of personal insecurity. Are they - perhaps - only a generation or two away from from the gutter themselves? The kind of people whose parents or grandparents "pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps" and are therefore able to look back in horror at where they came from, terrified that - in these increasingly perilous times - they may be destined to return there anytime soon? If so, they have my sympathy; but to distort this not unreasonable fear into a hatred of the less fortunate is nothing short of irrational. It's almost as if they are engaging in a kind of magic thinking ... an atavistic demonization of today's poor in the hope that it will somehow banish them to yesterday. I am not decrying the pulling up of bootstraps. That is to be commended, of course, but we should never lose site of those we left behind. Offering a helping hand ( by way of a foodbank or whatever) is surely a moral obligation, even if only as a token of gratitute for one's own good fortune. And heaven forbid we actually trod on anyone to get where we are! Of course, authentic socialism (properly applied) might well render such charitable acts redundant, but I am increasingly astounded by the irony of the fact that so many people who reject such charitable projects as "lily livered do-gooding" also seem to regard socialism as the ultimate evil. Well then: reject socialism if you must, but be sure to increase your charitable giving accordingly. Philanthropy, after all, is the traditional means by which capitalism salves its conscience! Of course there are a few real fraudsters out there: always have been; always will be. Serious social analysts (left and right) have always recognised (and accepted) this; but the real humanitarians amongst them also accept that a feckless minority cannot be used as an excuse to with-hold assistance (whether in the form of entitlement to benefit or charity) from people who have fallen on (or been born into) increasingly hard times. Sometimes, "carrying" the reprobates and "shysters" is the price which has to be paid for social justice. Better by far that a few reprobates are caught in the safty net than a host of genuinely deserving unfortunates fall through it. Firedrake
  • Score: 90

4:31pm Tue 10 Jun 14

wimtroch says...

I am sure that if I were to open a D&G bank, I would get over 6,000 people coming to purloin. Tell the food bank visitors to stop smoking, stop taking drugs, stop making children, stop driving a car, stop drinking, stop going to the pub, stop watching Sky at home on your 55" TV and buy food instead. Then you can close your food bank. End of problem, end of story
I am sure that if I were to open a D&G bank, I would get over 6,000 people coming to purloin. Tell the food bank visitors to stop smoking, stop taking drugs, stop making children, stop driving a car, stop drinking, stop going to the pub, stop watching Sky at home on your 55" TV and buy food instead. Then you can close your food bank. End of problem, end of story wimtroch
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Tue 10 Jun 14

mamaanne says...

JNikko wrote:
Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you.
I imagine the supermarkets can sell vouchers that cannot be used for cigarettes or alcohol. There could be a universal food card produced than can be bought in numerous outlets and used in all supermarkets. Sounds like a god plan and reduces the stigma for those using food banks.
[quote][p][bold]JNikko[/bold] wrote: Whilst it is a charitable and very kind thing to do, I would be extremely reluctant to give a gift card to the food bank. How would anyone know if the recipient spent it on ciggies or booze? I'll stick to donating cornflakes thank you.[/p][/quote]I imagine the supermarkets can sell vouchers that cannot be used for cigarettes or alcohol. There could be a universal food card produced than can be bought in numerous outlets and used in all supermarkets. Sounds like a god plan and reduces the stigma for those using food banks. mamaanne
  • Score: 4

5:06pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Dave Taylor says...

Why should supermarkets make money from this human tragedy?!
Why should supermarkets make money from this human tragedy?! Dave Taylor
  • Score: 4

5:11pm Tue 10 Jun 14

meme says...

I am sure there are some genuine people who need help as they cannot make their way in the world for whatever reason and they need our help as a caring society
There are also those who scrounge /never want to or will work etc and somehow we need to differentiate between the two
The problem is benefits are a blunt tool. Food given to people means it can only be eaten and not wasted whereas vouchers can be wasted on less essential items.
However to weed out the scroungers the only solution is to make it so uncomfortable for everyone to rely on the social that they feel they have to work
I for one would not give any money at all but provide food a roof over heads and bills paid leaving nothing for luxuries like TV/Booze/cars etc, meaning that the luxuries of life HAVE to be worked for if you want them
BUT I am sure this will raise a hellfire of criticism as too tough on the really needy but I don't see any other answer as we cannot afford to carry such a large proportion of the population forever
I am sure there are some genuine people who need help as they cannot make their way in the world for whatever reason and they need our help as a caring society There are also those who scrounge /never want to or will work etc and somehow we need to differentiate between the two The problem is benefits are a blunt tool. Food given to people means it can only be eaten and not wasted [I suppose people can sell it on!] whereas vouchers can be wasted on less essential items. However to weed out the scroungers the only solution is to make it so uncomfortable for everyone to rely on the social that they feel they have to work I for one would not give any money at all but provide food a roof over heads and bills paid leaving nothing for luxuries like TV/Booze/cars etc, meaning that the luxuries of life HAVE to be worked for if you want them BUT I am sure this will raise a hellfire of criticism as too tough on the really needy but I don't see any other answer as we cannot afford to carry such a large proportion of the population forever meme
  • Score: 8

5:59pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Seadog says...

But meme - as Firedrake pointed out - it isn't "such a large proportion of the population" is it? Last I heard, the amount of unclaimed benefit sloshing around the Treasury at the end of each financial year far outweighs the overspend on those who shouldn't be getting it!
.
But meme - as Firedrake pointed out - it isn't "such a large proportion of the population" is it? Last I heard, the amount of unclaimed benefit sloshing around the Treasury at the end of each financial year far outweighs the overspend on those who shouldn't be getting it! . Seadog
  • Score: 7

6:02pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Seadog says...

PS: Firedrake ... you did mean "sight" as opposed to "site" didn't you? (Line 5 paragraph 2)
PS: Firedrake ... you did mean "sight" as opposed to "site" didn't you? (Line 5 paragraph 2) Seadog
  • Score: 6

7:30pm Tue 10 Jun 14

anistasia says...

I agree with the above comments food should be food not cards people fear these cards could buy drink or cigarettes and even if it was a card or voucher saying on it for food items only some shops will accept them for none food items years ago I knew a few shop that would let people use milk tokens to buy cigarettes .if this card way of paying for food is the way ahead will these nice people who've donated food not be happy and stop donating altogether. just giving out store money cards doesn't teach anything but food banks are there to help and also can go through your spending your debts they can put you on to others that can help.if you want a card system the card should only be used say Asda as its own card and on that card for charity use only if someway it can show what you have bought on the card the card can only be used in the store named on the card and any breach by selling cigs or drink on the card if shown the shop should be charged with fraud. this protects the people donating knowing their donation is helping someone in real need.
I agree with the above comments food should be food not cards people fear these cards could buy drink or cigarettes and even if it was a card or voucher saying on it for food items only some shops will accept them for none food items years ago I knew a few shop that would let people use milk tokens to buy cigarettes .if this card way of paying for food is the way ahead will these nice people who've donated food not be happy and stop donating altogether. just giving out store money cards doesn't teach anything but food banks are there to help and also can go through your spending your debts they can put you on to others that can help.if you want a card system the card should only be used say Asda as its own card and on that card for charity use only if someway it can show what you have bought on the card the card can only be used in the store named on the card and any breach by selling cigs or drink on the card if shown the shop should be charged with fraud. this protects the people donating knowing their donation is helping someone in real need. anistasia
  • Score: -4

9:09pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Silver says...

Nice to see who those who are compassionate for others in these comments. I've been on benefits such as Job seekers allowance and housing benefit through no fault of my own. I simply was on a temp worker for 7 years and having to find money when my contracts ran out. It's taken me 7 years to get a permanent job. I paid into the system and it helped me when I needed it, The state help such as job centres are useless, luckily I've got the education to not rely on their help. Some people have no other option but to rely on the state as their circumstances are varied. There are a few scroungers I agree but besides having the state personally monitor every expense whats your answer to this?
Nice to see who those who are compassionate for others in these comments. I've been on benefits such as Job seekers allowance and housing benefit through no fault of my own. I simply was on a temp worker for 7 years and having to find money when my contracts ran out. It's taken me 7 years to get a permanent job. I paid into the system and it helped me when I needed it, The state help such as job centres are useless, luckily I've got the education to not rely on their help. Some people have no other option but to rely on the state as their circumstances are varied. There are a few scroungers I agree but besides having the state personally monitor every expense whats your answer to this? Silver
  • Score: 4

10:09pm Tue 10 Jun 14

CHISSY1 says...

wimtroch wrote:
I am sure that if I were to open a D&G bank, I would get over 6,000 people coming to purloin. Tell the food bank visitors to stop smoking, stop taking drugs, stop making children, stop driving a car, stop drinking, stop going to the pub, stop watching Sky at home on your 55" TV and buy food instead. Then you can close your food bank. End of problem, end of story
Well said.
[quote][p][bold]wimtroch[/bold] wrote: I am sure that if I were to open a D&G bank, I would get over 6,000 people coming to purloin. Tell the food bank visitors to stop smoking, stop taking drugs, stop making children, stop driving a car, stop drinking, stop going to the pub, stop watching Sky at home on your 55" TV and buy food instead. Then you can close your food bank. End of problem, end of story[/p][/quote]Well said. CHISSY1
  • Score: -34

10:20pm Tue 10 Jun 14

JHardacre says...

anistasia wrote:
I agree with the above comments food should be food not cards people fear these cards could buy drink or cigarettes and even if it was a card or voucher saying on it for food items only some shops will accept them for none food items years ago I knew a few shop that would let people use milk tokens to buy cigarettes .if this card way of paying for food is the way ahead will these nice people who've donated food not be happy and stop donating altogether. just giving out store money cards doesn't teach anything but food banks are there to help and also can go through your spending your debts they can put you on to others that can help.if you want a card system the card should only be used say Asda as its own card and on that card for charity use only if someway it can show what you have bought on the card the card can only be used in the store named on the card and any breach by selling cigs or drink on the card if shown the shop should be charged with fraud. this protects the people donating knowing their donation is helping someone in real need.
Any chance of some capital letters and proper punctuation so we can read your point with some degree of comprehension?
[quote][p][bold]anistasia[/bold] wrote: I agree with the above comments food should be food not cards people fear these cards could buy drink or cigarettes and even if it was a card or voucher saying on it for food items only some shops will accept them for none food items years ago I knew a few shop that would let people use milk tokens to buy cigarettes .if this card way of paying for food is the way ahead will these nice people who've donated food not be happy and stop donating altogether. just giving out store money cards doesn't teach anything but food banks are there to help and also can go through your spending your debts they can put you on to others that can help.if you want a card system the card should only be used say Asda as its own card and on that card for charity use only if someway it can show what you have bought on the card the card can only be used in the store named on the card and any breach by selling cigs or drink on the card if shown the shop should be charged with fraud. this protects the people donating knowing their donation is helping someone in real need.[/p][/quote]Any chance of some capital letters and proper punctuation so we can read your point with some degree of comprehension? JHardacre
  • Score: 0

1:53am Wed 11 Jun 14

Buzzz Light-year says...

Dam n straight all this. Can't have them buying their own stuff - they might totally ignore quinoa and rocket and just buy micro chips and crispy pancakes.
Disgusting how they play the system!
Dam n straight all this. Can't have them buying their own stuff - they might totally ignore quinoa and rocket and just buy micro chips and crispy pancakes. Disgusting how they play the system! Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Wed 11 Jun 14

tegularius says...

I'msohappy.com wrote:
tegularius wrote:
YorkCityLuke wrote:
tegularius wrote:
The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake!

And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire.

So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.
I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.
I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid!

Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity.
Dignity comes from getting out there and earning our own money and not expecting us tax payers to provide for every benefit scrounger and their offspring.
It must be a great way of life to get up every day and chill out round the TV and in the sunshine whilst teaching the afore mentioned offspring that life is great living on benefits, such great role models.
Meaningful employment is of course a good way to maintain personal dignity, but as you may have noticed we happen to be experiencing a global economic crisis resulting in the loss of millions of jobs worldwide! Anyone in your family ever been made unemployed? Or possibly a friend? Perhaps they fell ill, or the company 'downsized', or they were on the ever-popular zero-hour contract and had the gall to ask for more job security from their employer? If they're fortunate, the work they've had before has given them a decent amount of savings to keep them above water. If, as is more likely, they've been living paycheck to paycheck just to cover rent, food, utilities and petrol, chances are they haven't got much in the way of savings. What do they do then? There are millions of people out of work, you think they ENJOY surviving on less than £10 a day JSA? That's a great life, is it? You have my sympathies: I'd hate to live in your world if you think that's a life of luxury.
[quote][p][bold]I'msohappy.com[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]YorkCityLuke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake! And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire. So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.[/p][/quote]I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.[/p][/quote]I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid! Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity.[/p][/quote]Dignity comes from getting out there and earning our own money and not expecting us tax payers to provide for every benefit scrounger and their offspring. It must be a great way of life to get up every day and chill out round the TV and in the sunshine whilst teaching the afore mentioned offspring that life is great living on benefits, such great role models.[/p][/quote]Meaningful employment is of course a good way to maintain personal dignity, but as you may have noticed we happen to be experiencing a global economic crisis resulting in the loss of millions of jobs worldwide! Anyone in your family ever been made unemployed? Or possibly a friend? Perhaps they fell ill, or the company 'downsized', or they were on the ever-popular zero-hour contract and had the gall to ask for more job security from their employer? If they're fortunate, the work they've had before has given them a decent amount of savings to keep them above water. If, as is more likely, they've been living paycheck to paycheck just to cover rent, food, utilities and petrol, chances are they haven't got much in the way of savings. What do they do then? There are millions of people out of work, you think they ENJOY surviving on less than £10 a day JSA? That's a great life, is it? You have my sympathies: I'd hate to live in your world if you think that's a life of luxury. tegularius
  • Score: 2

1:26pm Wed 11 Jun 14

meme says...

But Seadog even one person claiming is one too many!
everyone should have the opportunity and the incentive to work as it brings self esteem and stops people getting up to mischief.
Frankly no one knows who really deserves it and who is scrounging. If we did there would not be a problem but I for one hate the idea of lots of foreigners coming here and being able to claim on our system.....we are becoming the dumping ground for Africa and India.. That's not racism; I don't care what colour /race/creed or political views anyone is/has but we cannot afford to give people money who put nothing into the system. That's a basic fact and there are more and more people claiming and less earning. it does not take a mathematical genius to work out where this eventually leads.
we are going to HAVE to sort this, with some very unpleasant results for some, or go bust. Immigration however is only part of the problem. The British people who find themselves better off on benefits and who don't have the will to work in a job they don't want will also find life tough as benefits will eventually be a subsistence lifestyle from a matter of financial necessity for the UK. The days of successive governments giving away money are gone as we don't have it to give. Why do you think our deficit is so great? Do you want us to go the way of Greece/Spain and Italy where there are literally people starving as they have NO money to give away.
I could go on but, although I think I am compassionate, the financial reality is starting to bite and whatever colour of government we get next they are going to be as tough if not tougher than the present one as if we, as the UK are to stay solvent ...they have no choice!
the answer is to slow population growth down to ensure there is adequate work for those who can and incentivise those who don't want to work to do so by making it so uncomfortable on benefits that they have to work
How many times do you go away and meet people on benefits on holiday....Why should that be paid for by a taxpayer? I agree taxpayers should fund a very basic standard of living ie warm dry roof etc but to be able to afford a car/TV/holidays etc on someone else's bank account is plain wrong.
there will be howls of protest about this as we all now seem to believe we are entitled to everything without earning it...I don't however agree with that view
But Seadog even one person claiming is one too many! everyone should have the opportunity and the incentive to work as it brings self esteem and stops people getting up to mischief. Frankly no one knows who really deserves it and who is scrounging. If we did there would not be a problem but I for one hate the idea of lots of foreigners coming here and being able to claim on our system.....we are becoming the dumping ground for Africa and India.. That's not racism; I don't care what colour /race/creed or political views anyone is/has but we cannot afford to give people money who put nothing into the system. That's a basic fact and there are more and more people claiming and less earning. it does not take a mathematical genius to work out where this eventually leads. we are going to HAVE to sort this, with some very unpleasant results for some, or go bust. Immigration however is only part of the problem. The British people who find themselves better off on benefits and who don't have the will to work in a job they don't want will also find life tough as benefits will eventually be a subsistence lifestyle from a matter of financial necessity for the UK. The days of successive governments giving away money are gone as we don't have it to give. Why do you think our deficit is so great? Do you want us to go the way of Greece/Spain and Italy where there are literally people starving [certainly in Spain] as they have NO money to give away. I could go on but, although I think I am compassionate, the financial reality is starting to bite and whatever colour of government we get next they are going to be as tough if not tougher than the present one as if we, as the UK are to stay solvent ...they have no choice! the answer is to slow population growth down to ensure there is adequate work for those who can and incentivise those who don't want to work to do so by making it so uncomfortable on benefits that they have to work How many times do you go away and meet people on benefits on holiday....Why should that be paid for by a taxpayer? I agree taxpayers should fund a very basic standard of living ie warm dry roof etc but to be able to afford a car/TV/holidays etc on someone else's bank account is plain wrong. there will be howls of protest about this as we all now seem to believe we are entitled to everything without earning it...I don't however agree with that view meme
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Fri 13 Jun 14

I'msohappy.com says...

tegularius wrote:
I'msohappy.com wrote:
tegularius wrote:
YorkCityLuke wrote:
tegularius wrote:
The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake!

And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire.

So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.
I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.
I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid!

Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity.
Dignity comes from getting out there and earning our own money and not expecting us tax payers to provide for every benefit scrounger and their offspring.
It must be a great way of life to get up every day and chill out round the TV and in the sunshine whilst teaching the afore mentioned offspring that life is great living on benefits, such great role models.
Meaningful employment is of course a good way to maintain personal dignity, but as you may have noticed we happen to be experiencing a global economic crisis resulting in the loss of millions of jobs worldwide! Anyone in your family ever been made unemployed? Or possibly a friend? Perhaps they fell ill, or the company 'downsized', or they were on the ever-popular zero-hour contract and had the gall to ask for more job security from their employer? If they're fortunate, the work they've had before has given them a decent amount of savings to keep them above water. If, as is more likely, they've been living paycheck to paycheck just to cover rent, food, utilities and petrol, chances are they haven't got much in the way of savings. What do they do then? There are millions of people out of work, you think they ENJOY surviving on less than £10 a day JSA? That's a great life, is it? You have my sympathies: I'd hate to live in your world if you think that's a life of luxury.
I am not saying genuine people on benefits should not get some form of help, I am merely saying they should prioritise what they spend their benefits on, like someone pointed out earlier they need to cut back on the fags,mobile phone, 50' plasma tv's, nights out etc.....then maybe just maybe their money will last until their next handout.
[quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I'msohappy.com[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]YorkCityLuke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tegularius[/bold] wrote: The cynicism in these comments is thoroughly depressing. You've fallen hook, line and sinker for the party line that anyone requiring benefits or assistance is somehow 'gaming the system' or doing so out of laziness rather than misfortune (the misfortune of being of working age during one of most significant economic downturns in the last hundred years, no less). You're all so fixated on this notion of 'benefits cheats' when they're LESS THAN 1% of the total tax and credit spend. More money is lost through administrative error, for goodness sake! And who promotes this party line? The people who consolidate their wealth through tax schemes that cost the taxpayer UP TO 50 TIMES the amount lost to benefit fraud. You're complaining about your neighbour having a bonfire while the entire country is on fire. So how about showing some sense of perspective? People who are on state benefits or who use food banks are not trying to rip you off - they just need help. Treating them like criminals is both cruel and ignorant.[/p][/quote]I think people were just suggesting guarding against abuse of the system rather than assuming everyone who uses it would be out to abuse it. It would only take one deceitful user of food banks to waste 'gift card' money to undermine the credibility of the whole outfit. Why not just keep giving food items? The outcome is the same (ok, maybe less personal choice but I don't see that as a God-given right anyway) and people will feel more comfortable donating.[/p][/quote]I see where you're coming from, although given the venom of some commentators here it feels like there's this assumption that anyone who's already in desperate enough straits to require help should be made to feel even less like a worthy human being before they can receive aid! Looking at the proposals, it seems Dr Cameron is saying that the current food bank system won't be able to cope with the projected increase in demand once the way benefits are paid changes. Dealing in vouchers (and presumably people will still donate food as well) releases much of the burden on volunteers, without whom there would be no food banks at all. Aside from this, allowing people to do their own shopping and make their own choices about what they and their families eat allows them dignity, and helps them feel marginally less terrible about their circumstances - it allows them to feel a bit more normal. There is always abuse of any system, but as I said above we VASTLY overestimate it. If people choose not to donate then this is their choice, but I don't think we can put too big a price on human dignity.[/p][/quote]Dignity comes from getting out there and earning our own money and not expecting us tax payers to provide for every benefit scrounger and their offspring. It must be a great way of life to get up every day and chill out round the TV and in the sunshine whilst teaching the afore mentioned offspring that life is great living on benefits, such great role models.[/p][/quote]Meaningful employment is of course a good way to maintain personal dignity, but as you may have noticed we happen to be experiencing a global economic crisis resulting in the loss of millions of jobs worldwide! Anyone in your family ever been made unemployed? Or possibly a friend? Perhaps they fell ill, or the company 'downsized', or they were on the ever-popular zero-hour contract and had the gall to ask for more job security from their employer? If they're fortunate, the work they've had before has given them a decent amount of savings to keep them above water. If, as is more likely, they've been living paycheck to paycheck just to cover rent, food, utilities and petrol, chances are they haven't got much in the way of savings. What do they do then? There are millions of people out of work, you think they ENJOY surviving on less than £10 a day JSA? That's a great life, is it? You have my sympathies: I'd hate to live in your world if you think that's a life of luxury.[/p][/quote]I am not saying genuine people on benefits should not get some form of help, I am merely saying they should prioritise what they spend their benefits on, like someone pointed out earlier they need to cut back on the fags,mobile phone, 50' plasma tv's, nights out etc.....then maybe just maybe their money will last until their next handout. I'msohappy.com
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