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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I If someone cannot find work- as many disabled people cannot- then they should be protected providing they can prove they're working flat out to find a job. I think the JC+ should be able to ask for copies of application forms- I've seen several forms for menial work filled in by people determined to screw up their chance of being interviewed- and people who don't apply for jobs genuinely should have their benefits stopped.

    Why should disabled people have to be flat out looking for work if they medically can't work? I am long term sick / disabled and don't apply for jobs, I spend my time doing things that will help me get a job in the long term. For example I have had many years worth of full time treatment such as day hospital and therapy that literally takes all day monday to friday. Now I am working on my employablity by doing voluntary work. I aim for three afternoons a week at the charity but often have to call in sick or take time off because I cannot face work or am too tired due to my medication and illness. Even if I could get a job I wouldn't be able to keep it very long as they are strict with how often you can take the day off sick. I really think that how I spend my days is better than just applying for jobs willy nilly to prove I am seeking work that I cannot do anyway. Luckily the DWP agrees with this which I why I've only had to go to the job centre twice in five years to talk to them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Was actually advised to pursue speculative CVs by a an advisor at a recruitment agency. Dunno whether that counts for anything though.
    You've got nothing to lose, it only costs the price of a stamp and everything to gain. If you get rejected doing this it doesn't feel bad as you can tell yourself they just didn't have a job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest with the amount of lazy people who could work but wont (I know plenty of them unfortunately :/ career-benefits recipients) I personally don't think hounding people with medical problems to find a job is necessarily the best thing.

    Though I do think encouraging people to do some work if they can is good, since (to give an example), some level of work can really help as part of a treatment programme for people suffering from depression.

    But it should be on a personal basis depending on the individual. :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not sure that anyone is advocating that, in fact I'd I'd say that they are advocating something different. They are advocating a benefits system and welfare state.

    The key element of any welfare system should always be that it is a safety net for those who cannot find work, or are physically unable to do so. Not wanting to do a job because it's demeaning or degrading is not acceptable IMHO.

    There are plenty of jobs out there which fall into that category and yet there seems to be an assumption that it's alright for people without a degree to do them. Sorry, but if it's okay for them, then it's okay for anyone.

    That isn't to disregard the fact that many employers will see someone with a degree as "over qualified". For me that's a fallacy. If you want the job, and could do the job, then you're perfectly qualified IMHO.



    My view isn't based on the ""cost" of the welfare system. It's based on the whole basis of a welfare system.

    I'd echo your comments about tax-evasion and extend it to "legitimate" loopholes too.

    Personally I'm in favour of a unconditional citizens income, so I've .no. issue whatsoever with people on benefits being choosy over what career they wan't, and I say that as someone who's done all of those so called 'shitty' jobs (actually, they weren't, they were great, but there you go) after all, I chose to do those jobs, no one forced me.

    Live and let live as far as I'm concerned.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    Why should disabled people have to be flat out looking for work if they medically can't work?

    I don;t think that's what he said. Or am I reading it differently?
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally I'm in favour of a unconditional citizens income, so I've .no. issue whatsoever with people on benefits being choosy over what career they wan't, and I say that as someone who's done all of those so called 'shitty' jobs (actually, they weren't, they were great, but there you go) after all, I chose to do those jobs, no one forced me.

    Live and let live as far as I'm concerned.

    What scares me more in terms of 'shitty jobs' is having a job that will destroy me physically and emotionally thanks to managers bullying and expecting me to do ridiculous hours. I think as long as the job you do has decent people it's alright!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    I don;t think that's what he said. Or am I reading it differently?

    No. He very specifically excluded disabled people.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    Personally I'm in favour of a unconditional citizens income, so I've .no. issue whatsoever with people on benefits being choosy over what career they wan't

    That's just not sustainable tho. What happens when everybody want to be a professional footballer?

    We can't all do what we want to do. We can only try.
    And I have no problem with people having an ambition to do their dream job and encouraging them to get it, but until they succeed I'd rather they contribute to society by working elsewhere or volunteering. Soley applying for jobs they are unlikely to get at the moment is not an adequate contribution as far as I'm concerned.

    I was made redundant and it quickly became clear it was going to take a while before I got back into a similar role. So I stacked shelves for a few months, keeping myself motivated and busy, earning a living and paying tax, whilst looking for that similar role. It wasn't easy, but being employed is far better for your well being and prospects, even if it's a job that you think is 'beneath' you.

    This is the real world. People have to work. No everybody gets to do what they want to do, when they want to do it.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    No. He very specifically excluded disabled people.

    Thought so.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Remember the dole pays vastly less than the minimum wage, those who seem to be making a good living on the dole are either on the fiddle or getting themselves into consumer debt by buying goods on credit.

    I am a welfare benefits specialist adviser and sit on the boards of various national and regional money advice charities. I do actually understand all of the above, although thanks for enlightening me about Shite House and the Provident.
    The idea of "no work, no money" might be fine if we lived in times of full employment, unfortunately we don't and there are about five applicants for every job vacancy.

    That's not what I advocate. I advocate "no looking for work, no money". If someone busts a bollock to find work and is unsuccessful, for whatever reason, then the state should look after them. I accept that down to a combination of restricted hours and good old-fashioned bigotry many people won't find work, especially in a recession. That doesn't mean they shouldn't look though.

    However many people- including a good wedge of my clients when I worked at the CAB- do not do that; they expect everything handed to them on a plate. Quite a few knew the benefits system loopholes better than I do.

    The amount of money that tax evaders and tax avoiders steal out of the system is a different argument for a different day. You won't hear me disagreeing about that. But that's neither here nor there, I don't even think what I think for fiscal reasons: I think the current benefits system encourages dependency. It pays to avoid work and so people avoid work. We need to change it so that work pays- higher disregards for housing benefit and tax credits would help massively. Pay more to those who work and less to those who will not work: what's fairer than that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    Why should disabled people have to be flat out looking for work if they medically can't work?

    I specifically disregarded people medically unable to work. This includes both physical and mental disabilities, including learning disabilities and mental health problems.

    However a lot of disabled people can work: having an ability to walk, as an example, doesn't prevent you working in an office. Why shouldn't those people be expected to look for work?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I specifically disregarded people medically unable to work. This includes both physical and mental disabilities, including learning disabilities and mental health problems.

    However a lot of disabled people can work: having an ability to walk, as an example, doesn't prevent you working in an office. Why shouldn't those people be expected to look for work?

    Its totally unreasonable to withdraw benefits from disabled people who won't take up jobs that would put their health at risk. I know people who have chronic anxiety issues who have been pushed into retail jobs, been sacked within the matter of weeks, and ended up back in the same position. Yes, people should be expected to look for work, but the goverment needs to put more money in making people more employable, and also have specialist advisers who can find suitable jobs that work with someone's disability rather than against it. The ESA medical is way too harsh! I've been to one myself with my mother, and she was in tears pretty much through out it. It was horrible to watch as a bystander, let alone go through it myself.

    The goverment have got their priorities totally wrong about pushing people into work at any cost. Surely it would be cheaper to pay for people to be better prepared for the workplace, but also to help people find work that they can do and will enjoy/feel rewarded or whatever you call it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    That's just not sustainable tho.
    In your opinion
    What happens when everybody want to be a professional footballer?
    They won't, problem solved
    but until they succeed I'd rather they contribute to society by working elsewhere or volunteering.
    Oh yes, I'm all for this, just not compelling them too, otherwise it ain't volunteering, is it?
    I was made redundant and it quickly became clear it was going to take a while before I got back into a similar role. So I stacked shelves for a few months, keeping myself motivated and busy, earning a living and paying tax, whilst looking for that similar role. It wasn't easy, but being employed is far better for your well being and prospects, even if it's a job that you think is 'beneath' you.
    99.9% of those recently made redundant/graduates have the same attitude as you, however, you got lucky, they didn't.
    This is the real world. People have to work.
    And most do, however that depends on what you think of as 'work', lots of people without official employment contribute to society, mothers, carers, volunteers, et cetera.

    People don't have to be officially employed to be seen as socially usefull.
    Not everybody gets to do what they want to do, when they want to do it.
    No they don't but the difference here is I don't think you need a large bureaucracy to compel people to do the right thing, some may choose to stay on benefits, fine, that's their bag, most won't though.

    Look, you can talk about how you've only been unemployed for a short period of time and if you really wan't to work you can, but the fact is a lot of people are just as eager as you to stay in work, and many were just as desperate as you to have any job, but a lot of people have said exactly that shortly before being made redundant, and many are still out of work now. Six/Seven years ago, I'd probably 100% have agreed with you guys on this issue. I then experienced it, and it's amazing how being on the dole for an extended period can cause your views to do a 180 flip. I used to think most who were unemployed could work in some way, and were just lazy. I got clear on all that.

    We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one my friend. :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's not what I advocate. I advocate "no looking for work, no money".
    But that's what we have at the moment, Job Seekers Allowance, if you don't apply for enough jobs, you can have your benefits stopped for up to 6 months, hell under the new system, It can be up to three years. I feel we're going in circles here.
    However many people- including a good wedge of my clients when I worked at the CAB- do not do that; they expect everything handed to them on a plate. Quite a few knew the benefits system loopholes better than I do.
    So because of a few idiots that you've encountered, you think the whole system needs overhaul?
    I don't even think what I think for fiscal reasons: I think the current benefits system encourages dependency. It pays to avoid work and so people avoid work. We need to change it so that work pays- higher disregards for housing benefit and tax credits would help massively. Pay more to those who work and less to those who will not work: what's fairer than that?

    Nothing, hell under a Citizen's Income, you'd always be better off working. If you quit your job because you felt like it you're income .would. fall. No need for a large department to police the system either.

    I'm sorry mate but the emboldened bit, all I'm hearing here is regurgitated Daily Fail.

    Look, we could argue all night over this fell, but that's probably not the best idea.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    In your opinion

    You think the person that cleans out the public shitters in town, dreamed of doing that job their whole life?
    Not everybody gets to do what they want to do in life. Sad but true.
    wrote:
    They won't, problem solved

    Well the problem isn't solved is it? It would seem have too many graduates going for too few jobs. The way they increase the number of available jobs is by lowering their expectations, even if it's just temporary
    wrote:
    Oh yes, I'm all for this, just not compelling them too, otherwise it ain't volunteering, is it?

    Of course not. They have choices. Work, look for work or volunteer.
    wrote:
    99.9% of those recently made redundant/graduates have the same attitude as you, however, you got lucky, they didn't.

    Well I think attitudes in this thread suggest otherwise. I didn't get lucky. I had to take a job that some in this thread, if found in my position, would have considered beneath them. I din't enjoy working there, but it was preferable to being unemployed and I worked there until I found something that suited me better.
    wrote:
    And most do, however that depends on what you think of as 'work', lots of people without official employment contribute to society, mothers, carers, volunteers, et cetera.

    People don't have to be officially employed to be seen as socially usefull.

    Of course not. But these are not the people in question. I'm specifically talking about those with qualification that are avoiding non skilled jobs, too hunt for jobs that they have trained for - jobs there aren't enough of it would seem.
    wrote:
    No they don't but the difference here is I don't think you need a large bureaucracy to compel people to do the right thing, some may choose to stay on benefits, fine, that's their bag, most won't though.

    I think you do need it. A large proportion of people when left to their own devices, do not do the right thing. 'Choosing' to stay on benefits is not the right thing.
    The welfare state is there to catch and protect those that need it, it shouldn't be a lifestyle choice.
    And it's not 'their bag' at all, not when it's other people taxes that are funding their 'choice'.
    wrote:
    Look, you can talk about how you've only been unemployed for a short period of time and if you really wan't to work you can, but the fact is a lot of people are just as eager as you to stay in work, and many were just as desperate as you to have any job, but a lot of people have said exactly that shortly before being made redundant, and many are still out of work now. Six/Seven years ago, I'd probably 100% have agreed with you guys on this issue. I then experienced it, and it's amazing how being on the dole for an extended period can cause your views to do a 180 flip. I used to think most who were unemployed could work in some way, and were just lazy. I got clear on all that.

    I'm not saying it's easy to find a job. I'm saying it's made even harder if you limit yourselves to different jobs - something you think it's perfectly acceptable to do.

    I find it hard to have sympathy with the people that are limiting themselves and only applying for jobs they want, who then complain about how hard it is to find work.
    I've been there and I've taken jobs I didn't want because I find the idea of being on 'the dole' far more beneath me than stacking shelves.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    I'm sorry mate but the emboldened bit, all I'm hearing here is regurgitated Daily Fail.

    Or it just could be the opinion based on experience working with the CAB, the same opinion my mother had when working for the Job Centre. An opinion that there are a significant number of people lack any work ethic and choose to stay benefits and avoid looking for work, despite any real reason why they shouldn't.

    You can't hide from the fact that some people are happy to live on benefits, if it means they don't have to work.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally I'd also question the value of speculative CV and whther its worth your time doing them - the chances of a firm just needing someone just as you send it in is remote and in most cases it's worth the firm do a proper advertising process and getting in lots of applications from which they can choose. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never heard of anyone getting job above pretty casual Saturday work through spec CVs.

    Speculative CVs will often work with any job with a high turnover rate or anything where the jobs are project-based. So film and TV companies are a good example, because even though they've got full-time staff for long-term programmes, they'll always need to hire a bunch of people on temporary contracts for their next project. And then that can be your first step to getting something a bit more long-term.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Firstly, people who cannot work should not be forced to work, providing they can prove that they cannot work. People who need assistance to get back into work should get that assistance. We could call it employment support allowance...

    I think you would be surprised how many people with "anxiety" would suddenly find a way to drag themselves into work if the alternative was starving to death at home with no money. I don't advocate removing the safety net but people who give up retail work because of "anxiety" wouldn't if the alternative was no money at all. I find a way to drag myself to work because my family would lose their home if I didn't, so I don't see why 30% of my wages should go in bailing out people who won't. Yes, I'm being harsh, but that's life.

    As for a "citizen's income", why should my wages be spent on freeloaders who "give up their job because they feel like it"? If they don't feel like working they can find some other way of putting food on the table, a way that doesn't involve lifting hundreds of pounds a month out of my wage packet.

    As for the jibe about the Daily Mail, no, most of what comes out of that rag is utter drivel. But there should be more personal responsibility and less freeloading. All welfare cheats and welfare scroungers should be left to sink or swim- and I include the biggest welfare scroungers of all, bankers and MPs, in that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you would be surprised how many people with "anxiety" would suddenly find a way to drag themselves into work if the alternative was starving to death at home with no money.

    I think a person with their legs blown off would find a way to 'drag' themselves into work if it was a matter of life or death.. Luckily we are fortunate in this country to have the provisions to make sure that we never have to make that extreme choice.. so I don't really see your point there? Not sure if your use of quotation marks was suggesting that there are people out there who fake anxiety in order not to work or whether you personally believe that anxiety is not a serious mental health condition that would affect a person's capacity to work? Because either of those view points I find both insensitive and offensive to those that do suffer with long term anxiety.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not sure how that's relevant :confused:

    Employees should be protected from vexatious employers, but that's entirely separate from the argument that people shouldn't look for work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Are we crossing wires here? I took your post to be criticising the welfare system and in particular those that suffer from anxiety. I wanted to check whether your criticism was of anxiety being a condition that would prevent someone from working or that people may be falsely claiming that they are suffering from it. I'm guessing the latter. Maybe it's not relevant to this thread but it was relevant to your post.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My reply was to ShyBoy, you just sneaked in there ;)
    I think a person with their legs blown off would find a way to 'drag' themselves into work if it was a matter of life or death

    Having no legs does not, in itself, prevent someone from working. I wouldn't dare to presume that it does. Therefore I don't see why they shouldn't be looking for work.

    People should be treated on their own merits and those who are genuinely too ill to work should not be forced to work. But I also think that a fair few people are indulged with disability benefits when they should actually be looking for work. I'm not talking about people with severe anxiety disorders or people with severe mental health difficulties, but I am talking about people with lesser forms of depression who mope about at home when they're perfectly capable of growing a pair and knuckling down.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He might have been responding to my link Clementine.

    It's tangentially related and I thought I'd throw it in for fun. People should find work, but people hounding the unemployed are missing the bigger picture that the government doesn't do a whole lot for those in the cesspool at the bottom, it just expects them to 'find jobs'. My reaction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzs-4kY4REc

    As for anxiety, you're probably right. You can always push someone to work, if worst comes to worst you could bring back the workhouses. The problem is if you 'push' people enough then what you see is people falling into the grey economy, criminality, etc. which isn't actually a benefit to the country. If we look at the US, shantytowns have cropped up where basically the jobless have to live in tent cities and yet unemployment hasn't solved itself despite the amount of people who are -desperate- for work. Also as an on-off anxiety suffer, please try to avoid painting it as a 'pretend' ailment :/ I am sure that wasn't your intention but just thought I'd point out it can be debilitating for some. I always hate having to explain that I have suffered with anxiety because people look at you sideways and think to themselves 'well I get anxious too but I still have shit to do so I don't let it bother me'.

    Though I'm going a little off the topic - people should look for work. Everyone should look for honest work, whether they're disabled, ill, old or young. Having something to do and giving something is a good thing to do. The problem is, where are the acceptable limits? Do we go to the extremes and say anyone who is physically able should do the job? Or is it less than that? McDonalds isn't actually that bad a job, but lets not pretend that's a 'shitty' job. The shitty jobs are the ones where you are hounded by your employer but are too scared to confront him, and unable to leave, because you need the money. Jobs where they know if you step out of line they could replace you in a second, so they can treat you like shit. Where you have to work unpaid overtime for hours, every single day, even if you've got kids. I've done warehouse work for one company and luckily got on the good side of the management quickly, but trust me - the majority of the staff there were treated like horseshit. It didn't matter because they were all hired through an agency so if one looked at a boss funny he wouldn't be going in next day.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It depends what you define as a "pretend" ailment. My sympathy's muted because I have a serious mental health condition and I manage to go to work- the longest I've had off work because of it is about three weeks. If I can do it I genuinely do not understand why people with lesser conditions cannot do it- I think it comes down to motivation. It's easier to sit at home on income support or ESA than it is to put yourself out in the shop window. So sit at home they do.

    Employment legislation is different- I don't think employees are protected enough, despite what the moron Tories try and claim- but that really is a different argument.

    If someone has the time to be a criminal they have the time to get a job and stop scrounging off me. Take druggies as an example- if they're co-ordinated enough to nick my telly, they're co-ordinated enough to get a job. If they choose not to, that's their lookout isn't it? I'd legalise drugs to take away the criminality aspect but beyond that, if they don't have enough money to buy their drugs then they should go and bloody well earn some.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: criminality I give the example of someone I know. He's a 'nice' guy in that he's very charming and easy to get on with, he doesn't prejudge people so unless you've done something to piss him off he's fine. He was unemployed for about a year - criminal conviction + no work history + he talks like he's 'rough' didn't help, though he did go for a lot of job interviews, I remember being round at his house when he'd get in his suit and stuff. He's got three kids as well, so he does *want* to sort his life out and earn an honest living.

    Then his mate says he can give him an 'easy £100' for doing 'a job'. Turns out he was basically assisting a theft, he gets caught redhanded and sent back to prison. He wanted the 'easy £100' because he had no money and his sons birthday was coming up. He's out of prison now, and surprise surprise, still unemployed.

    It's idiocy of the worst kind, but had you told him instead 'I'll give you £20 to work in the sun for 12 hours every day and lay paving slabs' he would have done it without a moments hesitation. The problem is getting these people into work, not trying to put the squeeze on them more to try to 'incentivise' them. Because like this guy I know, they'll just go nick a car stereo for the £10 down the pub rather than desperately attend interviews.

    As for anxiety, my personal story is when it got particularly bad combined with depression I had to take some time out of uni. It's always awkward explaining that. I think I would have been fine in a 9-5 job though, but still I can sympathise with people who do get so bad that they need a bit of time out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My reply was to ShyBoy, you just sneaked in there ;)



    Having no legs does not, in itself, prevent someone from working. I wouldn't dare to presume that it does. Therefore I don't see why they shouldn't be looking for work.

    People should be treated on their own merits and those who are genuinely too ill to work should not be forced to work. But I also think that a fair few people are indulged with disability benefits when they should actually be looking for work. I'm not talking about people with severe anxiety disorders or people with severe mental health difficulties, but I am talking about people with lesser forms of depression who mope about at home when they're perfectly capable of growing a pair and knuckling down.

    Haha, oops! Okay thanks for clearing that up.

    Looking at your post afterwards, I do genuinely applaud you for being able to get back to work however, I do disagree with you. I don't think it's just motivation. It's obvious to point out but people's circumstances are different, upbringings are different, support systems are different.. everything is different. Absolutely no idea what your upbringing was like or your circumstances but I do have empathy for people who suffer what you might term as 'mild to moderate' depression and are stuck in a flat they can't afford and really do believe that they are only worth what the government will provide on JSA. Telling someone to get off their lazy arse or that they are lacking motivation is not going to break through this lack of self worth. You need to address the problems at the root of it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd agree, but I don't think allowing or encouraging them to sit and home, wallowing in self pity, is the way to go about things.

    I just think a lot of people respond more to sticks than carrots, but any system should be a combination of both. I do admit that I take a harsh view on any welfare scroungers. And that's not just the scroungers that the Daily Fail likes to call out, but the bankers and the big computer firms who expect the Government to give them handout after handout in exchange for, well, not very much. The directors of RBS and Northern Rock are exactly the same as the guy who sits on his arse at home drinking beer watching Jezza Kyle.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I didn't want to use myself as an example but I will because I'm actually quite upset by some of the opinions displayed here.

    I am on ESA, because after having spend the entire of my teens trying to get help for post traumatic stress disorder, any confidence and self esteem has been eroded after 3 years at uni being told I'd amount to nothing. Plus I'm pretty dyspraxic and dyslexic, which makes simple things (like cooking a meal or sorting out my paperwork) a real challenge. I still am not getting any treatment, although I'm in contact with people who hopefully will get this to change.

    Some days I feel okish, on a good day I can manage going into my local town center (v small town btw), if I pop into see people I know when I'm feeling panicy. I cannot handle the local city on my own without having a panic attack. Sometimes I have flashbacks out of the blue, sometimes I'm so depressed I find it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings. Even when I do have good days, I normally have to have a nap in the afternoon, because I get exhaused by how anxious I get, and I frequently have periods of horrendous nightmares which leave me feeling like a nervous wreck in the morning. I could, possibly, at a push get myself to work a few days a week, but I know that I'd be sacked really quickly, and likely end up making myself ill. My doctor doesn't like the fact I do 12 hrs a week at college after being signed off, and falling behind with my work (but, saying that, its one of the few things I do have in life that motivates me to keep going and get out of bed in the mornings). I did manage to get myself across the country by train with some help from station staff recently, but I ended up being really anxious for days after, and struggled.

    I'm doing my best to get back to a stage where I can live independently again, and feel strong and confident to go out and earn myself a living and pay back taxes. But its a daily struggle, and on good days I get freaked out about the idea of being watched by benefit fraud people, which makes me not want to go out and push myself to see if I can manage a bit more. If I had my benefits taken away, I'd try to get work, but I know that I'd end up in hospital and end up being signed off with something more serious. I want to work, and I think all people on ESA/IS/JSA/Incapacity etc should be doing something, if its volunteering, an evening course, or actively engaging with services in order to improve job prospects or get better.

    I'm one of those people who would be classed as having mild to moderate mental health issues, and I think better access to treatment to get these people ready for going back into the job market is vital. Just cutting people's benefits is only going to worsen people's state of mental health, and thus end up costing the NHS (thus the tax payer) more in the long run.

    Arctic Roll - the reason you can do it, and for instance I find it difficult, is because you've been able to manage your condition and (i'm guessing) access the support in order to do so. You also, from what you've said here, have a reasonably stable homelife currently, a job history, and some confidence to get yourself going and keep yourself there. Not everyone has those things, I certainly don't, although I try every day to make my situation a little better, there are somethings that I can't do alone.

    The pot of money the goverment has isn't directed in the best way, even if it was there would always be people who fall through the cracks. But, to stop this turning into more of a personal rant that it has already become, I think people need to be given a personal action plan that they need to stick to in order to keep their benefits, which states that they have to do certain things - like I mentioned earlier - to get themselves better &/ more employable. There are always going to be some people who want something for nothing, and they need to be re-educated.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    I'm one of those people who would be classed as having mild to moderate mental health issues, and I think better access to treatment to get these people ready for going back into the job market is vital. Just cutting people's benefits is only going to worsen people's state of mental health, and thus end up costing the NHS (thus the tax payer) more in the long run. .

    really good post, especially i thought the above. to go in heavy handed and outrightly strip away people's benefits is only going to worsen the problem and not just for those that have a recognised disabling condition such as depression but the young people out there who are already being labelled as 'the feral underclass' (thanks ken clarke) who may see a life on benefits as the only option. there are always going to be people who exploit the system but i think it's far too easy to write these people off as 'lazy' rather than addressing the real factors like poverty, social exclusion and shit housing. i'd really welcome a move away from the 'jezza kyle' attitude of casting people (and ironically his target audience) off as 'scum' in favour of protecting this invisible pot of tax payer's money which to me is a non issue.
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