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Carers UK Forum • Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor
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Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:04 am
by rosemary
I think some here will find this an interesting take on current affairs
Magistrates and crown court judges could be asked to dock benefits from convicted criminals under preliminary proposals being drawn up by the government in response to the riots, the Guardian can reveal.

Ministers are looking hard at how benefits, or tax credits, could be taken away to show criminals that privileges provided by the state can be temporarily withdrawn.
read in full here

Re: Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:32 am
by charles47
Interesting that benefits are now seen as a privilege, rather than a legal right under specific circumstances...

Re: Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:32 am
by Sparklingtechie
I must be missing something...but I agree with the statement quoted from the article...if those on benefits smash others properties, theive or are violent to others for the sake of being part of a riot, they should have there money taken of them, why should htey be allowed to theive and steal widescreen tv and computers and not pay for them? The other alternative is to increase tax and for the working person to pay for their bed and board curtasy of her maj goverment.Seriously, which choice would you prefer? the tax payer to pay for their crime..or for them to pay for their crime? oh fwiw I am a non tax payer (exempt ...lone parent more than 1 disabled child). If I have wanted anything and could not afford it, I have simply gone without, I have decided I have the right to smash up properites and loot places. On benefits does not mean above the law. Yes if they were theiving for bread because they were starving hungry I could understand...but these are not the bread riots of time past.

Re: Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:22 am
by Guest
I have to disagree and I am an Income Tax payer, the issue is not one of paying for the damage, it is one of treating certain sections of society differently to others within the judicial system, benefits claimants living in social housing stand to lose their income and home along with innocent members of their families whilst those in work and/or who own their home, I am also a homeowner, will retain their incomes and homes. I believe in equality before the law, not a two-tier system where the poor receive greater punishment than the better off for committing the same crime.

Re: Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:05 am
by Sparklingtechie
I have to disagree and I am an Income Tax payer, the issue is not one of paying for the damage, it is one of treating certain sections of society differently to others within the judicial system, benefits claimants living in social housing stand to lose their income and home along with innocent members of their families whilst those in work and/or who own their home, I am also a homeowner, will retain their incomes and homes. I believe in equality before the law, not a two-tier system where the poor receive greater punishment than the better off for committing the same crime.
Your compaing apples with oranges. If someone works how can their benefits be taken of them...they don't have any. I am not saying to not punnish those who are working and breaking the law rioting but you cannot take something of someone they don't have to being with. An alternate thing to do would be to get those who were working sacked...and then take the benefits of them.

Re: Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:45 pm
by Booksey
Lots of working people get benefits (working tax credits, Child tax credits, child benefit etc).
I notice also that parents of children who truant are now being threatened with loss of child benefit even though they get fined or imprisoned if it gets to the courts stage anyway.

Re: Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:28 pm
by charles47
My problem with all this is the assumption that the rioters were all on benefits.

Like the belief that all football hooligans are young, feckless and on benefits. But what about the pub landlord, http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8 ... p/?ref=rss

Or the teacher? hooligan teacher

It's just too easy to stereotype without thinking about it. Everyone convicted should be punished: but should their families? Because that would be the effect of removing benefits from some people. And I reject the punishment of the innocent.

Re: Docking Benefits and Blaming the Poor

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:20 pm
by Deborah Gordon
I think measures like this only serve to disenfranchise people from society further. If you are caught and punished for a crime you will usually be made to recompense for that act in some way, either with a prison term or a fine so those on benefits alone will have those benefits seized or withdrawn anyway.

As for blaming parents for the truanting ~ a lot of parents work hard to get their kids to go to school but short of sitting outside every class room and escorting them between lessons there is only so much you can do.

I agree with the views of this contributor to the bbc article about the subject

[quote]Martin Johnson, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said]

Having said that I have a major problem with government interference with parenting and they are partly responsible for the current situation. The rights of parents have been eroded and undermined over a considerable time now.

For example I've always taught my children that sexual relationships shouldn't be entered into lightly, nor at a young age. I think that's pretty responsible but then my 12 yr old son goes to the school nurse and gets condoms. My parenting was completely undermined by gov policy regarding the provision of contraception to children who are legally not supposed to be having sex. But of course now that he's 16 if he has a relationship with someone of 14 who has also been given contraception he's breaking the law and my parenting gets called in to question. (Not that this has happened but it came close)

It seems to me that MPs who defraud the public purse get off lightly while those who commit fairly minor offences in comparison get penalised and 'labelled' far more heavily.

Anyway.. my mini rant for the day!

Debbie