Absolutely agree. there is no cause whatsoever to vilify those who are just following the rules that have been drafted by the political establishment. In any case, the real"beneficiaries" are owners of land and property. The benefits keep the property values up by ensuring that families on low incomes can service large mortgages. The money is being siphoned from the young, the single, and those in rented accommodation and being fed to those who have property portfolios. The actual claimants are just blameless intermediaries in the process of theft.
Are claimants entirely blameless though? What about people who deliberately restrict their economic activities in order to protect their benefits? We're breeding children like mad for sure, but children who don't have much ambition, who don't have much get up and go, let alone entrepreneurial spirit, because they realise it doesn't matter, provided they have children, how much or little they earn - if a bit low, no worries, other taxpayers will mandatorily make up the difference.
Tony Blair used to parrot on about how essential it was to support the self employed via the minimum income guarantee, because if just one in a thousand of those fledgling businesses becomes an employer of five people, all the subsidies via the minimum income guarantee will be well worth it. The current government have made it very clear that the £26k benefits cap does not apply to people claiming working tax credit and in particular to the self employed. But they don't understand the reality of being self employed and having a family. There are massive financial incentives to not work too hard in Britain if you have children.
Here's the deal;
If you earn £50k a year, and refuse to have children, then I want my take. I get £14,389 in NI contributions and tax and you get the other £35,610. For that you have to work 50-60 hours a week and throw in ten hours or so of commuting time on top. And no, you don't get housing benefit, council tax benefit, child benefit, working tax credit, child tax credit, help with your childcare costs, free dental, a health card (for free prescriptions in England), free school meals (for the working poor, Scotland), EMA for your older children (Scotland also) etc, etc, etc.
If, on the other hand, you agree to work 30 hours a week, have a couple of children, be self employed and only earn a net income of £7,000 a year then you get to keep all of it AND I'll throw in another £23,600 as a sweetener, tax free. (HB £700 a month LHA, three bedroom house in our area, WTC/CTC £10,400 a year, Child benefit £1,600 a year, council tax benefit £1,500 a year (average rate for a house in our area), EMA if any of your children are over 16 and in school £30 a week for 41 weeks, £400 or so free dental, £100 a year or so free prescription glasses + a few other things I probably haven't thought of, like childcare subsidies)
So far, you are well up on the hours but well behind the £50k a year person? Yes, but what if I told you that your £7k net profit is AFTER claiming 40p a mile for your business mileage (usually well and truly enough to cover the private mileage too), the cost of your mobile phone, your home office, some portion of your broadband, replacement/upgrade of your computer, whatever knowledge maintenance seminars you feel like attending to keep your knowledge current, borrowing costs that you "need" to incur in order to upgrade whatever you need to upgrade for your business, your car perhaps, or your boat if you are starting up a charter fishing business - best to lease those, actually, then you can deduct the costs if full.....
AND if you will just go ahead and have another child, I will seriously sweeten the deal. I'll give you another £3,500 or so tax free a year, possibly (dependant on ages and sexes of the tribe) give you funding for a four bedroom, rather than a three bedroom house, and you can earn a bit more profit after tax.
With deals like this, I still don't think people should deliberately restrict their working hours and incomes - their potential - just to get such deals. But I can understand why they would.
The prevailing view pushed by the media is that Britain will never end up like Greece. But surely there must come a point where, if we spend beyond our means to the tune of £8 billion a month, we end up either unable to pay our debts or with a currency so depleted in value we end up like Zimbabwe? Greeks are currently pounding the doors of foreign embassies trying to escape Greece with their wealth intact, before it is either kicked out of the Euro or the Euro tanks to reflect the banana republic Greece has become. Is the UK really so different?