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Poverty Tsar: Shirking Fathers Should Lose Their Benefits

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jun/28/poverty-tsar-shirking-fathers-lose-benefits

Britain must end its obsession with getting young single mothers into work, and focus on young, unemployed fathers whose historic role as the family breadwinner has had to be taken over by the taxpayer, Frank Field, David Cameron's poverty adviser, has said.

Field claimed many of these young, unemployed fathers will not accept offers of work for less than £300 a week since they feel it is not worth their while.

He suggests that men who refuse to take up a government offer of work should have their benefit removed altogether, a far tougher sanction than they face under the current benefits regime.

Field, the Labour MP who was commissioned by the government to carry out a review of poverty, said: "The reason why we have so many single mums is because we have so many single dads who cannot fulfil what most single mothers want from their partners, and the children from their fathers."

Ministers this week signalled a crackdown on incapacity benefit, with plans to reduce the benefit levels of claimants who are found capable of doing some work.

There are also plans to cut the housing benefit budget. The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has spoken of encouraging people to leave "under-occupied" council homes and move into smaller properties.

Field's remarks underline the extent to which he believes the causes of social immobility lie not just not in material poverty, but also in character, child rearing and the loss of work for unskilled, working-class men.

He said successive governments had focused too much on monetary means to cure poverty. "Labour's very existence had become bound up with high public expenditure," he said. In remarks made in a lecture to the Attlee Foundation, a charity which works in disadvantaged areas, Field called for the welfare debate to shift from single mothers, and for the issue of unmarried fathers to be taken out of the shadows. He claimed "the feminisation of debate about poverty has largely been run by upwardly mobile, very successful women".

He said this debate has "largely ignored the agenda of working class women".

He explained: "For a large section of what used to be the core of the Labour vote – working class women – what they say they most want is a husband or partner in work which allows them their private domain of the family in which they can not only nurture but take on work when they think it is right, for their children, to do so."

The Tories are to require single mothers with children aged five or over to make themselves ready for work.

Field, a former welfare minister in the Blair government, said the drive to put lone mothers into work had also led to employers exploiting women by making it easier to drive down the wage rates of women who want to work full time.

"I believe we have been obsessed with getting young mothers back to work, irrespective of what they think and whether we think it is best for their children to do so," he said.

He hoped his poverty review would take out from the shadows "the unmarried father who is often young, unemployed and often unemployable and who is unskilled, and the way society has changed has made him redundant.

"The position he once held as breadwinner has been taken over by taxpayers. If they ever dare think about it, they are entering into an abyss of a life on benefit, trying to make ends meet with petty crime and drug dealing."

Field also called on the government to reinstate some version of Labour's jobs fund that guaranteed work for the unemployed. He said: "We need a reserve army of jobs for those who are desperate to get a job, who are drowning in their inability to do so."

more unworkable neo keynesian victim blaming hatred at the link...

Dig a hole, then fill it in. Do that over, again and again.

Don't mind those who say you produce nothing that way....

What you produce is a sense of power for Frank and friends, wrapped in a little sermon.

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why does everything have to fall on the man? why cant they blame women, its takes two not just one, why not just say hostal and one bedroom no council flat unless you work simple.

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Odd that the Poverty Tsar seems obsessed with finding ways to make the poor more poor.

Not in the least odd that he should seek to reduce perverse incentives that make everyone poorer.

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If the benefit rules weren't so screwed many might still be living together

Somehow I get the feeling that the lib/com blame the poor for this deficit, and only the poor. They forget that companies have a social responsibility to locals and the nation not seekign ever increasing profit for its shareholders. If lareg companies dont want to pay a living wages how is it the fault of the unemployed?

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Not in the least odd that he should seek to reduce perverse incentives that make everyone poorer.

If only they would consistently do that

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People go on about single mother families, and fathers deserting their kids. Quite frankly, in most cases the fathers are such subhuman scum the best thing they can do is dissapear.

Take for instance Jade Goodys father. If he was around her as a child he'd have probably sold her to paedophiles or something to pay for another wrap of coke.

Field claimed many of these young, unemployed fathers will not accept offers of work for less than £300 a week since they feel it is not worth their while.

Thats the problem though, not just for young men. Why would you accept less than £300 a week. The government pays you about that in housing benefit, income support (if you work <16hrs a week) and council tax benefit.

While id like to see benefits cut, its obscene to do it without making a £300 income go further (Ie cheaper housing for starters)

I guess a larger personal allowance is a good start.

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Somehow I get the feeling that the lib/com blame the poor for this deficit, and only the poor. They forget that companies have a social responsibility to locals and the nation not seekign ever increasing profit for its shareholders. If lareg companies dont want to pay a living wages how is it the fault of the unemployed?

Of course the political elite blame the poor and the indebted.

Heres how it works if you are ruling predator class -

You get everyone into debt. Then they produce wonders left right and centre to pay you off. The problem right now is that the poor and indebted are slacking, obviously. So they will just need more coercion applied and hey presto! They will start making things like they are supposed to once more.

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"The position he once held as breadwinner has been taken over by taxpayers. If they ever dare think about it, they are entering into an abyss of a life on benefit, trying to make ends meet with petty crime and drug dealing."

Hmmmmmmmm just were does a lot of tax come from ? Smokes,Grog and gambling.

All the money workers save gets taken back through taxation.

Talk about double standards.

Give up all hope and you will feel better.

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More than once I offered promotion/extra hours to men in my charge, to be told " It ain't worth it, any more than basic salary and the missus gets it all", or, "I'd lose my benefits".

The poverty trap still exists I believe.

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More than once I offered promotion/extra hours to men in my charge, to be told " It ain't worth it, any more than basic salary and the missus gets it all", or, "I'd lose my benefits".

The poverty trap still exists I believe.

Especially if your getting £1800 housing benefit, I doubt one of your promotions would cover that would it?

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why does everything have to fall on the man? why cant they blame women, its takes two not just one, why not just say hostal and one bedroom no council flat unless you work simple.

This isn't about blame. The responsibility for child-rearing usually falls exclusively on the mother in such instances. Anyone who thinks raising a child(ren) alone on a limited income is easy should borrow someone else's kid for a while and get a reality check.

In any civilised society, children should be protected at all costs; advocating raising children in overcrowded housing conditions is unacceptable. However, the existing system also encourages people to have children as a means of accessing benefits. Really the only solution is some kind of work-for-benefits system. I agree with Field in this case. If the mothers are to be forced back to work, it is only right and proper that the fathers are treated in the same way.

Edited by izzy

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Odd that the Poverty Tsar seems obsessed with finding ways to make the poor more poor.

Obviously. Otherwise shouldn't he be called the wealth tsar?

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In any civilised society, children should be protected at all costs; advocating raising children in overcrowded housing conditions is unacceptable. However, the existing system also encourages people to have children as a means of accessing benefits. Really the only solution is some kind of work-for-benefits system. I agree with Field in this case. If the mothers are to be forced back to work, it is only right and proper that the fathers are treated in the same way.

Get the father to work - yes indeed.

As for "crownded housing and protected at all cost..." . Yes, it is unacceptable. So are conditions of many people who live in Africa and Asia -

shall we let all of them them in ? Surely moral argument and basic human right does not become invalid across national border ?

The key here is there are many things that we would like our society to do, but resources are limited and UK don't have lots of oil or gold either..

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Somehow I get the feeling that the lib/com blame the poor for this deficit, and only the poor. They forget that companies have a social responsibility to locals and the nation not seekign ever increasing profit for its shareholders. If lareg companies dont want to pay a living wages how is it the fault of the unemployed?

Yup. I did some work for a company (3 well connected blokes) who got a 20 million credit line from RBS back in the days of Fred the Shred. Presume they played golf in the right places. They went around buying up companies in the direct marketing sector. They added no value. When things got tough a couple of years back they started to push the subsidiaries into paying call centre staff less, so people (this is in London) were going down from £7.50 an hour to £6.50 an hour. Did these Directors ever take a pay cut? No - they are still on their 250k plus 100k bonus through all of it. I also just noticed that they've somehow been able to issue themselves share options at around 31p (current share price around 30p) since their previous share options are now not worth money to them as they are priced so much higher.

Why don't we ever see men like this criticised for what they do? You can be sure they broke up a good few families under the stress that their salary cuts and redundancies caused.

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Of course the political elite blame the poor and the indebted.

Heres how it works if you are ruling predator class -

You get everyone into debt. Then they produce wonders left right and centre to pay you off. The problem right now is that the poor and indebted are slacking, obviously. So they will just need more coercion applied and hey presto! They will start making things like they are supposed to once more.

We are investing in corruption, Mr Roper. The business of corruption is like any other business

roper: Ow yeah. Provide your customers with products they need and, uh, charge a little bit to stimulate your market and before you know it customers come to depend on you, I mean really need you.

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The point of this 'initiative', which every single clever person who's posted a reply so far has completely failed to spot is the real message -

Unemployed waste of space chav? Wear a condom or lose your benefits.

You can bet your sweet derriere that this message will be well understood by those it's targeted at.

The actual purpose of this?

To stop the kids being born in the first place.

Simples.

And, for the avoidance of doubt, a proposed policy with which I agree 100% :D

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I wonder how many MPs would work for less than £300pw and support their offspring for the rest of their lives on that?

Portillo had a go at something similar (job swap with a mother on benefits) for a week and it nearly killed him.

Then he was off to his cushy taxpayer funded cameo jobs for the BBC.

Field and IDS are nothing more than prison camp Capos.

If they were in any way serious about this stuff they'd have prevented the wholesale offshoring off productive enterprise to the far east.

But since that's what they're being paid to do, they'll continue to blame the poor and force them further into poverty. When the business model is this f*cked up it's all there is.

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Frank Field and co. are coming out with more and more of these sound bites every day , what was it the weekend move for work ? what work .

There would be a bit more substance in their hard line chat if they could point out and show an alternative way of life for the leigons of young ( men and women ) who have not produced offspring for the tax payer to raise.

Man woman + baby = flat , benefits , and a bit of a purpose in life .

Man no baby = no job no future , no prospects , no life

Woman no baby = no job no future ,no prospects , no life.

They need to be looking at what they expect the best educated generation we have ever had when there is nothing for them to do , like getting the older generation out of the workforce sooner and in to retirement instead of later.

If we ever get civil unrest in this country it is going to be this generation of young as at present this country has very little to offer most of them except a life on benefits.

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Man + Woman = Baby....look after it yourself, you decided to bring a life into the world, your responsibility.

Or Man + Woman = Baby...get the support from parents until you can support baby yourself.

That is what used to happen....what went wrong?

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Somehow I get the feeling that the lib/com blame the poor for this deficit, and only the poor. They forget that companies have a social responsibility to locals and the nation not seekign ever increasing profit for its shareholders. If lareg companies dont want to pay a living wages how is it the fault of the unemployed?

Sorry but why does anyone have such a responsibility to others?

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