Originally Posted by Fourstaff
I do get your point. Back home, all the fancy things like supporting the poor and homeless is arranged by government affiliated charity funds. Rather than have a blanket cover, they actually do what you guys refer to as "means tested", people who needs benefits will get them, and they are pretty efficient at collecting and distributing taxes (except for a fiasco where they had an equivalent of £50 mil and counting while people were suffering
I grew up in a middle-middle class family (enough for a comfortable living but no fancy rigs and stuff), both my parents grew up in relative poverty, so I am drilled from young to value money. If you would believe me, the first time I received any form of pocket money was when I was 15, and that £5. Total pocket money as of now received from my parents amount to much less than £100. And we don't celebrate christmas, never received any "red packets" (with money) in Chinese New Year from my parents, etc etc.
£30 might not be a big deal to a comfy person like you (judging from £10k tax, you probably make above £30k pretax, which is rather comfy), but for the majority of the inner city low-wage workers £30 will feed them for 2 weeks, and that's relatively high to them.
Problem with democracy is that whenever something gets unpopular, it gets shafted and the government will spend money to bury the problem. In a rather more autocratic country like where I am from, whatever is good for you gets shoved down your throat, whether you like it or not (of course, that includes some poor policies too, but at least they are not wasting money in a monumental scale like UK). Oh, and UK government is extremely computer illiterate.
Edit: my education in UK is fully sponsored by my government, not a cent from my parents
. That includes living expenses (but I will have to budget carefully if I want extra money to spend on fancy computers and stuff).
Again you are not taking my comments in the centext they are meant, yes £30 to some people is a lot of money, I am fortunate to have an ok paying job, though 2 years ago I was on JSA, struggling to find work and when I did it was minimum wage, so I do know what it is like to be hard up, and its not good.
My whole point was just about the general consensus of people on benefits when really it is a very small percentage of them who take the piss, and another point I was making is the media and politicians like to shove this down our throat and make it seem like thats where all our tax money goes, guess it takes the honus off of them.
By the way £30 a year works out to 57p a week, which again it depends in what context you look at things.