Returning to work!!!
April 23, 2008 7:21am CST
I'm a single mum in the UK. I count myself truely lucky that I live in a country that allows mothers to make the decision to stay at home and look after their children even if the father isn't around anymore. I myself am a mother that couldn't bear to leave her children whilst they are young, after all why would I have them if I wanted to abandon them and return to work. Don't get me wrong I appreciate that this isn't the case for everyone and everyone has their own opinions! Anyway....my youngest is three and a half now. She starts school half days in September and I'm now looking at returning work. Whilst chatting to my friend it became apparant that a position may become available at her place of work. Nothing too glamourus, minimum wage but perfect hours....10 - 2. Monday to Friday! My little one can go to playschool five days like she wants (at present only goes 3), and my elder one is at school anyway! Brilliant! Until I check out how my money situation will lie if I was to take this job. Because my hours would be over 16 a week I am no longer entitled to income support...fair enough! I would move over to the working tax thingy! I lose my milk tokens (£3 p/wk), I lose my school meals (around (£10 p/wk). It works out that on a weekly basis, after transport to work, the remainder of childcare I have to pay, the rent and council tax I will have to pay, I will be around £20 a week worse off!!!! I want to go back to work, but how can i justify to my kids that even though I am working we are poorer than before! Alot of single mums claim they can't make ends meet on benefits..... that's twaddle! Yes its hard and you have to make sacrifices. You can't go out every week to the pub. But with careful management it's a comfortable life. Not great and luxuries need to be budgeted for but comfortable for daily living (which is what benefits are for, covering the essentials in life!). I'm at a complete loss as to what to do. I want to work and support my children, but how does the government consider that a family needs a minimum to live on from benefits but that they need less if the parent is working???? How do other people do it? Am I missing something here??? Sorry for the rant! But am hoping that some of you will have some great tips for me:) Please bear in mind that I'm in England and state systems vary considerably!!!
23 Apr 08
If you work and have children you are entitled to working tax credit, normal tax credit and child benefit all at the same time. I have 3 children and live in a private rented house (£450 pcm) and when I was working on 16 hours a week I was getting £85.60 wages per week (no tax & ni as it under £100 a week), £42.00 a week child benefit, £62.00 working tax credit and £116.00 child tax credit. As my partner and I are still together we do not get the same amount of help as a single parent would (which is wrong). Total £305.60 per week. As it was only classed as a low income we had most of our rent payed for us and nearly all the council tax. I have a great deal of respect for single parent's who do not want to sit on there ar5e all day and get payed for nothing. But the goverment penalises you if you want to better yourself and provide more for your children. What I found strange was if I worked 37 hours as oposed to 16 hours I would actually be entitled to more help from the goverment even though my earning's went up. I think if you work full time hour's you can get help with childcare, so maybe that is something you could look in to. p.s If you ever have one of the "better off calculations" from the job centre then just take it with a pinch of salt as they are miles off, use an outdated system and have been slagged off to me by the tax credit's. Allways ring the tax credit number for financial questions
23 Apr 08
Maybe a family memeber or mate could help you out by taking the children to and from school whilst you work ?? The benefits system really make it hard for mr/mrs normal to survive in this world, and they want to know why so many people commit benefit fraud as it sooooooooo easy to get away with.
23 Apr 08
Oh dear, it is a cruel world, I don't have family so I can only imagine what you are going through, it must be a hard decision to have to make, doesn't your government provide for those on low income, here in Australia low income workers can still benefit in some ways...I do hope you can work things out, maybe do a lot od posting... :) Goodluck my friend...