UK benefit cuts and carers

Laura Woodhouse at The F-Word nails it.

Secondly, what happens if an individual refuses a job because it does not fit in with their caring responsibilities? Or because the vast majority of their salary would be spent paying someone else to take over the care work they do, work that they could perform better themselves? People officially designated as full time carers and parents with children under five will not be subject to the three strikes rule, but parents with children over five will be. If a single mother refuses three jobs that would prevent her looking after her kids properly, the money she needs to feed those kids will be cut off. The government claims that advisers will be asked to “ensure that the requirements they place on a recipient are reasonable for that person, taking into account their particular capabilities and circumstances”, but with a culture of complete disdain for benefit claimants I hardly think we can guarantee this will happen.

Randeep Ramesh also raises important concerns

Women also find themselves apparently hit. The white paper makes it clear only one of the partners would receive the welfare payments. This means the child care component of the tax credit and the child element of the tax credit could end up in the pocket of the main earner, which many pressure groups say will be the man in a relationship. This would be a huge U-turn in policy – and the money is not trivial, with £100 a week at stake for bigger claims.

The headline to Ramesh’s article also nicely makes the point that claim that “people will receive more” only works if you take ‘people’ to mean men (a familiar sort of point for feminist philosophers).

One thought on “UK benefit cuts and carers

  1. Unfortunately, very well stated.

    It never ceases to amaze me the manys ways in which some of the most important work in life, society, and the world – namely, childcare work/provision – is underpaid and not appropriately respected. Unfortunately with no surprise, another important line of work that very often comes after childcare as regards lack of appropriate respect and compensation is teaching (at all levels but especially at the earliest/youngest levels/ages).

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