"Just got off the phone to my universal credit coach, about ten minutes ago, and my daughter comes to me for a hug and asks "mummy, why do adults need permission from other adults to live?" Confused I said we don't. And she replied with "a man rings you. You answer questions about jobs and emails and stuff I don't know and then each month they give you money which buy us food. I see you need the man's permission to be able to buy food. And no food means no living. So, I think cause I'm super smart, that means adults need permission to live. So I decided I wanna stay a kid. Adult being looks hard and scary. Being a kid is just eating and playing, I'm good at that." Wow kid, just wow. She's not wrong though, when you think about it. One thing the UC coach said today was "it's important to sell yourself" and in a moment of anxiety induced humour I replied "oh aye, I forgot whoring is only okay if it's too the right companies" which left an awkward pause I had to try to play off as "oops, the inner sjw slipped out there hehe". I applied for a job today (one of many as usual), NHS wellbeing thing, work from home, £20k pa. And I thought, hmmm £20k seems like alot. But after taxes and added childcare costs (work from home doesn't mean I can just shive kids in another room and hope for the best, would likely need a part time nanny to be able to manage the hours as expected unless they don't mind clients on phones hearing my children play fighting in the background) it'll be less than what I get on benefits currently. Is anyone paid a living wage these days? Enough that ones free time can be spent not worrying over bills or food or work? Being unemployed feels like a job option, it's not free money cos there are hoops to jump through to be granted the money each month and not sanctioned (not dissimilar to targets at work), full time job searching basically. Expected to do 25 hours of job search related activities each week. Atleast on benefits I can do those 25 hours on my phone in the bath, on the bog, can job search on my phone while kids play at the park or while cooking. A full time 30+ hours per week of set "sit at desk and do xyz for this number of hours" job that gives you the same or less pay than benefits is nuts. And some will read this and say "benefits is too cushy, they should be motivated to not be unemployed, cuts cuts blah blah blah" are directing their anger at the wrong place. The money we get on benefits is just enough to survive, to pay the essential bills and feed ones family. It's not free. It comes at a heafty emotional and psychological cost, it's a humiliating and dehumanising system. We can't survive with any more cuts. Benefit needs more money not less if we want future generations to have any hope of betterment. Where people should direct their anger too is the companies that pay people so low a wage, on risky contracts with no real security, that benefits becomes the safer option, for families especially."

Victoria B
Jan 21, 2021

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