A few days ago came the latest announcement from the Conservatives party: a two year freeze on working age benefits in the country if they are voted in once more. Now to some, this may seem like a good idea (especially with the way the media have made all people on benefits out to be). This may be seen as a “great idea” that will save plenty of money; but the government clearly have not thought of the big picture here and unfortunately by default many people in the country.
Whilst yes, cutting benefits will save money in the long run from the overall spending this country does; there is the fact that it could cause worse expenses in the long run, and without them there would be people in serious trouble. . In my case; I am on Jobseekers; claiming the minimum (even though I know I could claim ESA due to having Asperger’s and Dyspraxia) but I am relying on it. I pay out of it, rent and bills to my family, which leaves me a small amount to go towards interview expenses. I unfortunately cannot afford to learn to drive; I cannot afford to go back to college (as I didn’t have enough to continue) and live in a small town anyway; so work placements are somewhat limited.
What people don’t see though is this. Whilst yes, volunteering can give you invaluable experience; it does not pay the bills; even for those of us without family to support; whilst you are at these placements (and paying travel and other expenses) you still have to keep up your job seeking; and also attend interviews. I am always angered by shows like Benefits Street; and other shows/media headlines as they paint a life of luxury on benefits when the reality is very different.
I don’t want to be on benefits; I would much rather have a certain future; where I knew where my next source of income was coming in. But until I find a job, I don’t have that luxury. I apply for well over a hundred jobs a week; have been messed around by would be employers (especially with “work placements” so rife; why would they pay someone to do a job they can get another to do for free?), I eat saver’s food; do not wear makeup, and have not updated my wardrobe in over 3 years and literally haven’t been on holiday in ten years. Any money I get for my 21st birthday in December will be going on bills.
I am aware that “adult life” isn’t a bed of roses. Far from it; that being said, I feel that if the Conservatives get in and this policy comes into play; then people will be in for one hell of a shock. Most young people aren’t even aware their families are on benefits of some description; as there is little to no education on the subject of what happens after school/education in general. Without certain benefits in play; families and people in general would suffer greatly.
Of course I know there are some that work the system to their advantage in an unfair manner. But that is my point; the government needs to address the problem at hand. Better monitoring of the “welfare system” making sure that those who need it actually receive it; there needs to be better support for people, especially vulnerable people who need the guidance. Not all of us are the same; we are all different; and there for need to be treated as such.
As a nation; have we truly forgotten how to care; how to be honest; why it is that so called “professionals” are now having to take lessons in caring and honesty.
I think that as a nation; we need to wake up to what problems we are facing. As a country we have become too reliant on the support of others; but at the expense of what?
Our dignity; and identity; give support to those who actually need it; make sure that professionals know how to do their job properly and actually respect diversity; do not judge all people in the same manner.
We are not in an episode of Downton Abbey; so why is it that we have such a class system. People do not choose to be in a position where they are struggling; they may not even be sure how they can get out of it; it is up to us a country to show them how; so we can all contribute to making this a society that this country can be proud of.