Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Wednesday 23rd April 2014
I contacted the Department for Work and Pensions about my claim for Income-related Employment Support Allowance earlier. They had both claim forms I sent despite the fact that they said that they had lost the first one. If that wasn’t annoying enough I was told that I’ll now have to fill out another form about the living arrangements I have with my soon-to-be ex-wife before they will process my claim. The gentleman I spoke to listened to the extremely complicated living situation I have with her. He promptly told me that I would probably be considered as still living as a married couple with her and her income would more than likely stop me receiving any benefits in the income related category. He said that my wife should claim Working Tax Credits but she has already tried and had her claim rejected.
I also spoke with the local council regarding the derisory award I was given in Housing Benefit and the total rejection of my claim for Council Tax Support. There is a section on the form for other expenses but the person I spoke to said that the only applicable expenses they allow for are childcare expenses. The fact that the crappy heaters the council installed suck electricity at the rate of £160 a month in the cold months does not seem to exist as an expense according to the Government. It seems that, even in these times when being poor and having children is being looked down on, the Government actually incentivises having children; children who cost the State millions in education costs, welfare payments, healthcare costs and, in a lot of cases, social care costs as well.
I have done everything that the Government have asked of me as a claimant on a sickness benefit; in fact, I have done more than they have asked and I am being penalised anyway like countless others and being set up to fail.
With so much concern over the burgeoning population and the increasing size of the State pension bill, shouldn’t the Government be incentivising not having children rather than penalising those who don’t have them? Or, perhaps, I’m just being stupid in thinking that.