Stop government using the words "Low Income" when referring to benefits & financial support schemes

edited 23 January at 2:03AM in Campaigns corner
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singhinisinghini Forumite
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edited 23 January at 2:03AM in Campaigns corner
Irrespective of who's in power (a Labour or Conservative government), the politicians have a canny knack of overstating their announcements and declarations (though i feel their not as bad as the media who sensationalise everything to help increase their readership and their advertising profits - the dirty beggars). 

Anyhow, i think its disingenuous of any government to attach the words "Low Income" to legislation / policies on financial support and benefits to those on low income when having looked into these various schemes, being on a low income doesn't always apply (very misleading). 

Here's a link to a government website with various help that is (reportedly) available to someone on a low income: Benefits and financial support if you're on a low income - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Here's another link that states 8 million lowest income households are to get £650 with the cost of living: Energy bills: What cost-of-living payments are available and how do you claim? - BBC News

Now, I'm someone who used to be on £6,250 a month. But back in late 2019 i was made redundant so lost that income but i'm pleased to say that even at my age i have recently managed to get back into the world of work and i am now earning £600 a month (yes i know that's a 90% reduction in income....... stop rubbing it in my face....!!!!     i had to take the job as that's the rules laid down by the job centre........ i can't pick and choose).
Anyway i am now on a low income according to the government aswell as to various thinktanks and policy & research institutes. However when i look into the various help that is reportedly available to someone on a low income i am not entitled to claim (this is because i have savings over £16,000).

So to recap:
I used to earn a small fortune (AND paid taxes likewise i.e. £25,000 a year as income tax and NI which is about a 33% tax rate).

when i lost my job, the job centre made it clear that even though unemployed i was not to claim free prescriptions, free dentistry, free optician care or legal aid. Also my claim for unemployment benefit will only be for 6 months and thereafter it will stop, and due to my savings i won't be able to claim Universal Credit or receive any other money / financial support. Also they said they have no interest in how much tax i pay each year let alone how much i have paid over my working life (its irrelevant). 

I'm now on a low income according to all the experts and the government themselves yet I'm not able to claim any financial help due to having savings. Lets rethink this and reword this. I'm not able to claim due to me not being robbed enough by the government. The government received £25,000 each year in PAYE taxes and at no point do they look at that, they just look at what they didn't get their dirty hands on. Therefore i must be punished and refused any help even though i was the one propping up the system. And now i am on a low income and have lost 90% of my earnings they don't care. 

Therefore government, please don't write Low Income when referring to benefits & financial support schemes when its not true. As stated above its misleading!
Exactly how much less than £150 a week does someone need to earn for you to say this person is on a low income but when he/she had broad shoulders they helped the government by paying huge taxes into the system which helped the people in society and therefore we should step up and now help them irrespective of what savings they have. I earn £150 a week so where's my £650 with the cost of living support, why am i not one of the so called 8 million households????

During COVID 2020 it was the government that put the country into lockdown which affected unemployed peoples ability to organise and attend job interviews, so where was our equivalent to the furlough scheme help, for some of us why didn't you reinstate our £75 a week unemployment benefit during this period (i wrote to my MP about this and the lack of help and support for people like me and he forwarded my letter onto the minister for the department for work & pensions but the minister ignored my request but waffled on about how much the government has spent on helping to improve the system). The minister who wrote back to me doesn't even know their own legislation, if they did surely they should have written back to me explaining i potentially could make a second claim for JSA based on Chapter 21 of the Decision Makers Guides (DMG) and in particular Chapter 21 Jobseekers Allowance – Labour market questions, Special Conditions for JSA (Cont) job seeking periods and more specifically section 21091. (for those of you reading this please be aware there are documents called Decision Makers Guides and most employees in your local job centres don't know what's written in them yet there is important information which means you maybe able to make another claim for JSA even after your initial claim has finished....... NOTE: "a claimant can start a new 182 days maximum entitlement again if they meet the criteria" (worth people looking into as this information is not publicly made available to you, most people i have spoken to have never heard of Decision Maker Guides, and that includes claimants aswell as job centre staff). 

This isn't about me, its about all of YOU........ if you work and pay taxes and try to put some money aside for a rainy day, don't expect government to help when you lose your job and your financial security. You've been warned!!!  Your punished for working hard, paying taxes, saving and staying on the right side of the law. The government want you to end up on welfare so you loose your dignity and independence because you are reliant on the state. And it is the state that will calculate what you are entitled to, when you are entitled to receive it and for how long and thus trapping you in the system (Welcome to room 101). 

Oh i forgot to mention, don't bother looking into other financial incentives and schemes such as grants for solar panels, cavity wall insulation, boiler upgrades, low carbon technologies, heat pumps, cold weather payments, discount on your council tax etc....... your wasting your time.

Heres not a funny government joke: Man goes to claim Universal Credit and is asked about his savings which he has £15,999 in savings, the government say to calculate your UC we ignore the first £6,000 but for each £250 [or part] of your savings it is treated as if it gives you an income of £1 a week i.e. £52 a year and this will effect your claim. The man says hold on, that's equivalent to earning 21% interest i.e. £52 income annually from £250. Man asks where did you get those calculations from? Government says we made it up......... just like everything else we do. The man is told he should be grateful he didn't have £16,000 in savings as he would get nowt 
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  • marcia_marcia_ Forumite
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     But you are not on low income because you have income from your savings and the interest on those savings. 
  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    singhini said:
    Irrespective of who's in power (a Labour or Conservative government), the politicians have a canny knack of overstating their announcements and declarations (though i feel their not as bad as the media who sensationalise everything to help increase their readership and their advertising profits - the dirty beggars). 

    Anyhow, i think its disingenuous of any government to attach the words "Low Income" to legislation / policies on financial support and benefits to those on low income when having looked into these various schemes, being on a low income doesn't always apply (very misleading). 

    Here's a link to a government website with various help that is (reportedly) available to someone on a low income: Benefits and financial support if you're on a low income - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    Here's another link that states 8 million lowest income households are to get £650 with the cost of living: Energy bills: What cost-of-living payments are available and how do you claim? - BBC News

    Now, I'm someone who used to be on £6,250 a month. But back in late 2019 i was made redundant so lost that income but i'm pleased to say that even at my age i have recently managed to get back into the world of work and i am now earning £600 a month (yes i know that's a 90% reduction in income....... stop rubbing it in my face....!!!!     i had to take the job as that's the rules laid down by the job centre........ i can't pick and choose).
    Anyway i am now on a low income according to the government aswell as to various thinktanks and policy & research institutes. However when i look into the various help that is reportedly available to someone on a low income i am not entitled to claim (this is because i have savings over £16,000).

    So to recap:
    I used to earn a small fortune (AND paid taxes likewise i.e. £25,000 a year as income tax and NI which is about a 33% tax rate).

    when i lost my job, the job centre made it clear that even though unemployed i was not to claim free prescriptions, free dentistry, free optician care or legal aid. Also my claim for unemployment benefit will only be for 6 months and thereafter it will stop, and due to my savings i won't be able to claim Universal Credit or receive any other money / financial support. Also they said they have no interest in how much tax i pay each year let alone how much i have paid over my working life (its irrelevant). 

    I'm now on a low income according to all the experts and the government themselves yet I'm not able to claim any financial help due to having savings. Lets rethink this and reword this. I'm not able to claim due to me not being robbed enough by the government. The government received £25,000 each year in PAYE taxes and at no point do they look at that, they just look at what they didn't get their dirty hands on. Therefore i must be punished and refused any help even though i was the one propping up the system. And now i am on a low income and have lost 90% of my earnings they don't care. 

    Therefore government, please don't write Low Income when referring to benefits & financial support schemes when its not true. As stated above its misleading!
    Exactly how much less than £150 a week does someone need to earn for you to say this person is on a low income but when he/she had broad shoulders they helped the government by paying huge taxes into the system which helped the people in society and therefore we should step up and now help them irrespective of what savings they have. I earn £150 a week so where's my £650 with the cost of living support, why am i not one of the so called 8 million households????

    During COVID 2020 it was the government that put the country into lockdown which affected unemployed peoples ability to organise and attend job interviews, so where was our equivalent to the furlough scheme help, for some of us why didn't you reinstate our £75 a week unemployment benefit during this period (i wrote to my MP about this and the lack of help and support for people like me and he forwarded my letter onto the minister for the department for work & pensions but the minister ignored my request but waffled on about how much the government has spent on helping to improve the system). The minister who wrote back to me doesn't even know their own legislation, if they did surely they should have written back to me explaining i potentially could make a second claim for JSA based on Chapter 21 of the Decision Makers Guides (DMG) and in particular Chapter 21 Jobseekers Allowance – Labour market questions, Special Conditions for JSA (Cont) job seeking periods and more specifically section 21091. (for those of you reading this please be aware there are documents called Decision Makers Guides and most employees in your local job centres don't know what's written in them yet there is important information which means you maybe able to make another claim for JSA even after your initial claim has finished....... NOTE: "a claimant can start a new 182 days maximum entitlement again if they meet the criteria" (worth people looking into as this information is not publicly made available to you, most people i have spoken to have never heard of Decision Maker Guides, and that includes claimants aswell as job centre staff). 

    This isn't about me, its about all of YOU........ if you work and pay taxes and try to put some money aside for a rainy day, don't expect government to help when you lose your job and your financial security. You've been warned!!!  Your punished for working hard, paying taxes, saving and staying on the right side of the law. The government want you to end up on welfare so you loose your dignity and independence because you are reliant on the state. And it is the state that will calculate what you are entitled to, when you are entitled to receive it and for how long and thus trapping you in the system (Welcome to room 101). 

    Oh i forgot to mention, don't bother looking into other financial incentives and schemes such as grants for solar panels, cavity wall insulation, boiler upgrades, low carbon technologies, heat pumps, cold weather payments, discount on your council tax etc....... your wasting your time.

    Heres not a funny government joke: Man goes to claim Universal Credit and is asked about his savings which he has £15,999 in savings, the government say to calculate your UC we ignore the first £6,000 but for each £250 [or part] of your savings it is treated as if it gives you an income of £1 a week i.e. £52 a year and this will effect your claim. The man says hold on, that's equivalent to earning 21% interest i.e. £52 income annually from £250. Man asks where did you get those calculations from? Government says we made it up......... just like everything else we do. The man is told he should be grateful he didn't have £16,000 in savings as he would get nowt 
    The £1 per £250 is not expected to be earned from interest, you are expected to use some of your savings to keep yourself.  How much in the bank do you think it should be?  £50,000, £100,000?  
  • Marmaduke123Marmaduke123 Forumite
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    Oh dear, oh dear!
  • DevongardenerDevongardener Forumite
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    You’ve been in the very fortunate position of having a well paid job and having  accumulated savings over £16K.  How much you have previously paid in tax over the years is totally irrelevant.  
    The benefits system is there to support those most in need regardless of how much they have contributed.    If you want more from the government you will have to spend those savings until you qualify.   
    I paid a lot of tax and NI over the 50 years of my working life but that entitles me to nothing more than the state pension, having saved and invested for myself.
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    Well done for getting a job, I am sure it will be good for your wellbeing.
    I don't think your campaign will get anywhere though, that is how our system works, the energy support grant is rare, in that everyone gets it.
  • prowlaprowla Forumite
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    What's the question?
  • diystarter7diystarter7 Forumite
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    Hi OP
    That is a lot of effort into your post but I doubt you will get far

    Good luck
     ..

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    Politeness & courtesy are some of the few things in life that are free. Please remember that when posting, I may ignore permanently the unpolite, tedious, unconstructive and deliberately obtuse comments. Many thanks.
  • fabsaverfabsaver Forumite
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    I agree with you that the government should not be saying they are helping people on 'low incomes' when what they really mean is 'claiming means tested benefits'.

    Many elderly people do not receive this extra help that they are entitled to, simply because they are unaware that they can claim Pension Credit.

    The system is deeply flawed and does not incentivise people to save for their futures. Good luck with your campaign but I don't expect things to change anytime soon. There is a suggestion that they are considering going in the opposite direction and removing tax benefits from those who have built up savings in ISAs. https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6417917/proposed-100k-isa-lifetime-limit/p1

    I went from earning a decent salary to just £66 a week Carers Allowance and negligible interest from savings. That is impossible to live off, but is not classed as a low income because it is not a means tested benefit.
  • singhinisinghini Forumite
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    @marcia_
    This is nothing to do with my savings, its about being defined by the government as someone on low income (their words) and the government advertising benefits and support schemes for low income people but they don't mean what they say. 

    @comeandgo
    Read it carefully, each £250 [or part] of your savings is treated as if it gives you an income of £1 a week (therefore £1 per week is equivalent to an annual rate of 21%). I know its not supposed to be earnt through interest, its a comparison. 

    @Martin_the_Unjust
    I'm not the entitled one, i'm the good guy in this scenario, I paid my taxes and got nothing. When i lost my job and i turn to the government they turn their back on me. They continue to insult me by advertising  benefits and support schemes for low income people but they don't mean what they say (and you want to blame me - shocking). i certainly don't need the rich dragging me down when i have a fellow working class person like you doing a mighty fine job of that.  

    @Devongardener
    How was i in a fortunate position when i'm paying £25,000 a year and getting nothing for it. Infact im penalised for having savings. Your as bad as the government, busying yourself by looking at what ive still got and not at what ive given. If how much i've previously paid in tax over the years is totally irrelevant, then i dont see the point in paying tax (only a fool would sit back and accept that). 
    You go on to say If you want more from the government then i will have to spend my savings, well tell them to stop falsely advertising benefits and support schemes for low income people when they don't mean what they say. Join my cause!

    @prowla
    The question is how are we letting the government get away with falsely advertising help and support for low income people when they don't actually mean it.


    @fabsaver
    Thanks for your kind words (can't believe people on here are trying to blame me for working hard, trying to better myself and paying all my taxes). Yet they don't want to blame the government for anything (not even misleading the people)!!!

    Not a single person mentioned the DMG's and the fact government don't inform the people to what their full entitlements are. There must be numerous people who get to the end of their 6 month JSA claim and are told thats your lot, no more money for you but thats just not true (that's certainly what happened to me).
    Why cant the government add an extra sentence to their own website: You can get New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for up to 182 days (about 6 months). After this you can talk to your work coach about your options.
    Why cant it read: You can get New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for up to 182 days (about 6 months). After this you can talk to your work coach about your options (under certain circumstances a claimant can start a new 182 days maximum entitlement again if they meet the relevant criteria). 

    I've just spent this evening going through old wage slips and P60's to discover that over the last 22 years ive paid £357,522 in Income tax and NI
    If paying tax doesn't get me anything, then i don't intend to pay another £350,000 over the next 20 years, i will leave that to others.

    If the benefits system is there to support those most in need and ive been contributing to that system through paying taxes, then i don't need to support my local food bank any longer. Nor the community food larder. ive screenshotted this thread and told them i no longer want to be involved if this is how society wants to treat me. 
    Ive handed over £350,000 to government over the years and if the government are doing a rubbish job of redistributing that to the most needy then don't blame me, i did my bit (infact more than most!). 
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