Yesterday Tracey Macdonald, mother of one took to the ITV programme Daybreak to vent her frustration in that she could see her benefit being cut by up to £700 a year if people have “spare” rooms.
In the interview which took place around 07:30 she explained how she thought she had a right to “spend them (the £142 a fortnight) on what we choose to”, and was “outraged” at the thought of having to change her spending habit and not splash out on cigarettes, booze, shopping and going out.
Further comments uttered by Ms Macdonald included:
“I wouldn’t want to stop doing anything really; its the way I’ve been brought up – to spend my benefits on what I’m used to, to survive.”
“Well thats their choice isn’t it to work long hours but still can’t afford luxuries, like its our choice to do what we’re doing.”
I can’t even begin to describe how angry this makes me feel!
Lets look at the first problem, ‘spending of the benefits on what we choose to’. I am confused why people get benefits at all, as it is considered by many as ‘free money’. Yes there are people who receive benefits who spend it on what it is meant to be spent on, and the views of Ms Macdonald aren’t the views of every person on benefits, however why give money at all?
Surely those who spend their money on what it is meant to be spent on could easily do the same with food vouchers, or clothing vouchers, with the added bonus that this would prevent people from wasting money on things that are luxuries.
Secondly ‘spending benefits on what I’m used to, to survive’. As far as I’m concerned, food, clothing and shelter are required to survive. Cigarettes, booze, shopping and going out are not.
Finally, ‘its our choice to do what we’re doing’ – perhaps the most infuriating statement of them all. Im annoyed that for people like Ms Macdonald she has been given this choice. There are people who go out and work long long hours, who cannot afford the luxuries that she has. Whats more those who work long long hours, pay Tax and National Insurance contributions that pay for the Welfare system. Why should they work hard so she doesn’t have to?
In my opinion the benefit system is flawed fatally. Its giving out free money, assuming that all people who receive it will spend it on what is actually required. This is wrong.
Just as when we were kids and our parents gave us pocket money but insisted we spend it in a particular shop, the same should be done here. Be gone should the ‘cash in hand’ benefit scheme, and an voucher based solution should be introduced.
I defy anyone to spend £71 a week on life’s true necessities, food and clothes, as in the majority of cases, housing benefit is paid directly to the counsel.
We need to stop mollycoddling people who choose to give nothing back to society and make them work!
Recording posted on Facebook of the Interview: