Mudcat Café message #1033386 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63553   Message #1033386
Posted By: jacqui c
10-Oct-03 - 05:30 PM
Thread Name: BS: Benefits/Welfare.
Subject: RE: BS: Benefits/Welfare.
I was on benefits for a number of years back in the 70s, after my husband left me for another woman and my children were one and four years old. It was very much a hand to mouth existence with no luxuries. On the estate I lived on there were a number of women in the same sort of position and I looked at the fact that, with teenage children, some of them were still reliant on the state and showed no sign of thinking about what they would do once the children were grown up and they were no longer eligible for benefits. As a result, once my youngest was in school I started studying, did A and O levels and trained as a teacher. For various reasons I didn't go into teaching but the qualification got me into the firm that I still work for today. I could no more stay on benefits any longer than was absolutely necessary than jump off a cliff.

The problem is that it is the feckless and ill prepared ones who make the headlines and are held up as examples of the ills of 'welfare'. There are a lot of people out there who have no option at some point or other in their lives than to rely on the state, but who fight tooth and nail to get back to supporting themselves as fast as possible. self respect demands it of most. I do get angry at the ones who see welfare as a 'right' and state that they 'can't afford' to work. But we will always have these people and that is no reason to penalise those in need who will, at some point, make the effort. If I had not been supported by the state when I was doing my A and O levels I would not have had the opportunity to progress to higher education and to become a fully productive member of the working population for the past 24 years. I know that there are many others out there who are doing or have done the same thing - they just ain't interesting enough for the media to spotlight them, unlike the 'lazy and feckless' types who do get their fifteen minutes of fame.