Death and taxes.

Don't sweat the small stuff... ;-) xxxx

They burst through the door in a noisy explosion of pushchairs, Primark and under fives. Seems she’d just dropped her fourth and they needed a bigger motor. A brand new twenty two grand S-Max people carrier fits the bill rather well they’d decided, very nice too.

The finance appraisal was revealing. She didn’t work, he’d been working a few months as a building labourer, part time mind, don’t want to overdo these things. House all provided for them, naturally.

The new S-Max was out of reach, but a nice four year old low mileage model was within their monthly budget. At late twenties and with a couple of their kids happily destroying the showroom behind their oblivious parents I couldn’t help rather bitterly musing that maybe they were only another sprog and a nice ADHD carers allowance away from that new S-Max after all.

Those who’ve been with this blog from the beginning will recall my ruminating on the benefit system in this country before. It seems to me that very quickly into adulthood (and sometimes before) you’re designated a giver, or a taker. Either you relax into a warm bath of benefits, council houses and kids, and reward yourself with a shiny ten grand S-Max once you pass four sprogs, or you get labeled a worker bee and you get out there and you earn and you pay and you pay and you earn. And you pay. After all, someone has to keep the system afloat.

I had good reason to reflect on this a day or two after the S-Max family. Twenty five years of giving had entitled me to the princely sum of £64/week and a bit of help with the council tax when I lost my job. Not enough to finance a pair of roller skates. Or live on. Pretty clear which category I fall into.

Indeed, over my nearly six month period of unemployment I was able to claim the princely sum of precisely £1,240-08. A rather exact figure, but there’s a good reason why I know this. And it’s because a day or two after the S-Max family were in choosing their new wheels I received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions.

It seems that now I’m back to my rightful place on the treadmill they’d like some of it back please. And to that end they’ve informed me that the entire amount is now liable for income tax and will be added to my earnings for the purposes of claiming it back from me.

A rough calculation suggests that £385 will be clawed back. Over a quarter of it! Absolutely staggering!!!

And bear this in mind, I’m earning much less than I was. Had I secured a job at my previous pay-scale I could have been taxed on some or all of it at 40%!

Still, I suppose someone has to keep the takers in fags, booze, satellite TV’s and five figure motorcars.

Benjamin Franklin once postulated that “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

He was right. Especially about the taxes.



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5 Responses to “Death and taxes.”

  1. Phirefly Says:

    ADHD carer’s allowance?! I’m due one HELL of a lot of backpayment…

    On the subject of your post – it IS sickening – but then I always think my god I’d rather be me in a million.

  2. Rob C Says:

    In Oz you can get a mortgage on benefits.

    So after bludging for 25 years you can sell up and make a BIG profit!!!

  3. donglemouse Says:

    good story max, & nice to know i’m not the only person who thinks along the same lines

  4. Pat (MSE) Says:

    Bit late getting back to this blog but glad to see it’s still going strong.

    Totally shocked at you having to repay some of the pittance they grudgingly gave (or apparently lent) you. It does make you wonder whether it’s worth it.

    Had to comment, as I just love your ending to this report. You have lost none of your raconteurial skills, despite being back in the workaday world. Are you still writing for the publication?

    • charliecroker Says:

      Hello Pat, nice to “see” you 🙂

      Thanks for your comments, yes still writing my column although it’s getting harder to source material now I’m no longer “in the game”.

      I’m also still desperately trying to get this first feature together. Bit of a long old process but looks (everything crossed) like I might be finally making some progress. More news on that in the blog very soon I fervently hope!


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