Since government cut backs claimants of benefit are now expected to pay Council Tax when they were exempt before, this varies depending upon Council Tax Band and single occupancy but the fact remains this is another chunk out of benefit that people just can’t afford.
I confess I haven’t paid my Water Rates in a long time, I haven’t afforded to, I am a home owner and try and pay my mortgage out of my job seekers allowance which is £27 per week, when I’ve paid that there’s not enough for food and electric. I’ve done without gas for such a long time because there’s no money to put into the pre-payment meter and I’m also getting into dept there being charged .24 pence per day for the privilege of having gas pipes connected to my house. Each day I acquire more debt on the meter in standing charges that are escalating. FUEL POVERTY. Here’s my post about British Gas & how they cut people off who can’t afford fuel by installing pre-payment meters.
You can’t pay the water rates and you live in fear knowing it’s only a matter of time before they arrive and cut off your water supply. Every knock at the door, is it the Bailiffs or is the Water men (or Water women) from United Utilities come to turn off your supply of water.. I found out quite accidentally that they can not turn off your water supply. Hence I still have water. But I have no money or means of heating so I am grateful for having a supply of cold water. But you’re in debt because you can’t pay for these things you’re suppose to to live on planet earth and then they punish you for being poor by charging you more money in Court Costs and then charging you more money in fines for non payment of outstanding balance and of course you can’t make those payments because you’ve been living hand to mouth, scavenging for reduced and out of date food (as this post elaborates on). And if you like statistics this is my data of everything that went into my digestive system and cost in an average week. Food Consumption & Cost for 1 week. (I’m so sick of humous, that was my first post and even now some weeks later that is still the only thing in my fridge along with some reduced price frozen bread I snapped up and stock piled.
You can’t pay your fines & court cost so they take money from your benefit on ‘Attachment of Benefit’ and you no longer receive the £72 per week you’re expected to live off, you receive a lot less and can’t make that stretch so you have to be incredibly resourceful. Even when I worked I was poor, on the minimum wage and having to pay childcare out of that, I have always been frugal, never wasteful, my parents lived through the war and I don’t consider myself a consumer, I know the value of things, I repair things and make things, as a child, well aged 13 I was making my own clothes from old table cloths, trying to make shoes out of paper machier because there was no money for those things, that’s my lifestyle, I am not wasteful but resourceful and I have issues around consumerism and waste. I am not, neither have I ever lived extravagant.
So one might thing ‘Get a job’ well let me tell you I spend an average of 68 hours a week trying to get a job. I posted about that here. I have been pro-active in trying to expose the reasons recruitment agencies post fake jobs and make money from posting fake jobs, as they’re only interested in the CV’s of people, because access is sold to the CV’s and sales and marketing companies pay to access the CV database. There are few genuine jobs and having got a few interviews I know that there is an average of 200 applicants for every job, the last two interviews I’ve had with this many applicants were minimum wage jobs and jobs you had to have experience, a university degree and sit tests/assessments. That’s the competition for jobs. Then again most people I know of in work have got their jobs because of their family connections or who they know.
I don’t know what the future holds but I know I’m only a step away from homelessness. I don’t know how the Council and United Utilities and the Courts and other creditors will recover their costs from me. It’s a cruel society we live in, punished for being poor, punished for having no job and there’s really no alternative. Get work or die. I have thought about turning to criminal activities of course, but again I’m not well connected and the criminal underworld is often about who you know and I’m an ethical person, I couldn’t steal from the poor but the greedy, the hoarders of money and the corporate elite have got a lot to answer for.