Benefits and the like

Self employment and pregnancy combined can be a bit of a minefield at times.  When I was in employment maternity leave was all taken care of.  I had no financial worries to think about, well not really and it was all taken care of for me.  This time around I am having to find out everything myself.

During my research I stumbled upon an article which was titled Benefits Britain.  Now not really what I was looking for but the opening sentence caught my attention and so I continued reading:

51% of people in the UK do not believe that UK benefits are too generous

Half of the people of the UK believe they are too generous and the other half don't, how can there be such a split.  I felt as if the split would have been more heavily swung in favour of one or the other.  

The survey the article was referring to was carried out by Myvouchercodes and surveyed 2158 UK adults aged over 18.  The article went on to discuss how people view the changes to the benefits and tax made by the current government.  This is what I found really interesting as the article states that families are some of those affected the most by the changes and I do have to agree.

Families now have to declare and pay tax on child benefits, not that we fall into this financial bracket but it is worth noting if you do, my maternity pay is no longer the equivalent of SMP instead it is £30 a week despite having paid tax and my NI contributions and benefits are now assessed on income but not the full outcome picture.  In some ways I find this worrying, regardless of what your income is in monetary amount if over 2/3 of it is simply to pay the mortgage/rent and bills then the remaining third is used for food, clothing etc surely there should be some help available?  It would appear not.  Surely a Mother who wants to work to support her family be that in employment or self employment should be entitled to the same maternity pay?  It would appear not.  A family who are simply working to pay the nursery/child minder bill each month surely they deserve some support? It would appear as they are working they are not.  

I don't have a solution but I do feel that those who work and support their family should be able to do so with support available if needed and that regardless of employment or self employment those rights should be equivalent.  What are your thought on the article? 

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