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Dear Lord Freud

Let me tell you about my family’s “lifestyle”…

Welfare Minister Lord Freud has attacked what he calls the “dreadful” benefits system which allows single parents to “have a lifestyle” on the state. Lord Freud is playing a key part in the overhaul of the welfare system and the introduction of universal credit.

Read Lord Freud’s full comments in the Telegraph

We think the government and people like Lord Freud, who are so involved in ensuring our new welfare system provides better opportunities for people to work their way out of poverty, are missing the point. It’s not about piling the blame on already struggling families – it’s about delivering real solutions which make it work. As you know, we’ve got a few ideas on how to do this ourselves…

Lord Freud thinks he understands what a single parent’s “lifestyle” is like if they receive state support. We don’t agree. We need you to tell Lord Freud what life is really like for your family – what being on benefits means for you and your kids, what your goals are for your career, and what the challenges are for single parents, both in and out of work.

Leave your comments below and help us build a true picture of the “lifestyle” of single parents in the UK.

Don’t forget – you can join our national force of people pushing for changes that will open up work for single parents by signing up to become part of our Make it workforce.

We know this is an issue lots of you feel really strongly about, but please don’t swear in your comments!

Comments

mars bilters avatar
mars bilters
30 July 2013 21:10

Freud, Flawed, Annoyed, and Paranoid His Granddad would be ashamed of Lord Frued Coz his Spare Room Subsidy is a shoddy Fraud The vulnerable and the disabled can’t applaud A flawed policy from a big fat cat leaping lord Does Freud think evicting people is good fun? Is he callous and uncaring? A true son of a gun? Or is this lord a Freudian drip? Pardon the pun Siggy would see it as an assault on the psyche A cruel mental trick worthy of the Third Reich The poor’s mind, this policy’s designed to strike To cause upset, depression, and economic woe Designed to make people suicidal, dire and low Freud’s voluntary liquidation of the poor scheme Is lowdown, unjust, vicious, immoral and mean Psychological warfare that makes the poor lean Making the anxious poor jump in front of a lorry Or slitting throat protesting at bedroom purgatory The poor have it hard; many have a sad sob story Sigmund Freud would be outraged and annoyed By the unsympathetic cruel actions of Lord Freud Is Freud hateful? ignorant? Or a manic paranoid? and Bedroom Tax Night-Time Blues Spare room subsidy is a load of B*ll$#1t A policy that is malign, unfair and unfit Concocted by rich MPs with true malice MPs have more spare rooms than a palace And an allowance to occupy a second home While the poor know hunger, skin and bone Those rich Eton boys have robbed the poor Soon the bailiffs will be knocking at the door Enforcing a cruel ill thought out bedroom tax I’ll sing the Bedroom Blues, if you play the sax The disabled’s benefit should not face the axe A room is a room, penalise us not for a spare Do the MPs of this country empathize or care? Victims of this Tax can’t afford to eat or pay bills Use leccy, buy clothes, the poor have few thrills Many have had to turn to anti-depressant pills Me, I’m on the David Cameron Crackers Diet Instead of lunch, eat crackers, Dave should try it! This policy is Crackers; why not tax H₂O or a Beard? The poor need to shout so their woes can be heard An end to the Bedroom Tax will be loudly cheered!

V.P.S.M avatar
V.P.S.M
09 December 2012 23:48

Why is he targeting and criticsing lone parents. Oh yes because we are an easy terget. I read no criticsm in his report for the absent parent though. People have various reasons why they are lone parents. i.e death of a partner, abusive relationship, and if they (parents) stay social services step in and in the worse case children have been removed for being in a violent envrionment. I therefore ask what are supposed to do, stay with them (violent partner) so as not to upset the government. Also no one wants to use the word but a women could have been raped became pregnant and decide to have her baby. None of the above are life style choices Mr Lord Frued they are life circumatances and we all do the best we can. What a damn shame this government are not as tough on the banks,criminals and tax evaders as they are on lone parents and other vulnerable groups i.e the sick, mentally ill, and the disabled. Sorry but someone to be brave enough and say it. x

Andrew_2861 avatar
Andrew_2861
02 December 2012 12:20

The comments from a privileged member of the lords are a disgrace. Demonstrating we not all in it together no one lifestyle should be consider less valid then another. As for being on benefits I myself a working lone parent have lost my tax credits just a few months ago while my pay is in a fourth year of a pay freeze and cost food and utilities are going up. I am struggling to keep cost down and making cut backs that the reality of lone parents in austerity Britain for both working and non working lone parents.

Catherine_7413 avatar
Catherine_7413
27 November 2012 23:37

wow..the corpse and funeral crack was a bit ill thought out, i mean, aren't all the mourners actually really really glad that they aren't up there in the wooden box at the front? counting their lucky stars that they are able to cry rather than lie there with no hope of ever standing up again, soon to be buried or cremated? because thats the choice they seem to be giving us..2single parents, you are rubbish, so...cremation or burial is it today?" my son is not deprived in any way, he is the happiest, most intelligent, compassionate and generous person i have ever met, and he is only 3. i never go out, i have stayed in every single night since before he was born - like another member i also lost my job when i was pregnant. If you are on benefits there is no privacy for you, the state owns you and has access to everything about you and your child. They have the power to make you starve and be cold. I have started a business but you cant even earn anything without a massive rigmarole of phone calls, form filling and interviews, even a home visit , i got! It is not a nice feeling knowing that everyone hates you and your every move is scrutinised - would lord whatsit like to live like that? afraid the they look at your bank statements and say 'ooh whats she buying that for?' (or so i imagine). he shame of handing over healthy start vouchers in your local supermarket and having to produce letters at the doctors to say that you are entitled to free prescriptions. and then people say 'ooh you have so many clothes..err. yes i did work once upon a time ago you know!! am i supposed to dispose of old clothes and wear a hessian sack now i am on poor street?' and yes i chose to be a single mum, because i chose to remove us from the violence, and that waste of space never used to pay his way anyway, it was me that paid all the rent and bills, he was so selfish. and still doesn't pay maintenance. And the courts still give him access to my poor baby, so i have to live with the fact that I will never be free from the man who i didnt want to have sex with in the first place. I suppose he thinks we are all paying for holidays and shoes and sipping champagne after we put our kids to bed eh?

Rebecca_5586 avatar
Rebecca_5586
26 November 2012 18:53

I work as a receptionist, I'm doing a 'part-time' degree (most full-time part-time thing I've ever done) AND I'm on placement. In half term I'm a free-lance kids activity co-ordinator, I'm regularly asked to go to a museum in half-term to put together activity days for kids. I've been on my own with my daughter since day one, she’s nearly seven. Despite me being so busy I struggle so much financially. What I want more than anything is to be able to pick my daughter up from school myself, but unfortunately, I can’t do that. The sad thing is, the parenting is a joy, an absolute pleasure, the hard part is dealing with the stigma of being a young single mum and the lack of emotional support. So when I hear another inaccurate opinion with no substance like Lord Freud’s, that really hurt and anger me, I have no one to turn to for support. Life is tough at the best of times, but having no support AND to be made to feel like crap by society AND to deal with regular ‘mum guilt’, well it’s not a great lifestyle, and I for one would not recommend it!

Mike2012 avatar
Mike2012
23 November 2012 20:04

I have been a single parent of two children for over ten years. My ex wife asked for space and then moved her boyfriend into the family home with the children. I then set up a home for the children to live with me half the time. As the ex received both Child Benefits and credits, she wouldn't agree to more as she would lose the money. I briefly received a Child Benefit for two years, until my son left school. I have worked almost throughout the ten year period, except for periods of illness and two redundancies. I have received no acknowledgement, help or support throughout this time from the State, and have struggled on the poverty line to support my kids and I. My ex has received all the benefits, has never worked and still manages to have a good social life and holidays (The kids are, of course, left with me, without any financial support) The present Benefits system is used by the people who can play the system. If you are honest, have integrity and don't lie, you will get trodden underfoot. Living as a Single Parent is NOT a lifestyle choice. You don't have any choices, you just try and survive. I am certain Lord Freud will not do a "Portillo" and experience life as a Single Parent. He wouldn't cope for more than a couple of hours. Another self satisfied, rich, privileged, out of touch white middle aged man telling people how they should manage their lives. As I am myself, a white middle aged man, I would love to guide David through the reality of life as a Single Parent in 21st Century Britain.

Lily avatar
Lily
23 November 2012 18:50

I would like to start by quoting his own words. ' The Tory peer, who is helping to push through a radical overhaul of the welfare state, insisted he understood the reality of living on benefits, arguing & 'you don't have to be the corpse to go to a funeral.' Now I don't know how many funerals he has been to, but where I come from the corpse gets a very different role to the mourners and the distinction is important!!! Who feels it, knows it, said Bob Marley. Freud seems to have completely missed that basic point. My whole experience as a single parent taught me that the reality is nowhere near my perspective from the outside before my son's father walked out and when I thought there was a system in place to help us. I have been bullied, lied to, had benefits not turn up due to error, dealt with a CSA that had no interest in the support of my child and got through it all...just. It has taken a toll on my mental and physical health and the quality of support from statutory agencies is appalling, except for the odd individual with a heart. Now I am working, I have been exploited with a 0 hours contract where my employer lied about holiday and sick pay entitlement. Single parents are fair game for bullies, because most of them are too busy looking after their children. The sooner this govt. is replaced, the better. It's just divide and rule, and the ignorant believe what they say about us, while their mates are making money off our backs.

imp123 avatar
imp123
23 November 2012 16:06

I am a single mum of two, I was a run-of-the-mill, middle class stay at home mum for five years, educated to university level, working at a well paid full time job before having children, when suddenly we were left homeless and penniless when my ex came home one day and said he wanted us to seperate, and as the mortgage was in his name, we had to go. I had no choice initially but to claim benefits and far from enjoy a wonderful 'lifestyle', I had to move back in with my parents. Five years on, I have a good job but I am unable to get much in the way of child maintenance, thanks to their incredibly rich father exploiting the loophole in the calculation procedure for this that doesnt take account of the dividends taken by self-employed people. And I am faced with a daily choice. Option one, I could move out from my parents house to rent or buy our own place, and either live on benefits or try and change career to a less fulfilling and worse paid job so that I could fit my working hours into normal childcare hours, and struggle every day to be able to afford everything on a lone wage. Option two, I could stay put and use the spare money from not paying rent to give my children the extras that would just not be accessible to us otherwise, like a diet than doesnt consist mainly of tins of value baked beans, swimming lessons, holidays, and rely on my parents to book end the child care hours. I chose to stay put. And its not an easy decision and its not an easy life. Living as an adult trying to bring up two children in front of your parents is an exercise in incredible tolerance and tongue biting, not to mention how difficult it is if you try and start a new relationship, and my parents in turn are faced with sharing care and the financial responsibility of two small children when they should be thinking of retirement and travelling the world. I am here to tell you Lord Freud, not having to be 'a corpse to go to a funeral' has nothing to do with it (which is a dreadful analogy anyway in this case, because a corpse has a completely different experience of a funeral to the mourners on account of being the only dead one!) I agree on one point, the welfare and child maintenance systems are dreadful, but if you think claiming benefit is the natural and easy choice for a single parent, then I'm sorry, but you really ain't at the same funeral I am. In my opinion, the financial difficulty faced by single parents, particularly the ones who are also unable to get a second lump of financial support from the absent parent, is almost always the most restrictive and stressful part of raising children alone. Unless we are lucky enough to have a fabulously well paid job, we all make enormous sacrifices of one sort or another because of it. We simply do not have a system that supports us while we rebuild our lives and the lives of our children after being left to go it alone.

Sylvie avatar
Sylvie
23 November 2012 14:54

My relationship with my daughter's father ended when she was 6 months...I was the one looking for work because he didnt bother to do it...then, as I was studying a NVQ childcare course, I had to move in a Women's refuge because he was drinking and was more and more violent. We stayed in the refuge 10 months during,living on little money, which I was judged by every offocials who were suppose to help us...Being in a refuge, my priority was to get re-housed. When we finally moved on, I volunteered. When my daughter was at school full time, I was still volunteering, I trained and I was following a "going backto work" program...as well as dealing with my depression/nervous breakdown and other issues because I wanted to be sure give the best to my daughter. I have now found a job and I am praying I will be able to support us both as we didnt get a council house but a private accommodation, as a single mother in a refuge,I wasnt seen as "homeless" and we werent on the priority band... So Lord Freud, as you can see...you are being very jugemental...

Disturbed_Dee avatar
Disturbed_Dee
23 November 2012 14:27

Single parents are targeted by media and those with no real understanding of how the majority of us “live” Yes there are some single parents that don’t work and won’t work because they get everything paid for them by state benefits. But more than half of all single parents work, I work albeit only 16 hours week but I do work. I am lucky because my employer is flexible so I can take my son to school and pick him up and they also allow me to bring him to work with me during half term as I couldn’t afford to pay for childcare and I don’t have anyone who can help me. The only family member I have is my mum and she works too. I don’t have a “lifestyle” I just about manage each month to pay the bills, buy food and anything my son needs clothing wise for school etc. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I haven’t been out to a pub in the evening for a night out in about 18 months. I do get housing benefit and some council tax benefit which makes life manageable for me, without it I wouldn’t be able to pay all the bills and feed us. My sons’ father doesn’t pay any maintenance as he has found a way of getting out of it and he wants nothing to do with his son. I didn’t choose to be a single parents but I do the damn best I can for my son. It is people like this that give us hard working, struggling parents a bad name. I sacrifice things I need in order to make sure my son has what he needs, even if that means wearing odd socks because mine are wearing out and I can’t afford to by myself new ones. He comes first, I make sure he has food even when I don’t have enough money to feed myself properly. There is no “lifestyle” here, unless you consider struggling from one payday to the next and hoping your gas and electricity will last a form of “lifestyle”. Its Lords and MP’s who have a lifestyle, sitting around condemning others and getting paid stupid amounts of money to do it. The government are making changes to benefits to help themselves not the people who need the help and the same goes for the changes to the CSA, that is money being stolen from children. Thats what this government has come to, stealing from children to save itself. So please Lord Freud please take your blinkers off and see the world for how it really is, rather than through the rose colour glasses you must be wearing

Kathryn_8775 avatar
Kathryn_8775
23 November 2012 14:18

How dare you, Lord Freud, pass judgement on the thousands of parents struggling to bring up children alone, in most cases like me without any support, financial or otherwise, from an absent father. This is NOT a lifestyle choice! I am divorced and have brought up 5 children alone, 2 of them still at home with me. I have one daughter who has just graduated from University, and another just starting. My kids are all highly intelligent, sensible and happy individuals, who will make a positive contribution to society. I am completing an Open University degree, but am forced by your government to have to apply for low paid jobs, with extremely unsociable hours, which will not even get me off the benefits system.We have to face the prejudices and stigmatisation of the kind you refer to in your article, on a daily basis. Can you even imagine how this affects confidence and self-esteem? And when you take steps to rise above it, this so-called welfare system, puts up so many barriers, you feel like you're being kicked back down again. Do NOT tell me, Sir, about taking risks, until you've had to make a choice between 'eating and heating', or been treated like a criminal or an idiot when you go to the JobCentre, or your infamous Work Programme scheme. Making flippant remarks about having 'less to lose' is disgusting in the extreme. It is people like you who are immoral, and have no values or compassion.

Elisabetta_6974 avatar
Elisabetta_6974
23 November 2012 14:09

I always studied and worked hard. Top education, even if im from a working class family. I was the first in my family to go to university, let alone have aspirations. My partner died when I was 33. Despite the horror of the experience, less then a month after the events I started a new job, even moving to a new city in order to work. I continued to do so then, having a very nice job, I decided to have a child. But the banking crisis happened and a series of events unleashed: I was made redundant while on maternity leave, rents went up, bills went up etc. No one wants to employ me now that I have a young child and the more im out of work the harder it gets. All the people who wanted to work for me or with me simply vanished. On top of that, my son has a mild disability and he is still not walking which means I have to look after him. Of course we need to mention childcare cost in London, the most expensive in the WORLd. In order not to be a burden on the state, when i was in employment I even took out a private unemployment cover. This means that for 12 months of looking for a job I did not ask a penny to the state. But for a single parent finding a job is a nightmare and here I am on benefit. I never planned it, I never wanted it. it does NOT feel good. I do not own a car, I live in a tiny studio flat. So Dear Lord Freud, you dare tell me that I have a lifestyle on the state?? Your words are offensive and somebody in public office should know better than speak like this. Such attitude will have the opposite effect; demotivating people who try hard to do well by their children and society at large.

Susanna_0478 avatar
Susanna_0478
23 November 2012 14:07

I would ask Lord Freud, to cease instantly, from malicious ongoing attacks against single parents, and to apply the Equality, Diversity and Fairness Policy 2010. What you are doing is illigal Lord Freud, you have no right to discriminate against these parents reguarding their marital status, as implimented in the policy. Not all lone parents are the same, and we do not deserve to be victims of your steryotyping. Most of us work, all of us work very very hard at being both parents, as well as those who work outside the home as well. Being alone is not a lifestyle choice, it is often very distressing and very lonely. People who's relationships break down are unfortunate and always at a disadvantage in some way, even if they have had to excape abuse and violence. Most single parents choose to work outside the home as soon as they are able to, as they see it as their responcibility to take care of their families, especially as there is no partner. Unfortunatly there are a good number of people going after the same job, which in many cases for those seeking work, there are simply No Jobs. You need to be helping such vulnerable parents but helping them into sustainable employment, with proper incomes so they can properly provide for their families. Single parents should be assisted in this way by easy affordable access into further education, with childcare provision. It is enough that lone parents are forced to look for work when their youngest child turns 5, they should never be forced to work full time, it should be their choice. A child has already lost a father in many cases, and should not have to cope without the mother for extended periods of time every day. Lone parents need to have time to be with their families. All single parents should be protected not abused, whether they are in or out of work, they are still amoungst the most vulnerable in our society. As a lone parent, I am working very hard to prepare myself for work for when my youngest goes to school full time. I do two voluntery jobs around my sons nursery hours and one where I can take him with me, so that I can gain experiance, I am also training to be a homestart volunteer, to help families who are experiancing stress and various difficulties. I am constantly active, and want to add my experiance to my CV. In the new year I am hoping to do a course on child minding, but unfortunatly I have been informed that the government no longer assists with the cost of training, so I will be trying to find a grant. My Point Lord Freud is this. Single parents in many cases often lack the skills and experiance to get back into work, your government is forcing them into non existant jobs, when they government should be providing further education for quolifications, to get proper jobs in order for them to take care of their families, not slamming the door of opportunity in their faces. Instead of your malicious spite against these people why not create a policy that pursues the main culpret of their predicament; the absent father, in most (but not all) cases.

Singlenurse avatar
Singlenurse
23 November 2012 13:34

I also didn't choose to be a lone parent. My ex cheated and treat me terribly. I have been single handedly raising my beautiful daughter. Since the break up, I have graduated and qualified as a nurse, spending three years constantly negotiating placement shifts because working until 8pm is just not an option when the childminder finishes at half five. I also had a job in a bar during this time. I still managed to attend all of my daughters assemblies, parents evenings and nativities. For the first two years after qualifying I worked in the bar still to top up my earnings. In that time my daughter has had three childminders. Because the childminding industry is very fickle, people come and go in it all the time. I had to give my second job up because working sixty hours a week was damaging my health. I still work full time and have been lucky enough to get a position which is pretty much 9-5 weekdays. I know how lucky I am to get this but have worked extremely hard for it. I have a mortgage so don't get any housing benefit or rent. Because of my earnings I get very little tax credits which is only for childcare. There have been many times I have sat on my stairs sobbing, thinking I can't do this. I have faced massive discrimination from previous managers who have tried very hard to make my life hard, had very little compassion shown. It was only when I was on the verge of tribunal did I get shown compassion, which is how I came to be where I am. I have an ex partner who does everything he can to make life hard, all so he can avoid CSA payments. I put up with acoholism, verbal abuse and gambling addiction so no one has the right to tell me it was my fault I am a single parent. I have very little social life because my life revolves around my daughters as I try to keep up with the Jones' . I work hard for every penny I earn and make sure my daughter is not disadvantaged. She gets the toys/gadgets all her peers get, and living in a small village with families who have two salaries is very difficult sometimes. Skipping meals to ensure my daughter goes on the school trip is something I do regularly. People ask me how I do it. I eat less. I do has to say no to my daughter. I'll talk about my daughter. A child in a single parent family. She is the most loving, polite friendly and pleasant girl anyone would hope to meet. She is so happy, she is a pleasure to be around because of her gentle nature, she is very calm. She is in the gifted and talented at school. I nurture her so much and we have a fantastic relationship. Because she knows we don't have two incomes she has an appreciation of the value of money. My "lifestyle" is nothing like what that neandathal is suggesting. Why should I expect to be taking risks as a singe parent. As single parents we have a hell of a lot more to lose than two parent families. We have no second income if we lose ours, that is it, nothing. Our children depend soley on us, no second parent to subsidise the bills, while mum looks for another job. That's one of the biggest responsibilities, to know that if you don't provide no one else will, so what risks is he talking about. Considering my taxes pay towards my tax credit and his wages I think she should just close that nasty disgusting mouth. Every single member of parliament should be made to live on the other side. Including the prime minister. How dare that horrible little man make such comments. So out of touch with realities. Life is not quite the bed of roses this man thinks it is.

Clare_6290 avatar
Clare_6290
23 November 2012 13:20

Having left a violent relationship, with two children under 5, with no family or financial support, living in an inner city area on "state benefits" going hungry so I could feed my children, shivering in bed from cold and fear, endless days trying to remain positive for my children whilst life attached a stigma that has not been seen since the workhouses of the VIctorian era, I am sure my story is a common one. Prior to this "life choice" I had been a legal executive, owning my own home and never living the dream of a "life on benefits". The judgments come from all quarters, and I can see the difference, where once society welcomed me, now through no fault of my own or my children's I was one of the "scroungers", every institution; schools, doctors, employers, to name but a few slammed doors in my face, but I was steadfast, I demanded better housing, better schooling for my children - I stood up to school bullies and those who tried to stigmatise my children. BUT not everyone is like that, where are the champions for single parents within the hallowed walls of Westminster, who make up a huge proportion of the population, notwithstanding those who stay in violent and abusive relationship because of this fear of stigma and judgment by society. I now feel safe, but not because society helped me, but through my own hard work; I am 3 years into a degree, my children are top of the class in all they do, I don't feel downtrodden and part of "that" underclass society made up to blame for all its woes. Westminster needs to reflect the views of ALL in this country, and this includes the House of Lords Mr Freud. Indeed I would challenge your negative stereotype by coming to meet me, look at my house full of books, my completed essays and well behaved and intelligent children, see how I budget and scrimp and save, how I volunteer at the CAB and how my conscious will not allow me to in the future when I graduate to become that person (like you), who believes that the privilege afforded you (either by birth, status or the electorate) somehow gives you the right to judge the lifestyles of others. I would even go so far as to say that you should withdraw your condescending and hate mongering article, visit a few single parents families and stay for a few days living with them and then consider your argument more fully.

Helen_8625 avatar
Helen_8625
23 November 2012 12:38

I wish I understood what risks Lord Freud imagines lone parents can take in order to gain well paid employment. I studied for a degree as a lone parent, and graduated in 2008. I work within the arts sector, which is a profession also under siege from savage cuts. Every now and then I submit work for local open arts events at my local gallery, even though we're told never to pay to enter such things, I think of a tenner as a worthwhile investment if my work is shown and I gain more commissions from this. But it doesn't guarantee that my work will be accepted, in fact it isn't, so that's a tenner wasted that I could spend on the kids. I work hard continuing my practice, and with a lack of properly paid employment opportunities, I do not see why I should be expected to do the work of two parents at once, along with my career, on a pittance. I'm constantly campaigning for artists to get paid, and hopefully this is paying off with a paid position as University staff to develop an artists group, but until this is put into place, I need to ensure that the rent is paid, the bills are paid, and the kids have shoes on their feet, etc. I expect to earn a sufficiently high enough salary to be able to survive without benefits, but face constant challenges to this aim, from employers not offering hours that fit with childcare, unpaid positions for work that should pay a very good wage - which are refused - and somehow being expected to live out The Pursuit of Happyness (sic) risking homelessness and destitution for companies that can in fact afford to pay a decent salary. Is this the risk he imagines? Does he imagine that sleeping in a train station toilet is a realistic option for single parents? Or is his proposal for lone parents to become employed as funeral directors for people like him, when he says he doesn't need to be a corpse to go to a funeral, is that a suggestion? If he really wants to help, he needs to offer me a paid commission, than more paid commissions, so that I earn a living from my work as an artist, but that isn't how it comes across, it comes across as a rich Kafkaesque man that tries to defer the work lone parents already do as something it isn't. And what exactly are his suggestions for all the absent fathers??

tashasmum79 avatar
tashasmum79
23 November 2012 12:33

I became a single parent to get my kids away from their alcoholic father who would rather have spent his benefit money on beer & tobacco rather than what the kids needed. I don't enjoy being on benefits due to the stigma- even comments from my own family. I get no money from the kids father. I do my best to get them the things they need, sometimes I have to ask my parents for help which although they don't mind I hate asking for help. I want to work but I don't wish to work to pay a childminder to raise my kids.The comments from this Lord are awful- we may have "less to lose" but boy do we treasure what we have!!

unta avatar
unta
23 November 2012 12:25

Actually Lord Freud here's a challenge, take off your robe, get out of your office and do what Michael Portillo did if it means getting you TV coverage then sobeit (i'd rather see this sort of TV than Nadine Dorries swanning around Australia!) and GET OUT THERE and live the lives of these people 'HAVING THIS LIFESTYLE!' and experience the choices we have, pay the utilities or Eat and which utility do you pay first? Sweeping statements are extremely ignorant

Tetti avatar
Tetti
23 November 2012 12:22

I am a hardworking single mother who runs a childminding business,and every single mother I know are very hardworking women in good professions,and others work up to two jobs in order to make ends meet.Many of us cannot afford the things that our children's friends parents can afford,such as regular holidays,and we certainly cannot afford to save up money for a deposit on a house,as our rent and outgoings eat up most of our income.To assume that single parents on benefits live and easy life is such an insult.I could not possibly imagine how I could survive on benefits,nevermind having an easy life.And I am sure that I speak for every single parent,male and female ,who currently are finding themselves unemployed,that they would love nothing more than to gain employment in order to make a better life for themselves and their child/ren.Single parents are a huge asset to any employer,because we are used to multitasking,we will work harder than most,as we are the only breadwinner.There needs to be less of the finger pointing and less of the stereo typing.Employers also needs to be more understanding and flexible,because if you take a single parent on board,you are sure to have a hardworking and committed member of staff.

Maizie_D avatar
Maizie_D
23 November 2012 12:21

Comments like Lord Freud's reinforce the stigma facing single parents - in no way helpful!

unta avatar
unta
23 November 2012 12:18

I didn't choose to be a single mother, my ex husband made that choice for me! I also didn't choose to use the CSA and was always in favour of the court system BUT the government decided that for me (I am the old system in the days when the DSS as it was then wrote to ask you who the Father of your children is. If you refused to divulged this nuget of information your benefit ceased forth with!) now due to maladministration, lack lustre enforcement and unproactive staff i have a debt of £43k, & £12k of that debt is the Secretary Of States!! MY CHOICE? A GREAT LIFESTYLE? grow up Lord Freud and get with the program. If we're relying on OUT TOUCH ministers, MP's, Lords and Ladies who haven't got a clue then we're doomed because robbing Peter to pay Paul isn't a LIFESTYLE choice THAT'S LIFE!

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