Dear Bishop of Ripon,
My dad earns around Ã‚Â£26,000 a year. He has worked all his life since the age of 18 and has never claimed any benefits. He has paid tax every month since August 1978, he has paid National Insurance for the same amount of time. Our Mum gave up work when we were born so our Mum and Dad could give us the best start in life, nurture us and bring us up to be loving and giving. We, too, intend to get jobs and spend our lives paying taxes and National Insurance.
As a result of our parents’ decisions, they spent 2o years in debt. We never had a foreign holiday, our cars were always between 8 and 15 years old. We did not qualify for the free money that the government gave for staying at school to our friends whose parent’s were claiming benefits even though they had cars which were only 2 or 3 years old and went abroad 3 times a year.
Out of our Dad’s Ã‚Â£26,000, or whatever is left after all his taxes are paid, he has to pay for our house because our parents thought buying a house was the best thing for the future, even though they were ripped off by greedy men who told them to pay something called an endowment which would pay off their mortgage after 30 years and leave them with a nest egg. They won’t have a nest egg and will have to find many thousands of pounds because their endowments were worthless despite what the greedy men told them. They were told this was what was called ‘tough shit’ and they couldn’t do anything about it.
What is left from this Ã‚Â£26,000, minus the taxes, and the mortgage is what we have to live on. Our parents are paying towards our university education because they want us to have a good job to be able to pay our taxes and they don’t want us to have as much debt as the government wants us to have. They said this was the responsible thing to do, though we have been told that if we do not want to do this and want to get pregnant and not work we can have even more than Ã‚Â£26,000 if you have your way.
We heard on the radio that if the government stop all the families who claim all this free money which is the equivalent of Ã‚Â£35,000 for anyone who pays taxes, then this will mean children will starve because it penalises children. We were sad about this but wondered whether not working penalised children even more. We know some friends at school who earn more than our dad but lots of them earn less and we have never seen any of the children at school whose families earn as much as Ã‚Â£26,000 begging for food. We aren’t the best mathematicians but we do find it strange that most people who work get about Ã‚Â£25,000 a year but families who don’t work can get Ã‚Â£35,000 or more if they ‘bang a few sprogs out’, as dad likes to say.
It is really good that you want to give more free money away because you feel that families cannot survive on such meagre rations, so if that is the case can you please see your way clear to stop the government making my Dad’s Ã‚Â£26,000 – minus taxes – stretch even less with inflation, wage cuts and pay freezes, and once you have done that, can he have some free money to put his income on a par with families who don’t work. Because it seems a bit unfair to say that familes who don’t work have starving children on Ã‚Â£26,000 but families who do work’s children aren’t starving.