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We took the #WickedUncleChallenge… And SMASHED IT!
5th September 2016
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#ABloggingGooodTime Week 15
7th September 2016

Life Goals: I’m A Lazy Benefit Scammer!

Woman holding a lot of money in her hand with title above
I love blogging – it has opened up a world to me that I never knew existed. I have found friends who I know will be friends for life, a creative outlet that I crave to return to on a daily basis and more fortunate than anything is that it has become a job. A job I can do from home whilst being with my daughter. A job that I work bloody hard at but at the end of the day is totally worth it… well that’s what I thought anyway. Apparently, I am actually a lazy single mum after benefit scamming the poor people of the UK…

road  signs all with the word scam on them

 

Trolling… why do people feel the need? I mean, my mother taught me if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all! However, some people just cannot resist jumping on the bandwagon can they…. Recently, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have been appearing all over the internet and on television and radio as well because of a blog post I wrote called “Get Off Your Arse: Blogging isn’t a real job!” This digirl in bed with a computerscussed my problem with not being able to prove to HMRC that I was working enough hours to qualify for tax credits. Now, I think I work bloody hard as a blogger though for a lot of people blogging, let alone blogging as a job, is still a bit of an enigma. The number of comments I have seen over the past few days saying that “tapping away writing tripe on the internet is not a job!” or “social media isn’t a job stop chatting to your mates!” is absolutely incredible… better go tell all those social media managers, marketing, every brand everywhere that advertises and hey better tell Google as well, to stop chatting to their bloody mates!!

I was overwhelmed with the influx of comments that came in, primarily from bloggers, congratulating me on opening a lid on a topic that was long overdue to be opened. Through appearing on the BBC I discovered that it wasn’t only bloggers that were facing this problem, but that most self-employed people were having this issue from Farmers to Actors! The tax credwoman stressed holding a lot of filesits system is designed to work around people earning an hourly wage, which for bloggers can often be either mere pence or impossible to figure out as we often earn based on whole articles, posts or a set of online social media promotions. Something needs to be done about this, which I didn’t realise at the time, but my experience has definitely opened up my eyes to the bigger picture!

What I was naively not prepared for, were all the nasty and unnecessary comments that appeared on the BBC News tweets. I get that you are not always going to agree with everything people say, but why go out of your way to make comments. Of course, those ones weren’t the worst, merely being told I am trying to scrounge benefits I am not entitled to, or to go and get a real job didn’t really upset me as I know the truth. The hurtful ones came in anonymous emails sent to my blog account informing me that I was “a skank young mum who is wasting your daughters lscreen shot of comments left on bbv news tweet by trollsife by being on bloody social media too much!” Do they not get it? I’m not playing!!! I am not sat on my phone chatting to friends or having a good time, I am working!! Social media never sleeps… so how can we? I get up in the night to feed my daughter and whilst she sleep feeds on me I check the notifications of my blogging social media accounts and sort through them so that I don’t wake up to an overwhelming number… when my English readers go to sleep, my other readers from around the world are getting up and that means interaction!! I suppose the only positive thing I can take from that comment is that they think I’m young!! I was also reminded that “having a child don’t mean you get benefits! Good on you HMRC!” Uhhh excuse me? I have one child, that I am supporting myself from MY income, I am on no housing or job seeking benefits so you may want to rein your neck in on that one!

Through all of this I have really had to sit down and remind myself that actually I am not a bad person and the whole reason I started this was in fact to be able to stay home with her… so I am not in fact wasting her life by working around her! I am actually providing for her in the best way I possibly can. I think it is horrendous to call someone a scrounger and undeserving when they happen to be in a situation where they are reaching out for help. If, heaven forbid, they had an accident that prevented them from working, or caused them pain, am I meant to call them a scrounger and jump on the second they file for disability benefit all because there are a few people out there who cheat the system?! No, I’m not, because I am not that kind of person and the last thing they would need would be abuse at that time – they would need support!

 

a girl supporting her friend with a hug

No matter what you do in life, there will always be someone who doesn’t approve of what or how you are doing it. However, rather than making someone feel bad/worse by voicing such negative opinions publicly when they have in fact taken a bloody brave step in life, take mother’s advice and don’t say anything at all. There is a time and a place for everything, including opinions and I ask you to remember this… In a few years time when your son or daughter comes to you and says, “Mum/Dad I am going to set up my own business as a Decorator, Hair Dresser, Actor, Farmer and be self-employed!” What are you going to do…. watch the struggle to manage but support the fact that, despite the number of hours you see them slogging away, the HMRC won’t pay them the tax credits they so obviously deserve? Or, are you going to step up and help them do something about it?!

 

 

22 Comments

  1. Emma says:

    I couldn’t believe some of the comments that you were getting from some people. However, I think it just highlighted how ignorant these people they are, and like you say, how they don’t have a clue how social media works. You are doing great work in what is a very challenging market. You should feel proud and those trolls and HMRC need to get out of the 1980s and learn how the real world works

  2. Sadly BBC attracts trolls like bees to honey. Anybody who wants to claim what they’re entitled to are branded as benefit scroungers, even if they work. Working Tax Credit is something you’re entitled to and should be getting. A lot of these douchecanoes hide behind the screen and take satisfaction in thinking they ruin other people’s lives, when in reality others are laughing at their stupidity. As someone else mentioned, they’re attempting to be Katie Hopkins 2.0 – controversial for the pure heck of it. Unlike Hopkins, they hide behind an alias because they’re cowards who don’t want to own and be responsible for their opinion. You’re doing a grand job of making the public aware that self-employed people have trouble with an archaic system. Keep at it!

  3. Clare Bailey says:

    I always think that when people are this vitriolic, part of the reason is that they are jealous of what you do and what you’ve achieved.

  4. Ky says:

    Haters gonna hate. Trolls are sadly a big part of online life now. It’s much easier to be a keyboard warrior and hide behind a screen than it is to say it in person. Some people don’t understand social media enough to know that it’s not just sitting looking at a screen. It’s commenting, writing, answering, scheduling etc.. You work hard, probably harder than a lot of the people leaving the comments, so try and ignore them. HMRC really needs to get with the times and realise people don’t have the normal jobs of the past.

  5. I felt so sad that this attracted so many trolls – so unkind and your Mum’s advice is so true – but, sadly, they can’t help themselves. I’m so impressed with your strength of character but that’s because you focussed on the positive comments and not the negative lovely xx

  6. You’re clearly not a benefits scammer – you’re a working parent who is just asking for what you’re entitled too. I knew the news story would bring out the trolls, because they love to jump on things like this, even if they don’t really understand it. Personally, I don’t get trolling – if you want to have a reasoned debate about a topic, fine. But why spend time just tearing people down online? I just don’t see the appeal. Surely they have better things to do? #ablogginggoodtime

  7. Rach says:

    Bollocks to them. These people will find issue with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. You know what you are and what you’re not, it doesn’t matter what these imbeciles hiding behind their computer screens think or say. They don’t know you. #ablogginggoodtime

  8. You always have people like that. They don’t know what they are talking about. Just carry on. You know what you are doing and people who are behind you are like that for a reason. Because there is some truth in your battle! Good luck and keep up being yourself #ablogginggoodtime

  9. Firstly,well done you for writing a great post that has highlighted a really important issue. Secondly what the heck! I’m so sorry that you’ve received abuse for speaking your mind. How crazy can these trolls be to spend their time being bitter and so hyper critical. What a shame for them! #ablogginggoodtime

  10. I’m so disappointed that you faced such negative comments lovely as you really don’t deserve them. Personally I don’t understand why people feel compelled to lash out at total strangers, in many cases over a topic that they actually have no experience of. Blogging carries a bit of a stigma and until you have been involved with it you can’t begin to understand how much work is needed to make it successful. I applaud you for speaking up x #ablogginggoodtime

  11. Brilliant post hun! I’m so sorry this happened to you, you’re a fantastic writer and deserve to do well with this blog of yours. You should never be ashamed of something you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Well done you for talking about it. xxx
    #ablogginggoodtime

  12. Lucy At Home says:

    Oh you poor thing! This sounds dreadful. You ARE doing a good thing and fighting, not just for yourself, but also for all those other people who don’t have a voice. It’s horrible that people think they can say what they like on the internet without thinking that there is a real person on the receiving end of their typing. Hope you’re OK #ablogginggoodtime

  13. Ahh Katie you definitely opened a good can of worms. I think anyone who leaps to be self employed is amazing and there is a lot of hard work that has to go in to be successful. Not just blogging. Dave became self employed at the start of the year and he’s often stressing and always busy. All we can do is our best and hopefully provide what we can for our families! #abloggingoodtime

  14. It is a shame you have had such bad feedback for sharing your thoughts and opinions. Not everyone has to agree with you but they don’t have to be horrid! #ablogginggoodtime

  15. I’ve been really surprised by the general negativity towards mummy bloggers. Before I started blogging I always admired the writers of blogs I read. I had no idea that we’re sometimes portrayed as being blaggers. I can only put it down to pure ignorance of what blogging is and the hard work it entails. #ablogginggoodtime

  16. Lynne says:

    I hope you can ignore the trolls and allow their comments to just slip away into obscurity. The tax system obviously needs a rehaul as the way people work these days has radically changed. Thanks for raising this issue. #ablogginggoodtime

  17. It’s so easy for people to hide behind a computer and say these nasty things. In reality they are likely unfulfilled in their own lives or you have something they wish they had and they are jealous. Good on you for speaking out. I hope you can ignore all the nasty things that were said! #ablogginggoodtime

  18. I really can’t belive some of the comments you have gotten! It’s beyond a joke. For many it is a job so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be recognised as one! Jealousy comes to mind when I think about a lot of trolls online.

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  19. I was shocked by some of the comments you received and was just really pleased that you seem to have a thick skin – I don’t know if I would be so strong. But know this, you are awesome and doing so well, I was so proud to see you getting the exposure you deserve after months of such hard work. In my experience, the more successful you get, the more you find people trying to knock you down, but keep going lovely – you’re doing an fantastic job xxx #ablogginggoodtime

  20. wendy says:

    Ahh I’m so mad that people have made these comments! Blogging is not just ‘chatting to friends’ on Twitter, it is a 24 hour job! I think you have done amazing and your mum’s advice is so true. I think what you’re doing is amazing and I’m sure you’ve got the whole blogging community cheering you on as we are the ones who truly understand what being a blogger really means xx #blogginggoodtime

  21. JerseyGirl says:

    I couldn’t believe some of the comments you were getting. When I first read the BBC article my immediate response was good in you! I saw nothing negative what so ever. Maybe because we blog we understand but like you say it’s for all types of professions that work outside the typical 9-5 “standard” jobs. It’s 2016 people need to wake up and realise there are 101 ways people “work” these days, as things progress unfortunately so do the small minds. Keep fighting Hun

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