A couple of days ago the Daily Mail published an article about why Britain has fallen out of love with the Welfare System. It is written by Dominic Sandbrook. The link to aforementioned article will be provided at the end of this so you can see what I am referring to, I am sure many of you will have read it or have heard about it through Twitter.
According to said article 7.2% of Britain’s GDP is spent on Welfare. You see Whitehall, where our lovely (read this sarcastically please) government is, it is where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. The Welfare System is there to help those in genuine need out in times of hardship or inability to work. Inevitably, there will be those who abuse the system in the same way some MP’s abused the expenses for things such as toilet roll holders; duck houses for the pond and even rent or mortgage payments for a place they did not need. Whatever the system there will always be those who break the rules.
In the Daily Mail article the Heaton family, allegedly in receipt of £30k per annum benefits, are quoted as wanting a bigger house for their large family. It is this that makes me, as a benefit claimant, feel angry. I personally feel that 3 children should be the maximum when it comes to Child Benefit, anything more than that then the parents should work to fund extra children unless their situation changes.You also have to factor in that the Heaton’s benefits is inclusive of Housing Benefit.
The article also makes reference to a recent YouGov poll. Apparently 74% of us Brits that were polled feel benefits should be slashed plus 69% of us feel that the ‘Welfare System has created a culture of dependency’. Again, I strongly believe the only people who were polled were working individuals who have never had to claim benefits. It is those who have never claimed that feel they have more rights than those who have because they have paid into the system all their working lives. Put it this way, you are only ever 2 pay packets away from being unemployed and/or being homeless. Those who have never claimed do not realise what slashing benefits could do. It is not just couch potatoes on benefits, it is former government officials and bankers from some bank making people redundant. Slashing my benefits, am disabled and sick, would result in catastrophic events. I would not be able to attend vital medical appointments. I also have to get out of my flat at least once to twice a month for something other than for medical appointments, even if it is a couple of hours in town or something.I cannot afford to much more than that.
Jobseekers Allowance, at present, is £67.50 per week. Out of this you are meant to pay bills; use the internet to search for work (or benefit gets suspended); attend job interviews – oh and food of course. So sit down and work this out, what would this mean for you? Yeah it’s pittance isn’t it? If benefits like JSA were slashed then it would mean the claimant has little chance of being able to look for work or go for interviews. That would mean they would not get off benefits any time soon. If anything slash MP’s wages or stop funding foreign aid so much, allow people to make their own mind up about donating abroad for crying out loud. This country is run by people who have never experienced hardship, maybe they should try and run their homes on £67.50 a week for a month.
The article makes reference to Clement Attlee who was Prime Minister from 1945-51, when he left office the country’s welfare bill was a mere £700million. Now to compare then to the present day is daft, anyone in their right mind will know that the welfare Bill will have been elevated due to rising living costs in the PAST SIXTY YEARS for crying out loud.
Sandbrook wrote: “Not surprisingly, waste and fraud are widespread.” I do not agree at all with this statement. If you look at the figures only 2.1% of benefit claims are fraudulent. You only have to Google benefit fraud breakdown to see DWP related publications on this matter and to see the exact breakdown on figures per benefit, including Pension Credits.
He also writes, “the people who really lose from this, incidentally, are those who are genuinely disabled………..deserve boundless public sympathy, instead, thanks to abuse of the system they are often treated with scepticism”. The scepticism he refers to is due to media printing stories of benefit fraud every 5 seconds. It is silly, it means everyone who does not claim benefits will tar every claimer with the same brush. I am unfit to work due to the fact I am taking 400mg of buprenorphine every 8 hours due to my pain levels, no employer would every take someone on when they are on incredibly strong opiates. I wish I could work, I wish I could have more than I do in my bank account. I wish I could complain about going to work everyday and moan about being tired due to work. I shall have to wait a while.
I would love it if the media world would start publishing positive stories about benefits for once, portray the fact that the majority of people on benefits are indeed genuine whether they are on Jobseekers or Employment & Support Allowance.
If Dominic Sandbrook does see this article then I would welcome his, or any other journalists, opinion on what has been said.
Bye for now xxxxx