The Tories have been queueing up to get themselves on any media platform they can so they can slag off those in receipt of benefit! There has been an absolute onslaught of Government criticism of so-called benefit scroungers. It's not as if any of these people can be held responsible in any way for this country's financial woes but to hear some of these people go on you'd think the blame should be squarely laid at their doors.
The Trade Union Congress commissioned YouGov, who are now firmly established as one of the top 25 market research companies in the world. The TUC asked YouGov to look into the attitudes of the British public towards those who were in receipt of benefits.What YouGov did was to establish what the general public thought was the case and what was actually the case.
- Average public perception: 41% of Britain's welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people.
- Reality: just 3% does
- Average public perception: 27% of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently.
- Reality: 0.7% of the welfare budget is, according to Government sources, claimed fraudulently.
- Average public perception: an unemployed couple with two school-age children would receive £147 per week in Job Seekers Allowance
- Reality: £111.45
- Average public perception: Only 21% think this family would be better off with one of them working a 30 hour-a-week job paying minimum wage; this 21% thinks, on average, they would be £59 a week better off.
- Reality: the family would be £138 a week better off.
The Government are perpetuating myths and misunderstandings about what they delightfully coin the benefit culture. This is a deliberate ploy on their part to play one sector of society off against another, in this case the working poor, against those who aren't working. The deserving poor against the undeserving and presumably feckless.
Just today Nick Clegg was speaking to MPs about the proposed benefit cap. He told them that services such as schools and the NHS would suffer unless a benefits rise cap was imposed.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies are a major economic research institute in the UK often used by the Government. The IFS have said that JSA accounts for 2.4% of the total welfare budget, they continue that benefits for those on low incomes, ie those who are working account for 21% of the welfare budget, whereas payments for elderly people, including the state pension make up over 42%.
So why oh why does the Government feel so free to glibly castigate and vilify this section of society?