The benefits debate

There is a huge uproar following last nights controversial ‘Benefits and Proud’ program – but how far can we go when tarring all of those in receipt of benefits with that same ‘scrounger’ brush?

There are hundreds, thousands of people on benefits because they want to be.  Women using children as excuses for free housing and not working. Drug addicts and alcoholics using the system as a funding source for their addiction. I can say this, because I’ve seen it first hand – and I know it doesn’t apply to everyone.
Many people can’t work, and if we forced them to it would do more harm than good. Whether they’re plagued by mental illnesses, crippled with disabilities or have found themselves in some terrible set of situations – they’re typically deemed ‘acceptable’ recipients of state benefits, but still find themselves caught in the firing line due to the terrible reputation that benefits claimants have brought upton themselves.
The jobcentre is tightening the ability to claim, in line with new regulations from the government. This means of course that job seekers will have to find new ways to fiddle the system, to act sincere yet unfortunate in the eyes of the jobcentre staff. Is it any wonder that genuine job seekers are also treated like liars?
Just a few weeks ago, I was sat on a cross country train. A man boarded, and when approached by the conductor, began his sob story about loosing his pass. Eventually, the man was allowed to continue his journey whilst the conductor did whatever he had to, to help the man. And how did this fortunate man react?
Once the conductor had left the carriage, the man boasted publicly (as though under the influence) that ‘that’s how you screw the system’ and ‘ F**K paying, why should we pay?’ whilst laughing at his victory.
Another example of the type of person who believes the world owes him.
Those in real receipt of JSA are those who need support during unemployment, whilst actively seeking work. Incapacity benefit provides for the disabled, income support helps pay the bills. We WANT people to work. It’s what keeps the country going. It keeps the economy happy. It keeps the world churning. Why do so many people want to ‘screw’ the officials by not working?
People are lucky to have such a generous system, and many people use it in the way intended.
We definitely need to distinguish between those who ‘deserve’ and those who don’t .