Even scroungers think they're getting too much in benefits...

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sickandtired

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...or so says that slightly-right-of-centre newspaper, the Daily Mail.

I've cut and pasted the article so people can read it without visiting the Heil's website and generating ad renenue for them:


Now even claimants admit they are getting too much in benefits: 59 per cent of those given handouts think they discourage work


Benefits recipients say the cash stops people looking for work

Nearly two-thirds of Britons say benefits are too high

Survey recommends jobless are forced to work for the cash they receive



By JASON GROVES

PUBLISHED: 00:44, 4 September 2013 | UPDATED: 00:48, 4 September 2013

Many working Britons have long held the opinion that benefits are too generous and even discourage the unemployed from looking for jobs.

Now it can be revealed that most benefit claimants feel the same way too.

Previously unreported findings show that 62 per cent of Britons think unemployment benefits are ‘too high and discourage work’. Incredibly, 59 per cent of those who said that either they or their spouse were receiving the handouts agreed.

The figures from the 2011 British Social Attitudes Survey suggest that concern about the welfare system rocketed during Labour’s term in office.
 
(PICTURE CAPTION) Handouts: 62 per cent of Britons think unemployment benefits are "too high and discourage work" and 59 per cent of those who said that either they or their spouse were receiving the handouts agreed.
 
In 2003 just 40 per cent of people thought benefits were too high. The survey’s findings were quoted in a study of the welfare system by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, published today, which concludes that welfare payments are ‘high and generous’ and that the penalties for those who refuse to work are too low.
It says the jobless should be forced to carry out 30 hours of ‘compulsory activity’ a week in return for their benefits.

The report, which has cross-party backing, calls on ministers to introduce a new policy of ‘work for the dole’.
It says the Social Attitudes Survey confirms that public opinion is ‘ahead of the politicians on this issue’.
Former Labour welfare minister Frank Field backed plans to force jobseekers to work for their benefits

 
The report cites international evidence to argue that punitive sanctions are needed to persuade the most stubborn claimants  to get off their sofas.

It argues that a programme of 30 hours of unpaid work experience, community work or charity work would provide valuable skills and persuade some to turn their lives around.

Those who refuse to take part would lose all their benefits. Only those too disabled to work or claimants with young children would be exempt.

And jobseekers with a long track record of National Insurance contributions would be excused from duty for two years.

The report suggests that 575,000 people could move on to the programme immediately. And it says that the programme would generate net savings of almost £2.5billion a year and see 345,000 people come off welfare in the first year.

The study says that existing sanctions are rarely used and only involve the removal of Jobseekers Allowance for short periods, leaving people with access to housing benefit and other allowances.

‘Although the complete suspension of benefit payments may seem an extreme sanction, the evidence from the United States suggests this is required to make the scheme fully effective,’ the report states.
Former Labour welfare minister Frank Field last night gave his backing to the idea.

‘Labour needs seriously to look again at the idea of work for the dole. The next Labour government must ensure that claimants are not simply left drawing benefit,’ he said.

Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The Government is improving the incentive to work but they need to go further and remove the option of sitting at home and claiming benefits entirely.’

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions last night welcomed the report.

He added: ‘Some jobseekers who are a long way from work are already required to carry out work placements which benefit local communities while giving them valuable skills to help them get a job, and we are constantly considering how best we can support unemployed people into work.’

Jockice

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lankou

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Bollocks.

Quite the DM is quoting old research before the massive cuts in benefit.

Ricardomeister

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I would take anything that comes from the Mail and Taxpyers Alliance with a very large pinch of salt.

However, if some people do think that unemployment benefits are too high then that is probably because they do not realise just how little we spend.

The TUC's benefits survey from the end of last year had the average respondent thinking that 41% of the entire welfare budget was spent on benefits for the unemployed. The true figure is 2.57% according to the IFS figures for 2011-12.

The average respondent also thought that 48% of JSA claims lasted for more than a year. The true figure is around 10% with more than half of JSA claims lasted for less than 13 weeks.

Also, our unemployment related spending according to the latest OECD figures (for 2009) showS UK spending at 0.5% of GDP v the OECD34 average of 0.98% and the EU21 average of 1.24%.

I wonder how many of the people from this survey knew any of the above, or even what the current JSA rates are.

Silverstar

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I wonder how we compare with other EU countries in terms of benefits, I always heard that the UK had some of the lowest in Europe. I know our state pension is low. If we were receiving too much them why have food banks sprung up all over the place. Absolute rubbish.

suessad

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Bollocks.
I agree too.

Although in some cases this could be true.
But how many of the unemployed live with two working parents.
Yep the bank of mum and dad strikes again. For some.  >angry<

Hurtyback

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I suspect that some claimants might well believe that other people get too much money.

devine63

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since the report mixes up responses from the general population with responses from people claiming benefits it is pretty useless in terms of information.   Plus it gives no info on how many people were asked, how they were recruited, etc..

Silverstar: I think fullfact.org.uk did an article comparing benefit amounts across countries but their search function is down; I have emailed them to ask for it to be added to their stats section

regards, Deb

lankou

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Whilst FullFact search facility is down you can do a Google on Fullfact plus what ever the subject is you wish to find:-

Fullfact international comparison of benefits




http://fullfact.org/factchecks/is_the_uks_welfare_system_the_most_generous_in_europe-27368

DarthVector

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Aha - that is interesting. Thanks for digging it up.

Can anyone see where France is in that last graph, by the way? It may just be my eyesight, but I can't find it, even though I can find Germany.

My take on these figures is that only Government spending on welfare is relevant when discussing the "generosity" of benefits, because only that part of welfare collects contributions from anyone who can pay, through their taxes, and redistributes money to people who may not have [been able to pay] any contributions of their own.

Private expenditures on things like income protection insurance and private pensions are choices that only benefit those who choose to pay and no one else, so there is no "generosity" in that part of the system.

On the face of it, then, Britain has the most "generous" welfare system, because its Government expenditure on welfare is at the highest percentage of GDP. However, that higher percentage is the hallmark of an inclusive welfare system which provides a safety net for anyone who needs it, not just for those who can afford to pay for private provision.

On the other side of the coin, Britain spends a lower percentage of GDP on private welfare, because people don't need to buy private provision when the Government already provides assistance. That's how we end up spending an average amount on welfare overall.

In the end, we're not talking about the false "generosity" of spending someone else's money, as the Coalition Government tries to portray the debate, but the real generosity of a society that chooses to take care of its own.

Ricardomeister

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France are not on that last graph for some reason.

Here is another interesting take on this issue..OECD figures based on social public expenditure per head:

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/government-social-spending-per-head_20743904-table2

In that table we are 14th (or in fact probably 15th as Switzerland's figures are not there but they have previously been higher in every year).

DarthVector

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France are not on that last graph for some reason.

Thank you, Ricardomeister :)

14th or 15th out of 34 countries - pretty average again after breaking the figures down from a percentage-GDP basis to a per-capita basis. I'd been wishing that Full Fact had included a per-capita version of their last graph, so thank you for finding those figures too.

gemini20

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What Jockice said. >thumbsup<

Sunny Clouds

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I can't find the article on the site today even though I found it when it first went up.  Either I'm not looking in the right place or someone's challenged them in a way that's embarassed them.

But when I did see it, the comments weren't going the way you'd expect the DM to like.  Add maybe a complaint or two about misrepresenting facts and it would be easy for the article to be pulled.

Am I mistaken about it being  taken down or buried where it can't readily be found?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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The latter may well apply as it's now 'yesterday's news'?  (damn, I would have liked to see those comments ..)

Quote
It says the jobless should be forced to carry out 30 hours of ‘compulsory activity’ a week in return for their benefits.

Just ... no  >steam< 

I suspect that some claimants might well believe that other people get too much money.

Yes!  That did actually make me  >biggrin<