The reality of life on benefits

85% of benefits claimants feel an institutional stigma

The actuality of living on benefits is often far removed from what the general public assumes.

The increase of so-called ‘poverty-porn’ on TV has further embedded benefits stigma into mainstream discussions.

A Turn2us study has revealed that despite benefit fraud accounting for 1% of claims, one in every five people believe a majority of benefit claims are false.

This is compounded by 36% of the public feeling that benefit claimants don’t deserve help, and a further 24% of the public feeling that benefit claimants need help because they are lazy.

A result of this widespread belief means that 85% of benefits claimants feel an institutional stigma and 50% feel a social stigma.

The reality of living on benefits is a topic that needs to be handled with compassion and care.

A 28 year old from Northamptonshire shared his experience on Reddit: “I lost my job due to ill health in December. I won’t get into details of salary but I was comfortable enough that I was looking to move in with my girlfriend around now had I been able to stay at work.

Woman sorting her finances

“As such, I have expenses reasonable enough for someone who was in a slightly above entry level admin job. A contract with the gym, £30 a month, a phone contract plus insurance, £46 a month, a car – essential as I live in rural Northamptonshire with no public transport links – which I own outright, but the insurance is £35 a month, my Labour party membership, £5 a month, my credit card bill – which I was slowly paying off after getting into difficulty post-university – £38 a month.

“My monthly expenditure is £157. My monthly benefits payments are £318. This leaves me with £160 for petrol to attend interviews, doctor’s appointments, pay for parking and other expenses.

“I spend almost all of my time looking for work, and yet I’m consistently called lazy by the DWP staff who I have to see fortnightly.

“When I get calls from agencies and employers the change in tone, when I explain my work situation, is palpable.

“Living on benefits is a miserable existence, and yet it is constantly demonised. People have even asked my girlfriend why she’s with me, as if she should be ashamed. It’s making me feel awful.”

Source: Turn2us

Iain Duncan Smith – We can see through him, he can’t !!

Hated Tory millionaire Iain Duncan Smith insists his attacks on benefit claimants are about helping them find jobs.

He denies any link between cutting off people’s only income for weeks or months and the growth of food banks.

His actions tell a different story. Duncan Smith has launched a trial run of putting job centre advisors in food banks.

IDSThis loveable chap knows what’s best for you !

Some 7,366 people were treated with malnutrition in England in the past year. Charity and church-run food banks have been integrated into the welfare state.

Unemployed, disabled and low-paid benefit claimants can only go with a referral from their GP, social worker or job centre advisor.

The threat of benefit sanctions already forces them to jump through endless hoops for the job centre. It creates stress and depression, but doesn’t help them find non-existent jobs.

Extreme food poverty was the dirty secret that forced claimants to comply. Now Duncan Smith is making it official.

In 1845 the revolutionary Frederick Engels called fear of unemployment the bosses’ “sharpest weapon”.

Those without work faced “starving, or freezing to death”. This horrifying poverty made every worker “the slave” of bosses.

Workers fought for a welfare state to blunt that terror. Duncan Smith is determined to bring it back.

Credits: Morning Star

“Yes, Dunc, your legacy is building nicely”