Survey shows public ignorance of the level of benefits and who gets them.
Ministers were accused last night of demonising benefits claimants in an attempt to justify their controversial decision to increase most state handouts by less than inflation.
Polling commissioned by the Trades Union Congress suggests that a campaign by Tory ministers is turning voters against claimants – but only because the public is being fed “myths” about those who rely on benefits.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC General Secretary, said: “It is not surprising that voters want to get tough on welfare. They think the system is much more generous than it is in reality, is riddled with fraud and is heavily skewed towards helping the unemployed, who they think are far more likely to stay on the dole than is actually the case. Indeed if what the average voter thinks was true, I’d want tough action too.
“But you should not conduct policy, particularly when it hits some of the most vulnerable people in society, on the basis of prejudice and ignorance. And it is plainly immoral to spread such prejudice purely for party gain, as ministers and their advisers are doing, by deliberately misleading people about the value of benefits and who gets them.”
Full article available on The Independent website