Exposing the myths of welfare

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Class; Red Pepper
Centre for Labour and Social Studies
Date of publication
1 April 2013
Social Policy, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

Download (761KB )

This booklet looks at the reality behind various perceptions of the welfare state, welfare benefits and welfare spending in Britain. Twelve myths regarding the welfare state in Britain are examined, and evidence is used to demonstrate why they are incorrect. For example, contrary to perceptions of generational worklessness, evidence shows that only 0.3% of households have two or more generations that have not worked. Further, the idea that benefits spending has increased and is currently out of control is shown to be incorrect as benefit spending in 2011-12 accounted for 10.4% of GDP, lower than an average of 11% in the mid-1980s and 12% in the mid 1990s. The booklet also shows that perceptions of large numbers of long-term benefits claimants are incorrect as less than 10% of Job Seekers Allowance claimants claim for more than one year.

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