I was talking to a friend about this.

He was saying that there was no self respect in receiving benefits. He said that doing the honourable thing should come first. He explained that by this he means;

I would rather struggle than sponge. I have never claimed a day’s unemployment benefit in my life, and never plan to. I work hard, pay taxes and expect nothing. He continued to say that nobody in this country is as desperate as some people who live in Africa or India. They literally have nothing! We ALL can do SOMETHING. Something for ourselves and for society. This is the basis of modern progressive conservatism – doing whatever you can for the benefit of society and ones self.

A few weeks later I was talking to a girl at school. She said she walks home with her older brother because mum has 3 jobs and dad has 2. She goes to her gran’s house after school because the family care for her. She is very ill. She told me: –

‘….mum doesn’t want to claim benefits and be judged…’

So they work as much as they can, look after her gran and rely on the members of the family to support each other.

The brother who takes his little sister to gran’s also wakes his younger siblings up and makes them breakfast. Thus he’s always getting to school late. He’s only 10 himself.

I don’t think either situation is ideal but this example illustrates a family who are struggling, trying their best to remain ‘off’ benefit but as a result, have no or little time for their children.

Another family have a child who has ADD/ADHD. He’s been diagnosed with it and this means that he’s categorised as ‘disabled’. Mum says she copes. She’s not used his categorisation to claim disability benefit although she struggles and could really do with the support.

There are many cases where people who can claim don’t.

There are many employers who fiddle benefits for employers who don’t exist.

There are many employers who don’t put employees on their books for too long to escape being responsible for certain employee rights and benefits.

Is it really a clear cut reality of ‘those who sponge are fraudulent and undeserving’ and those who don’t claim are a ‘better’ people?

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