Lazy, drunk, benefit cheats a myth, according to new report

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PostTue Dec 10, 2013 2:08 pm » by Malogg


Lazy, drunk, benefit cheats a myth, according to new report

The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, says welfare reforms are tearing apart Welsh communities and we should challenge stereotypes of the poor

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The Truth and Lies About Poverty is a new report by Oxfam Cymru and the Church in Wales

Welsh communities are being torn apart by welfare reforms which have seen our poorest, most disadvantaged and vulnerable residents wrongly labelled 'lazy, drunk shirkers and skivers.'

That is the stark warning delivered by Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan today at the launch of a new report by Oxfam Cymru and the Church in Wales.

The Truth and Lies About Poverty paper lists six common “myths” about people living in poverty, backed by facts and figures.

Speaking ahead of its launch in Cardiff Bay, Dr Barry Morgan has called on people to “speak out against the rumours, misrepresentations and prejudice that undermine our solidarity with one another.”

The Archbishop said: “This report brings together concern for the poor and concern for truth-telling, and reminds us that it is our duty not just to offer practical help, but to stand up for what is right.

“Only when we have a true understanding of the realities of poverty can we even begin to tackle it and build a more just and successful society for all.”

According to the report while over 80% of the UK population believe that “large numbers falsely claim benefits”, fraudulent claims have in fact decreased to historically low levels “that the tax system can only dream of.”

Figures show that less than 0.9% of the welfare budget is lost to fraud.

Addressing the myth that claimants “have an easy life” the report found that benefits “do not meet minimum income standards” and “have halved in value relative to average incomes over the last 30 years.”

The report also found that fewer than 4% of benefit claimants report any form of addiction, while the majority of children in poverty are from working households.

Figures also show that the proportion of our tax bills spent on welfare has remained stable for the last 20 years.

Today’s launch will be hosted by deputy minister for tackling poverty, Vaughan Gething, who has also warned that stereotypes of the poor and the language used to describe them needs to be challenged.

Mr Gething said: “Some of the language we have seen and heard in recent times about the poor, especially those who receive benefits, has at best been misleading and at worst vile.

“The UK Government’s controversial welfare reforms seem to have given some a green-light to denigrate and deride some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised in our society.

“This is something we should not tolerate.”

Julian Rosser, head of Oxfam Cymru said: “If you relied on Government ministers and certain tabloids for information, you’d think that if people just pulled their socks up and worked hard, there would be no such thing as poverty.

“The reality is that there are just not enough jobs out there, benefits are under siege from sanctioning and even being in work is no defence against poverty as wages lag behind inflation and zero-hours and short term contracts are on the increase.”

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) yesterday said the Government has been “very careful about the language used when referring to benefit claimants.”

A spokesman said: “That is why this Government is making such a radical overhaul of the benefits system, to help improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities, with the Universal Credit making three million households better off and lifting hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

According to the DWP, latest annual poverty figures show that the most vulnerable groups have been protected.

“Pensioner poverty fell by 100,000, disability poverty by 100,000 and the number of children in workless poor families has reduced by 100,000 children,” the spokesman said.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith insisted his flagship welfare reforms remain on track, despite further delays to the programme.

Mr Duncan Smith disclosed last week that his 2017 target for the full introduction of Universal Credit is set to be missed – with around 700,000 claimants facing a longer wait.

Universal Credit will merge six working-age benefits – income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit – into a single payment in a far-reaching change designed to encourage work incentives and to reduce fraud.

Downing Street said the plan was always for it to be “gradually rolled out.”

Vaughan Gething said: “Those who receive help from the state to deal with the challenges of their daily lives are the people you may have worked with only yesterday who have lost a job or a member of your family if they become ill tomorrow.

“People receiving unemployment support are not suddenly transformed from being a ‘scrounger’ to a ‘striver’ the minute they get a job.

“Those receiving help to pay for their housing or to support their income are not a drag or burden on the country.

“They are an example of how we, as a civilised society, support our fellow citizens in times of need.”

Paul Morrison, public issues policy adviser for the Methodist Church and the original author of the Truth and Lies report said there are over 13 million people living in poverty in the UK today.

He added: “Day in and day out we saw that the lives of these families were being misrepresented by press and politicians.

“To stand back and say nothing would make us complicit in a great injustice.

“The dominant story that we hear about poverty in the UK blames the poor and it is built upon unreliable evidence.”


http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales ... th-6388197

Yeap it is bollox :!:
‘Sexual offences on children explained’
http://ukpaedos-exposed.com/uk-child-abusers-named-and-shamed/childhood-abuses/sexual-offences-on-children-explained/

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