The Express stirring up the hatred yet again 🙁
ANGER at the scale of Britain’s benefits culture erupted last night after official figures showed there are nearly four million households where no one works.
A total of 3.88million homes with at least one working-age adult do not include anyone with a job. Despite a slight drop of 38,000 over the past year, the shocking figure represents one in five of households with at least one member of working-age.
In total 7.25million people, including 1.84million children, are living in workless households. The figures yesterday triggered renewed fury at the £180billion annual welfare benefits bill being picked up by taxpayers.
Critics seized on the statistics as fresh evidence of the culture of benefits dependency that was allowed to spiral out of control under the previous Labour government.
The figures confirmed that the number of households where no one has ever worked doubled under Labour.
In total 7.25million people, including 1.84million children, are living in workless households
Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group, said: “Those out of work are living on benefits and it is taxpayers who are picking up the tab. Despite a fall, there is still a shocking number of workless households and this is partly a symptom of our broken welfare system. Confusing and over-generous benefits are trapping people in poverty and mean they aren’t getting the help they need to get a job and start earning for themselves and their family again.
“It’s in everyone’s interest that the number of workless households is further reduced and the benefits system is fixed, to ease the pressure on the public finances.”
The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics and based on data collected between April and June, show that the number of households where no one has ever worked went up by 18,000 in the past year to 370,000. Excluding students, the figure was 297,000 – an increase of 27,000.
In some of the worst pockets of unemployment, one in four households is workless.
Regionally, the worklessness rate was highest in the North-east of England where between 22.8 and 25 per cent of households have no one with a job.
In contrast, in the South-east and East of England, only between 14 and 16.1 per cent of households are workless.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “While the slight fall in the numbers of workless households and children living in workless households is encouraging, these figures still underline the sheer scale of the challenge we face. Over the last decade thousands of people were simply abandoned to a lifetime on benefits, and a staggering 1.84million children are living in homes where currently no one works.
“This is why we launched the Work Programme this summer which will give tailor-made support to help people get off benefits and into work, while our overhaul of the benefits system will ensure work is always the best option.”
According to the figures, the largest fall in the percentage of people living in workless households was for those aged 50 to 64, down 0.4 per cent to 21.1 per cent, while for those aged 16 to 24 the figure increased by 0.6 per cent to 14.2 per cent.
The biggest fall in workless households was driven by an 82,000 cut in the number of people classed as inactive, while there was a 37,000 increase in the numbers who were unemployed.
The percentage of children in workless households was 15.8 per cent, down 0.3 per cent from a year earlier.
Over the same period, the percentage of children in working households increased slightly by 0.1 per cent to 51.4 per cent.
Charities and trade union chiefs last night claimed that the level of worklessness could be worsened by benefits cuts.
Barnardo’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said: “A sure way to help children out of poverty is to help their families into work.
“Barnardo’s fears that any progress towards reducing the number of children living in workless households could be jeopardised by families potentially losing out on childcare help when universal credit is introduced. Damaging work incentives must be avoided at all costs if the Government truly wants to make work pay and end child poverty. Barnardo’s wants to see a level of support that covers at least 80 per cent of childcare payments.”
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The welcome fall in workless households is thanks largely to Government support in helping lone parents into work. But as ministers talk tough on unemployed people, the fact is their own economic policies, which have created record female unemployment and harsh cutbacks in childcare support, are likely to mean the number of workless households will rise again.
“The increase in never-worked households is disappointing, but as over a quarter of these are student houses, who wouldn’t be expected to work in any case, it would be wrong to focus too much on a relatively small group.”