Has there ever been a day when benefits were not in the news? Benefits cost the government £208 billion per year[1]. The politicians are all talking about it, as is the common man. Most people tend to take three views –  those who have never claimed benefits and see it as a sense of pride to not take them, those who genuinely need the help and support because they simply cannot survive on their own due to their personal circumstances and finally those who find the very system of benefits laughable.

For a long time the government spent a lot of money on benefits which was fine, but to an extent it created a gaping hole in the economy. I used to work in politics so, know and saw with my own eyes how some people we so used to claiming benefits it was actually a family tradition. Street parties would be thrown when a young person would be declared disabled. It was shocking. And when they were asked, ‘How come you are not working?’ It was responded with “My great grandfather, grandfather and father never worked a day in their lives… so why should I?”

When the Conservatives came into power, The Books (a term used for the country’s accounts) were all over the place. No one knew exactly how much money was being spent and in which areas? When everyone realised how much money was going into different areas, changes had to be made.
A lot of people felt that these changes were “good and the benefits system in the UK needed a change.” Whereas other people felt that “if it wasn’t broken why bother fixing it?”

Consequently a new Universal Credits system was launched in 2013 which formed an umbrella around numerous benefits that people can receive when trying to get back into work and support them, through courses, interviews and the new online system.

I have always felt that people who genuinely need and deserve benefits should be given without any hesitation. However, those who fraudulently take benefits and manipulate the benefits system for their own gain really burn my blood. Often a big problem for people who need benefits is the language barrier. In my previous job I used to come across many men, women and children who could not speak English and really struggled to explain what was their need and requirement when it came to getting, receiving and voicing what benefits they needed. The Job centre has a variety of staff who are always available to help and cater to those who find language a barrier.[2]

*If you need to know anything about benefits or read up more about any of the topics that were discussed in today’s show you can go to the gov.co.uk website which lists all of the various benefits available and also if you are eligible.