Iain Duncan Smith laughing

Britain’s most hated pensions secretary Iain Duncan smith has declared yet another war on disadvantaged people in Britain, after announcing a new round of benefits cuts.

The work and pensions secretary has claimed that the crackdown on deprived people within the UK has “worked” and that the number of households where nobody had ever worked “doubled” under the last government.

He added that welfare reform has “changed people for the better” and said the benefit cap is likely to be changed from £26,000 to £18,000.

Mr Smith claimed that the further clampdown on the unemployed was: “Fixing society at the same time as the economy, matching a firm economic settlement to a firm social settlement; and in so doing putting this country on a path to a more productive, more dynamic, and ultimately a more contented, future.”

He also appeared to suggest that many British families were not ‘productive’ enough, adding that the economy will never be able to hold its own unless “British families play a full productive part in that plan”.

Of course, if one were to read mainstream newspaper outlets such as the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, you could be forgiven for thinking that there were indeed families in Britain containing three generations of economically active people who have never worked and are perpetually claiming benefits.

In fact, the mass media has colluded with the government in perpetrating this myth.

However, a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has helped to dispel that fable.

Researchers at the organisation said that not only were they unable to find any evidence that such families even existed, but the number of workless families that had more than one generation of members out of work represented less than one per cent of the population.

And of that one per cent of families, the long-term worklessness of parents had come about as a result of complex problems (particularly related to ill-health) associated with living in long-term and deep poverty.

The report also found that more than 80 per cent of claimants never go near the work programme because they aren’t claiming for long enough.

Therefore, this latest clampdown on the welfare state represents yet another attack on some of the most disadvantaged sections of society, including those who are disabled and unable to work.

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