I have typed this reply once and lost it so will keep this brief.
The purpose of the benefit system is to assist people who need it, like the NHS it is something we provide that some other countries don't and this is something I am proud of.
Some people are genuinely ill, some people try and are unable to find a job. And a few times in this thread it has been stated these people should have benefits.
Others take advantage of this system.
Seems we have three options available:
* get rid of the benefit system completely so those people fraudlently applying get nothing.
* accept that some people will not be genuine but not want to make it harder for the real claimants.
*make it harder, lowering the number of people on benefits knowing that some/alot of genuine people will no gain assistance.
I think of it the same as our prison/legal system.
In prison there are going to be some people who are innocent. Like all inperfect systems this happens.
Now do we release all prisoners so those innocent are free or keep them loacked up knowing the guilty are off the streets?
Option 4 please.
* If you cannot work / are sick then you get 50 pound a week in food / clothing vouchers, that only cover essentials. IE, you can go to sainsburys and buy whatever cereal you like, whatever brand of milk you want, etc, but you cannot buy alcohol or cigs. Chocolate oranges and jaffa cakes are also not included. The government can draw up a list of allowed brands, doesn't need to be too long.
* You can get housing benefit I am ok with that - but not in London or other expensive areas. If you cannot afford rent in Kensington then off to Hartlepool you must go. If you don't want to live in Hartlepool then get a job.
* Heating and electricity can be covered by the government. I think the savings from the above will more than offset this.
The problem is we hand out money and then complain that people spend it on things we don't approve of. I don't think anyone would have a problem feeding, clothing and housing people in times of need. What we don't like is them buying SkyTV and 50" LCDs. This will stop that.
Coming from an area that is predominantly made up of scrounging lazy twats (the North), I know the abuse of the system that goes on.