The Welfare Trait

The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality

Nida Broughton  |  19 April 2016

The central argument of The Welfare Trait by Adam Perkins, an expert in the neurobiology of personality, is that the welfare state causes a proliferation of adults with ‘employment-resistant’ personalities, at great cost to society and the economy. The logic goes like this: People who claim welfare score lower on measures of personality like agreeableness …

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50p coins

A small hole in the safety net

Christabel Edwards  |  8 April 2016

Those of us who believe in giving a helping hand to the most vulnerable in society seem forever on the back foot these days. Benefits and welfare have now become dirty words; much of this comes from the media with the dominant narrative of scroungers and layabouts trying to pick the pockets of hard-working taxpayers. …

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Can the welfare state survive?

Can the Welfare State Survive?

Alison McGovern MP  |  24 February 2016

What do the public care about? Well, outside immigration and the economy, the pollsters tell us that there is one other topic that dominates the national conversation: welfare. So what you make of the welfare state, and its future, is no small question in British politics. Controversial television programmes such as Benefits Street and others …

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Job Centre Plus

Removing the revolving door from the job centre

Liam Preston  |  23 October 2015

The first step towards recovery is admitting there is a problem, the second step is trying to address that issue. While the first step is often the hardest – it is usually the catalyst for making change happen. However there is one problem that has been in the background of our society for a long …

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David Cameron_PMQs 24 June 2015

‘No man is an island’

Sally Gimson  |  24 June 2015

It may be a sign of things to come. While Harriet Harman asked questions about low pay and the abolition of tax credits at prime minister’s questions, disabled people were hammering at the doors. Scenes from the BBC show rows of police trying to stop disabled protestors storming the chamber to complain about the abolition …

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Progressive or populist?

Ken Macintosh MSP  |  11 March 2015

I have argued before that the Scottish National party’s commitment to progressive policies tends to be found wanting when tested against its populist instincts. There was more evidence to support my thesis last week in the Scottish parliament in a rather heated debate over the Scottish government’s welfare funds bill. Opinion divided on the issue …

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Good times 12.11.14

Good Times – Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us

Sheila Gilmore  |  12 November 2014

The next Labour government needs to make sure that the costs of reducing the deficit are spread more fairly. We also need to forward a plan for the additional cost of our ageing population. But how do we win support for this if people see welfare spending as for ‘them’ not ‘us’? John Hills’ book …

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Food bank

Food banks show welfare is not working

Lee Gregory  |  31 March 2014

Responding to household crises and low incomes within a turbulent economic context, food banks are a lifeline for families who would otherwise go hungry. As noted in my previous piece, the rise of food banks represents an attack on state welfare to secure a minimum level of wellbeing and participation in society. Unfortunately the continuing …

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Job Centre Ellesmere Port

Everyday unemployment

Luke Raikes  |  19 July 2013

Yet again, this week’s unemployment figures sparked reams of commentary on the 0.1 percentage point fall in unemployment. But, while observers are understandably drawn toward these marginal changes, it’s important to focus on the big number: 2.5 million unemployed – 892,000 more than in 2008 – and to reaffirm the basic fact that unemployment is …

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Labour poster

On the path to credibility

Editorial  |  15 July 2013

George Osborne has long been a better reader of the opinion polls than steward of the economy. Since 2010, he has thus honed in on public perceptions that Labour cannot be trusted to run the economy in general, and control spending on welfare in particular. Last month’s speeches by Ed Balls and Ed Miliband both …

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