BBC Radio 4 Social Welfare Poll
A public opinion survey on behalf of BBC Radio 4.
64% OF BRITONS SAY BENEFIT SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK WELL IN ITS CURRENT FORM
According to a ComRes survey of public attitudes to social welfare commissioned by BBC Radio 4, 64% of Britons think that the benefit system does not work well in its current form, with 30% saying that the system needs a total overhaul.
Meanwhile 70% of those surveyed agreed that the creation of the welfare state is one of Britain’s proudest achievements. 84% agreed with the statement that people who are able to work should be required to do so in order to receive benefits.
The full results of the survey will be revealed and explored in The State of Welfare, a special morning of debate, news and history to mark 70 years since the publication of the Beveridge Report, which gave rise to the creation of the welfare state. The programme will be presented by Julian Worricker and Jane Garvey and will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Tuesday, November 27 from 10am.
ComRes interviewed 1,001 adults in Great Britain by telephone from November 16-18, 2012. Data were weighted to be representative of all British adults aged 18+.
40% of respondents to the survey thought half or most welfare claimants fell into the category of “scroungers”, defined as people who lie about their circumstances to get higher welfare benefits, for example by pretending to be unemployed, ill or disabled, or by refusing to take reasonable work that is available.
Asked whether specific benefits should be available to everyone whatever their income or only available to people with income or savings below a certain level, 74% thought the State Pension should be available to everyone whatever their income. This compares with 41% who said Child Benefit should be available to everyone whatever their income. Meanwhile only 24% believed Winter Fuel Allowance should be available without means testing.
Andrew Hawkins, ComRes Chairman comments: “Interestingly despite many people having misgivings over the way the benefit system currently works, still seven in ten think that the benefit system is one of Britain’s proudest achievements. The majority of people think that we have a right to a minimum standard of living and it is the Government’s duty to provide it.”