Leeds research condemns ‘scroungers’ hype as an urban myth

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Research conducted by The University of Leeds has challenged the perception that people on benefits are mostly “scroungers”.

The study by the School of Sociology and Social Policy followed 22 claimants from the city between 2011 and 2013.

Some were young jobseekers aged between 18 and 25, others were disabled people likely to be affected by the migration of Incapacity Benefit claimants onto Employment and Support Allowance and the rest were single parents moving from Income Support onto Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Members of each group were interviewed three times and, far from intending to spend their lives dependent on handouts, many had a plan to find jobs while others underlined just how difficult it can be to make ends meet on the dole.

Research team leader Ruth Patrick said: “This is yet another challenge to the myth that benefit claimants are lazy and unwilling to work. It also shows the prevailing narrative about welfare only serves to stigmatise and exclude out-of-work benefit claimants who frequently want to work and are often already contributing to society as carers and volunteers.”

The film was funded by the National Lottery (Awards for All) with extra support with launching the film coming from Child Poverty Action Group.

It can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ig-UHRsNk