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Welfare isn’t for people like us

Benefits are increasingly unpopular with the British public

By Duncan O'Leary  

© Helen Cobain

Attitudes to welfare normally soften during recessions. Not this one. After the downturn of the early 1980s, just one in three Brits agreed that benefits for unemployed people were too high and discouraged work. In the recession of the 1990s, only one in four took this view. By contrast, almost two-thirds of us agreed with the same statement in 2012.

This shift in public opinion provides the backdrop to the chancellor’s…

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