Please see this article published by the BBC here in the UK: Family life on benefits.
In this article Raymond (not his real name) makes a number of statements that clearly define why the benefits system here in the UK is flawed. I'll include my comments:
"Raymond, a former educational software writer, has been jobless since 2001.... The market for my skills dried up 10 years ago - there's a total lack of work in my area of expertise." So why has someone with apparent I.T. skills not retrained to something he can do to earn an income?
"We get the Sky Movies package because we're stuck in the house all week - otherwise we wouldn't have any entertainment." This is the most expensive satellite television package available in the UK at £58 ($90 USD) per month, Many hard working families can not afford this, and over 100 channels are free to air over terrestrial television or via free sat packages where their existing receiver could do this for no monthly cost.
"My wife and I have mobile phones, and so do all of the teenage children. You try telling teenagers they're going to have to do without their mobiles and there'll be hell to pay." Well, someone is paying, and it's h*ll for the tax payers having to do so. What lesson does this teach his children about personal responsibility?
"I go out once a week, on a Friday night. I meet up with my mates in the pub and have three or four pints". A nice life if someone else is paying for it. Most working people are too tired to go out after a hard days work. (He could also stay in and watch his satellite television?)
"I see eight people here having to choose between eating or heating", yet aside from the discretional spending outlined above, the families weekly shopping bill includes; 24 cans of lager, 200 cigarettes and a large pouch of tobacco.
At the end of this article Raymond complains that the proposed cap's to limit benefits here in the UK to around £26,000 ($40,500 USD) per household would reduce his income by just over £82 ($130 USD) per week. Adding up the entertainment costs above, he could easily save 1.5 times this amount by eliminating these expenses.
Please also remember that here in the UK there is no time limit on this type of benefit being paid.
People wonder why we have an increasing Government spending deficit here in the UK.
-- Ian in Nanny State Britannia