Every day there seems to be another story about the laziness and incompetence of people who are on welfare, whether they are depicted as scroungers living off the tax of hard-working people or simply taking advantage of government welfare policy …

 

Television programmes about people on welfare, living in big houses and spending money on luxury products only increases this resentment that people feel towards those that receive benefits. This has created a situation where many of those on benefits are embarrassed or not applying for benefits, due to societal opinions about welfare recipients.

The welfare state should not be a word that is frowned upon or that creates anger within the community, rather it should be seen for the purpose it exists: to look after the most vulnerable people in society. This way, everyone, no matter their class, gender or race will have enough food, water, and shelter to provide for themselves and their families.

Undoubtedly, people who are in desperate need of help are still failed by government policies. Latest figures show that homelessness has been increasing in England for six successive years and has increased by a further 16 per cent from 2016. These figures are not only worrying but signify the reason why the welfare state should not be stigmatized; it exists for a reason, to help vulnerable people.

We need to understand poverty and that those who receive support in benefits are not scroungers but suffer from a myriad of problems. They need the guidance and support of others to help them reach their full potential. This includes providing food banks and also advice so these people can escape poverty and create better lives for themselves.

Welfare is not a luxury but a lifeline for many people. It is a necessary system within communities to improve lives overall. This includes creating good quality academies that not only educate children but also teach them resilience and confidence so they can succeed after they leave school.

Welfare recipients should not be stigmatized, they are the most vulnerable in society and deserve support and sympathy, not anger and resentment.