Skivers against Strivers
6 February 2015
A leading expert from the University-based Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) will join a panel discussion (Monday 9th February) to discuss the findings of a new book examining 'the welfare myth of them and us."
Professor Ian Rees Jones, Director of WISERD and Liz Withers, Head of Policy of Citizen's Advice Cymru will join Professor John Hills, Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics, to discuss the findings of his book 'Good Times, Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us'.
Professor Hills's book uses extensive research and survey evidence to challenge the view of a divide between "strivers and skivers".
Speaking ahead of the panel discussion, Professor Hills said: "The debate around 'welfare' contrasts a stagnant group of people benefiting from it all, while the rest pay in and get nothing back – skivers against strivers; dishonest scroungers against honest taxpayers; families where three generations have never worked against hard-working families; people with their curtains still drawn mid-morning against alarm-clock Britain; 'Benefits Street' against the rest of the country; undeserving and deserving; them against us. We are always in work, pay our taxes and get nothing from the state. They are a welfare-dependent underclass, pay nothing to the taxman, and get everything from the state.
"But the evidence shows that the rapid changes in people's lives mean that this picture is far from reality. Our complex and ever-changing lives mean that all of us rely on the welfare state throughout our lifetimes, not just a small 'welfare dependent' minority.
"The myths about where our money goes and who benefits from it feed the illusion that big savings in spending can be made just from 'welfare cuts'. But with only £1 in every £12.50 we spend on the welfare state going on cash benefits for those who are out of work that is not the case."
The event is organised by the Bevan Foundation andsponsored by Mick Antoniw AM and takes place at the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay, 9th February, 2015.