Benefits – Polarised thinking – A balance is better

It seems that on many subjects battle lines are drawn very quickly. When you step just a little to one side or other of that line you are considered to have embraced everything over that line. That is not right and distorts many of the arguments.

Benefits. Benefits are paid to a range of people and under a range of circumstances. Some people clearly need them and with others it is less clear. Those that really need benefits might need more.

Politicians need to decide the balance as to where the line is drawn. Socialist would prefer everybody who could possibly need something were given it at the expense of everybody else. On the other hand Conservatives are inclined to want people to support themselves rather than rely on the state yet they also want to support the real needy. Clearly a balanced approach is sensible.

Paying some benefits help to keep individuals out of institutional care which costs a fortune. On the other hand, paying benefits to those who main ailment is being idle is not good for anyone.

In truth, it is not about benefits or no benefits. A balance should be struck which minimises the cost and provides protection for the very needy. That almost certainly means benefits should not be universal but should be targeted to those in real need. Where exceptions exist they should be looked at as exceptions. Limited resources means it must be targeted.

In my experience, raising anything that hints at any benefit reduction to anyone attracts claims of being against all benefits, which no one is asking for.

I would argue that the line, in recent years, has been drawn in the wrong place. It now seems people turn to state benefits before turning to the family. A culture of entitlement is weakening family responsibility and creating an increasing benefits culture. Family before nanny state.

Now that some benefits are being reduced, in an attempt to redraw the line where it should be, those that feel entitled and those that are dependent are very unhappy. When the line is firmly put back it should never be allowed to move towards a benefits culture again to avoid this unhappiness.

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