There is no such thing as free money. Someone always pays. Official benefits are paid for by the tax payer. Informal benefits are provided by charities for example food banks. Other help is provided by friends and families.
Help is necessary in a society that wants to protect the weak, vulnerable and those that need temporary assistance. Benefits should never be a life style choice. They should be the support of last resort.
Living on benefits stifles ambition, creates a victim culture, damages self esteem and costs society much more than just the money paid out.
The government is starting to tackle the problem but is it doing enough?
Should benefits be paid as money? Money can be spent on cigarettes, alcohol, and other inappropriate substances. Perhaps it is time to provide the help in another way.
Would food vouchers ensure more of the benefits was used on food? Would other support be better paid directly to the supplier of the service?
Perhaps if the benefits system kept people fed, clean and housed but left little discretionary money it would stop it being seen as a life style choice.
Perhaps all benefits should be earn’t through community service.
Just an idea.