A suitable working wage

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WHILE I support the need for a programme of welfare reform can I suggest that this Government stops its ‘continued propaganda’, you would think that everyone claiming benefits is on more than £26,000 or above per year.

Let me dispel this myth that it pays not to work: if you work and earn £26,000 you are eligible for in-work benefits. If you have a non-working partner, four children, and live in the London area, then the online benefit checker says that you will get around £8,000 in tax credits, £16,000 in housing benefit and £3,000 in child benefit. Your benefits total £27,250, and your total income is £48,000 net.

Incidentally seven out of eight people are on one kind of benefit or another and are in work, the system needs to change; when someone works 40-50 hours a week and can’t keep a family on the wage they receive, the taxpayer is subsidizing employers who won’t pay a decent wage.

It may sound like odd logic, but in reality the £26,000 benefit cap, takes no account of employment history or family size, so a couple who have never worked are unaffected, because they currently receive less than £26,000 in benefits. But a large family – even in a cheap house – will be hit. Is this really fair?

The only ground to support the £26,000 cap is to believe that unemployed people with large families should be poorer than they currently are. If you believe that, support it. If you don’t, oppose it as I do. In my opinion to reduce the overall Welfare bill this government and any future government needs to be promoting not just a minimum wage but a suitable working wage.

D Calder,