Daily Mail Lies About Rate Of Workless Households In UK

by richardhutton

Claiming that “Britain’s share of households where no one works is among the worst in Europe, shock figures revealed yesterday”, the Mail goes on to add that “In Britain the level has fallen from 13.1 per cent in the previous year to 11.5 per cent. The reduction may be due to an earlier tightening up of sickness benefits by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith”. According to the Mail, this rate of households with all adults out of work is because Britons “appear to prefer a life on benefits”.

In reality, the percentage of workless households has increased because of the recession: it was at its lowest rate in 2006; and is at its worst in areas with high rates of employment shortages. The Office for National Statistics put the percentage of workless households in Britain at 17.9% as of 2012; of these only 2.7% were households where all adults were unemployed. The largest group within this were aged 50 to 64. This is a group affected particularly adversely by the economic downturn – and middle-aged women have been hit especially hard by job losses, with a 31% increase in unemployment since the coalition government came to power. In light of this, it is significant that the Daily Mail also claims “There may be particular concern over the workless rate among UK single mothers”. Perhaps needless to say, the work-rate among single mothers is actually very high at 59.2%. However, being economically inactive is much higher among households with dependent children – and it is women who are far more likely to be out of work, as the primary carer. This is not opting for a life on benefits: this is being a parent to children.

The Mail’s agenda is as clear as it usually is: to cheerlead the government’s increased abuse of people who are unemployed/disabled. This is not news reporting: it is lying about people, and bullying them.