Sunday 20 August 2017

'Welfare queens'

• Your report that "child benefit payments to over 5,600 people have been suspended for January -- because they failed to respond to a department check on their residency details and entitlements", has a familiar ring to it.

In the US, in the last decades of the 20th Century, actions that emanated from Ronald Reagan's ideas regarding 'welfare queens' -- a jibe at lone parents, which claimed that they procreated just to access benefits -- began to take hold.

The demonisation led directly to a process known as "churning". The relevant government department increased the amount of information and paperwork required to determine eligibility and low-income families who failed to keep up with the paperwork had their benefits stopped.

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