Have Benefits Risen Faster Than Wages? Is This The Right Question To Ask?

A New Place Of Exile

There are several persisting myths which underscore public discourse on benefits and poverty. For one, the notion that somebody can somehow be in better financial circumstances through being unemployed, than by working for a living. This is untrue, precisely because of the benefit-system. As long as somebody is working at least 16 hours per week, at the minimum wage, then in-work benefits ensure that employment is financially worthwhile. Even without understanding how the benefit-system works, however, it defies reason for people to contend that unemployment can be more lucrative than employment, and yet not immediately resign their jobs, and sign-on.

Nonetheless, this particular myth is being used to dismantle the same in-work benefits which ensure that being in work does prove more financially rewarding than being out of work. During the budget announcement of July 2015, the Chancellor claimed that benefits had risen faster than wages:

“Since the crash, average earnings have risen by…

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