LETTER: Distinction between the derserving and un-deserving poor

THERE’S been an outcry about benefits reforms the Government is trying to bring in which was defeated in the Lords. However, these reforms are certain to go through backed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, who warns the welfare system is rewarding idleness and irresponsibiliy.

He criticised the bishops who led the Lords in rebellion who he said were encouraging a culture of welfare dependency.

One of the proposals in the Bill is that no family should be able to claim above £26,000 for which a working person has to earn £35,000 before tax. Furthermore, workers do not qualify for any of the handouts such as free transport etc. When this taboo subject is approached it always receives hysterical condemnation from the left wing, the Anglican Church and BBC. This country now ignores the rights of those in work who contribute to the state while many on benefits live handsomely off them. One example, people with small children who have to pay out expensive nursery fees to work without receiving any help towards the cost and to rub salt in the wound this cannot be put against tax. There are many deserving people on benefits and there are those who are not. Any genuine claimant will agree with this and so, a distinction must be made between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Strangely enough this concept was actually introduced in 1591 when magistrates made the differentiation between the poor in their parishes.

The deserving poor were classified as those too old or too young, the ill and infirm and those in full health willing to work. They would get full support in orphanages or almshouses and their children would receive offers of apprenticeships.

The undeserving poor were those such as sturdy beggars who had no intentions of working and these were moved from the parish. This distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor was legalised throughout the country in 1601 and “The Poor Law’’ was still in force in the 19th century. The number of times I have seen able bodied people jumping sprightly from even four tracks beggars belief, it’s these sort of people that give the genuine disabled a bad name. I have reported this on occasions to Asda supermarket in Burnley when the real disabled are left without a parking space and the irony of it is, the store will not take responsibility but instead lays the blame on the security firm there (which is employed by them). Talk about passing the buck!

Get rid of the parasites in our society and people in work should be at least as well off as those on benefits.

JIM COWELL

IGHTENHILL, BURNLEY