Most working age adults in the UK now believe that benefit payments are too low and should be increased, in a startling reverse of public opinion when compared to the height of austerity when most people felt payments were too high.
A recent YouGov survey reveals that 35% of respondents believe benefit payments are now too low for people to live on, compared to just 15% who say they are too high and should be cut. 22% said benefit payments are “about right” and 28% were unsure.
However, the survey shows differences between political affiliations. Only 17% of Tory voters said benefits were too low, while this figures rises to more than half (57%) of Labour voters.
There also appears to be a difference of opinion between remainers and Brexiteers. 45% of those who voted remain in the EU referendum said benefits were too low, compared to just 25% of leavers.
When taking age into account, 24% of 18 to 24 year-olds said payments were too low and just 7% said they are too high. In the upper age bracket (over 65’s), 31% said benefits were too low while 25% said they are too high.
Men are more likely to believe that benefit payments are too low than women; 37% and 33% respectively. The same applies for those who said payments are too high. 17% of men said payments are too high and 13% of women felt the same way.
Commenting, Fazilet Hadi of Disability Rights UK said: “We know that Disabled people who have to live on benefits often really struggle.
“The extra costs of living for Disabled people can be over £500 per month. Benefits don’t touch these additional costs.
“It is frustrating that it has taken a pandemic, mass unemployment, and the pinching of the pursestrings due to furlough wages, to finally grasp that a life on benefits is not a life of ease – it is hard, exhausting and often punitive.”