reality tv show sparks row over welfare dependency
Last Updated : GMT 21:46:02
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Media » TV

Reality TV show sparks row over welfare dependency

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Reality TV show sparks row over welfare dependency

London - AFP

The welfare system was the pride of post-war Britain, but the reaction to the incendiary reality television programme "Benefits Street" is showing how much times have changed. The show revolves around a real residential road in Birmingham, which has an unemployment rate at 16.5 percent -- double the national average. Viewed by five million people each week, the Channel 4 series has inflamed an already febrile national debate about welfare culture and the lifestyles of those living on state handouts. The five, hour-long episodes, screened on Monday nights, revolve around James Turner Street, which the producers say is one of the most welfare-dependent in Britain. The portrayal is unflattering. A petty thief reveals how to get away with stealing clothes from shops; a couple merrily confess to being caught cheating the benefits system; and one woman who had not paid the rent shows aggression to the man delivering her eviction notice. Residents in filthy, trash-strewn houses constantly come and go and if anyone in the street does have a job, there is no news of them. Some residents feel betrayed by the programme. "They told us that they wanted to capture the community spirit of James Turner Street and show the positive of that but all they have done is show the negative," Dean Oakes told the BB'Get a job you dogs'Each episode sparks a huge reaction on social networks. Those defending the welfare system see a cruel caricature, while critics see all their objections made manifest. "Just watched benefits street what a bunch of lowlife scum a bullet costs about 30p so we could sort the street out and have change from £20," wrote Twitter user @garryturner4. User @sasharabella wrote: "Watching the scum on this Benefits Street programme infuriates me. Get a job you dogs." On the other extreme, more than 30,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for the show to be taken off air. "It is creating a skewed image of a section of society and stirring up hatred," it reads. The broadcasting watchdog Ofcom says it has received hundreds of complaints. Channel 4, a private channel with a long history of controversial programming, has insisted "Benefits Street" is exactly the sort of documentary it should be making. "No programme on this subject will satisfy everyone, but the furore surrounding it reinforces my view that we should absolutely be making programmes in this territory," said head of documentaries Nick Mirsky. "To avoid or sanitise the day-to-day realities would be a dereliction of our remit." 'Projecting the extreme cases' The furore has even reached parliament. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told lawmakers on Monday that viewers were rightly "shocked", and therefore backed reforms "to end these abuses". His department is slashing state hand-outs and going after fraudulent claimants with a campaign warning: "Benefit thieves: it's not if we catch you, it's when". Latest figures show Britain spent 7,641 euros ($10,430) per person on social protection in 2011, according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistics hub That is slightly above the EU average of 7,290 euros but far behind front-runners Luxembourg with 18,136 euros, Denmark with 14,785 euros and the 10,300 euros spent by France, a country of similar size to Britain. Finance minister George Osborne is trying to reduce Britain's huge deficit and last week said a further £12 billion ($20 billion, 24 billion euros) of welfare cuts were needed between 2015 and 2017. "Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?" he asked, in his Conservative Party conference speech in October. "Benefits Street" has given the debate focus by personalising the issue. Opposition Labour Party lawmaker Anne Begg, who chairs parliament's work and pensions scrutiny committee, said there was a "huge imbalance" in the show. "Part of the problem of projecting the extreme cases is that people then extrapolate that and say that applies to everybody who is on benefits," she told the BBC. "There wasn't anybody who was a typical benefit claimant featured on the programme at all." She added: "Half of people who are on benefits are actually in work. Benefits and social security payments don't just go to people who are out of work." John Bird, who founded The Big Issue homelessness magazine, said it was time to face up to the reality of "Benefits Street" -- that the welfare system traps people in poverty. "The portrayal of claimants is not an uplifting one, but that's because life on benefits is soul-destroying," he wrote in the Daily Mail newspaper. "It actually provides perverse incentives towards idleness.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

reality tv show sparks row over welfare dependency reality tv show sparks row over welfare dependency

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

reality tv show sparks row over welfare dependency reality tv show sparks row over welfare dependency

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village

GMT 03:12 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi

GMT 06:31 2017 Friday ,17 November

Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi
Arab Today, arab today Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career

GMT 06:46 2017 Sunday ,19 November

Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck

GMT 02:59 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck
Arab Today, arab today Baidu speeds up AI progress

GMT 11:46 2017 Friday ,17 November

Baidu speeds up AI progress
Arab Today, arab today Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”

GMT 12:22 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 08:06 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Ayten Amer happy for “The Flood” success

GMT 11:15 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 06:13 2017 Friday ,17 November

Pope denounces healthcare inequality

GMT 05:18 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Boeing announces $27bn from flydubai

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday