James Turner Street exists: Benefits Street doesn’t

52 per cent of the people in the areas where Benefits Street was filmed are in employment.

There are two pervasive myths about welfare in the UK which are routinely retailed by politicians and the media.

The first is the myth of the family where ‘nobody has worked for generations’. The second is the myth of the area where ‘nobody works around here’.

By ‘myths’ I don’t just mean widely believed falsehoods, but statements which embody a mythological mode of thinking which has no relation to facts whatsoever.

The point about these myths is that they refer to things taking place elsewhere involving other people. It is the sense of otherness they convey rather than the factual inaccuracies they involve, which tells us we’re dealing with myths.

So to James Turner Street, the supposed subject of  Channel 4’s documentary series Benefits Street, which seems to have given the struggling Iain Duncan Smith a new lease of political life. Press coverage of the series has repeatedly claimed that the great majority of residents on the street are receiving out of work benefits.

For example:

The Express: Benefits Street exposed: The street where 9 out of 10 households are on welfare

The Sun: Channel 4 documentary Benefits Street is about life in James Turner Street, in the Winson Green area of Birmingham, where 90 per cent of the residents are on handouts 

The Mail, (this Tuesday): The series … follows the lives of people on James Turner Street – where 90 per cent of residents are on benefits

Today the Mail has toned down its claim: it seems only 75 per cent ‘are said to be on benefits’, which may indicate a tentative recognition on the Mail’s part that its previous claims don’t stand up to scrutiny.

What are the real employment figures for ‘Benefits Street’?

I’ve matched the postcodes for James Turner Street to Census Output Areas, the finest grained geography at which official statistics are normally published, using ONS’s postcode/output area lookup file. These are very small areas indeed, with about 175  households in total. James Turner Street straddles two of these areas. Data on employment and economic activity is available from the 2011 Census via Nomis.

If we want to know what employment looks like on James Turner Street, this is where to start.

In these output areas, 43 per cent and 38 per cent of people aged 16-74 were in employment on Census day 2011. However this includes pensioners and students in the denominator. Focussing just on the non-retired, non-student population, 52 per cent in both areas were in employment. About a third were ‘other inactive’, meaning they were neither working nor seeking work, and 16/15 per cent were unemployed.

If the production company for Benefits Street managed to find an area within these output areas where 90 per cent or 75 per cent of adults were out of work, they would have to have been very selective indeed.

It’s also useful to look at the household level, as many non-working people are living in households where someone else is working, and most benefits are awarded on the basis of household income. Focussing on non-retired and non-student households, 62 per cent and 65 per cent of households had someone in employment.

These figures should not come as a surprise. The areas where ‘nobody works around here’, like the ‘families where nobody’s worked for generations’ belong to mythological thinking.

Moving up a geographical notch to the level of Census Super Output Areas (average 670 households), in only 0.16 per cent of areas are 50 per cent or more of working age non-student households without employment. The great majority of people who are out of work live in areas where the majority of people (other than pensioners or students) are in work. This is true even in very deprived areas, of which James Turner Street is an example.

There is more information on the James Turner Street area available at ONS’s Neighbourhood Statistics site (using the larger Super Output Area geography). This shows that out of work benefit receipt among people of working age is 30 per cent rather than the 90 per cent of myth.

On a range of deprivation indicators, this area is clearly struggling. But among the wealth of largely depressing statistics on the site is a detail we haven’t heard about in the frenzy of hand-wringing about Benefits Street. Educational achievement at GCSE level is well above the average for both England and Birmingham with 71 per cent achieving 5 or more A*- C passes compared to a national average of 59 per cent.

Perhaps that detail might encourage people to junk the mythological thinking surrounding  this unfairly maligned area. When it comes to GCSE attainment, the James Turner Street area seems to be bucking the expectations of the media, the government and the general public. That should be something to celebrate.

Click to zoom

Benefits Street table-JPEG

jamesturnerstreet1 JPEG

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50 Responses to “James Turner Street exists: Benefits Street doesn’t”

  1. Franklin_Percival

    Why was it not made plain that the programme had no more connection with reality then George ID Smith’s CV?

  2. LB

    achieving 5 or more A*- C passes compared to a national average of 59 per cent.


    That’s a damning indictment of just how crap the state school system is.

    Time for a change. If you fail 41% of pupils, they it’s not working. Remember too, if that’s the average there are even more dire schools.

  3. LB

    That’s the problem. These people are real. You can sit and watch their behaviour.

    From the admirable mr 50p, to the dispicable White Dee (stole 13,000 from the vulnerable), there is a range. Mr 50p needs a bit of help and will be in work immediately. White Dee needs a kick up the bum and her benefits withdrawing unless she gets work fast.

    From Fungi whose so damaged I doubt he can ever work, let down by a benefits system that let him chose to let him not work and take drugs. No real solution there, its too late

    Then you have the benefits system and government that allows a Polish couple to come to the UK, claim benefits, commit benefits fraud, take drugs. Why not keep it simple and deport them?

    Then the Romanians. Stitched up by traffickers. Get the police after the traffickers and help them back to Romania. However, paying for them to be on benefits in the UK is never going to pay.

    So out of that lot, just one who can’t work, for the rest benefits are not the solution.

  4. swatnan

    Funny how the only go-getters in the Street were the black, the asian and gypsy families that wanted to set up their business and actually do something. The others were just waiting for their next welfare payment to come through, then straight down to the cash machine to get their cans of boose and next fix. Funny how one of the unforseen consequences of the bedroom tax was to close down the cannabis farms in that spare room of theirs. I’m looking at the worst side because there frankly isn’t a good side. Depressing, but this is the state of welfare dependency today.

  5. Daley Gleephart

    I don’t watch TV and I wouldn’t watch rubbish even if I was paid for the time wasted. Can someone enlighten me as to why an indoor cannabis farm had to close down because of the bedroom tax?

  6. robertcp

    The reason that nonsense like this is believed is that it has not been challenged by the Labour Party for about twenty years. All we have heard from Labour is waffle about so-called welfare dependency and reform. To be fair, Rachel Reeves does seem to be gradually moving Labour back towards something vaguely intelligent.

  7. robertcp

    Have you ever been unemployed or claimed a benefit in your life?

  8. Felix Lanzalaco

    you would think there were lots of jobs lol. In reality there is massive competition by the overqualified even for the most menial work nowadays. I know I do some of the recruitment !

    So what is the solution if there is no work or nobody wants to employ them ?

  9. Felix Lanzalaco

    so anyway in reality it turns out that its more like 30% on benefits there. How did channel 4 arrive at their 90% figure. its that statistic which has caused the problem. Do you think it would be the same big deal if the program started, with “Almost a third of the residents on James turner Street claim benefits”

  10. LB

    I’ve no doubt there is competition.

    That’s a direct result of lots of low skilled migrants.

    However, there are jobs. See the job adverts for birmingham.


    Jobs 1 to 10 of 53,734

    So your argument on no work is irrelevant, there is lots of work.

    Now for the question of no one wanting to employ them. Lets go back to the program and go through them in a case by case way.

    Fungi? Difficult. I doubt many will want to employ him because he’s too damaged.

    Mr 50p? Yep – lots and people have even gone to the effort of tracking him down to offer him work.

    The Polish couple? Nope. No one will. The solution here is to deport them for committing their fraud. The solution is not to pay them benefits.

    The Romanians. Get them tickets back to Romania. The solution is not to pay them benefits.

    So far 16 solved, 1 not solved.

    White Dee? The solution is to give her an ultimatum. 6 months and then you lose all benefits. She will have to get low paid work. I just hope it doesn’t involve vulernerable people’s money. She stole 13,000 last time.

    The couple with 2 kids. Difficult. There’s no easy solution. They are completely disfunctional. It’s the kids that will have problems. What’s your solution and how much will it cost?

    Take the last example. The state’s spent trillions on its war on poverty. What’s the evidence that the money has worked? Surely if you spend trillions you want results. I see no evidence that it has worked or achieved much.

    So from the examples above there is a relatively easy solution to 16 out of 22 people.

    That’s why benefit’s street is interesting. It shows just how mad the state has become. It’s also dangerous for the left. It’s real, and that’s why lots on the left are so apoplectic about it. The public who pay are angry about the waste. and the response is it should be kept secret.

  11. Felix Lanzalaco

    are you asking me or telling me ? If you are asking immigrants count for about 1 percent of our applications. Job adverts dont actually reflect the market, surely you must know that. I mean come on. Everything is a data deluge nowadays due to automation.

    I could break down how many of these are real jobs and what are just automated scripts retriggering the same thing, Then there are issues of flow in and out of temp work and the issue of what are the amount of real jobs. But you actually used the easiest possible (and not even intelligent) route to sidestep that. If i was trying to sidestep this issue i would at least have constructed something slightly better than number of jobs on a search.

    So I will not go into such details, because what i want to ask you is whether you really want the real answer to this issue ? Can you be honest with me about your motivations for commenting here in such a manner ? i.e. Can you actually live with a truth that says there are not enough jobs ? What would you do if that were true ? We have instincts to make us want to lord it over other humans ? So what a lot of people like yourself really want to do is fulfill such instincts, but what if there are not enough jobs, and even worse what if increasing computer automation (cheaper to outsource abroad) is going to keep taking more jobs ? Its predicted to, and its already happening.

    I am pretty well educated in the sciences. So in the sciences spouting opinions is frowned upon, because even trained scientists use a brain, and we all know that brains are prone to bias. This is precisely why scientific thinking was invented. There is no worse place for bias to exist than in politics, because human bias itself evolved from political modes of reasoning. Think about that. Not for me. I can see your agenda. Think about it for yourself, because its very transparent what you are trying to do here.

  12. LB

    That’s because the welfare state hasn’t worked.

    It’s spent trillions and there are no perceivable outcomes.

    So look at your science background. What’s the evidence that the trillions spent have worked? None. It’s just as bad and in many cases worse.

    There are enough jobs, and not surprisingly when the evidence is presented that the jobs are their in Brum, you go into denial mode. The hard evidence in the form of job adverts says there is work available.

    Now look at the next bit of evidence about the welfare state. It’s got debts.


    The results showed the extraordinary sums that Britain has committed to pay its future retirees. In total, the UK is committed to paying £7.1 trillion in pensions to people who are currently either already retired or still in the workforce.

    It doesn’t have assets. It’s an unfunded scheme.

    So on top of it not producing results for the trillions spent, the end result on top is that its got a 7,100 bn debt with no assets.

    Hard evidence again. Lets see. On the basis of your past performance you’re going to deny that the state owes any money to anyone for a pension. In other words your solution is to default on the debts.

    Now since the poor are the most reliant on their pensions, they are the ones that get screwed the most. They will be destitute.

    But what the heck, you’ve spent their retirement money on White Dee, and on optional migrants.

    That’s why you won’t debate the specific cases. It’s why you will say that the are no jobs when the evidence is put in front of you. It’s why that you will deny that the debt to pensioners exists.

    After all, if you faced up to reality, you would have to conclude that its a disaster for the poor.

  13. Felix Lanzalaco

    so people are actually tracking some of these people down to put them in jobs. This is a form of token witch-hunt because there are nowhere near enough jobs even for the motivated. All societies have a percentage who cannot work, that is the nature of life. Life itself always creates redundancy.

    What about this article here. So in reality 30% in benefits street are on benefits, and educational attainment is slightly above average. Although thats not saying much. Ghettos evolve because society creates them by natural assortment. We have them here in Glasgow. They are comprised of people who are marginalized for various reasons (some their own fault, some not) and cannot get housing in better areas, The councils also put tenants with drug and mental health issues in these areas. So it all feeds into itself and benefits are not the primary issue. Why ? Ghettos are similiar around the world with or without benefits. There is a particular mindset in most ghettos which is natural product of the way minds in poverty are forced to process and deal with the world.

    Your worldview then demands us to believe that all minds are created equal in terms of the ability to process information, retain motivation, comply with the law, maintain attention and keep mood high. Yet the information from genome analysis of populations tells us different. It tells us that genetics continously create a marginal population who cannot keep on track as a product of life itself. How we treat that margin affects their long term outcome. You think these TV programs which misrepresent those populations are helping with that ? The society we have is the product of our problem solving (or not). If we go on IDS type crusades and witchunts that pander to mob mentality then we make the problem worse and so the problem is really a reflection of our own incompetence and not the people targetted for short term “feel good”. An intelligent solution lies in looking at and emulating countries who deal with this problem better. i.e. Northern Europe.

  14. LB


    Benefits Street star Smoggy has had the last laugh on welfare chiefs – by being offered three jobs just months after he was told he was not doing enough to find work.

    Channel 4’s so-called 50p man – real name Stephen Smith – was forced to give up his fledgling business when his Jobseekers Allowance was stopped.

    Benefits chiefs said the 38-year-old was not looking for “proper work” and scrapped his £90-a-fortnight payments – leaving him broke.

    But after touching the hearts of the nation, popular Stephen has been inundated with job offers from impressed would-be employers.

    Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at Mirror.co.uk http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefits-street-50p-man-smoggy-3001481#ixzz2rQJiItGL
    Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook


    I’m not surprised he was offered work. He’s quite employable even with a criminal record.

    Ghettos are similiar around the world with or without benefits.

    So benefits aren’t the solution. Correct – you’ve worked that bit out.

    Trillions spent, and no results.

    So what’s your explanation? The standard socialist response from Beveridge to Hilter, that its the genes. Those two concluded eugenics was the solution.

    So come on, I’ve given hard examples of how to solve quite a few of the cases on benefits street.

    Smoggy is the easy one. Now what about the other easy cases.

    Why not deport the Polish duggies committing benefit fraud?

  15. LB

    In addition to Ms Roberts, other residents of James Turner Street to be charged were:

    – Tina Thomas, 46, charged with conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis) and possession of ammunition without a certificate.

    • Charlene Wilson, 29, charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine) and Class B drugs (cannabis) and possession of diamorphine.

    • Ian Wright, 38, charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis).

    • Monique Walker, 28, charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine).

    • Marvin Scott, 37, charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine).

    In addition, Omari George, 20, of Dora Road, Handsworth, was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine) and Class B drugs (cannabis).


    Yep, whilst we’ve been paying them to find work, they’ve been busy.

  16. Felix Lanzalaco

    OK, so trillions has not worked, but if we are thinking logically this does not automatically lead us to acquire current conservative policy. All it tells us is that trillions has not worked. If you are going to lead on a logical argument from that then do so.

    Its back to the finger in the ears “there are more than enough jobs”. We know thats not true. Every employment advisor in the work program will tell you this is not true. Recruitment agencies profit from retriggering working outcomes and programmers are hired to make this happen. the movement of people in and out work has increased as the profits for work outcomes is increasingly fragmented into bits and pieces. A lot of these fragments evolve to take advantage of whatever the current market forces are. i.e. governments current work concessions are. So there is always an ongoing increasing turnover in many market where its more profitable to end contracts then re-negotiate them at a lower rate or in a way that takes advantage of current conditions. Automation has allowed this. Its not like 20 years ago where you could actually say the number of jobs in a job center actually reflected jobs.

    Get anybody from industries, inside recruitment or the work programs on here and they will tell you there is not enough jobs to go around and this trend is increasing.

  17. Felix Lanzalaco

    yes its a disaster for the poor and its getting increasingly worse. However just saying there are enough jobs when there are not is not exactly a solution now is it ? Well it is, if you want a short term feel good and find somebody to hit around or even starve them type of solution. Its not a real solution though.

  18. Felix Lanzalaco

    so what is your point ..you dont appear to have one. Not paying them will only increase their drug dealing and criminality. So the idea is the process of “finding work”. Fine in principle, because its about creating a different attitude. If there was enough work and prosperity to go around we wouldnt even have this problem. The lower members in society are a reflection of whats going on higher up. It always has been…so why are we in this perverse situation of saying its the other way around ? Whats going on right now in politics is stupidity of the highest order. There is no ideas, no actual realistic vision. Why ? thats an issue about ourselves and our own culture. So picking out ghettos and demonizing them. Sure great idea, look through history and see what happens when you do that.

  19. Felix Lanzalaco

    Defining genetic problems then going straight from there to eugenics are two different things. Eugenics is actually supremely stupid in its approach on so many levels it would require a book to cover it. Eugenics missed out dozens of in between stages and levels of depth. Also its not all genetic, and for the component that is, much of this is epigenetics. i.e. The top down environment is giving rise to the genetic expression and drift anyway. So its always back to what is the environment.

    OK, i see what you are trying to do here. Its problem solve particular cases. I dont have a problem with that but I would rather hand that process over to those with a professional judgement. i.e. Who dont just say there are enough jobs for everybody when there are not. If you cant even get that right I certainly wouldn’t be trusting you with being in charge of anybody’s welfare. Again the problem in britain is not this minority. But sure they can do with some different regulations and policy.

    What we are involved in right now is scapegoating to avoid the big issue. Economics in general, at the top and internationally.

  20. LB

    Your the one with fingers in the ears over no jobs.

    1. There are jobs – adverts are for jobs

    2. People are looking for workers – mr 50p is a good example for someone on benefits

    3. Look at the level of employment – its up

    4. Look at migration. Lots of low skilled migrants are finding work. Take an example of someone on this street, how many could work in Starbucks? Quite a few, if pushed.

    A lot of these fragments evolve to take advantage of whatever the current market forces

    And those on benefit street contain lots of examples. of people taking advantage. It’s the same with crony capitalism.

    e.g If I ask you for a grand, and you give it to me. Who is the idiot? Yep, its you.

    Same with the state. If the state hands over trillions and doesn’t think, is this working, then the state and people like you who think handing over the trillions is a good idea are the idiots. That’s the evidence based off the results.


    So there is always an ongoing increasing turnover in many market where its more profitable to end contracts then re-negotiate them at a lower rate or in a way that takes advantage of current conditions.



    Look if you import millions of low skilled migrants you are increasing the supply. Now the number of jobs in your world is constant. It’s just another way of stating your there are no jobs. What do you expect? Supply up, constant demand, price or wages fall.

    So what’s your education in? Climate science perhaps or some other post modern science where evidence isn’t relevant.

  21. LB

    So its experts.

    That’s the same experts who spent trillions and didn’t get any results. The same experts who have left a 7.1 trillion debt, which means no pensions.

    There are jobs. What do you think the low skilled migrants are doing?

    Or do you think the low skilled migrants are all claiming benefits?

    There is no scape goating. Bar White Dee and Black Dee who are scum for their crimes, namely stealing from the vulnerable and for dealing drugs. That’s not scapegoating, that is going after the behaviour.

    If you want to go after people who scape goat others, look at the standard attitude of the left, its the bankers – all of them, or its the rich – all of them.

    ie Going after a group to scapegoat.

    Now before you say, but I’m doing that with migrants. I’m being far more specific. I don’t care where migrants come from. There are two bits of behaviour that are needed.

    1. Don’t commit crimes.
    2. Pay more tax than the cost of you being here.

    Objective, not subjective.

    If you want any migrants who don’t meet these criteria, then you can sponsor them out of your own pocket.

    Just as if you think the Dees deserve money, why don’t you pay them out of your pocket. That way, we can stop taxing working people who are on low wages.

  22. LB

    No jobs?


    Come on, explain the blue line. Increase in employment. Lots of jobs, whose getting them?

  23. Felix Lanzalaco

    analysis of the latest employment figures finds that it is far from reality. All the previous markers have been shifted to make a good sounding figure and we might actually have more unemployment now. Kind of like how benefits street fiddled its figures. Hard to believe its not been decimated in parliment. Well maybe it has.

    Sure, but again immigration is another issue. It was never really about benefits, because most of the migrants came straight here for work.

  24. Felix Lanzalaco

    Picking single cases to construct arguments about benefits is very bad thinking. Nearly all the myths about fraud, fecklessness are just that ..myths. What about this very article you are replying to. So much for 90% claiming benefits. That this was just believed so widely and nobody even bothered to investigate at channel 4, says it all about the current times. So channel 4 is no better than a tabloid paper now.

    well so what are you denying that the global recession is not a result of the shenanigans in the banking system ?

    There is nothing wrong with those rules. If thats all the problem we had and its solutions were that would be nice. But its not. We are in an economic recession due to dysfunction in our international economic system. That is the reality, International economics is messed up, and there are not enough jobs. SO.. turning on minority and demonizing them, thats just a really base instinct you are entertaining. It will feel good in the sort term, but if you have any humanity you will be depressed you did this five years from now.

  25. Felix Lanzalaco

    demonizing the worst off isnt even effective anyway… SO it just makes you feel good, and its a non intelligent solution as it ignore the real problems. If the majority thinks like you, we are screwed and the educated will be migrating from the UK in droves making the situation worse. Maybe they already have. There is a suspicous lack of brainpower and ideas in UK politics.

  26. LB

    because most of the migrants came straight here for work.


    Notice the contradiction.

    1. There are no jobs
    2. Migrants are working.

    2 directly contradicts 1.

    That’s more evidence that your statement that there are no jobs is false.

  27. LB

    No its not. It’s bad thinking for you. Having to confront the issue for specific cases just shows how lacking you are when it comes to fixing the mess. Not that it can be fixed because the welfare state has that 7.1 trillion debt it can’t pay.

    So Mr 50p and his job offers – not a myth

    Fungi unable to work – not a myth. He’s now unemployable.

    Romanians on the street. Why do we need to pay them welfare? We need to help them back to Romania and we need to go after the trafickers.

    Polish couple on drugs committing benefit fraud. Deport them.

    well so what are you denying that the global recession is not a result of the shenanigans in the banking system ?


    The root cause was that people borrowed cash, and didn’t pay it back. That’s a combination of stupid bankers for lending the poor money they couldn’t repay, and politicians insisting they do so.

    The banking mess has resulted in a profit to the state of 35 bn on the loans, and all those taxes.

    Why are you denying the state has a 9 trillion debt that it can’t pay?

  28. Felix Lanzalaco

    thats a false graph, it was constructed mid november 2010 and extrapolated for theory.


    Mostly it accounts for population growth (i.e. the original ONS stats). Seeing as you posted that knowing it context. i.e. the real graph below… I would say you are trying to deceive. Or maybe somebody just provided you with that link of the graph with no context. If its the former i dont debate with liars. If its the latter, then clearly you dont do much research on your information

  29. Felix Lanzalaco

    I never said there were no jobs. Show where i said that. I said there were not enough

  30. Nev Hardwick

    There are several discussions on here and I may have something to offer. I have been unemployed and I have signed on. I have noticed big changes. Signed on in 2004 and it coincided with quite a severe breakdown. The guy at the centre was an absolute gem. I had all my paperwork with me and noticed that I was carrying a sick certificate (it was in my pack because I did not know to submit it). He used that because I got more money being unemployed sick than unemployed. Even so, the money was nowhere near enough to pay my mortgage and other expenses. Apparently this was because my wife worked!

    Next time, 2006, I arrive at the centre as a new claimant and I have left a couple of questions unanswered on my claim. Different person who says that he has not got time to help, the form should have been completed and my claim will be delayed and do not come back unless all the forms are complete. Quite honestly it was one of the most unpleasant exchanges with another person it has ever been my misfortune to be part of. In the first instance I was without work for six weeks. In the second it was two weeks. Signing on is one of the most demeaning things I have ever had to do (and I have had some really rubbish jobs).

    The money no-where near covered my living expenses but I was under the impression that was why I pay tax and NI.

    There is also some discussion with a user LB. LB, you quote numbers of job adverts, vacancies, as indication that there need be no unemployment. There are still in the order of 2.5 million unemployed and up to a million on part-time, short-time or zero hours contracts looking for other work. The most expansive opinions are that there are possibly 850,000 vacancies at any given time. There will always be churn (people moving job to job) but there is nowhere near enough jobs to go around. I have experience of job hunting in IT and Engineering. There is well documented evidence in both of advertising non-existing jobs by agencies. They do this for a variety of reasons but if you subscribe to agencies or internet search you will find the same jobs advertised by three or four different agencies. The actual job may or may not exist but what is does not mean is that there are three or four jobs. There maybe just one or possibly none.

    I have former colleagues in both fields who have taken jobs at far lower rates of pay than they are used to just to have an income and this will be after months of unemployment. These people are qualified, experienced and with good work records; the work is just not there.

    When this program was discussed on the Today program, the producer/director was asked where the 90% outof work figure came from. Apparently it was a quote from one of the residents. If true it would seem that a quote with no evidence whatsoever is being used to headline for shock value. This has not been made clear in the program.

    One last point. One hell of a lot of welfare is paid to people in work. My simplistic view is that if work paid a decent, living wage, then the welfare paid to them would be unnecessary. As a taxpayer I resent paying to subsidise companies low wages. I also resent paying more tax than I need because he government has completely failed in its duty to get multinationals to pay appropriate tax. In fact it has worked impressively hard in order to make it easier to register a company abroad and evade even more tax than previously.

  31. Felix Lanzalaco

    You are either ignorant or wilfully dishonest or both. Just picking what suits you. provide sources of the debt independent from bank bailouts and industrial debt. Here is a start.


    You are here: Home > Economics help blog > UK National Debt
    UK National Debt

    by Tejvan Pettinger on January 8, 2014 in uk economy
    The UK national debt is the total amount of money the British government owes to the private sector and other purchasers of UK gilts.

    Public sector net debt was £1,231.7 billion at the end of November 2013, equivalent to 76.6% of GDP

  32. Felix Lanzalaco

    OK im out of time and patience here. Some of us are actually interested in you know something called “REALITY”. Others clearly just want to avoid it and go find somebody lower down to kick,

  33. Felix Lanzalaco

    I dont think LB wants the truth. Thats why I didnt even mention this type of thing. Now he has posted up employment graphs and debt figures which appear to be a deliberate attempt to deceive as these were theoretical extrapolations. His futile attempts are pretty weak and easy to expose, its the more complicated characters in government (or their advisors) we need to keep an eye on.

    There is a common factor in discussions with tories,. They just lie basically, AND they dont examine statistics if the stats suit their desire to lie in doing so creating a bubble of increased misinformation feeding back into itself.

  34. Nev Hardwick

    Yep, sorry but I cannot type quickly enough to keep up with you. Truth and statistics mean nothing if you have a feeling (IBS and his welfare reforms) and it makes 8,000 people get back to work. Even if the ONS state that there is no specific evidence at all.

    Keep at it but bear in mind they have the press and stupidity on their side.

  35. Felix Lanzalaco

    Unfortunately it appears to be wilfull stupidity. So that means we are in for a lot more. If history is anything to go by I would be braced for another 5 years of this nonsense.

  36. LB

    Population growth is irrelevant.

    It just shows that the number of people being employed has gone up.

    You have said there are no jobs. No jobs means there will be no increase in employment.

    I bet you are a climate scientist. Hence your constant need to say there’s no evidence when its in front of you.

    Look at your graph. It shows the increase in employment.

    Notice something about the blue line? It’s always above zero. There never has been a period where there hasn’t been more jobs.

    F minus. Must try harder.

  37. LB

    You’re deluded.

    That ‘debt’ is just the borrowing.

    What about the pensions that the state owes?

    For example, if you’re a civil servant, does the state admit to owing you a pension? Nope. Not on the books. Be very worried. If its not on the books its contigent and its then optional to pay.


    The results showed the extraordinary sums that Britain has committed to pay its future retirees. In total, the UK is committed to paying £7.1 trillion in pensions to people who are currently either already retired or still in the workforce.

    Another 7,100 bn off the books.

    Then there is PFI. That’s off the books too.

    Then nuclear decommissioning. Paid for up front, another missing liability or debt.

    Then you have the guarantees. Off the books. For example, 100 million for the BT pension funds, Rail guarantees, ….

    You are sadly deluded if you think the only debt is borrowing.

    It’s by design. Publish the real debts, and apply accounting standards, and its dire.

    Why do you think the state qualifies the accounts and says we wont’ admit to the pension debts?

  38. Felix Lanzalaco

    F minus lol.. you are the one who posted a graph trying to propose that employment has not gone down, when in actual fact all the increased employment on that graph since the recession was a projection. Read it again. The graph was posted in november 2010 at the point employment dips.Any increase beyond the dip is a “projected increase” lol.

    When populations grow employment grows when not in a recession, because much employment is people employing each other in small businesses. Thats why the private sector growth was exponential. The public sector is a linear oscillation because the infrastructure is steady in the UK and any public sector growth will be spotted as an investment trend and capitalized upon by the private sector.

  39. Felix Lanzalaco

    OK, so make your point. You were trying to say its all borrowing. Then provide the breakdown of figures for what is specifically bad policy. i.e. the fraction of the 9 trillion. Going by the fact you cant understand simple graphs you are endorsing then i dont see you being able to understand either a breakdown of economic debt, never mind the underlying reason for each figure. i.e. That the underwriting basis for the borrowing was sold to many governments (lied to more like) as a solid and sustainable package based on various schemes the banks dreamed up. In reality the financial system underwriting that package was a house of cards ready to fall and that is why the recession is a global phenomena. We had this big speech by McVey at the foodbank debate on how its all labours fault when in reality almost all governments whether right or left wing around the world were duped into these schemes. SO the point is the borrowing that occured was not a result of left wing values. It was a global scam that all governments were duped into.

  40. LB

    You’re being a plonker.


    Comparing September-November 2013 with a year earlier, there were 450,000 more people in employment, 172,000 fewer unemployed people and 75,000 fewer people aged from 16 to 64 not in the labour force.


    450,000 new jobs and according to you, there aren’t any.

    Notice that the public sector isn’t providing any jobs, and yet the private sector is.

    Notice too, that unemployment down, Lots more jobs, and no baby boom coming into the employment market, that most of that difference between reductions in unemployment and the extra jobs are going to migrants.

  41. LB

    Bollocks. You were the one who claimed debts were 1.2 trillion.

    Here’s your quote

    Public sector net debt was £1,231.7 billion at the end of November 2013, equivalent to 76.6% of GDP


    That debt is just borrowing. You can check that out by going to the DMO website and totalling up the Gilts in issuance. http://www.dmo.gov.uk/

    There are other debts. Debts or liabilities, its a synonym is defined by the accounting rules, GAAP and FRS17. The state tears them up, and says, weren’t not going to put those debts on the books because we won’t/can’t’ pay them. The are contingent, but they won’t state what are the conditions under which the pensions won’t be paid.

    So are people owed a pension for their past contributions?

    SO the point is the borrowing that occured was not a result of left wing values. It was a global scam that all governments were duped into.


    The 7.1 trillion pension debt is a left wing scam. It’s the liabilties of the welfare state, and there are no assets.

    Be proud, you’ve made people destitute.

  42. Felix Lanzalaco

    you really just dont do much reading about do you. Just spoon fed and grab the first figure then think its true. you didnt even read what that graph you posted was about. Did you actually notice the year it finished at was 2016 ! and was plotted in 2010 ! Did you read what the author said, the rise in employment is BETWEEN RECESSIONS ! i.e. lets make this very simple. when there is a recession employment FALLS !

    Now as to the governments so called figures do some more reading. YOU do the reading, you are wasting my time. Spreading goverment disinformation, or just making up your own. You dont even seem to be aware you are doing it. Posting that graph and not even knowing what it was. What do we call that in academia ? We call it “intellectual laziness”. Its the tories that are lazy and feckless. They just take any stats which they like. You know why universal credit system messed up. The tories create a climate where only those who report positive results they want to hear get promoted or keep their jobs. i.e. Tories create a climate of disinformation. Now read the truth behind the so called rise in employment.

    PASC demands that Government stats are presented with “the whole truth”




    Employment figures: how the unpaid get counted


    Decoding the unemployment figures exposes the truth behind the coalition’s spin


  43. Felix Lanzalaco

    well and so what ? what are we expected to do, just let the elderly starve or kill them off ? of course we have to pay for them. That life, thats REALITY ! Whats your solution to the problem, starve them or let them die of neglect ?

    One of my last jobs was in research regarding this whole elderly outcome issue. i.e. changes in their cognition as they age. Why do they lose the will to acquire new skills. Well I will save you the results as its complicated. Something you appear to have a problem dealing with. because unfortunately we couldnt find a result beyond many might be able to work in call centers.

  44. Felix Lanzalaco

    people across all classes are now living longer. Thats not a left wing construct. The pension funding is part of the imported financial crisis from american finance. Do some more reading please. Not just cherry picking to blame labour

    Read this, how much of US debt (under their right wing) was pension underwriting ? Why, pension underwriting is an effective way for banks to blackmail governments into borrowing.


    Or back to UK and EU


    Financial repression can take many forms, including capital controls, interest rate caps or the force-feeding of government debt to captive pension funds and insurance companies. Some of these methods are already in use but not yet on the scale seen in the late 1940s and early 1950s as countries resorted to every trick to tackle their war debts.

  45. Felix Lanzalaco

    LB you are either daft or a timewaster. You just pick the first big headline stat out the air to suit your agenda and dont bother to go dig around for the big picture. Im not going to do it for you. If you cant see from what I posted in reply that you are just posting tabloid style figures and there is no real intellectual depth thats your problem. I think however you are just being willfully ignorant. In that case I take it back about the intellectual aspect. because willful ignorance usually requires some intelligence and i notice such types can be perfectly intelligent when it comes to their own selfish needs. Not the right kind of intelligence unfortunately, because it takes us back to square one. If all agents in a free unregulated market (i.e. what conservatives promote) follow their own interest we get inequality. i.e. back to square one. So in reality we cant have everybody saving enough for pensions when the free market drives down wages. SO given that this is reality whats your solution ? Kill of the elderly from neglect ?

  46. Felix Lanzalaco

    so what is your solution to the welfare state then ? starve people ?

    If we create work programs which recruit the unemployed (because there arent enough real jobs) into new industries it takes us back to square one. All such people still require food, shelter and living. All such new industries require infrastructure, management and create free market competition. i.e. Its back to square one, because those are are then wages and costs and so manufactures industries are no different from any other job. We see this in the voluntary sector which is hardly different from the private sector now. In fact worse, because these sectors financial model now become dependent on government support.

    You have been up here spreading disinformation, and promoting the idea of demonizing the poor. This is really to hide the reality of todays world and the lack of ideas the governments have to deal with it beyond distract us by turning society against each other.

    Well there are new ideas. If we invest in new form of technology for food production and large scale automation through nano-tech, Ai and robotics, this will actually increase un-employment. But overall it generates new forms of abundance because production itself becomes exponentially more efficient (globally). i.e. Remaining work conditions actually improve. As long as populations dont increase, which is something we might soon be able to achieve without damaging peoples health, we are on to something. These are actual ideas and there are many more if you start reading about. Its far better to actually find solutions to this new world than demonizing the bottom minority in society who really reflect the fallout of these problems.

  47. LB

    Welfare state.

    Assets zero

    Liabilities 7,100 bn for the pensions.

    Numbers from the ONS, the government.

    Annual rate of increase. 734 bn from the ONS again.

    Total taxes – 600 bn.

    The state’s bankrupt.


    PASC demands that Government stats are presented with “the whole truth”


    So Ed’s going to balance the books. Is that the whole truth or is it just the items that he wants on the books, and the pensions are excluded?

    Yep, its not the whole truth is it.

    Ed Balls is lying

  48. Felix Lanzalaco

    maybe he is or just incompetent. If so we should hire somebody competent. So in summary, we get old and its expensive and we cant afford it. Especially when there is a recession.

    So that clearly defines the big problem here and also elsewhere. US and EU has the same problem as do other nations. And of course rising unemployment, despite all the erroneous data you think is true.

    SO its a bit of an improvement to actually define the problem than construct false data then dig out and scapegoat problems with a minority in society don’t you think ? Yet that is current conservative policy. Sure there was a problem there with unconditional benefits. but its not our biggest current problem yet is being used as a cover for the fact there isnt many ideas for the big problems.

    Why face up to the real problem ? Obvious, there may actually be intelligent and workable solutions, but we cant get there if everybody is in a panic and on mob mentality witch-hunt mode barking up the wrong tree now can we ? Not only do we not identify the real problems, mob witch hunts also encourages mindlessness which impairs the creativity require to come up with solutions.

  49. guest

    Thanks Felix Lanzalaco for that spirited response to LB sparkey and swantan

  50. SQIAR BI

    it’s just wasting time please check the link http://www.sqiar.com

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