There have been two TV programmes over the past few months which have highlighted the situation for many on low incomes and/or benefits, namely Benefits Street and Dave, Loan Ranger.
Sadly as is so often the case, the producers of the former have reduced it into the usual lowest common denominator reality TV fodder, ending up simply vilifying those on benefits. As if we haven’t got enough of the media already trying to con us all into believing the worst of anyone in receipt of welfare.
Not surprisingly those who agreed to appear on it feel pretty aggrieved at how they have been portrayed. But what makes me so angry is that this gives such an atrociously skewed view of those out of work. The truth is that the vast majority do NOT WANT to be on benefits, but DO WANT to be in work providing for their families.
In total contrast the latter has actually shown that trusting people can pay off. People in low paid work, as well as on benefits, often need a loan to tide them over. The eponymous Dave risked £25000 of his own money lending it to them at a reasonable rate of interest instead of them having to use loan sharks or payday lenders. In effect what Dave is doing is his one-man equivalent to a credit union – people helping people not taking advantage of them.
And guess what? They all paid him back!