(satire – sort of)
The government’s welfare reform minister has suggested lone members of parliament, bank bailout claimants and other people on benefits are too comfortable not having to work for their income, saying they are able to “have a lifestyle” on the state.
In an interview with House Magazine, Lord Freud is reported to have said the state benefits system – paid to MPs in the form of expenses and to bankers in the form of bailout money – is “dreadful” and discourages those well-off people from taking the risks he implied they should be willing to bear to change their circumstances.
The Conservative peer said.
The incapacity bonuses paid to feckless bankers, expenses to MPs, members of the royal family who expect the state to fund their lifestyles for year after year and only earn hundreds of pounds an hour or a few million pounds a year – are all areas where people are able to have a comfortable lifestyle without working at taxpayers’ expense.
Freud, a former investment banker, told the magazine that his background did not make him unable to understand the reality of living on state benefits:
I’ve worked both in the City and as a member of the House of Lords so I understand exactly what it’s like to be unemployed, doing nothing all day and living off state handouts.
Related articles by Tom Pride:
Nick Clegg announces £126m scheme to encourage employers to take on unemployed Lib Dem politicians after next election
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