International News • Glasgow neighbourhood where 9 out of 10 people are are on we
Scottish tycoon Sir Tom Hunter has accused his countrymen of being ‘pampered’ and ‘dependent’ on welfare as it emerges almost nine-out-ten working-age people in one deprived area of Glasgow are claiming benefits.
Astonishing figures from the Department of Work and Pensions reveal 85 per cent of working age adults in Bridgeton, in the city’s impoverished east end, are claiming some kind of welfare payment.
Hunter, Scotland’s first self-made billionaire, claims the shocking statistics are evidence of a wider problem and that too many Scots ‘expect what others strive and work hard for’.
Seven of the top ten areas in the DWP’s ‘league of shame’ are in Scotland, and four are in Glasgow.
The city’s east end already held the dubious title of ‘Britain’s benefits capital’ after figures released in January showed it cost the taxpayer more in welfare than any other part of the country.
Glasgow East costs £157 million a year, averaging £1,843 per person – or £5 per person per day.
This compares to £363 per person per year in North-East Hampshire, the constituency with the lowest per-person claimant count.
Dependend: Bridgeton, in Glasgow’s East End: The ‘Benefits Capital of Britain’
Sir Tom Hunter claims the figures show Scotland has become far too reliant on the state and that benefits have corrupted the nation’s work ethic.
The 51-year-old has an estimated fortune of £1.05 billion. He made his name creating the Sports Division chain before founding investment firm West Coast Capital, which owns a stake in a number of high street stores including BHS and Office.
He told the Sunday Times: ‘The fact is the welfare state has simply enabled us to become pampered, dependent people who expect what others strive and graft hard for.
‘For those most vulnerable, most in need in our society, (the welfare state) is sacrosanct.
‘However the pendulum, in my view, has swung too far and we expect too much from our state when in many respects we have not earned that expectation.
A spokesman for the DWP meanwhile described the figures as part of a ‘legacy of worklessness and benefit dependency’.
He said: ‘Too many families feel outside of society, with no expectation that will change for them or their children.
‘The benefit system has trapped people into this depressing cycle. That is why we are reforming the welfare system to make work pay.’
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun May 13, 2012 8:37 pm
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