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David Cameron has expressed considerable sympathy for the plight of young professionals, in secure jobs and earning good incomes, who are unable to get on to the property ladder, or climb up to the next rung. He has personally championed Help to Buy, even bringing forward stage two of the policy so that people did not have to wait for the help he felt they so badly needed.
Benefit cheats will face sentences of up to 10 years, director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC has threatened. While punishing fraud by claimants – and frightening people who are honest but fear being targeted – will be popular with parts of the public, the lack of a sense of proportion is worrying.
The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has urged better-off pensioners not to claim payments such as the winter fuel allowance, free bus pass and TV licence.
That a politician as divisive as Margaret Thatcher should polarise opinion in death is probably not surprising. Unfortunately, responses on both sides of the divide have done little but entrench bitterness and have pointed yet again to the sterile confrontationalism of so much of our politics.
Disability Living Allowance is an “outdated benefit” for which “around 50 per cent of decisions are made on the basis of the claim form alone - without any additional corroborating medical evidence,” stated UK minister for disabled people Esther McVey on the BBC and elsewhere this morning (8 April 2013).