Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Britain's Welfare Ghettos

As with New Labour, however, you don't need to look for too long before more worrying signs present themselves. The estate's grocer informs customers that 'milk tokens are accepted'. The other major retailer is a betting shop. A local cafe offers a £4.70 breakfast that includes a can of Stella. In that cafe, I meet a bailiff. He used to live in a council flat in Falinge, but he left 'as soon as I could get the money together'. 'People make judgements about you if you're a resident.'

Most residents do not leave. According to the bailiff, they have instead developed their own parallel economy. 'The ambition is there but it's not to get a job or move out, it's to get benefits. And there is a definite career path. You or I would aim to get a better job. They aim to get a better benefit.’