DWP: no one lives on benefits as a "lifestyle choice"
So I asked the Department of Work and Pensions how many people are currently making the lifestyle choice to live on benefits. After all, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had just announced that this was a massive problem, so I assumed they would be working on their new strategy to ensure that in future no one would make the lifestyle choice to live on benefits.
I just got the answer from the DWP:
"To qualify for a particular benefit an individual must meet the conditions that the government specifies. For example, the conditions for receiving Jobseeker's Allowance are that an individual must be available for, and actively seeking, work. The entitlement conditions for receipt of benefit are set out in the relevant social security regulations for the benefit(s) concerned. There is no condition in regulations that allows someone to receive benefit as a lifestyle choice."
So according to George Osborne, the key aim of welfare policy in future will be to stop people taking the lifestyle choice to live on benefits. According to the Department responsible it is already the case that no one can receive benefits as a lifestyle choice. What