“The idea that the benefit system is overly generous and needs to be capped is ludicrous”.
“The tax-benefit system is unfair to people who are living in poverty. It appears to be generous, but it is not. Most people do not understand how unfair the current system really is”, says Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform, Simon Duffy in the centre’s newsletter.
“I recently attended a seminar on welfare reform in London”, Simon says, “where an eminent speaker summarised the welfare state’s function as ‘being for the benefit of the poor.’ Yet her audience (academics, think-tankers, civil servants) seemed, to me at least, to be the real beneficiaries of the welfare state. They were all on very high salaries, all enjoying very nice lifestyles, and all funded by the tax payer.
“It is almost as if, when we work for government we don’t see ourselves as beneficiaries”, Simon continues, “ instead we see ourselves as doing everyone else a favour by offering them our services. We believe we are fully entitled to our own salaries, to our pensions and to our power, whereas ‘the poor’ should think themselves lucky to be getting our services. This is self-deception on a rather grand scale and it encourages a deeply patronising attitude to those who live in poverty.”
Simon is Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform. In addition he is Chair of the Housing & Support Alliance and policy advisor to the Campaign for a Fair Society. Simon is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham’s Health Service Management Centre.
Simon is a philosopher and social innovator who works to improve the welfare system. He is a regular public speaker and government policy advisor, both nationally and internationally. His awards include the RSA’s Prince Albert Medal and the SPA Award for outstanding contribution to social policy.