BBC TV series looks at unemploment benefit in the UK

A new BBC TV series is focusing on the struggles everyone is facing in the UK with the failing economy.

As everyone feels the pinch, the country is more divided than ever about how much of our taxes should be spent on benefits for the unemployed.

In an ambitious experiment, Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford want to discover how much benefit is enough to live on and if work is worth it. Four claimants and four taxpayers come face-to-face to explore each other’s lives, examine their values and speak their minds. Will the tax payers feel that benefits are too high, or not enough? And will the claimants decide that hard work is good for them, or will the sacrifice be too much?

Set in Ipswich – a town with typical figures for unemployment – this first episode sees the taxpayers spend time shopping, socialising and going through the claimants’ spending to see exactly how their hard-earned taxes are being spent. They must decide if they think the claimants are given enough benefits money or not enough and, with the battle lines drawn between ‘scroungers’ and ‘strivers’, this series brings the two sides together to discover if any of them can agree.

A clip from the programme shown on July 11 can be seen at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/

In the second episode the roles are reversed as the claimants go out to work with the taxpayers and see if they are ready to sacrifice themselves and give up living on benefits.

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