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Not all people claiming benefits are 'scroungers'

There's no doubt that there are many people who leech off the benefit system; those who don't want to work and opt for an easy life.

But hold on a minute before you tar us all with the same brush: we're not all "scroungers" and I'm sick to death of people on benefits being labelled as such.

There are even programmes on TV specifically designed to paint such people in the worst possible light. But there are many reasons how and why people find themselves in this situation.

I'm a single mum-of-three and doing my best to do the best for my children. I'm currently having to live off benefits, because: 1: there are no jobs, and; 2: any jobs that are available couldn't keep a single person - never mind a family-of-four.

I went back to work (out of dignity) and I couldn't afford to do it. The fact is I was better off on benefits; I couldn't afford to work.

Then I worked for free for years on the promise of a wage which never materialised, so I was out money on petrol and babysitters' costs. Shame on them.

My daughter then took ill with cancer and, as a result, I had to be at home to care for her.

My point is: life is tough. Many people are facing very difficult times and situations and have no alternative but to claim benefits. Some day you may just find yourself in the same position.

So think carefully before labelling all benefit claimants as "scroungers".

RACHEL JOHNSTON

Millisle, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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