As the strings to the public purse are tightened many people fear for their futures and some cast about for a scapegoat.

Bring forward the workshy, those that have lived off the back of the taxpayer for decades and should now be publicly named and shamed.

The Express has dutifully brought one miscreant to our attention, Alan Kenyon of Forest Gate, East London. Who has it says managed in his 60 years to remain living off the state for 35 of them.

According to the report someone with knowledge of Mr Kenyon said “This man has barely worked since the 1970s and has been on benefits for years. He did a couple of years’ work about 10 years ago but that’s pretty much it. He’s basically hopped from benefit to benefit with long stints on jobseekers’, a time on invalidity and even a period as a carer. Although he’s not able to claim his full pension, he now gets pension credit, so he’s still drawing from Britain’s pension pot even though he’s barely put a penny towards it.”

Well it's a bit late to round on the chap now. The time to have got hot under the collar about this was about three months after he lost his last job.

Maybe losing his job was not his fault, but the fact he has managed to live off the taxpayer for so long is actually the fault of the state. Some people are prepared to exist on very little, so where the state steps in to provide that very little on a continuing basis then we should either accept it or change it.

In its haste to protect the 'dignity' of the unemployed, the state has ended up handing a sort of rough dignity to those that choose to opt out completely. Gone forever are the days of 'work or starve' as it it would possibly bring back hundreds if not thousands of beggars to the city streets as well as encourage an explosion in petty crime (which could be more expensive than just handing out a bit of cash). That would not be politically acceptable.

I recognise that people do lose their jobs through a variety of reasons, but handing out aid on such a long term basis to those that can work cannot be healthy for anyone in the long run.

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