UK out-of-work benefits are too generous and accommodate lavish lifestyles.
At present rates for JSA and Income Support are:
£57.90pw for single claimant under 25
£73.10pw for a single claimant over 25
£114.85pw for a couple
A part-time job of 16 hours per week on the current national living wage of £7.20ph = £115.20pw
As of April 2015 the median weekly wage for Northern Ireland was £383pw (source NISRA) – Basic amounts for out of work benefits such as Income Support and Jobseekers Allowance as percentages of this:
Under 25: 15.12% Over 25: 19.09% Couple: 29.99%
The basic amount a couple without dependents claiming JSA is less than a third of the NI median weekly wage for a single adult worker.
The average Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for a single, working age adult was found to be £164.41 (this excludes housing costs). Research conducted in 2009 by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation defines MIS as the income people need in order to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.