DWP press office resort to hate language

I think the word “handout” isn’t well thought out, maybe “pay out” would have been better, but it does seem a little like a storm in a teacup to be honest, even though I completely understand the sentiment behind it.

The Blog of Knitted Fog

The DWP Press office allowed its mask to slip briefly last week when it resorted to calling benefits payments ‘welfare hand-outs’ in a press release which later became the Daily Mail’s headline story.

In an update about the benefit cap on Thursday 9 January headlined “Benefits capped for 33,000 households” the DWP explained that:

‘The Benefits cap limits welfare hand-outs to £500 a week. . .’

The next day, in its front page lead, the Daily Mail regurgitated the DWP press release:

“More than 33,000 households have had their benefits slashed since handouts were capped at £500 a week.”

The term ‘hand-outs’ is a deeply derogatory one, invariably used by those wishing to encourage prejudice and hatred towards claimants.

For the DWP to use the term ‘hand-outs’ is a shocking departure from the measured language and impartiality the public have an absolute right to expect from civil servants whose wages…

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