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 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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