Fifth of adults across region claim benefits

One in five people in the Black Country and Stafford area are on benefits, and 17 per cent are getting out of work handouts, the latest figures have revealed.

Wolverhampton and Sandwell both top the list in the region with 23 per cent of their working age population claiming benefits. Wolverhampton also has the highest proportion of claiming out of work benefits at 19.8 per cent.

While Sandwell has 19.3 per cent of the population receiving the handout.

The out of work benefits include those who receive funds because they cannot be in full-time employment, this includes those on job seekers allowance, incapacity and lone parents benefits.

The figures reveal that Dudley, Walsall and Cannock Chase Council’s also had higher than average benefits claimants.

The Office for National Statistics figures which relate to those aged between 16 and 64, show in the West Midlands 16.8 per cent of are claiming funds from the state while the national average is 15 per cent.

The highest proportion of benefits claimants are in Blaenau Gwent in south Wales with 27 per cent of making a claim and the region with the most benefit claimants is the North East with 19 per cent of the working age population on benefits.

The benefits include job seekers allowance, incapacity benefits, lone parents and carers allowance.

At last week’s Conservative Conference Chancellor George Osborne told his fellow Tories that they would slash government spending on welfare by 10 billion pounds a year if re-elected.

Sandwell Council’s jobs and economy boss Councillor Derek Rowley blamed the economic downturn rather than a “benefits culture”.

Councillor Rowley said: “It is of course the economic climate and recession, as many of these people will be struggling to find work.”

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Comments for: "Fifth of adults across region claim benefits"

Derek Perkins

These are not "handouts",they are entitlements.

Martin Prestidge

Why do you describe JSA as a "handout"?.It is a means tested benefit paid while someone is seeking work because they have lost their job ,probably as a result of the double dip recession. Claimants have to demonstrate that they are "actively seeking work" If they are not seeking work,benefit is withdrawn.

Similarly Incapacity benefit is closely monitored and can been withdrawn at the drop of a hat.

It would better to get the Black Country working again by more public sector building projects like the Building Schools for the Future programme scrapped by Gove!


Derek, they are only entitlements due to the incompetence of previous governments. many people claiming these 'entitlements' could easily be working. but due to the lazyness of some people, and the fact government has let them get away with it we now face a position previously unheard of; people not working being better off than those earn minimum wage, which in my eyes is disgraceful!

David Martin

No they are benefits, not entitlements.

Benefits were first put in place to protect and provided for the needy in society. Those that couldn't work due to illness and redundancy, i.e. no fault of their own. Over the last few decades there are an increasing number of families and individuals who have made a "career" of living off benefits when they could get off their backsides and get a job.

At present the economic downturn has no doubt increased these figures but there still is a "hardcore" of people who are exploiting the system and this lot need sorting. Whilst not a Tory voter, the benefit cap is a move in the right direction but also there should be a move to stop private landlords exploiting the Housing Benefit system and ensuring the rich pay the correct levels of Income Tax, including the monarchy.

The truth lies somewhere between the right wing view of scroungers and the left wing view of handouts for all.

John Davies

They are benefits that the "british" people are entitled to, scrap ALL benefits for non english people (immigrants) who have not contributed to the system, this includes NHS care, unemployment, education, houses,other handouts like money towards buying a car! etc,etc.

Why should any immigrant that comes to our country recieve handouts, if they have contributed to the system over a period of time -10 years, then fair enough, but until then they should get nowt.

We have somalians by us that have 6 kids and the hunsband has more then one wife (probably with more kids) and they get benefit, then we have polish immigrants + others claiming for kids back home, this is a disgrace and should be stopped - has the saying goes - charity starts at home! look after our own before giving to others including foreign aid that feeds the fat cats and not the people of that country.


People need to earn these "entitlements".