54% of Britons think benefits should be paid on a charge card that can’t be used on non-essentials like cigarettes or alcohol
The majority (54%) of Britons agree with proposals for benefits to be paid on a charge card that could only be used to purchase essential items such as travel, food, clothing, energy and housing. Over a third of people (34%) think that state benefits should continue to be paid by giro or directly into the claimant’s bank account.
The proposals – first suggested by Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke – are backed by more than two-thirds (69%) of Conservative supporters and the majority of Liberal Democrats (53%). The charge card option is endorsed by 44% of Labour supporters.
A plurality (48%) of Labour supporters think that benefits should continue to be paid by giro or directly into the recipient’s bank account. Just over a quarter (26%) of Tories support the current method of benefits payments, while the status quo is backed by over a third (34%) of Lib Dem supporters.
Under-25s are least likely to believe unemployed people should be trusted to make their own decisions on how to spend their money, with just over a quarter (26%) believing the giro should continue. This is compared a third (33%) of 25-39 year-olds, 35% of the over-60s and 38% of 40-59 year-olds. The youngest age group is also the most enthusiastic about the charge card with 58% supporting the proposal compared to 54% of over-40s and 53% of 25-39 year-olds.
Scots are least enthusiastic about the charge card with 43% supporting the measure compared to 52% in the North and London, 54% in the Midlands and Wales and 60% in the South.
See the full results here