Letter: Dependency culture

Sir: The government seeks again to reform the welfare system, but refuses to face the right direction ("Widows to lose benefits in new cuts", 19 November).

Means testing benefits is (at best) a quick fix. At worst it destroys incentive, creates the poverty trap, and generates a dependency culture. All notions of self help and self reliance are knocked on the head, as those who have not budgeted prudently or lived within their means are seen to be rewarded by a short-sighted administration.

Can ministers not see that this policy is also ultimately self-defeating? As the public becomes aware that no purpose is served by making financial provision for old age or emergencies they will spend their money while they have it; and (once again) these benefits will be paid to everyone.

LANCE K GREEN

Newport, Gwent

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