White Dee backs benefit cuts: 'I've always kind of supported it'

"It's been made very comfortable for people to sit at home," the Benefits Street star, who herself claimed welfare due to suffering with depression, said

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The Independent Online

Fans of Channel 4 ‘poverty porn’ series Benefits Street might be surprised to learn about where it’s biggest star, Deirdre ‘White Dee’ Kelly, stands on the issue of government welfare cuts.

“I've always kind of supported it,” the former Celebrity Big told Total Politics magazine when asked about what she thought of the Coalition’s £18billion cuts on benefits spending.

“It's been made very comfortable for people to sit at home.”

She went on to tell the magazine that she was given £220 every week when she was on benefits, having been able to claim welfare because she suffers from debilitating depression that made it difficult for her to work.

“I know people who work 40-plus hours a week who probably haven't got £200 a month cash to spend, but is that my fault?” she continued.

“People on benefits shouldn't have more to live on than someone who is at work 40 hours a week. But again, that's not my fault.”

Her comments follow an appearance at the Tory Fringe conference in September.

During her address, White Dee said she had not seen Chancellor George Osbourne’s announcement of three million apprenticeships for young people, but urged the government to continue to “concentrate more on the kids” and “stop them going into the system and getting stuck there for years and years”.

“Not everyone wants to work in an office or build a wall.”

 

“You have to look at the individual,” she says. “What if there is nothing there for them at the end of the training scheme?”

Elsewhere during the conference, she praised Iain Duncan Smith's announcement of a plan to give pre-paid cards to benefit claimants with drug and alcohol problems.

However, she questioned: “How would you keep control over every single person on benefits and try and control what they actually spend their money on?”

Ultimately, though, her guest spot ended in a revelation that the Conservative party would have been far from ecstatic about.

White Dee, a life-long Labour voted hadn’t joined the Tories – she’d defected to Ukip.

“I like to speak for myself but Mr Farage doesn't seem to be doing a bad job. He has had a few extra members joining recently, hasn't he?”