Survey exposes benefit dependence

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The Independent Online
A survey of the financial circumstances of thousands of British families was published yesterday by the Department of Social Security. The Family Resources Survey (FRS) covers the year ending March 1996, and shows income and benefit receipts, housing costs and ownership and assets and savings among 26,435 private households across the United Kingdom.

A key finding was that three quarters of households are in receipt of at least one benefit, the most common being child benefit and the state retirement pension. The survey found that 18 per cent of average gross weekly income came from social security benefits.

More than 90 per cent of households contained one member with had some kind of bank or building society account, although this proportion drops to 82 per cent in households containing at least one unemployed person.

The survey also found that around a third of all households had no financial assets, whereas 14 per cent had assets of pounds 20,000 or more.