I guess the question is, is are people basing their estimates on beliefs about benefits claimants, or based on levels of fraud they experience in their own lives, or based on the levels of MPs expenses fraud? Is there any kind of benchmark for people”s general over or under estimation, and is the survey asking questions along the lines of “What percentage of benefits claimants are falsely rejected?”


It’s impossible to understand political attitudes towards the benefits system without thinking about ‘deservingness’ – that is, whether claimants are seen to be deserving. (Regular readers will know this is one of my abiding interests). This week I want to quickly look at a key aspect of this: how much fraud people think there is. To do this I’m using particular questions from the acclaimed British Social Attitudes series, which – astonishingly – I’ve never seen used before.

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