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Greenlit: Nick & Margaret – Benefits: How Much Is Enough?, BBC1

Nick & Margaret – Benefits: How Much Is Enough? w/t (2 x 60′) – Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford launch an ambitious experiment to discover how much benefit is enough to live on.  Four claimants and four taxpayers will come face to face to explore each other’s lives and speak their minds.  Their aim: to agree what level of benefit is fair.  This year’s cuts are the biggest changes to the welfare state in its 70 year history.  The debate is raging about whether they are an attack on those in need or if benefits have become a lifestyle the taxpayer can no longer afford.
Set in Ipswich – a town with typical figures for employment and benefits – taxpayers will visit claimants to see how their taxes are being spent.  Have benefits become a cosy lifestyle or are claimants already struggling to scrape by?  In return, the claimants will go to work with the taxpayers.  Their aim: to weigh up being on benefits versus being at work.  The cuts are aimed at ‘making work pay’ and incentivising claimants to get jobs.  But will that be the case in reality?  With the battle lines drawn between ‘scroungers’ and ‘strivers’, this series brings the two sides together to discover if they can agree on how benefits should work.

Channel: BBC1

Producer: Silver River

TX: Summer 2013

Source: BBC press release

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