Last year the Daily Mail, Daily Express and most of the Red Tops were in ferment when Channel 5 broadcast a unique social experiment in which three households on benefits were given a lump sum of £26,000 – the maximum benefits claim they could be entitled to in one year – to see if the recipients could use the money to raise themselves above needing state assistance.
The tabloid media revels in poverty porn and predictable vilification followed the broadcast of the original series. Here, the participants are revisited one year on to see if they were successful in their plans.
Tony Herridge and his partner had not worked in their adult lives and were last seen setting up a second-hand furniture business. 12-months on, the couple are self-sufficient and running their Tidy & Son business and while they openly admit it has not been an easy ride they are upbeat about the future.
If there are doubters out there who believe that living on benefits is a lifestyle choice and is easy – tune in tonight and see what the opportunity meant to the people who took part.
The Great British Benefit Handout Changed My Life – Thursday 9pm, Channel 5