More than 70 charities and voluntary groups have joined forces to call on politicians to do more to understand the difficulties experienced by people who claim benefits.
The Who Benefits? campaign, which was launched today and is supported by charities including the Children’s Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, Oxfam and the homelessness charity Crisis, is designed to give a voice to people who claim benefits.
The coalition commissioned a representative survey of almost 2,000 adults in Britain. It found that 81 per cent supported the idea of a benefits system that acted as a safety net for people when they needed it.
Almost two-thirds of respondents said that society was stronger for having a benefits system that supported people in need.
Nevertheless, more than a quarter of those polled who said they claimed benefits had hidden it because of what people might think.
Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said: "At a time when families up and down the country are feeling the squeeze, it is important – now more than ever – that society supports those in need.
"The overwhelming majority of people who get benefits really need them, whether they are working, looking for work or unable to work."