State handouts offer less dignity than working, Starmer says of benefits outlook

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Benefits offer less dignity to people than earning a living through work, Sir Keir Starmer has suggested.

The Labour leader took aim at “handouts from the state” in an op-ed piece for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, as he continues his charm offensive with voters turning away from the Conservative Party.

The hardened stance on welfare from Sir Keir comes as the latest Savanta opinion poll commissioned by the Telegraph shows Labour retaining its wide electoral lead over the Conservatives.

Handouts from the state do not nurture the same sense of self-reliant dignity, as a fair wage

Sir Keir Starmer

In his opinion piece for the traditionally Tory-supporting newspaper, Sir Keir said: “Serving the interests of working people means understanding they want success more than state support.

“Yes, this is about aspiration. I know our country is driven by it. Entrepreneurs. Parents working extra hours to give their children security. Young people striving for their first home.

“But it is also about dignity. The Labour mission was built on the pride of working people earning a decent living for themselves.

“We will never turn our back on people who are struggling. But handouts from the state do not nurture the same sense of self-reliant dignity, as a fair wage.”

The latest Savanta poll published has Labour on 42% of the vote, and the Conservatives are on 19%.

Nigel Farage’s Reform UK meanwhile are on 16% of the vote, in a poll of 2,103 UK adults conducted between June 19 and 21.

The Conservative party continues to be beset by a scandal around betting on the date of the general election before it became publicly known.

The PA news agency understands the Tories’ chief data officer Nick Mason has taken a leave of absence amid claims he placed bets on the timing of the General Election.

The revelations follow similar allegations levelled against Tony Lee, the party’s director of campaigns, and his wife Laura Saunders, a candidate in the Bristol North West constituency.

Craig Williams, who was the Prime Minister’s parliamentary private secretary and is the Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, has also admitted to putting “a flutter” on the date of the election.