THE RELENTLESS demonisation of the recipients of benefits in this country in recent years…” (Scandal of food banks, SWA April 16), only works because something like 70 per cent of the population supports the government in its cruel and vindictive campaign against those who have fallen upon hard times.

Sadly, most UK citizens get far more indignant about so-called welfare scroungers than they do about tax dodgers, although the sums of money involved in the latter case are far greater. It doesn’t help that too many people believe that welfare payments are far more generous than they actually are, a belief cynically encouraged by this government as part of its ‘divide and rule’ strategy.

Apart from old-age pensioners, the biggest single class of benefit recipients are people in work, who earn so little (below a living wage) that the state is obliged to top up these earnings. If it is supposed that an employer paying these low wages would be forced out of business if made to pay a living wage, then in effect that employer is being subsidised by the state. A form of welfare you are not likely to hear Tory politicians complain about.

Clive Shakeshell Lewis Way, Chepstow