I read with interest Daryl’s letter in the Mercury where he recounted an overheard conversation with three female benefit claimants. The letter highlights an issue which ought to be of concern to us all as we confront the harsh reality of deficit reduction. We now have a welfare class, some of whom fail to see any moral compunction or harbour any ambition to lift themselves out of the benefit net. They have simply weighed up the options and decided they’re better off having an easy, if frugal, life on welfare than going to the effort of working and perhaps being a little better off in a minimum wage job. So who is to blame for this sorry state of affairs? It’s easy to demonise people as scroungers but I think we should point the finger firmly at the interfering “do-gooders”, however well intentioned, who constructed this web of benefits in the first place and who are directly responsible for systematically destroying the work ethic of so many. These people call themselves “Progressives” but I fail to see how transforming a large section of the once proud and independent working classes into professional welfare recipients is progress! The Coalition are making some clumsy efforts to curb the benefit bill and make work pay. On its own this is not enough since there must be employment available for current welfare claimants to move into. With 1 million young people already out of work we need to stop making this problem worse by inviting in more migrant workers, driving down wages and making work even less attractive to the people already here. Leaving the borders open to migrant labour whilst million of Brits languish on benefits defies all common sense! In a buoyant economy, immigration can be a positive benefit, but right now further mass immigration could lead to resentment and we should not sweep this issue under the carpet out of fear of being thought “politically incorrect”. Only by leaving the EU can we reclaim the powers to control our own borders, a fundamental right of any nation state, and effectively curb the bureaucracy, red tape and taxes which have been loaded onto our small business owners and which stifle the main engine of job creation. We can then start tackling this welfare issue effectively, easing the burden on hard pressed tax payers while protecting the deserving. It’s time the British people had the chance to vote on our EU membership in a simple IN or OUT referendum right now!