Essay Question 3

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Question 3.

From April 2017 the UK Government will impose a cap on welfare benefits payments to households of £20,000 per annum. Is this fair?

  1. Since the welfare state is very much a political issue, am I right in guessing we can include different party political views when answering 'is this fair'? Also, since party political material isn't academic should we find academic articles alongside this?

  2. Ok, so. I was wondering how we answer this question without sounding biased? As my personal opinion is that it is not fair, and one of the ways I was planning on answering this was including poverty figures and research that shows that those who are given higher benefits will be in a better position in life and therefor be more willing to work etc. I was also wondering if we can include figures from other countries such as Sweden etc which have low unemployment rates and better benefits systems (IMO) or is this drifting too far off the 'social policy' aspect? Thanks! :)

  3. Generally you should avoid providing a personal opinion in academic essays. I would advise avoiding it in the introduction - it really should just set out how you are going to structure and argue the essay. In your conclusion, for this question, you could probably just about get away with it, if your personal view is supported by the evidence; or if your personal view has been changed by the evidence, or conflicts with it. However, this requires a deftness with your writing - it's about demonstrating your reflexivity on your own subjective viewpoint, not just being bolshy and political.

  4. Organisations that are put in place to support certain groups of society for example the Gingerbread group help to support single parent families and also the GMB is a union that help to improve pay and the conditions of their members through campaigns. I wasn't sure if these are acceptable or a good reliable resource.

  5. Is the Department of Work & Pensions impact assessment of the benefit cap a reliable source to use throughout the essay? it contains a lot of good stats in relation to what percentage of certain groups will be affected by the policy but wasn't sure if it would be considered bias or not.

  6. Very good stupid question. Two things to check - firstly, does it have the National Statistic "tick" of assurance on the front of it? (if it does, it means it's pretty reliable) Secondly, are their any critiques of it out there which suggest they might have cooked the figures?

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