Britain is now the jobless capital of Europe, a report has revealed and one in eight adults in the UK now lives in a house where no one works.
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That puts Britain at the top of the jobless league table and a further separate study found that, in the worst areas, as many as 84 per cent are relying on state benefits.
Compiled by think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies, the report showed that 11.5 per cent of UK adults are living in a jobless household, higher than Germany or France and almost twice the level in the Netherlands.
It also means that the number of jobless adults is at its highest level since 1982.
And while the recession has no doubt played its part, the study concluded that more paid jobs went to those in households where at least one adult was already working than to those already claiming benefits.
Jill Kirby, director of the CPS, told the Daily Mail: "This report shows that welfare reform is urgently needed, to pull down the barriers between working families and those who are entirely dependent on benefits.
"Increasing work participation is important not just for the families involved, but also to strengthen the British economy and to aid recover - a recovery in which everyone can play a part."
The report suggests greater sanctions on those claiming benefits, in particular when it comes to noncompliance with training and work programmes, and reducing low-skilled immigration.
And the Government is expected to outline new plans this week to tackle the thorny issue of benefits scroungers.
The question is, will genuine claimants find themselves struggling to keep their heads above water as a result?
What do you think? Is there a culture of welfare dependency in Britain or is the recession to blame for high unemployment? Leave your comments below...