Birmingham does have more people on benefits than lots of other cities, but then it’s a lot bigger – the last census put the population at just over 1 million. The Daily Mail reports today that Birmingham has become Britain’s “welfare capital with £2.7bn Jobseeker’s Allowance bill – or £157 per person”. £2.7 billion divided by £157 is over 17 million.
The article also has a figure for Hull which offers a comparison – £53m at £202 per head – so it ought to have tipped off the reporter or the sub-editor that there was something wrong with the maths. Unfortunately, when it comes to benefits, common sense and sound judgment go out of the window. £2.7 billion is about half the total bill for JSA in the United Kingdom.