The most commonly recorded pejorative words in October?January 2004?5 were as follows:
•​ Handout –​ 18 occurrences
•​ Scrounger –​ 15 occurrences
•​ Sicknote Culture/Society –​ 13 occurrences
•​ Cripple –​ 8 occurrences
Whereas the most commonly recorded pejorative words in October? January 2010?11 were:
•​ Scrounger –​ 34 occurrences
•​ Handout –​ 58 occurrences
•​ Workshy –​ 25 occurrences
•​ Cheats –​ 25 occurrences
Finally the most commonly recorded pejorative words in April?March 2011 were:
•​ Scrounger –​ 21 occurrences
•​ Cheats –​ 23 occurrences
•​ Dependency –​ 17 occurrences
•​ Handout –​ 15 occurrences
•​ Sponger –​ 15 occurrences
Page 12
The vitriolic approach adopted by articles in some of the papers today
and the way they have reported disability and disabled people in the
period following the Comprehensive Spending Review adds further
weight to these claims. Much of the coverage in the tabloid press is at
best questionable and some of it is deeply offensive. The increased
focus on benefit fraud with outlandish claims that over 70% of people on
disability benefits are frauds is an example of this type of reporting.
These claims are made overwhelmingly without evidence and at no
point are the media reporting the very low levels of fraud that occurs
overall in relation to these benefits. We would further cite the use of
pejorative language, the failure to explore the impact of the proposed
cuts on disabled people’​s quality of life, the reluctance to criticise
government policy on these issues and the frequent representation of
some disabled people as undeserving of benefits as potentially
contributing to what could become a highly inflammatory situation.


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