As his lips curled around the stained mug and the hot mud water reached his throat, he wished for the umpteenth time that he had never said that he could easily live on £53 a week. Iain did not know exactly how many times he'd wished this. He just knew it was more than he'd had non-tea or abuse bricks thrown through the window.
You'd think the last thing the Coalition and local councils would want to be doing at the moment is increasing taxes on low income families. And, no, it's not an April Fool's Day joke - that is exactly what's happening across England with the introduction of localised Council Tax Support from next week on 1 April.
Workfare is not only bad economics it is morally wrong. Workfare is a modern form of slavery. This may seem an extreme statement, for we tend to associate slavery with racial oppression, when black people were forced to work for white farmers. But slavery is not always racial and it is not always achieved by violence.
Since the coalition government was elected, the manifesto promise of the Big Society has morphed into relentless bashing of benefit claimants via the media. Whether stories originate from press officers or from journalists, the results are the same. Strivers vs. Shirkers, benefit scroungers, large families fleecing the public purse, single mums, teen mums, are all headlines that fuel the increasingly hate-filled rhetoric against benefit claimants.
For many families in that 15%, Child Benefit represents the last visible, tangible thing they receive from the state. If they do not send their children to state school, if they use private healthcare, if they pay for their lawyers, drive a car, own their property, and have never claimed welfare, then this may be the only state benefit they have ever received. And put in these terms, they may well feel entitled to it. Of course, it can be argued that they are privileged not to have to rely on state infrastructure not to have to sit on NHS waiting lists or suffer a post-code lottery education.