Nick and Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits, BBC One, 11 July 2013

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Complaint

We received complaints from some viewers who felt the programme was not an accurate representation of benefits claimants.

The BBC's response

The debate over how much benefit is enough to live on has never been so fierce in the UK, and the series took this polarization in attitudes as its starting point.

Our hope was that by bringing both sides of the debate together it would offer the opportunity for both sides to have their views challenged, and for them and for the audience to have a deeper understanding of the realities of life on benefits.

The programme investigated the debate on this issue in a reasoned, unbiased and intelligent way, through the experiences of real taxpayers and real claimants.

The claimants were selected after an extensive and rigorous research process and we chose articulate people who wanted to have their views challenged and were prepared to both defend their own position and listen to others.

Each individual represented a different facet of the benefits debate: a single mum, a recent graduate, someone who had been unemployed for over a year and a long-term unemployed person who is also a recipient of disability benefit.

The series did not aim to represent all types of claimants nor all types of taxpayers, but for these individuals to be able to be more informed through taking part in the programme.

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