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Poverty porn or harsh reality? British argue over TV show on welfare recipients

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - A fly-on-the-wall documentary about a British street where most residents live on welfare payments has fuelled a politically-charged debate as the government cuts spending on benefits. Dubbed "poverty porn" by critics, the five-part Benefits Street on Channel 4 chronicles life on James Turner Street in Birmingham, where recovering drug addict Fungi lives alongside jobless Becky and Mark who struggle to control their children.

Britain demands jobless work for state hand-outs

Britons who are out of work for several years will be required to work full-time on community projects to receive state unemployment payments, finance minister George Osborne will announce on Monday. The proposal is the latest attempt by the Conservative-led government to reform the benefits system, which Prime Minister David Cameron says does not provide enough incentives for people to go out to work. It will be announced at the party's annual conference in Manchester, northwest England, in a bid to woo traditional conservative voters ahead of the 2015 general election.

New officials figures show that UK unemployment falls slightly

LONDON - Official government figures show that UK job market recovered slightly, with unemployment falling by 5,000 between February and April. The Office for National Statistics figures released Wednesday show that 2.51 million people in the UK remain unemployed. The ONS figures also show that the number of Britons claiming jobseeker's allowance also fell by 8,600 to 1.51 million. Employment minister Mark Hoban said the figures are "welcome" news that show the UK workforce is increasing.

Russia's Usmanov knocks steel boss Mittal off top of rich list

By Laurence Fletcher LONDON (Reuters) - Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has knocked Lakshmi Mittal off the top of this year's Sunday Times Rich List with a jump in his fortune to 13.3 billion pounds ($20.3 billion) after a tough year for the Indian steel magnate. In a list of wealth in Britain whose top spots are dominated by Russian and Indian billionaires, Mittal drops to fourth after eight years at number one as his fortune tumbled 2.7 billion pounds to 10 billion.

Russian billionaire Usmanov tops Britain's rich list

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has topped an annual "rich list" compiled by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, with a fortune of £13.3 billion ($20.3 billion). The 59-year-old tycoon, who started out manufacturing plastic bags, now owns Russia's biggest iron ore producer Metalloinvest and has a nearly 30-percent stake in Arsenal Football Club. He also has a holding in mail.ru, Russia's biggest Internet company, and a large stake in London and Moscow listed mobile phone operator MegaFon.

Russian billionaire Usmanov tops Britain's rich list

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has topped an annual "rich list" compiled by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, with a fortune of £13.3 billion ($20.3 billion). The 59-year-old tycoon, who started out manufacturing plastic bags, now owns Russia's biggest iron ore producer Metalloinvest and has a nearly 30-percent stake in Arsenal Football Club. He also has a holding in mail.ru, Russia's biggest Internet company, and a large stake in London and Moscow listed mobile phone operator MegaFon.

British official unemployment rate climbs to 7.9%

Britain's unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent of the workforce in the three months to the end of February from 7.8 percent in the three months to the end of January, official data showed on Wednesday. The number of unemployed people increased to 2.563 million from 2.516 million over the same period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added in a statement. The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance meanwhile fell in March by 7,000 to 1.53 million. mg-rfj/wai

Britain takes aim at soaring state pension bill

* Government proposes single flat-rate state pension * Payment would be higher than current basic rate * Britons to work extra five years to qualify By Tim Castle LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Britons will have to work longer to earn a full state pension but will benefit from a higher flat rate when they retire, the government said on Monday as it sought to put a lid on the soaring cost of its universal basic pension provision.
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