I, Daniel Blake's protagonist, Daniel Blake, suffers from a heart attack one day and is told by a doctor to stop working for a while. He applies to the government for sickness benefits while he is off work but is told that only people with disabilities in their hands or feet can receive the benefits. He is told that to receive money from the state, he must apply for Employment and Support Allowance or sue for not receiving sickness benefits. So he tries to file a lawsuit for not receiving sickness benefits, but the filing process is too complicated. In addition, the process of filing a lawsuit needs to be completed online, but he struggles because he is not familiar with the internet. He asks if there is any other way, but the officials emphasize only the rules. They tell him that he can only apply online, and they do not offer much help. Katie, who becomes friends with Daniel at the town office, is also in a tough spot regarding welfare. Katie, who is raising two children by herself, receives food and daily necessities from the state, but the amount is insufficient. Also, expensive but essential items such as sanitary pads are not covered by government support. Eventually, Katie, who is suffering from hardship in life, steals items such as sanitary pads and feels both depressed and lethargic due to her appearance.
Social welfare policies include universal welfare and selective welfare. Universal welfare is a system providing welfare benefits to all citizens, while selective welfare is a system that maximizes the efficiency of welfare by concentrating on those in need. Among them, what this film wanted to cover was a story about selective welfare. If everyone in society lives with the benefits of welfare, it will become more prosperous and stable. However, it is unrealistic for everyone to benefit because a country's finances are limited. So most countries choose selective welfare, and the same is true of England, the background of the film. But here, a question arises: are Daniel, who cannot work because of his heart disease, and Katie, a single mother with two children, not the targets of selective welfare? It is believed that selective welfare can provide welfare benefits to those who really need it. However, if the criteria needed to be satisfied to receive such welfare are too strict, problems for people like Daniel and Katie can arise. Even if the standards for welfare are not unreasonably strict, an all-or-nothing approach can lead to some people not receiving support even in situations where it is necessary. Considering this, both welfare policies have their strengths and weaknesses, and there are clear differences. I cannot say what is right or wrong. Our society has always developed intending to utilize its strengths and reduce its shortcomings. It will be difficult to solve this problem right now, but if we all act in earnest, we can move in a better direction.
The following is what Daniel Blake, the main character in the movie, said. I hope this message and the movie give you a chance to think about the welfare of our society.
I am not a client, a customer, nor a service user.
I am not a shirker, a scrounger, a beggar, nor a thief.
I am not a National Insurance Number or blip on a screen.
I paid my dues, never a penny short, and proud to do so.
I don’t tug the forelock, but look my neighbour in the eye and help him if I can.
I don’t accept or seek charity.
My name is Daniel Blake.
I am a man, not a dog.
As such, I demand my rights.
I demand you treat me with respect.
I, Daniel Blake, am a citizen, nothing more and nothing less.
by You Young Um email@example.com
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