Sheffield MP blasts poverty porn BBC show Britain’s Hardest Grafter - ‘it’s like harking back to medieval times’

General election 2015 Sheffield count at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. Louise Haigh, Labour, won the Sheffield Heeley seat.
General election 2015 Sheffield count at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. Louise Haigh, Labour, won the Sheffield Heeley seat.
4
Have your say

A Sheffield MP has blasted a controversial new ‘poverty porn’ television show for ‘exploiting’ people.

Louise Haigh, who was elected to represent Sheffield Heeley earlier this month, today joined a mounting wave of controversy over the show Britain’s Hardest Grafter.

The programme invites people both unemployed and on the minimum wage to “prove themselves” through a range of “real-world job” challenges.

At the end of each episode the person who has “produced the least” will be eliminated at the end of each episode before an eventual winner of a year’s living wage outside of London, just £15,000, is found.

Miss Haigh told The Star: “It is just exploitating people.

“After all the fuss that was made about Benefits Street a couple of years agom this is just pitting people against each other.

“Where is the investigation of why people are in this situation in the first place?

“They’ve had to earn their poverty once and now they are having to earn it all over again.

“It’s like harking back to medieval times.

“The BBC have a really influential platform here and they are abusing it.

“I think this will anger a lot of people in Sheffield - it is a distraction from what we should be focusing on, where are the programmes about Britain’s greediest bankers?

“We get enough of this nonsense from commercial stations, the BBC should be holding itself to a higher standard.”

An online petition has been set up to stop the show from going ahead.

“Britain’s Hardest Grafter is a serious social experiment for BBC Two which investigates just how hard people in the low wage economy work,” a BBC spokesperson said.

“Each week the contributors - who are all in work or actively looking - will experience a different ‘blue collar’ role as the series explores the truth about Britain’s work ethic. Throughout the series, the contributors are rewarded for the work they do.”