That many UK subjects believe the UK Government is a soft touch on benefits is just that: a belief. Why that belief exists is a another question (I'd suggest looking at the UK's terrible tabloids for a start).
The UK system is less generous than other European countries. For example, in Germany and Sweden one can receive 80% of your previous wage for up to a year after being made unemployed. JSA in the UK is £72/week for over 25 year olds (hardly a 'living').
A large amount of benefit is paid out as housing benefit. This goes naturally straight to the landlord (and then often a bank due to buy-to-let mortgages) not the claimant. The UK's housing market,high rents, and lack of social housing compared to other counties is a factor here.
The system in the UK is also less efficiently administered, which has seen the surge of people dependant on foodbanks, much more than in comparable countries.
We've also seen how entitlement to disability benefit administered by a private company has resulted in scores of people dying.
Abuse of the system (e.g. claiming JSA whilst working on the blackmarket) does occur as is does everywhere. There are no statistics that show it is more widespread in the UK than elsewhere. The fact is, there is much more money that is left unclaimed by people that are rightly entitled to it than benefit being defrauded - DWP's own figures. Interestingly, the DWP spends a lot of money combating fraud, and virtually nothing on informing people on what they're are entitled to.
In a civilised country, people shouldn't starve when they have no work (or are unable to work) and keeping a roof over people's heads is considered a basic necessity.
In short: the UK welfare system is less generous and more incompetently administered compared to most other western European countries. Fraud isn't noted for being higher.
What is different is the demonisation of people who claim benefits in the UK, and the aforementioned housing situation. The UK's low wages with high living cost also exacerbate the benefit trap (no rational person would take a low paid job to be worse off at the end of the month).
If the UK's national debt level is really keeping you awake at night, look at tax avoidance schemes and tax evasion by large companies and very rich individuals.