According to the figure of the Office of National Statistics the United Kingdom Welfare set-aside is approximately £180bn. That sum is either earned tax revenue or, as of recent years, more likely derived from the government borrowing money on the open markets.
Of recent times the UK Coalition government have been looking at the UK Welfare Society and looking to see if there are any changes to be made and whether those changes can be implemented.
As I have learned tonight from the same data issued by the ONS it seems that the actual monies paid out could do with review and reduced quite considerably as the universal social safety net seems to be giving money to some groups of people who might be deserving because of the current ‘rules’ but they should not receive the benefits because they are already earning a decent income or higher.
- 32% percent of all benefits paid last year went to people who are wealthier than average, a total of 53 billion pounds. Excluding the state pension, 28 percent of all benefits go to the better off half of the population, a total of 30 billion pounds.
- 43% of Child Benefits are paid to the mothers of families where the household income is above the UK Average Income.
- 25% of Incapacity Benefit is paid to people who’s annual income is above the UK Average Income. The incapacity benefit is not means tested so paid regardless of the fact that the recipient already is earning more than most people.
- Similarly, 25% of Incapacity Benefit is paid to people who’s annual income is above the UK Average Income and paid regardless of whether they already earn more than the average income.
- So, similarly is 13% of Tax Credits paid to people who already earn more than most.
The UK Social Welfare System is a mess and, because it is not properly means tested, people who are already in receipt of a good income receive the welfare benefits paid to all people considered eligible for the above social welfare support.
On the other hand, the maximum £64 per week unemployment benefit (now called the Job Seekers Allowance) is reduced for claimants if they have any other sources of income such as a paltry pension or any savings. If the claimant left their job voluntarily or was sacked or made redundant then any Job Seekers Allowance is subject to delay before payment commences. One can work solidly for 40 or more years paying National Insurances and when unfortunate enough to be made redundant find you are ineligible for the equivalent of unemployment benefit because of the ‘rules’
The social welfare model in the United Kingdom is broken. It rewards the wrong people and not necessarily (or through necessity) the right people. If welfare help and financial support does reach the deserving target it is much reduced because the wrong people find themselves eligible for no better reason than they are eligible under the ‘rules’ and take an unfair share of the welfare budget.
In my view the ‘rules’ seriously need to be revised, benefits targeted at the truly deserving and those who do not need or do not deserve social welfare payments should be forced to either earn their benefits by doing community work or accept that the welfare system is not intended to reward recklessness, fecklessness and/or laziness.