I read that the Centre for Policy Studies has today published David Martin’s report into the UK benefits system. The document, “Benefit Simplification – how and why it must be done” explains that around a quarter of the total cash available to our Government is being spent on payments to social security claimants. Unsurprisingly, they call for a rethink of the whole benefits system.
I heard recently from a very informed source that the tax taken by Gordon Brown’s Government is currently just covering the amount paid out in benefits. Clearly this is a time bomb waiting to explode; the numbers of working age adults is falling year on year, at the same time as the numbers of elderly and vulnerable people are rising sharply – as evidenced by the excellent report by Sir Derek Wanless.
It’s not rocket science – with taxation revenues falling and the quantum and sophistication of demand rising, the Government either need to increase the available revenue – through higher taxation – or reduce the demand by excluding growing numbers of people from care and support.
It’s a mess and it’s getting worse. But against a background of growing numbers of benefit fraudsters; a clear absence of robust control over claimants and a succession of headline-grabbing, short-term job creation schemes from the DWP, can we be surprised?