Nearly one in two adults in Britain is now receiving at least half their income from the State, a study of Britain's burgeoning public sector shows today.
Forty four per cent of people now work directly or indirectly for the public sector or depend on state benefits for much of their livelihood, according to figures obtained by The Spectator.
The state-dependency research, based on 2005 official figures and broken down by parliamentary constituencies, showed that more than 60 per cent of people work for or live off the State in some of Britain's poorer areas.
The Spectator research, based on data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as well as the Office for National Statistics (ONS), indicates that Labour has increased the overall public sector payroll by 784,000 since 1997.
It isn't just that our immoral government is, in effect, bribing people to vote for them (which must surely be illegal?), but that, economically, it is not sustainable.
The results prompted the Conservatives to warn that Labour's huge expansion of the public sector could undermine economic prosperity.
In a speech today, George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, will warn that Labour's prescription of "an ever-rising tax burden, and an ever-growing welfare" state is the "path to decline".
What was that old phrase that we used to use? Oh, yes: "No shit, Sherlock."
Stepping up his attack on Gordon Brown's economic record, he will use a speech in Dublin to say Britain should imitate Ireland's low-tax economy and benefit reforms to boost competitiveness.
At last, a Tory has said something sensible! Hoorah!
Enough with this touchy, feely nonsense. Let's get competitive, competitive, let's get inter-competitive...
UPDATE: The ever-excellent Wat Tyler lays it all out in terms so depressing, a warm bath and a traditional razor would seem like a good solution...