21-22% of the working age population are "economically inactive". That is some 8 million people. Of these 2.3 million are looking after home, 1.85 million are students, though many are simply doing non courses in "tourism management", or "Golf Studies" (a three year degree? I think not) to massage the unemployment figures. 591,000 are retired, 200,000 are Temporary sick, which leaves 2.1 million Long term sick and the remainder some million or so "discouraged workers".
There are about a million people on the dole, so the unemployment figure, if you include the fucking lazy (did I say that, I mean "discouraged workers") is actually about twice what the government publishes as the claimant count.
Well, I've pointed that out many, many times.
this was 11% of GDP and something like 40% of government managed expenditure. So cutting this bill should be a priority if there is a shortage of resources for the police, our overstretched Army, schools and the Sainted NHS.
So why isn't anyone screaming to cut this bill? Because to do so would be presented as taking form the poorest (which in a way it is). Because after 3 generations of welfare, there is a section of society - the underclass - who have never worked, know no-one who works and more than likely will never work. Benefits as a career. Without serious incentives these people will not look for work and don't know how. Getting people off benefits and into work is possible by looking at incentives - making work pay, and the penalties - cutting benefits progressively. In effect, a carrot and stick to getting these people into the Labour market. Look to the incentives and the outcome will follow.
I am not even an economist, and I am sick and tired of screaming "incentives fucking well work". They do. Especially if the incentive is to work because otherwise you fucking starve. You see all those low-paid jobs that the government uses to justify immigration: you know, because the jobs need done and the natives are too good to do 'em?
Abolish benefits and see how quickly those jobs get filled. Seriously.
There's an corollory too. One of Dr Crippen's consistent points is that no one values the NHS because they don't have to pay anything for it. The same applies, for instance, to people in free (or extraordinarily cheap) Council Houses. Many commenters point out that what is so bizarre is the way the anti-social scrotes we all complain about foul their own houses and estates: why is it extraordinary? To go and foul someone's else's estate requires the little bastards to actually put forth some effort to walk somewhere: they may as well befoul their own nest 'cos the council will sort it out for them (eventually). If people do not work for their possessions, then they don't value them.
Chris puts the Welfare Bill into perspective.
Or to put it another way, at the start of the twentieth century the government ate roughly 10% of UK GDP in total, and had the largest fleet in the world. Larger than the next two put together. Today social security alone eats 11% of GDP, and our fleet is barely strong enough to defend the home islands.
So, as I have said before, can we please abolish the Welfare State?