Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Myth's Around Welfare Spending

The pie chart above gives a breakdown of every type of welfare expenditure that accounts for over 1% of the welfare bill for 2011/12. This government would have it that benefit payments are spiralling out of control; and in its attempts to do this focuses its propaganda onto groups such as disabled people as culprits for the overspend.

Of course as with all propaganda the government is targeting groups like disabled people in order to draw people's attentions away from the real problems within the country, namely unemployment, underemployment and a flat-lining economy.

The deficit this government promised it would eradicate within a single government term is growing. Its growing because of the slash and burn policies adopted by the ConDems. The fact is high unemployment means millions of people are not contributing to the Treasury coffers; but instead dependant on benefit (meagre as this is). Underemployment has a similar outcome. An underemployed person contributes less in tax and insurance; but probably turns to the state for tax credits and housing benefit.

Both these groups contribute to a flat economy because without the wherewithal they are not as economically active.

Back to the pie chart and we see by far the largest spend goes on state pensions (or as many retired people see it, deferred wages), some 46%.

Yet when we look at how the other pieces make up the pie, things aren't quite as black and white as the right-wing press would have it, that is billions being spent on unemployed shirkers.

No, let's just see how the benefits are shared out; and who are the recipients.

Housing benefit can be paid out to people who are in employment; usually due to low wages. Therefore, instead of branding these people scroungers, why aren't the scum press hounding those employers who pay starvation wages. Is it right that a company can pay so little as to cause an employee to depend on the state to top up her or his wages. Is it right that such companies are subsidised by us, the tax payers, whilst they make profits.

Many recipients of DLA are employed. The fact they receive DLA is often a main factor in them being able to work; without which they'd probably not be able to work. The Daily Hate rarely brings up this fact. Indeed on many occasions the media have exposed their ignorance of the benefits system when criticising DLA claimants for working while in receipt of the benefit.

People claiming pension credits can also be in paid employment. Indeed this is a growing trend. People who have worked hard all their lives, contributing to the system come to retirement age only to find the occupational pension they were hoping for does not live up to their expectations. Far from the gold-plated public sector pensions propagated by the scum media. The reality for many will be no second pension; but working until they drop dependent on pension credits, because their employer doesn't pay them enough on which to live.

Income support can also be claimed by those who work for less than 16-hours per week.

So, when we break down the welfare pie, we discover far from a pastry gorged by the feckless and shirkers, many people in employment are also dependent on one state benefit or the other. A high percentage of those in receipt of the welfare benefits mentioned also contributors through PAYE and the NI scheme.

Many of the unemployed and underemployed are not in these positions by choice; no they are there because of gross mismanagement of the economy.

Too many people represented in the welfare figures find themselves there due to a corrupt capitalist system that employs neo-liberal standards that allow profit-making organisations to rip-off billions from the state each year by underpaying their employees.

Let's push the minimum wage up to a decent level as advocated by the Telegraph's assistant editor, Jeremy Warner, earlier this week. Thus taking hundreds of thousands out of welfare dependency - and not for altruistic reasons!

And finally, let's start building more social housing and bring back some form of rent control to the private rented sector. Let's stop feeding parasitic landlords, again taking millions out of housing benefit.

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