Even Margaret Thatcher didn’t manage to dismantle Britain’s disastrous welfare system. Judging by the policy plans of the Lib-Con coalition, there is little reason to be optimistic that today’s leaders will be any more successful. The timid proposals on welfare are little more than an expansion of existing failed programmes.
It is unsurprising that welfare reform has presented such a problem for successive governments. The six million working-age adults who now receive out-of-work benefits – plus millions more over-60s receiving generous pension credits – comprise a large voting bloc. Labour would have risked losing its core support had it attacked benefit dependency.
Within the new administration, the rebranded, centrist Conservative Party will be wary of implementing policies perceived (wrongly) as an attack on the poor, while any major changes could face strong opposition from the Liberal Democrats’ hard-socialist Left.
Nevertheless, the dire state of the public finances means the Government will have little choice but to make substantial cuts in welfare expenditure…
Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph.