Philip Booth argues in House Magazine that the Conservatives should return welfare to the market
By the next election very nearly 50p in every pound earned by the average man and woman will be spent by Whitehall. This is a serious obstacle to economic growth and the promotion of employment and should concern the Conservative Party – particularly given recent rises in the proportion of youth unemployment. There is nothing “progressive” or “moderate” about having the state spend such large amounts of ordinary people’s hard-earned money. It is not as if we need to tax people that heavily in order to help the poor. At the height of the welfare state in the 1950s and 1960s, government spending was around a third less than its likely level in two years time. Ireland has 35% of its national income spent by the state. Reasonable estimates suggest that governments can perform their most important functions by taxing between 30% and 35% of national income. This should be the Conservative Party’s initial target.
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The War between the State and the Family
by Patricia Morgan