Reform of benefits is underway, and there are several reasons for it.
- The payouts have grown over the years to the point where some claimants are better off being ‘out of work’ and could not possibly afford to get a job.
- The cost to keep social benefits at the level they are now is simply not sustainable.
- The system is also very complex.
Currently the state pays out £162.8 Billion to non working people. If you are one of the 33 million employed, then the slice of economy you represent (your salary, employers business etc) contribute £5,000 to the welfare state. Little of this goes to pensioners, but the vast majority to people of working age who are not employed.
We must protect the retired, and those who can not work through illness or redundancy, but for the long-term unemployed we need to look again at what we are doing.
These benefit caps which are coming in will make some changes, but not enough. For example, a single person of working age will shortly have benefits capped at £350 per week. This is £1,400 per month, or £16,800 per year. To earn this as an employee, you would need to have a salary of nearly £20,000 per year. Many people who are reading this will have a full-time job which pays less, or have worked for a career and have a pension which also pays less. As tax payers, you are contributing to this now. Personally, I feel this cap is too high, but it is a start.
Our benefits system needs to be a safety net to keep people and families going while making it pay to get back into work.
For more information, here is the link to the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) website: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-reform/