Sunday, May 23, 2010

Political realities of welfare reform

This article appeared in the UK Telegraph. It outlines what the UK needs to do about welfare according to Richard Wellings of the Institute of Economic Affairs. His proposals are of the Ruth Richardson variety. James Bartholomew points out the obvious reality that the proposals are politically difficult. And that's the crunch. Unless there is a political consensus, or a government prepared to be very radical within one term (which risks policy reversal by the next government) little can be achieved. Which is incidentally why I abandoned any political ambitions in favour of trying to influence a consensus of opinion (which is how the US achieved abiding change and they have a way to go yet).

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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"that if any man does not like to work, neither let him eat." [2 Thessalonians 3, v.10

Suffer not the bludger to live.