Written by Karen Bryan
The UK Conservative party have started talking about making more cuts to benefits paid by the Welfare State. Their current proposal is to stop paying housing benefit for the under 25s, which they reckon will save £2 billion a year. That sounds good for the tax payer, but I’m left wondering where on earth are all these out of work young people going to live. I assume the majority will have to stay with their parents or other friends and family.
Sometimes I think it’s not fair that I have to pay tax to support people who are as able to work as me. At the same time, I know of quite a few young people who are desperately looking for employment. I’m not sure that there are enough jobs for all the unemployed under 25 year olds.
Is this UK Conservative party proposal an example of too much of the stick and not much sign of the carrot?
I’d like to pay less tax and keep more of my earnings to either save or spend. At the same time, I do want to live in a civilised, caring society, with a safety net for people when they fall on bad times.
I think it can be a false economy if a country doesn’t spend the money on a welfare state, as this can lead to higher spending on health and policing, more homeless people and an increasingly divided society.
So how do you run a Welfare State that is fair to both taxpayers and recipients? Ideally, there should be incentives to work, good availability of a range of jobs, training and education to help people find jobs, with welfare benefits as a back up versus as a way of life.