Benefits and voting tipping point unnoticed

Friday, February 7, 2014


LETTERS From J. Gibbons, Ryde:

I WRITE to draw readers’ attention to an extraordinary tipping point in the UK economy which has passed almost unnoticed.

The Office of National Statistics has stated that more than half (52 per cent) of all UK households received more in total benefits than they paid in total tax in the year to April 5, 2012.

What has received no attention at all is that what applies to households may also apply to voters, or may do so soon if the trend continues.

So we may have a situation where most voters have an incentive to increase taxation on workers to give more benefits to the non-working, and that a party which tried to bring back fairness (sanity is the word that first came to mind) would be voted out.  This situation is partly due to demographics, e.g. people living longer. Partly it is due to government not tieing levels of benefit (inversely) to levels of unemployment.

It seems clear that a country which has 90 per cent of the population working and ten per cent not working can afford one level of benefits while a country which has ten per cent working and 90 per cent not working can not afford anything like the same level.

I fear we are in for interesting times.

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