- This is the final department of Central Government expenditure being examined by the Last Laugh Looney Party. 🤡Phew ! The Department of Work and Pensions has the biggest spending budget of £ 171 billion in 2018/19. That is until Coronapop came along, after which spending went BALLISTIC 🤡
The LLLP has proposed dramatic cuts in every other department, but suggests caution in this area. Firstly, because it is only giving back to most people money that they have earned and then has been taken in tax. Secondly, it is giving money to the most vulnerable people in society, or at least it should be. The problem comes when the system is not simple and transparent. The very nature of Government bureaucracy is that it feeds itself on making things more and more complex. Hence the 1001 volumes of rules about benefits, pensions and income tax. And the 76,698 civil servants employed to dish them out at an administrative cost of £ 6.4 Billion annually !
There are four groups of beneficiaries of the DWP’s largesse :-
- Pensioners – 12 million rising to 16 million by 2044.
- People with a disability – 20% are on a low income.
- Unemployed people – 24% of the working age population ???
- Children / Families – 10% on low incomes.
Living on only benefits or a state pension is not easy, nor should it be, provided people have the opportunity to better themselves. There are a feckless few ( about 2% ) who exploit the system and give everybody else a bad name. At its best the benefits system should a safety net for the most vulnerable in society. For this reason the LLLP will be very cautious in revising it.
The current state pension is minimal and not enough for a comfortable retirement, hence we end up with add on entitlements, such as winter fuel payments, Christmas bonus’s, free TV licences, free prescriptions. All of which are universal and often go to people who don’t need them. The LLLP would lift the basic state pension level, but then do away with the enhancements and several thousand civil servants who administer them. If you want a better lifestyle you need to save a lot more while you are working ( 20 to 25% of you earnings) or if you own your own home as 70% of older people do, then either downsize, or take in lodgers, or sell the equity in your home to the Government. ( Only when they adopt an LLLP house buy back scheme ). See my one of my next posts for news of this.
PEOPLE WITH A. DISABILITY.
The LLLP will leave this alone for now because it supports many people who genuinely need more support. Sadly it has been abused by Governments in the past to shift people off the unemployment register and this has undermined public compassion in the system.
People without a job should only be paid benefits if they are prepared to retrain an gain more skills. This could be in full-time education or working in the voluntary sector for a year.
CHILDREN & FAMILIES.
Nobody would wish to see children disadvantaged financially, but the gap left in single parent families resources by absentee fathers who pay no maintenance is their responsibility and much more effort should be made to recover it.
This area of Government expenditure certainly needs re-evaluation, but it is too serious for flippant judgments. So no savings are forecast at this stage.