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Margaret Thatcher


Support, Not Dependency

Another hot potato! Many people will regard individual benefits as sacrosanct, and therefore it is difficult to dismantle the system and replace dependency with incentive. But that must be done, we cannot continue to fund the ballooning welfare budget by squeezing taxpayers, the sums don't add up, and eventually the system will collapse. Successive British regimes have tinkered with this problem (as with tax issues) while the welfare budget has crept inexorably upwards. None have grasped the nettle and made serious changes, probably because of the anticipated howls of protest such change would bring. And the one thing all politicians covet above all else is election success. Without it they would have to find a proper job! So, what to do?
Well, firstly tax should be tackled and our system reformed, resulting in substantial savings for all. That would mean the welfare budget would have to be slashed, no choice because the money would just not be there! Reforming the tax system would put more money in the population's pockets, meaning that welfare payments could be reduced for this reason alone. But the main shift in welfare payments (pensions are a separate issue, not included in this debate) should be to encourage effort and discourage dependency. And reward past responsibility with help in hard times at the expense of those who try to milk the current system. The basic theory of the welfare state is that the haves help the have-nots, knowing that if needed the help will be there for them also. But that does not seem to work as we progressively pay more and more to support some who now depend on welfare for their living. And when needed these benefits are not so easy to get for the self-employed or higher earners, the people who, when working, are paying most to fund the welfare system.
The system should be based on simplicity and fairness, and on that basis child benefit should be abolished, wealthier families don't need it and children are a personal choice, so why should the state subsidise that choice? We all want families and that is how it should be, but why should others pay for us? Many other benefits (too many to list) should be abolished also, leaving just a handful of simple, easy to understand ones which are designed only to support the unemployed, the sick and the elderly.
This page is short on detail, but as time progresses my intention is to increase this site, and to flesh out the basic ideas with more proposals. So suggestions are welcomed......!

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