Our Policy Analyst Alex Wild has written for the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, outlining the need for welfare reform here in the UK. Read the piece in full here.
Overall we will spend £184.3 billion (NZ$358.7 billion) on social security benefits and a further £28.9 billion (NZ$456.2) billion on tax credits this year.
Saving by the less well-off has been discouraged by poorly-designed means-testing, diminishing personal responsibility and fostering dependency.
These mistakes mean we have much more unemployment than we used to. Despite the remarkable recent performance of the UK jobs market, unemployment at 6.8 per cent is far higher than it was in the 1950s and 1960s when the value of unemployment benefits fluctuated significantly.
Historically, a year or so after benefit levels increased faster than earnings and inflation, unemployment has also increased. The big boosts to the value of benefits in the 1970s and 1980s helped entrench the relatively high unemployment we have today.