Addiction and dependency [often linked to mental health] is rife in Britain these days and that applies not just to the general population but even to revered professions like (stressed?) doctors, who should know better eh?
It is estimated that there are about ½ million dependent drinkers in England and ALCOHOL the fifth biggest risk factor across all age groups [while alcohol is actually now 60% more affordable than it was in 1980, eh?].
As well, around 3 million people in England & Wales are estimated to be on DRUGS, a third of them on Class A drugs, but for the others its mostly cannabis
Furthermore, in the UK, some ½ million people have a serious GAMBLING habit while another 1½ million are at risk of developing an addiction to gambling [The outrageous racket of betting terminals allowing customers to spend up to £100 every 20 seconds doesn’t help, does it?].
Some 26% of men and 27% of women in England have been classified as suffering from OBESITY [the sixth highest adult obesity level in the World, but over ten percentage points lower than USA at No1], and at a time also when obesity was a factor in about 650 thousand hospital admissions
Now, that basic information on those four sets of dependences don’t make good reading, do they? No, but even they pale into insignificance when compared to BENEFITS addiction in Britain, don’t they?
In reality the only people who should be actually reliant on benefits, other than in the short-term, are those disabled through no fault of their own, plus those entitled to and have an earned the right to a State Pension – all the rest of society should be standing on their own two feet, with families being self-sufficient and living within their means, which ought to be possible in an advanced Country with adequate employment opportunities, surely? [UK job vacancies have risen to nearly ¾ of a million this summer].
Notwithstanding that, and despite benefit cutbacks in recent years, more than half of Britons are still net dependent on the State, which means that their households receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes – that has got to be ridiculous, surely? Yep, and it is a situation in which the Labour government under PM Tony Blair has a lot to answer for, it would seem? [Particularly as it was not the poorest but the middle quintile households that moved from being ‘givers’ to ‘takers’ in that period of government, eh?].
Oh yes, the facts about the liberal benefits in Britain are more than quite disturbing, aren’t they?
Well, the out-of-control Welfare State has bewitched British family life, and a few years ago research showed that well over 20million families or 65% were in receipt of some kind of benefits, and half of them relied on benefits to make up more than half of their income. Unsustainable, or what?
Too many households include a generation that has ‘never’ worked, and in some few it is two generations (perhaps under 20 thousand though), but benefits to the unemployed are problematic because they continue to be a major drain on the public purse, not least when you take account of the fact that when the dole was introduced starting back in 1911 and enhanced after the War, it was most definitely intended as a short-term fix and NOT a permeant way of life for the workshy – recipients are supposed to be forced into accepting employment, but they can still get away with NOT doing just that.
The basic problem with the UK welfare state is that government paid benefits that superseded the inadequate private charity of the 1800s, has become a legal entitlement for any Tom, Dick, and Harry who arrives on these shores legally or otherwise. [For example, refugees can claim when applicable, benefits such as Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Universal Credit, as well as a refugee integration loan].
UK benefits have expanded like Topsy since the 40s and now stands at £115BILLION; nowadays state pensions are overwhelmingly the largest governmental welfare expense, followed by disability, unemployment benefit, housing benefit, payments to people on low income, funding of tax credits, and personal social services – benefits remain a magnet for poor countries’ immigrants as they are almost double as much say as the Czech Republic?
Indeed, there are some ‘very large’ families that are raking it in, and are heavily dependent on benefits, but they often are exposed in newspapers [probably just a few hundred of them] – you see, the problem with the current welfare state is that there is no room for official discretion, hence those ‘milking’ the system, or even the ‘undeserving’, or the ‘unworthy’, don’t get rooted-out [only a ‘portion’ of the criminal classes and fraudsters who illegal claim benefits do get sorted-out (and there are blinking thousands of them at it, at a cost of £1½ billion?)]. Some half a dozen housing benefit claimants are EVEN pulling in £100,000 a year, but surely that ought to be zero?
If anybody needs any indication of how bad and serious the benefits addiction is now in Britain, they only need to consider the chaotic agitation expressed in the media over the universal credit flagship welfare reform – outrage is expressed almost daily that the State is failing to provide people with the money on time that they RELY ON to survive, but never any thought is given as to just WHY all these individuals have got themselves into such a position and just WHY we as a society have allowed that to develop, eh?
Now, the concept behind universal credit was certainly desirable and credible, as it was, with reasonably generous reform, to reduce British people’s dependence on welfare payments while providing ‘encouragement’ of low-earners into employment, but you see the liberal do-gooders apparently intent on destroying our society’s need for personal responsibility, seem intent on the majority relying on the taxes paid by others to keep them afloat – its only the disabled that society should be really charitable towards, surely?
[That said, the Government have made an unbelievable pig’s ear of introducing this pretty essential reform to replace the means-tested benefits paid to working-age households of jobseeker’s allowance, income support, housing benefit, employment and support allowance, working-tax credit and child-tax credit].
What has happened because of the welfare state is that masses of people are on zero hours contracts (a million workers and a third of them want to work more hours than granted) , or on such low pay, that their families cannot survive financially, requiring the State [meaning the rest of us] to subsidise them in their lifestyles which simply allows their devious and dodgy employers to lodge massive profits which are then often spirited abroad without paying tax, aren’t they?
[Don’t forget everybody that the larger the welfare state, the greater the need to be financed by equally large tax revenues, will you].