The statistic is this. In the UK the cost of state welfare totals £207 billion a year. But total receipts from income tax total £155 billion a year.
In other words, when someone pays their income tax in the UK they are not even getting to pay for defence or schools or hospitals. Everything they pay is eaten up by the welfare bill.
There has to be a welfare net of some sort, but the current one doesn't seem sustainable. Peter Hitchens is right, I think, to wonder in particular if the growth of fatherlessness can really be supported in the long-term:
I might add...that there are now 567,000 fatherless households being subsidised by the taxpayer. Look at these figures and gasp. Where is the cash to come from?Hitchens has a point when he concludes:
The new political elite, who hope to buy votes and power through handing out other people’s money, will not stop doing so until that money runs out.
And so we ramble merrily towards the edge of the abyss, making lemmings look responsible and far-sighted.