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Welfare state's of little benefit

TO understand what’s really dragging down the British economy, consider these seemingly unrelated facts.

1. By having a child and signing on, a woman can “earn” more than a barmaid, cook or hairdresser

2. Since Labour came to power MOST new UK jobs have been filled by workers born outside of Europe.

3. The UK welfare department has more “clients” (ie, people on the dole) than Ireland has people.

Sure, the banks are a mess. But what’s dogging this country is a welfare state that pays people not to work. As we sink into recession (next week we’ll learn 3,000 are signing on EVERY DAY) there’s a horrible truth to grasp.

The new unemployed are being sent to a welfare state that specialises in keeping people trapped on benefits for good.

Since 1997 ministers have kept at least FIVE MILLION on the dole. They relied on immigrants to do almost ALL new jobs.

Slowly, Labour MPs are beginning to realise the truth. Take Tom Harris, an ex-minister, who had a revelation last week.

“I can no longer pretend that the army of teenage mothers living off the state is not a national catastrophe,” he said.

I give Harris marks for accepting there’s a problem. But he should ask himself—why do so many British women do this?

Not because they are immoral. Because we pay them to. We give school-leaving girls a choice of careers: work or pregnancy.

Let me spell it out. A girl who does 30 hours hard graft on the minimum wage has a disposable income of just £61 a week.

With one child on benefits, she gets a house and £131 a week. With two kids: £186 a week. Three: £236 a week. This is more than a receptionist, lab technician or post office worker. With five kids it’s £22,000 a year—the average wage. It’s a no-brainer. Do you slog your guts out for a low-pay, low-prestige job? Or take the easier route and start breeding?

These figures are from the Centre for Social Justice, which is preparing a devastating report into how new kids mean new cash.

You’d be amazed how few ministers recognise the problem. Even those who run the system are not aware how it operates.

With honourable exceptions. James Purnell has moved to tackle child dependency, stopping it when the youngest child is 12.

He wants to lower this to age three (like the rest of Europe).

Both parties share the blame for the horrific mutation in the welfare now bankrolling the worklessness it was set up to eradicate. The Tories started it. They used incapacity benefit to deal with those laid off in the 1980s job losses. Labour perpetuated it.

The result will be with us next year—a staggering 6.5 MILLION on out-of-work benefits. The cost may bankrupt the country.

For years, the state has paved a road from school to welfare dependency. Is it any wonder so many thousands walk down it?

It’s time to blow that road up. Make work pay. Take all low-paid out of tax. Make tough demands of benefit claimants.

And, yes, do it even in a recession. No civilised country should rely on immigrants to do the work, while paying its own people to claim dole in council estates.

That’s why we need more than reform. We need to tear up the benefits system and start all over again.



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