The Daily Telegraph, Feb. 12th 2007, p.1
Seven million households are receiving more than half of their income from pensions and government benefits. These are official government figures cited by the right-wing think tank, Civitas. The figures reveal a ‘huge gulf’ between single-parent and two-parent households when it comes to state dependency. The report also claims that the Labour government has designed a welfare policy that will create “beholden voters rather than independent people.” Gordon Brown is accused of creating a society increasingly dependent on tax credits. The regime is now so entrenched that it is predicted that the Tories will be wary of reversing it for fear of appearing ‘uncaring’ to the UK electorate. The report concludes that the government is still intent on upholding an out of date system dedicated to big spending while only giving lip service to the benefit of the private sector involvement in the areas of housing, education and health.
Community Care, Feb. 15th - 21st 2007, p. 34-35
The provisions of the Welfare Reform Bill currently before Parliament are aimed at moving up to one million people off incapacity related benefits and into work. Critics say that the new system will mean more vulnerable people undergoing medical assessments of their fitness for work and are also concerned about private contractors being given powers to impose benefits sanctions for non-compliance with rules.