23 December 2010

Benefits Christmas

The Daily Mail has an article about a mother with four children, living on benefits, who is planning to spend a large sum on giving the children a good Christmas.

Benefits Christmas: Single mother Eloise spends £3000 to give her four children EVERYTHING they want for Christmas. And guess what? You're paying for it.

... she’s not a member of your average working family. She’s on benefits, meaning that effectively it’s your money which is paying for her children’s Christmas - Xboxes and all. Moreover, as far as Eloise is concerned, it’s all entirely fair - in fact, the merest hint of a raised eyebrow at her circumstances is enough to make her see red. ‘It makes me furious when people criticise how I choose to spend my money,’ she says. ‘Taxpayers seem to feel that they have the right to tell people on benefits how to spend their money,’ she adds. ‘They don’t - the government decides what people like me are entitled to, not the taxpayer. If it’s offered to us, then of course we’re going to take it and we shouldn’t be criticised for doing so. Frankly, I believe it’s my right to do what I want this Christmas with the benefits I deserve. ’

The Daily Mail journalist points out that ‘it’s your money’ (i.e. taxpayers’ money) ‘which is paying for her children’s Christmas’.

Working out what she receives in ‘handouts’ per year, the journalist makes it come to £21,528. That includes free school meals, but does not include the free ‘education’ and medical ‘health service’ which is accessible to all, including those who are contributing to the cost of it by paying taxes.

Including the cost of free ‘education’ for four children and free ‘health care’ for five people might, perhaps, double the figure representing how much it is costing taxpayers to support this family. It is scarcely surprising that the country is bankrupt.

It is a fact of genetics that if conditions arise which favour the survival of life forms (plants or animals) with certain characteristics, a subgroup of the species soon arises which is increasingly well adapted to the favourable conditions and increasingly numerous. For example, subgroups of various birds have developed which are adapted to deriving their support from bird-tables supplied by human beings, probably becoming in the process less well adapted to supporting themselves in other ways.

There is no reason to suppose that the situation can be remedied by offering those living on benefits inducements to work. The only possible solution is to scrap the Welfare State altogether, including state education and medicine.

That is, it is the only solution that could possibly work; but I am not supposing that there is any possibility of its being implemented by a democratically elected government.

Brief analyses such as these should be being expanded into research papers, but this is unlikely to happen unless Oxford Forum is supported.