We’re all on benefits

Hola. Hope you are well.

Over the last year I’ve been going to a few public lectures at the London School of Economics. For one talk about the welfare state by Professor John Hills I was mistaken for a lecturer, which for someone who isn’t entrusted with much responsibility, pleased me greatly.

This however wasn’t the main thing I took from the talk, instead it was the fact that over our lifetime statistically we will put more into the welfare state, through working and paying NI, than we will take out. There may of course be times in our life that we will require support from the state, for example, periods when we are out of work, or if we fall ill or in old age but overall the money spent on you in these periods will be less than you have contributed.

There are politicians and certain parts of the media who won’t mention this, instead they’ll make out it’s a straight shoot out between ‘hard working families’ and those on benefits (sometimes referred to in pejorative terms, such as scroungers. The truth is, the 2nd largest proportion of the welfare budget goes towards working people, either in the form of working tax credits, money used to prop up the very low wages companies (often large companies) pay their staff, or housing benefit, money used to supplement the high rents private landlords charge. The biggest amount of money, for those interested, is spent on those with a state pension, i.e. people who worked when they were of employable age.

So the next time someone talks about people ‘being on benefits’, they’re talking about you. It might not be the ‘present you’, it might be the ‘past you’ or just as likely be the ‘future you’, but they’re talking about you but just as pertinently they’re talking about themselves.

Til next time, be nice to each other.


Should you have time check out my comedy Prongcasts. Cheers