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Is it fair to say that under Labour... watch


    There are serious problems. But these problems are massively exaggurated.

    The core of the system isn't too bad. Income support and JSA are largely effective and most people don't experience anything like the withdrawal rate it is possible to face, though obviously it sucks for those that do. There are problems - there are far too many benefits, its far too complicated, there are steep withdrawal rates particularly re: Housing Benefit.

    The most fundamental problem is Housing. The main reason for steep withdrawal rates and the main incentive not to work is Housing. Housing Benefit is as costly - more than 6 times as costly as unemployment benefit - and necessarily has a steep withdrawal rate because it is so costly. If you consider that the absolute cheapest rent available in London is £100 per week per person, and that average incomes are around £200 a week, then unless you have very steep withdrawal rates then you end up subsidising the rent of something like half the population. So unless you either balloon the welfare bill or make hundreds of thousands of people homeless, it isn't possible to incentivise work as much as is desirable. The only way to deal with this is to massively expand social housing or start doing something to explode house-building to bring rents and prices down to sensible levels.

    This is why no politician - certainly not IDS, the man has no serious proposals right now - is able to tackle welfare. It can't be done just by changing the welfare system.

    (Original post by esstupido)
    Obviously it would then have to be replaced, but as it stands, it's been nothing short of a complete disaster.

    Does anyone actually disagree? Perhaps this is one of the few things that voters of all parties can accept?
    I'd quite like to hear why you think its a "complete disaster". Please explain.
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