Philip Booth, IEA Editorial and Programme Director, discussed the welfare state on the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio Two. This was in response to the current debate on welfare state reforms between Archbishop Vincent Nichols and David Cameron. Philip follows the Pope's comments as he expressed the need for an economy in which all can flourish and not survive on state provided welfare. Furthermore, he argued that if we have a state that provides fifty percent of national income, with the majority of that income being spent on welfare, and yet we are unable to provide to those most in need, then that signifies a significant problem with the current system.
Philip's suggestions to relieve the current crisis is to replace welfare benefits with tax allowances. This is because direct and indirect taxes constitutes 40% of income spent by the poorest. This would enable these individuals to thrive and flourish and this reform provides a solution to these problems of poverty, not just the symptoms. Secondly, he suggests bringing back some community institutions which have been eroded by the welfare state, providing for the needy instead of the state issuing a cheque to individuals.
You can listen to the full programme here. Philip's segment begins at 44:13.