IEA Director General Mark Littlewood appeared on BBC Radio Five Live discussing the current welfare state and the extent of poverty and food banks. He argued the need to overhaul a 'catastrophically broken' welfare state, a system that with welfare benefits and the current state pension combined amounts to almost £200 Billion pounds per annum. That is enough to provide £10,000 for every home in Britain per year.
With regards to people needing food banks and poverty, Mark suggested to adopt a strategy that is not focused on wages and welfare, rather the government should actively persue policies that reduce the reduce cost of living. In particular, increasing the housing supply by relaxing planning permission on the building of houses. Furthermore, with regard to work programmes, Mark proposed the implementation of a system used in Wisconsin USA, where the able bodied unemployed are involved in community work. This would increase the incentives to start work and make sure that people are actively involved in their communities.
You can listen to the full programme here . Mark's segment begins at 25.40.