Bishop's Breakfast
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Bishop's Breakfast



Short presentation to Bishop of Wakefield's breakfast meeting on how the welfare state could be redesigned.

Short presentation to Bishop of Wakefield's breakfast meeting on how the welfare state could be redesigned.



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Bishop's Breakfast Bishop's Breakfast Presentation Transcript

  • Bishop’s Breakfast five smooth stones Talk by Simon Duffy of The Centre for Welfare Reform for members of the Church of England
  • 1.Welfare state is a good thing 2.But its designed wrong 3.Many of our beliefs about it are false 4.It is biased against the poor 5.Citizenship is the key to its reform
  • 1. Welfare state is good • Morality demands we create a fair society • Happiness demands security and freedom • Efficiency demands we use all our talents • Prudence demands we avoid fear & crisis
  • Fear and insecurity breeds scapegoating, terror, war and revolution
  • 2. Welfare is designed wrong • Hyper-taxation for poor and disabled (e.g. poorest 10% pay highest tax rate, 47%) • Limited rights, choice and control (e.g. families can’t choose education) • Subsidises services, not people (e.g. £3 billion spent on 21,000 in private institutions) • Undermines communities and families (e.g. social care awaits family crisis) • Rooted in 1940s paternalism
  • [The ill-fated Pruitt-Igoe housing project] Government doesn’t always know best
  • 3. Policy is based on myth £1 billion benefit fraud, £15 billion tax fraud, £16.7 billion unclaimed benefits, £28 billion of benefit cuts. Benefits after tax is only £25 billion, most state spending is on middle-earning employees. Current economic crisis was not created by poor, but by bad lending to home owners and middle earners.
  • public expenditure has changed little
  • benefits are not technically public expenditure - they are a form of income adjustment
  • the poorest pay the highest levels of taxation
  • there are very few fit and healthy working age adults who just rely on benefits
  • the UK is the second most centralised welfare state in the world (after New Zealand)
  • benefits fraud is dwarfed by fraud by taxpayers and by government itself
  • 4. System is biased against the poor • The poor often pay marginal rates of tax that can exceed 100% • You must get poor and stay poor to get social care • Only the better off can choose how they get education, health or social care • Poor is very poor: as low as £7 per day - poorest 10% of families - £9.50 per day.
  • 5. Citizenship is the key to reform • Human rights at heart of system • Minimum universal securities as rights • Fair and integrated tax- benefit system • Individual freedom for all • Families and communities respected
  • 1.Join the Campaign for a Fair Society 1.Subscribe to The Centre for Welfare Reform 1.Twitter users can follow #fairsociety If you want to get more involved