In a report released tonight, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that the proportion of GDP spent on jobseekers’ allowance, pensions and other “public social spending” stood at 23.8 per cent — the same as it was in 2010. The Paris-based think tank warned that unless action was taken to cut the cost to the state of Britain’s rapidly rising elderly population, the health and pensions systems could collapse.
Jobseekers\’ is of course a small part of that. And with rising lifespans and an ageing of the population pensions are obviously going to loom ever larger.
But it\’s an interesting thought, isn\’t it? How far can this redistribution go?
Very roughly speaking, government currently takes 50% of GDP. Of that, half is spent as above, half is spent on government government things: defence and diversity advisers.
According to the OECD, Britain spends a greater share of its resources on welfare, health and pensions, at 23.8 per cent of GDP, than the average across the 34 world economies in the OECD, which stands at 21.9 per cent.
However, the UK is still outspent by the rest of Europe, which uses an averge of just over a quarter of GDP for welfare, at 25.2 per cent.
We end up with two questions. How much of the total economy should the government appropriate to be distributed as they see fit? Is 50%, for example, too high or not enough? And then, how is that actually spent? The health n\’welfare stuff? Or all the rest of the nonsense that government does? And, if we decide there should be more welfare but no rise in the burden of government, which of the diversity advisers are we going to fire to pay for the pensions?