Maybe Ed Miliband would like to read this, before insisting on increasing benefit payments
Britain’s social security bill will rise to almost a third of all public spending by 2018, despite the Government’s planned cuts to welfare, an IFS report says.
The think-tank’s Green Budget 2013 warns the Chancellor must set out a “much clearer strategy” on social security spending and tax rises if he is to reduce borrowing in the next parliament.
Whoever wins the next General Election, welfare will have to be reformed (again). And it would be political suicide for a future government to favour increasing taxes to pay for an expensive benefits system; it would be very unpopular.
I find it odd that someone as intelligent as Ed Miliband is suggesting he prefers lower wages for workers and higher benefits payments. The IFS report is quite blunt; we will struggle to afford our current social security system in the long term. Bankrupting the system would have far worse consequences than cutting spending now.
But in fairness to Ed Miliband and Labour, even the Liberal Democrats are being incredibly disingenuous by demanding zero cuts to the welfare budget; it’s going to happen regardless post-2015.