Cuts in welfare spending look inevitable whoever wins the next Election. Neither Government nor Opposition, however, has spelt out a vision of what comes after the ‘Welfare State’. A ‘welfare society’ – in which public agencies act more often as catalysts and enablers rather than, automatically, as providers of state dole – might be an alternative. But who’s going to have the courage to commit?
Last month we published the welfare dependency map of the West Midlands showing the percentage of families dependent on out of work benefits (including incapacity benefit) in each parliamentary constituency. Here’s the equivalent map for parliamentary constituencies in Greater Manchester:
RED more than 25% of adults dependent on out of work benefits including incapacity benefit
DARK PINK more than 20% dependent
MID PINK more than 15% dependent
PINK more than 10% dependent
These figures are constituency wide, ie they are the average level across a population of about 100,000 people. Within each constituency there may be very marked variations in the level of welfare dependency between neighbourhoods and within communities that share neighbourhoods.