The global meltdown beginning in 2008 shocked us into realising that the years of increasing wealth were over. When the Welfare State was born in the middle of the last century, we believed that governments could afford to provide universal benefits for all. Now we know that the state simply can’t meet all our financial needs.
Austerity across the EU
In 2012, the total budget deficit for EU countries was €510 billion, a huge figure, but a staggering reduction of €293 billion compared to 2010. The effect of austerity on ordinary people has been painful, with subsequent political fallout affecting several governments.
UK government planned benefit cuts
yearly by 2014/15, compared to 2010/11
The Coalition’s welfare reform programme aims to save £18 billion a year from the social security budget by 2015, with a further £4 billion a year saved from tax credits. Some of the biggest areas of cuts are housing benefit, child benefit and disability living allowances.
STRATEGIC RESPONSE: PROTECTION