Twenty-five billion pounds!
“Treasury figures show that welfare payments will exceed income tax receipts by almost £25 billion. Normally, income tax receipts comfortably cover the benefits bill.”
In 2008/09, gross income tax receipts were £152.5 billion. In the same year, social security benefits cost the Exchequer £150.1 billion.
In 2009/10, the Treasury is expecting to take in £140.5 billion in gross income tax receipts. Social security benefits are projected to be £164.7 billion.
The disparity between tax revenue and welfare costs was identified by Andrew Brough, a fund manager at Schroder Investment Management, who suggested that the amount of money spent on social protection could soon exceed that raised from both income tax and national insurance.
Something, somewhere, has to give. Or, in this case, stop!