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In this week's Economist:


Welfare reform is one of those areas in which Mr Blair now wishes he had gone further and faster, and he is relying on Mr Blunkett to make up for some of the lost time. Next month's green paper is meant to show how the government intends to deal with something it has discussed for years, but not done much about--the scandal of an incapacity-benefit (IB) system that perversely incentivises recipients to remove themselves permanently from the labour market.

According to some estimates, little more than a third of the 2.7m who receive the benefit have medical conditions so severe that work of any kind is beyond them. There are 160,000 recipients under 25--a 60% increase since Labour came to office in 1997. The proportion of the working-age population in Britain on IB is more than double the number that receive similar benefits in comparable European countries.




In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 09:27:41 AM EST

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