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Record number of Britons dependent on the state – analysis




Dependence on RETAIN benefits has reached an all-time high, with one study finding that more than half of households receive more from the government than they pay in taxes.

Civitas analysis of 2020/21 Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed a record 54.2% of individuals – or 36 million people – now live in households that have received more in benefits – including non-essential services such as the NHS and education services Cash ones are included – compared to what they contributed in taxes.

Analysis authors Tim Knox and Daniel Lilly say the “net dependency ratio” is the highest on record.

This had been falling steadily since 2011, from 52.5% to 47.5% in 2019/20, but increased during the pandemic as a result of increased aid.


And Civitas argues that the long-term trend is “clearly” upward, with the 1977–2000 average of 41.2% significantly lower than the 2020/21 figure of 54.2%.

It comes with the Department for Work and Pensions due to publish a white paper on benefits in the coming months ahead of the spring budget.

Labor and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride is looking to reform the benefits system in an attempt to boost employment numbers which have not returned to pre-pandemic levels amid a labor shortage.


He was asked by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to review issues hindering workforce participation in the autumn.

The PM said last week that the government was considering a range of measures to tackle inaction: “We need to look at how our welfare system is working and whether it is operating in a way that we can ensure What we want to do is support and encourage those who can do the work.


Civitas’ analysis showed that 83% of all income tax is paid by just 40% of British adults.

It also found that the bottom 40% of the income scale – around 27 million people – receive an average of £23,000 in cash benefits and ‘gains in benefits’ per year.

It comes after the Chancellor confirmed in November that disability and working-age benefits would be increased in line with inflation.

Jeremy Hunt said such benefits would rise to 10.1% from April in line with the rate of inflation in September, at a cost of £11 billion.

He also said he is concerned about the “sharp rise in economically inactive working-age adults” since the start of the pandemic, announcing a review of the issues holding people back from work.

More than 600,000 people on Universal Credit will be asked to meet a work coach “so they can get the support they need to increase their hours”, he said.

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