The EU, comprising 25 nations and million citizens, has more wealth and more votes on every international body than the United States. It offers guaranteed health care and free university educations. The various systems of social welfare in European countries are creating better educated citizens with a higher standard of living.
Fraser Nelson, BBC Question Time31 May The spectre of "hordes" of Greeks settling in Britain due to their homeland's parlous financial situation was raised by one audience member during last night's Question Time, who wanted to know what could be done to stem the tide of EU immigrants in the event of the break-up of the Eurozone.
But is the UK as generous as we think? Should we beware of bearing gifts to Greeks? Analysis The perception that immigrants are responsible for claiming more than their fair share in benefits is actually fairly widespread across Europe, and in fact is less prevalent in the UK than other countries across Europe, according to the European Commission's Eurobarometer series.
However while the perception is firmly entrenched, it is more difficult to say in concrete terms how Europe's welfare systems compare in terms of their 'generosity'. A study conducted by the Economic and Social Research Council's Centre for Population Change CPC earlier this year looked at just this, and found that the UK had below average levels of welfare spending among developed nations, with many European countries out-ranking us: Sure enough, when we delve into the OECD's Social Expenditure database we can see that the UK is ranked significantly below many other European nations in terms of the money it spends on welfare, including France, Germany and Italy.
As the chart below shows, if we focus purely on that money which is doled out by the state, the UK slips further down the rankings still: However for a more Eurocentric view we can also turn to Eurostat, the official statistics outlet of the European Union, which compiles its own figures on welfare expenditure.
On the surface, these would seem to support the view that the British benefit payments are no more generous than most of Europe. Looking at total social expenditurethe UK ranks just above the EU average, but again below France, Germany, Italy and the Eurozone mean in terms of spending per inhabitant.
However this includes both public and private spending on welfare, capturing private pensions and health spending, for example. If we focus purely on that portion of spending administered by central government, then the UK gets bumped straight to the top of Europe's league table for benefits spending.
For example, while the OECD doesn't include the costs of administrating these benefits as part of its spending figures, Eurostat does. Conclusion The relative 'generosity' of the UK's benefits system in comparison to other European countries can be measured in a number of different ways, and the outcome will vary depending upon which metric and dataset is chosen.
With this in mind the UK can rank anywhere from top to below average in a European league table of benefits expenditure. If Fraser Nelson was referring specifically to government spending on welfare, he may well have a point, although there is also plenty to challenge his assertion.
The Y-axis of the final chart in the original version of this article was mislabelled: Thanks to Jonathan Portes for pointing this out. Isn't it nice to have the whole picture?
We are currently at - please help Full Fact grow. By Full Fact Team.Second, the welfare system redistributes economic resources in various ways. An example would be tax systems which take less (and sometimes even give money back – an issue that has been central to the UK renegotiation with the EU) from poorer people and more from richer people.
Jan 27, · DAVOS, Switzerland — Along with skiing and partying into the night, Europe-bashing has long been a favorite sport when the world's business and political elite gather here for .
THE SUCCESS OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL WELFARE STATE BIG GOVERNMENT WORKS. From the very beginning of history all human societies have been based on a social contract concerning the division of wealth.
And the instrument for that contract has always been the government. This is the case for most nations around the world today. The “Welfare State” refers to the set of interventions organised by the state which are aimed at guaranteeing the provision of a minimum level of services to the population via a system of social protection.
The origins of this system of social protection can be traced back to the end of the 19 th century in the Germany of Chancellor Bismarck. However, .
The Social-Democratic welfare state model is based on the principle of Universalism, granting access to benefits and services based on citizenship. Such a welfare state is said to provide a relatively high degree of citizen autonomy, limiting reliance on family and market.
The central issues facing the European welfare state are "problems involving fiscal competence: the efficiency of the tax system when it is time to collect taxes from the public — which weakens. European countries are much more generous to the poor relative to the US level of generosity. Economic models suggest that redistribution is a function of the variance and skewness of the pre-tax income distribution, the volatility of income (perhaps because of trade shocks), the social costs of. The “Welfare State” refers to the set of interventions organised by the state which are aimed at guaranteeing the provision of a minimum level of services to the population via a system of social protection. The origins of this system of social protection can be traced back to the end of the 19 th century in the Germany of Chancellor Bismarck. However, this system only became generalised in .
The U.S. means-tested welfare system contains over 80 programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical, and social services targeted to poor and low-income Americans.