Shock New Figures: UK Spends Less On Healthcare, Benefits and Pensions Per Head Than Any Other Northern European Country

social-protection-spendingThe UK spends less on social security benefits, pensions and healthcare combined per head than any other northern European country figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal.

In news which has sent the Daily Mail spinning out of control, the UK’s spending on ‘social protection’ is lower than France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and in fact every country in Northern Europe, as well as Italy.  These figures are based on spending per person from 2012, before many of the benefit cuts were implemented.  With even more savage cuts to social security threatened, then the UK could soon slip even further down the ranking behind the beleagured economies of Greece and Spain.

Social protection covers a wide range of spending including benefits, pensions, healthcare and social exclusion.  In a worrying trend the Daily Mail has decided to lump all thse vital services under the banner of ‘welfare’ suggesting that pensioners and people who use the NHS may be next in line to face being smeared as scroungers by the right wing press.

Almost half (47%) of the UK’s social protection spend goes on pensions.  Just 2.5% of the total is spent on unemployment, just over half the European average, The UK also spends less as a proportion of the budget on disabled people and families with children.  Subsidies for landlords remain healthy however with 5.5% of the spend going towards housing costs reflecting the ever growing Housing Benefit bill.

Social protection spending works out at £6,959 per head each year but that doesn’t mean that’s how much it costs you as the Daily Mail implies.  It is how much you get.  People on lower incomes will pay considerably less than that, whilst corporation and other business taxes also contribute.  Depending on how long you live you will receive much if not all of what you have paid out back in your penson.  At least for now.  On top of that comes a comprehensive (for now) system of healthcare alongside now sadly less than adequate income protection insurance in the event of illness, accident or unemployment.  The welfare state is still good value though for everybody except the very rich and were it to disappear then we would be paying a lot more to line the pockets of insurance company spivs.  And it would be the rich who get the tax cuts were that to happen.  Don’t get mugged by the Daily Mail into thinking otherwise.

You can vew the figures on the ONS website.

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48 responses to “Shock New Figures: UK Spends Less On Healthcare, Benefits and Pensions Per Head Than Any Other Northern European Country

    • JV you state pensioners will probably get out all what they have paid in (at the moment), but where does the pension money go for those that don’t live long enough to see it yet has been paid in?

    • “10 minutes late, now homeless”

      A six-hour commute each day began to take its toll on Victor Gowans.

      Unable to continue and eager to improve his quality of life, the 52-year-old Dundonian applied for a new job — only to find himself the victim of tough new sanctions.

      Arriving at his interview 10 minutes late meant his Jobseeker’s Allowance was cut off and he has been forced to live on just £30 a week — and is now homeless.

      Victor is just one of the people campaigners say are suffering because of the new rules — with Dundee dubbed as “sanctions city”.

      A march and rally against austerity cuts is to be held in the city today in an attempt to bring the issue to the fore.

      Speaking of how easy it was to get into serious difficulties, Victor — who has been homeless for four months and is relying on family and friends for handouts — said: “Even though I turned up at the appointment later, I was told I was to be sanctioned and the money I received to live on cut by more than half. I had been working at the Amazon factory in Dunfermline, but I had to spend six hours a day on a bus going back and forward.

      “I began work at 7pm and had to get a bus in Dundee at 4pm to get to work in time. I finished at 5.30am and then had to take another three-hour bus journey back to Dundee.”

      It became too much for him to continue with this routine and he was forced to give up the job. He is now living in homeless accommodation.

      John Jackson, 50, who has received no benefit money at all since the end of October, has had a similar experience.

      He said: “I missed an appointment because I was signing a tenancy agreement and as a result my benefit was stopped completely.

      “Since then I have been reduced to begging for food from family and friends.”

      Steven Millar, 50, was someone else who told the Tele that sanctions had been placed on him and he had been left with no benefit money.

      “Letters I was supposed to receive didn’t get to me because the benefits office had the wrong address and the letters weren’t forwarded. As a result, I missed appointments and my benefits were cut.”

      New Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions came into effect last September. They are divided into three levels, lower, intermediate and higher.

      If regulations are breached by failing to comply with requirements, be available for work or not turn up for an interview or training, benefit money can be stopped for anything between one to 156 weeks.

      Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie said: “The sanctions regime is wholly unacceptable and, given the opportunity, I would look for a much fairer way of helping people get training and find jobs. Forcing people to depend on the charity of foodbanks is not the answer.”

      A DWP spokesman said: “Every day, Jobcentre Plus advisers are working hard to help people into jobs. Unemployment is falling and a record number of people are in work. Sanctions are used only as a last resort if people fail to take up the support on offer.

      “In any given month, the vast majority (around 95%) of claimants are not sanctioned. Anyone who is referred for a sanction has the opportunity to give a good reason why they didn’t follow the rules. If someone is sanctioned, they can ask for a reconsideration, or appeal to an independent tribunal.”

      A march and rally against austerity cuts and resulting sanctions is to be held in Dundee today. Speakers at the march will include Stewart Hosie and activists including Tony Cox, of Stobbie4Aye and the Unemployed Workers Network.

      Tony said that he often dealt with up to 30 people a week who had been sanctioned. He said: “Dundee is sanctions city, where thousands face weeks and sometimes months with no income after being cut off by the DWP.”

      • If ‘around 95%’ of claimants are not sanctioned, it means that 5% are – I don’t think the ratio of 1 in 20 claimants being sanctioned in any given month is a low figure at all, but a scandalously high figure. No one should be sanctioned.

  1. You must be psychic. The Sun today has started vilifying those collecting pensions on the basis that they cost half the total spend. No mention of the scale of pensions our unelected government collect and their double digit payrises.

    • overburdenddonkey

      the UK pensions spend has recently been slashed due to state pension age escalator soon no one will be able to get a state pension until the are 66 the NI contributions going up from 30yrs to 35yrs and less than 10yr contribution get nothing until one is means tested…then it will be a single teir pension no matter what one has paid in ie no serps and if 35yr NI contributions will be the same as PGC is now £148/wk…sweden pensioners get a standard state pension of £25000/yr, denmark 15000/yr i think norway is between the 2, + many other benefits…the danish economy is set so there is no one rich and no one poor.. a chip fryer gets $21/hr/40hr 5day wk on top enhanced paid overtime 6wks holiday full unions….sweden are piloting a 6hr working day, and still gives the worker a very high standard of living…booze cruises are popular…

  2. … “Depending on how long you live you will receive much if not all of what you have paid out back in your penson. At least for now.” …

    Labour, in The Daily Mirror, forgot that the ring fenced National Insurance Fund is the source of the state pension, as it is the years of contribution / credit history that give you the level of state pension you receive.
    Our denied state pension payout since 2013 is sitting in the NI Fund whilst we starve and freeze.

    The state pension is not a welfare benefit, but a contribution based pension, just like any works pension.

    The NI Fund has been full for decades, not needing a top up from tax, now proved by an ex Labour deputy prime minster who has found the money languishing in the NI Fund and called a surplus.

    Women born from 1953 lost 11 years of payout / value of the state pension with the flat rate pension, with the flat rate pension, after losing 6 years of payout and then having only 30 years of NI contribuiton, when the required contribution history will then be 35 years. This is mostly due to low waged women, in the main, being early retired under the massive austerity job cuts, which will only get worse after the announcement of the Autumn Budget.

    There are 2.6 million pensioners only on the state pension, with no other income or just a tiny works pension, who are far below the breadline or only just on it. They starve and freeze like everyone else.

    The state pension is under threat like never before in its history, when the poorest workers will end up with NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE
    as will housewives, widows and divorcees with no other pension provision as too waged.

    • @Pension60
      ……………however the government of the day can borrow funds from the NI Fund but the loan has be repaid at commercial interest rates. I suspect Gidiot has been milking our NI Fund without our knowledge with no intention to repay the money. Our pot could be EMPTY 😦

  3. Leave our services alone our N.H.S are the best in the world! And we don’t spend that much on any thing that makes a difference to people lives!
    Now if we want to save money… Well get rid of the Lords and their free lifestyle. less members of parliament and last but not least get rid of those Pimps and their thick employees. Going to a pimps office today they ain’t spending much on anything including paper!

    • Whilst I certainly agree that our NHS should not only be left alone, but receive substantial, (and much needed) investment I hardly think claiming that it is the best in the world has much credibility – though it’s failings are largely down to a lack of investment and too much political meddling – a bit like education – by those who will never rely on the services of the NHS as they have private healthcare, indeed, much as they send their offspring to private schools.

  4. The reaction of many UKIP and Tory voting pensioners to being smeared as scroungers by the right-wing press will be interesting to behold. UKIP’s core vote, for instance, is disproportionately drawn from the over 50s (71% according to a YouGov poll from March 2013) and I doubt they will take kindly to being labelled as such – although it should be pointed out that they themselves are only too ready to stigmatise benefit claimants as ne’er-do-wells and layabouts.

    But with more than 11 million people over 65 in the UK – and OAPS the most likely section of society to vote in elections – I can’t really see any party willing to commit electoral suicide by alienating them.

    • But that is what ultimately, (and logically) is going to happen – there are supposedly going to be a further £55 billion worth of cuts, and unless Gidiot is going to impose huge taxation on the very rich it will have to come from somewhere – and JSA etc can’t be reduced by much more as it’s already pretty low. I think that by now this government has taken leave of any senses that it may once have had, and drunk on the power it now feels it has in the absence of any kind of opposition from the Labour Party, (indeed, Labour are on record as believing that the ConDems aren’t harsh enough!) their arrogance will get the better of them and they will start to impose cuts on pensions etc. As it is many of the right-wing idiots who are the in work poor who don’t think they receive benefits (but who get Working Tax Credits, Family Allowance (or whatever it’s now called) and Housing Benefit) are in for a huge and very sobering awakening once Universal Credit kicks in I think that pensioners will become the next scapegoat, as by then I dare say that all migrant workers will have been sent home, so there will be no-one else left to pick on.

      • ‘Child Benefit’ – set at around £81/month more or less, for some years.
        (Family allowance was a really long time ago – you went and collected it from the post office with a little book).

  5. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.


    On the first day of shitmas my DWP
    sent a paltry sum to keep me.

    On the second day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 2 boxing gloves and a paltry sum to keep me.

    On the 3rd day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 3 henchmen

    On the 4th day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 4 crawling nerds,3 henchmen, 2 boxing gloves and a paltry sum to keep me.

    On the fifth day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 5 Bold Dings……….

    On the 6th day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 6 geeks for slaying…………..

    On the 7th day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 7 Swansea’s singing……….

    On the 8th day of shitmus my DWP
    sent 8 maids for sinking………….

    On the 9th day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 9 ladies chancing…………….

    On the 10th day of Shitmas my DWP
    sent 10 lords a weeping…………

    On the 11th day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 11 snipers sniping……………..

    On the 12th day of shitmas my DWP
    sent 12 gunners gunning,11 snipers sniping, 10 lords a weeping, 9 ladies chancing,8 maids for sinking, 7 swansea’s singing, 6 geeks for slaying, 5 bold dings, 4 crawling nerds, 3 henchmen, 2 boxing gloves and a paltry sum to BURY me.

    All because I asked the D double U – P to double up our xmas bonus!

  7. I made the mistake of clicking the link to the Daily Mail story – what do they expect people to live on if they cut benefits further? Thin air? These people really are scum, total scum. Not an ounce of compassion in their hearts.

  8. overburdenddonkey

    not a hint a panic about sammin returning to WM…

    • Salmond in WM… they’ll be wishing that he’d won the indyref!

      • overburdenddonkey

        they already are…a soon as they made pre-ref promises the union was lost in any case, now to finish it off….cheated not defeated, we are the change….the thing is most yessers don’t feel that salmond and the snp had very much to do with the yes campaign in the last few months…. by 12mths from ref it was bigger than any one person or party…it took on a delightful and invigorating life of it’s own… 1.6m+ highly individual people all wanting the same thing…. to dump WM…

  9. Eating cake as instructed

    In order to grow the economy spending is required in addition to ‘savings’ they claim are needed. Starving underclass shuffling to food banks wasting time that could be spent job hunting/proper training is counterproductive. Little wonder shops are vanishing..all businesses need paying customers to survive grow and thrive. More closures will follow including what’s left of markets. It isn’t folk don’t know how to cook it’s availability of affordable decent food and cooking facilities. Let’s see these atrocities write a weeks menu for a single mum two kids total cost under 25.00 which is all that’s realistically available for food after child care costs shoes rent council tax. Even better let’s get them to perform for a whole month with the stresses most poorly paid WORKING folk endure to ultimately enrich their classes.?

  10. Set in a jobcentre a disturbing fact-based thriller based on a true story which explores the extreme things people will do when under the instructions of an authority figure. Contains scenes of coercion and humiliation that may offend.

    Compliance – Flim 4 – 9th December (tonight) 23:15 – 01:00 – (Freeview 15)

    May contain content that will offend.

    • Hey G$S goon, my name is Officer Daniels… I am a Police Officer….you can call me Sir or Officer…. got that meathead…. “Yes, Sir”… you see that adviser over there…. I need you to do a strip search on her… we really need to find those missing benefit payments… now, you listen up meathead… or I will report you to a floor manager… you need to take her clothes off…. “Yes, Sir”…. what type of panties is she wearing…. “cotton bikini, Sir”…. yeah, you will need to take them off… “Yes, Sir”… you see anything… “No, Sir”… now I need you to turn her around and tell her to bend over… that missing benefit payments could be hidden up there…. you see anything… “Nope, Sir”… Hmm, benefit payments are easy to conceal…. now, I need you to tell her to do jumping jacks, shake that money out…. “Yes, Sir”… now I need you to put her over your lap and spank her real hard… you got that meathead… “Yes, Sir”…. 😀

  11. McPurridge O' the McPurrridge Clan

    Yill no be dining oan oor purrridge ya saft suthern’ safties!

  12. The Salvation Army Christmas Appeal

    Who left Emma with no money for food and heat? Who sanctioned Johnny into destitution? Who made Bob homeless? The Salvation Army fucking did!

    Tell these cunts to shove their fucking Christmas Appeal up their fucking arses!

  13. Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog and commented:
    Government propaganda, aided and abetted by the mainstream presstitutes have managed to convince a large no of the population, that exactly the opposite is true. Enabling them to introduce massive cuts along with new draconian rules with which to hold benefits back from people.

  14. Geoff Reynolds – one thing you can say about the DWP and our govt – BRAZEN LIARS – and you can add to that thieves. Good luck with Dundee protest.

  15. shaking like a shitting dog i thought lying to parliament was a fucking offense!! so why is the murdering bastard still getting off Scott free!

  16. shaking like a shitting dog fair play to the disc jockey at the end dad times 😦 this needs to go viral!!!

  17. shaking like a shitting dog

    sad times*

  18. Weary of the death by a thousand sanctions and welfare cuts austerity charades, let’s cut to the chase and end the welfare state. This would end the political obfuscation, clear the battleground for engagement and expose the players stance.

    • overburdenddonkey

      mr r
      they won’t do that as they prefer managed decline, power and control over the masses….using control over food and next meal to crush people into subservience…3 meals from a revolution..they don’t want everybody to be in the same boat @ the same time…it’s divide and rule remember…

      • Volunteered to decline CWP waiting on Santa sanction – inconvenienced but not living in fear.

        Suppose it will be cold porridge for Christmas dinner.

        Understand that sanction is open ended until re-engaging with the CWP – they will have a long wait.

    • Mr R, if they ended the welfare state tomorrow we would see humanity as it is – a pack of wild animals. We live under a veneer of civilisation – look at ‘Black Friday’ ffs and also those fuckers gouging each other’s eyes out to save a few quid on a telly!

  19. Just received my quarterley power bill, it is combined gas and electric and works out at £213, 13p…………………..
    I try to keep my costs down to a minimum having had my lifetime disability awards stolen by ATOS.
    The gas fire has not been lit for four years now, my partner and son wear multiple layers of clothing to keep warm, as do i.
    My only income is Industrial Injuries Benefit of £33.20 per week. This means that four and a half weeks of my money that is supposed to sustain me will be used to pay for power alone.

    Of the thirty three pounds i receive, i pay just over eight pounds a week for asda childrens nappies that i cut in half to make them last longer as I have a bladder problem.

    Being disabled and being forced to exist on less than half of what an able bodied person receives in benefit, is testament to the evil that the DWP has unleashed on the most vulnerable.
    Each and every member of a tribunal is part of this corporate plan, a cull on the poorest and infirm…………………………

    I have suffered flu for the last four days and can honestly say that it would seem a pleasure to just pass away in my sleep and not face the horror of another day in Cameron’s sick fantasy.

  20. ” MPs will hold an independent inquiry into the benefit sanctions” i wont hold my breath this close to an election it will be brushed under the carpet who ever gets in next

  21. Pingback: Shock New Figures: UK Spends Less On Healthcare, Benefits and Pensions Per Head Than Any Other Northern European Country | stewilko's Blog

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