People are actually more keen to work under generous welfare systems, a major Europe-wide study has found, and they do not create a culture of dependency.
The research, released by the British Sociological Association and published in the journal Work, Employment and Society, comes as all major parties indicate they want to reduce spending on benefits.
Survey responses from 19,000 people in 18 European countries, including the UK, indicated that the sums spent on welfare had a positive impact on people’s desire to find work.
Dr Kjetil van der Wel and Dr Knut Halvorsen examined responses to the statement “I would enjoy having a paid job even if I did not need the money” and compared the responses with the amount the country spent on welfare benefits and employment schemes.
The sociologists, based at Oslo and Akershus University College in Norway, found that the more a country paid to the unemployed, disabled people or sick, and invested in employment schemes, the more likely its people were to say they would enjoy a paid job – whether they were in work or not.
Dugan. E 2015 The Independent Daily Briefing 31st March P. 11
“Do you think this Government or the next will be taking this revelation into account when planning their welfare spending?”
Macer Hall writing in the Daily Express regarding David Cameron looking likely to receive a fresh setback in his drive to cut welfare hand-outs to European Union migrants last night after Brussels officials rejected his plans as “unworkable”.
Sources at the European Commission indicated that the Prime Minister’s plans will be dismissed as incompatible with EU freedom-of-movement rules.
A formal rejection of the proposals is expected to be delivered to Downing Street later this year, the sources said.
The news was a hammer blow to the Prime Minister last night on the eve of crunch talks with Angela Merkel about his agenda for reforming the EU.
Mr Cameron will hold discussions with the German Chancellor at No 10 and is expected to visit the British Museum with her.
He will use the visit to explain to her full details of his plan for reducing migration to the UK by curbing migrants’ access to the benefits system.
Senior Downing Street officials believe that winning over Mrs Merkel is the key to success in any new EU deal for Britain.A spokeswoman for the European Commission yesterday declined to comment on the reports. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman also declined to comment.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said it was “ridiculous” to expect the commission to make an exception for Britain.
He also predicted that Mrs Merkel would be unwilling to give in to Mr Cameron’s demands. Mr Farage said: “Germany is facing its own problems at the moment and would not want Britain to start turning away EU jobseekers, potentially redirecting them to seek work there.”
In November David Cameron promised to crack down on benefits for migrants from the EU. The Prime Minister pledged to stop them receiving handouts for their first four years in the country and to deport those who fail to get a job in their first six months. He said these measures would mean “EU migrants should have a job offer before they come here”.
Unfortunately, Eurocrats are deeply wedded to the idea of ever-closer union and are ideologically opposed to anything that slows that process.
Mr Cameron has promised to renegotiate our relationship with the EU and then hold a referendum in 2017. But at every turn Brussels has done whatever it can to stifle attempts at renegotiation and it would be optimistic to expect that situation to improve.
“The only way to secure real change is for Britain to leave the EU. Perhaps we should be able to decide that sooner rather than later.”