Give credit to welfare

10.10.11: THE END of the welfare state was witnessed by a packed House of Commons yesterday.

The social insurance white paper sets out a scheme for cradle-to-grave insurance, under which individuals will contribute credits towards education, health, pension and disability vouchers.

Jeanette Robinson, the minister for social policy, described the changes as 'a dramatic overhaul of the system of obligation and entitlement which will set this country on a manageable course for the rest of the century'.

The new system will credit all income tax and private pension contributions towards the entitlement vouchers. Voluntary and unpaid work will now attract credits, allowing the middle-aged and elderly unemployed to continue to contribute towards their own insurance.

Criticism of the voucher credit system has centred on both the management costs and the stipulation that only those in either paid or voluntary work will be entitled to any state provision.

The minister said: 'Individuals are required to make their contribution to the whole. Responsible citizenship is the duty of each and every one of us.' PF

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