If welfare spending is out of control the governments of Margaret Thatcher are to blame

It is usually politicians of the left who are accused of letting welfare spending get "out of control", but now seems a good time to look at just when it was that welfare spending began to take off as a percentage of GDP.

It’s usually politicians of the left who are accused of letting welfare spending get “out of control”; but now seems a good time to look at just when it was that welfare spending began to take off as a percentage of GDP.

The first graph shows total welfare spending (including spending on benefits for the unemployed, the disabled, those with children, housing benefit, social protection) whereas the second graph shows welfare spending as a percentage of GDP. In essence, the welfare bill has never recovered from Margaret Thatcher’s mass lay-offs of the 1980s – although as a percentage of GDP it did come down significantly under the last Labour government before climbing again during the banking crash.

Welfare under Thatcher

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