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UK unemployment benefit less generous than Romania, Albania and the US

(15 Posts)
ttosca Sun 02-Mar-14 11:25:24

Well now. Here’s an interesting ranking of countries according to how generous their unemployment benefit is for the first year after workers have lost their jobs.

Quite contrary to the spin we constantly receive from the mainstream press et al about how generous the UK is with unemployment benefits, the fact is we actually rank lower in generosity than countries like Romania, Albania and even the US.

Here’s the ranking – with the most generous countries at the top (you have to go right to the bottom to find the UK):

Isitmebut Sun 02-Mar-14 12:37:16

As I've told you before, personally I don't click on to dubious websites, but just looking at the title, I believe that the much larger U.S., with similar short falls in education basics, was higher in the benefits league in earlier reports, but will be distorted by the health care reforms (Obama care) - and if memory serves, around 50% of their population don't pay tax and U.S. citizens hate paying for a fat inefficient government - thus allowing the people to keep/receive more of the nations wealth.

Finally if Romania and Albania have any kind of welfare/benefit system, never mind one that is the dogs doo-dahs, one has to wonder how it is being financed and why they come here to claim ours.

What is your theory on that, Cochise?

WidowWadman Sun 02-Mar-14 13:14:52

"and why they come here to claim ours."

I think the OP's point is that they don't.

Isitmebut Sun 02-Mar-14 13:32:41

WidowWadman....I'm not sure that was the point as we have a few other 'debates' going on regarding Uk benefits, which showed they increased at a greater rate from 2000 (and record employment due to economic migration here) than other countries - and have fallen less steeply than most since 2010.

ttosca Sun 02-Mar-14 14:44:15


Your 'dubious websites' schtick is a poor and obvious excuse not to engage with information sources which deviate from the Tory party line.

> Finally if Romania and Albania have any kind of welfare/benefit system, never mind one that is the dogs doo-dahs, one has to wonder how it is being financed and why they come here to claim ours.

What are you talking about? Are you capable of having a sensible discussion with resorting to straw men, red herrings, exaggerating and misleading people?

My point was simply to counter the myth propagated in recent years about how generous our social security system is. It really isn't.

As for Romanian's and Albanian's coming to the UK for jobs and welfare - that comes straight out of the Daily Heil book of dirty lies:

The Daily Mail has had to subsequently apologize for lying.

"Dire warnings from Ukip and right-wing commentators that flights from Romania and Bulgaria were packed to the rafters and coaches sold out months in advance of January this year have proved misjudged, after a survey of travel companies found that they, um, weren't.

The Daily Mail has now been forced to clarify headlines insisting flights from Romania and Bulgaria were full at the beginning of the year when European working restrictions were lifted."

Isitmebut Sun 02-Mar-14 16:46:29

ttosca……The OECD report I have shown you a couple of times now (mentioning the U.S.’s position), is NOT “a popular myth”, and “the sensible discussion” you require on unemployment benefits over the years does NOT need to include the LATEST economic migrant scare story – it needs to ask WHY the Labour government back in 2004, with 580,000 under 24-year old here unemployed - decided around 2000 that increasing their voter base via East European socialist voting migrants, was more important to them than the future of our youth.

“Welfare spending in Britain has increased faster than almost any other country in Europe since 2000, new figures show.”

“The cost of unemployment benefits, housing support and pensions as share of the economy has increased by more than a quarter over the past thirteen years – growing at a faster rate than in most of the developed world.”

“In the developed world, only the United States and the stricken eurozone states of Ireland, Portugal and Spain - which are blighted by high unemployment - have increased spending quicker than Britain.”

“It means Britain has risen in the developed world rankings for welfare spending from 20th in 2000 to 13th in 2013 – leapfrogging Norway, Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland, Greece and New Zealand.”

“Despite Mr Osborne’s promise to get welfare under control, the benefits bill is due to increase rapidly in cash terms, from £180bn this year to £203bn in 2018-19."

“Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, last year admitted he had given up trying to cut the welfare bill and was instead “managing growth at a lower level”.”

“And in Britain since 2010, when the Coalition came to power, spending on welfare as share of GDP has barely moved – falling by just a quarter of one per cent over three years, according to OECD data.”

“By contrast, more than a third of developed nations have cut their welfare bills steeply in that period. Germany has cut social security spending as a share of GDP by 3.4 per cent, Canada by 3 per cent, Iceland by 4.2 per cent, Switzerland by 7 per cent and Estonia by 11 per cent.”

ttosca Sun 02-Mar-14 17:42:59

Good grief.

The report I linked to was from 2012. That means two years ago, the UK was near the bottom of the list of 51 developed countries.

Your article states that the UK has increased it's welfare bill by 18% since 2000. The average increase was 16%.

So, in other words, near the bottom of the league table already, the UK has increased it's cost of welfare at a percentage 2% higher than the average.

That's great, isitmebut. That really show's how generous our social security system is, isn't it?


You might also like to consider that welfare spending increases with need. It will certainly increase substantially under a recession (like now), and it will increase to match the whatever amount needed to keep workers alive in subsistence to work for Capitalists.

As I've stated many times before, the majority of benefits in the UK go towards households with at least one person in work. And the majority of the social security bill goes to pensions.

The UK is a high-rent, low-wage economy. That means that in order for people to carry on being good consumers and workers and not die of cold, starvation, or ill-health, the government has to step in and, in effect, subsidize corporations by supplementing people's income to pay for food and rent.

If you want to reduce the welfare bill, then make sure people are paid a fair, living, wage. That will reduce it considerably.

Isitmebut Mon 03-Mar-14 14:13:59

ttosca…..firstly I don’t care about YOUR report from whoever it is, I’m using the OECD’s report which will have far more credibility.

Next only in your world does an incompetent governments policies, means that the Private Sector has to pay more in salaries to compensate for that incompetence – and that there will not be any knock on affect e.g LESS rather than more jobs coming out of a recession.

You allude to (and I have shown you this in other threads) what is known as ‘The Automatic Stabalisers’, where the State benefit payments in high growth economies falls, but in a recessions it increases as more of the population – THE PROBLEM UNDER LABOUR WAS DUE TO ECONOMIC/IMMIGRATION/TAXATION/NATIONAL DEBT IMBALANCES OF THEIR MAKING, so structural reforms were not made in those good times and the costs in benefits never fell.

•*High Growth*– In a period of high economic growth, automatic stabilizers will help to reduce the growth rate. With higher growth, the government will receive more tax revenues – people earn more and so pay more income tax (note the tax rate doesn’t change, the amount received just becomes higher). With higher growth, there will also be a fall in unemployment so the government will spend less on unemployment benefits

Recession. In a recession, economic growth becomes negative. However, automatic stabilisers will help to limit the fall in growth. With lower incomes people pay less tax, and government spending on unemployment benefits will increase. This increase in benefit spending and lower tax helps to limit the fall in aggregate demand.

Do you not see, this was no normal high growth to recession economic cycle, as when did we last see the following?

Labour’s unannounced immigration policy ENSURED higher domestic unemployment rate, a compression of lower skilled pay rates and due to supply and demand put up mortgage/rent costs, THROUGH the high growth period.

Labour had the option of LOWERING the dependency of ‘in work’ benefits by taking the increased tax receipts from the ‘high growth’ economy and permanently LOWERING the taxes of the lower paid - and with a UK inflation rate higher than other countries and eating into their food bills, REDUCE the cost of government e.g. Council Tax.

But Brown did none of those things, HENCE our benefits bills were rising when they should have been falling, the effects of immigrations are still being felt in domestic unemployment rates, compressed salaries, and higher housing costs – and the big fat State he chose to spend the money on instead e.g. 1 million more Public Sector employees in 2010 than 1997, are in the main still around and costing the economy a small fortune.

So this ‘unbalanced’ economy, relying far too much on taxes from City profit, in GDP terms our economic output shrunk an unprecedented 7% in several months from back in 2008, more than any other G7 country - decimating tax receipts to help pay for the unreformed State spending on services, the new public sector employees we didn’t seem to need in 1997 and a benefit dependency that SHOULD have been addressed during our period of high growth.

Now tell me WHICH of these key points you disagree with as the structural CAUSE of the current welfare/benefits problem, before the Coalition was handed this mess - and why the private Sector reeling from the recession should try to keep paying more to compensate for incompetent governments not doing what was right at the time?

ttosca Mon 03-Mar-14 18:42:02


Like a good spin doctor, you answer any question with whatever agenda it is your want to promote, rather than actually discussing the thing in question.

If you don't stop using every single post I write as an opportunity to go on a rant using Tory HQ propaganda, however unrelated to the original question, then I'm not going to try to discuss anything with you any further.

I'll just post counter-propaganda to your spin, and carry on discussions with posters willing to actually engage in a conversation.

babybarrister Mon 03-Mar-14 22:23:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Isitmebut Mon 03-Mar-14 22:58:59

ttosca….I give you facts that you clearly cannot dispute and so have to deflect on to me. Pathetic.

You have YOUR blind head-up-botty socialist agenda, where despite the evidence I provide you on Labour’s sheer incompetence, you have to blame the Conservatives now and under Thatcher, pretend benefits/welfare was not rising more than it should have and insisted that it’s corporations fault for not paying enough.

I’ve blown you argument out of the water further above WHY we are where we are due to Brown taking the wrong policy options, under no economic/debt pressures for a decade, with a huge electoral seat advantage for 13-years to provide for the poorest in society; so put up an itemised argument against the points I’ve made, or own up about your own spin agenda to return the party of incompetence for blind ideological reasons.

WooWooOwl Sun 09-Mar-14 17:42:50

I don't understand the context of this, probably because there isn't any.

Is it relating to JSA and it's equivalents in other countries, or does it include things like housing benefit and child tax credits and council tax benefits and all their equivalents that can all be claimed by people who aren't in work?

lljkk Sun 09-Mar-14 17:51:38

that doesn't ring true.
My brother was on unemployment benefit in California starting at the financial crash (?2009?). He had worked for 5 yrs before that (& was in prison before that).
He had unemployment benefits only for 1 yr, iirc.
And then it completely finished. He begs for a living now.

I don't know much about British JSA but I thought it could continue for yrs & yrs even if you never worked. So totally different.

DonnaDishwater Mon 10-Mar-14 00:36:17

Benefits in many other countries are entirely contribution based. Unlike ours which are largely income based. So you can be on benefits for a lifetime. This is WRONG. Benefits should be a temporary solution, not cradle-grave support.

zipzap Mon 10-Mar-14 01:05:29

*Woowoo I think that's the problem.

At a very simple level, just because something is called 'unemployment benefit' in lots of different countries, it doesn't mean that it covers the same things or for the same time period as it does in other countries.

So here, if somebody is gets unemployment benefit, then they also get other benefits such as child benefit, housing benefit, etc etc, which means the amount they get is actually quite a bit more than the portion that is labelled as 'unemployment benefit'.

In some other countries, if you are unemployed, you get a fixed amount that is supposed to cover everything - children, housing etc etc. So whilst it looks like this is a more generous 'unemployment benefit', if the questionnaire had looked at the housing benefit a person got when unemployed in the different countries as well, they would see that in some countries they got none (often in countries where the overall unemployment benefit was higher) whereas it was significantly more in other places.

It's not the name of the benefit that is important - it's comparing the amount of money that people get overall if they are unemployed, and how this varies by time.

dh used to work for the govt statistical service and used to get really hacked off when papers would come out with big headlines like this but hadn't understood enough of the basic stats behind it to see that they were badly misreporting the situation, particularly as people do read and remember the headline, they don't look into the details in the story (assuming they have been printed correctly too!) and even if they do there's a good chance that the clarity of the briefing will have been obfuscated to 'prove' whatever point was wanted. Unfortunately it happens all too often - and even more so when there are stats from different countries involved as historically everybody has their own way of doing things and naming things...

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