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Pedestrians on Regent Street in London Social security benefits will increase by 10.1 percent in April. © Yui Mok/PA/dpa

Many people in Britain have withdrawn from working life since the corona pandemic. Now hundreds of thousands will be lured back into the job market with incentives.

According to a study, more people in Britain than ever before receive more social benefits than they pay in tax.

The “net dependency ratio” was 54.2 percent in the 2020-21 fiscal year (April 5), according to an analysis published by think tank Civitas. That corresponds to about 36 million people. Income inequality has also risen. In-kind benefits such as the NHS health and education service are also included.

The government has recently expressed concern about the large number of people who have left the workforce since the pandemic. Labor Secretary Mel Stride will now review the benefits system and develop incentives for hundreds of thousands to return to the job market. According to Civitas, the bottom 40 per cent of the income distribution (some 27 million people) receive an average of £23,000 a year in cash and in-kind benefits. Social security benefits will increase by 10.1 percent in April.

The reason for the increase in the so-called dependency ratio by some 4.7 percentage points compared to the previous year were the measures to combat the pandemic, which would have had an impact on indirect taxes and benefits in kind. The rate would have risen further if the state’s part-time work program had been counted as a cash benefit rather than a salary payment, Civitas said, citing data from the national statistics office. In addition, the considerable number of people who have left the workforce since the pandemic is not taken into account. This should also adjust the rate, he said. dpa

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