I just got my first Annual Tax Summary. The obvious highlight is the "Welfare" section, which dominates the page.
 
Welfare is obviously something that the current government are very concerned about: Feckless scroungers spending our hard-earned taxes on booze, fags and iPhones while they lounge about watching Jeremy Kyle. So it was no surprise to see it front and centre. What did surprise me was exactly how big it was, surely the unemployment figures weren't *that* bad?
So I had a look to see if I could find a break-down of what was included. A number of people have done alternatives to Osborne's figures but possibly the most damning was the most conservative, thoughtful and well-worked piece from, of all places, The House of Commons Library Blog. The House of Commons Library provides an independent and impartial service to Members of Parliament and it's damning because it doesn't seek to promote an alternative agenda or to spin the figures, it's just a cold, detailed explanation of how the Tax Summary is calculated, using the Government's own figures.
 
The question it left me asking is "So who are the Tories really attacking when they attack welfare spending?". Because from the official figures it certainly can't be the unemployed. The "Welfare" figure on the Summary includes a huge range of social provisions and the unemployed barely feature.

I urge you to check the article from the Commons Library here. If you don't want to read the whole thing just take a look at the bit at the end where I got the graphic from. Unemployment benefits are just 0.7% of the total spend. The rest of the "welfare" chunk includes pensions, child benefit, payments to the working poor and sickness & disability payments.
 
 


For every £1 that goes to the unemployed from the "welfare" pot, £35 goes to help the sick, disabled, elderly and children.

So who are the Tories really attacking when they attack welfare spending?


Sunday the 17th. .