writes that the Centre for Policy Studies has found that 53.4% of UK households receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes; this is a very high figure. "These trends are unsustainable – particularly given the ageing profile of the UK population", said Tim Knox, Director of the CPS. Of course, you may say, as this includes all pensioners the number is skewed; so looking at the study [PDF], even without "retired households" the total is still a horrendously high 40%! In 1979 31.7% of non-retired households were net recipients of the state and by 2000/01 this had fallen as low as 29.0 per cent,"However, over the past ten years to 2010/11, the proportion of households who are now net recipients of the state has increased to 39.6 per cent." Ryan Bourne, Head of Economics at the CPS said:
"These data show that even before the financial crisis, the Labour government was ramping up spending on cash benefits and benefits in kind without corresponding increases in taxation. This was not redistribution from rich to poor, but redistribution from the future to the present. It felt good at the time, but given the government doesn't have its own money, was unsustainable."