A comprehensive and well funded welfare state is essential in any civilised society. However, the clue's in the title - National Insurance! It should only be available to British Citizens and as insurance against unexpected events such as illness, redundancy etc. It should not be a long term lifestyle choice and the receipt of its benefits should require the contribution to that same system that provided those benefits. We are lead to believe that a welfare state is no longer affordable and that austerity is our only choice, Sustainability England refutes this. A reformed welfare state is not only affordable, but will contribute to the country's long term prosperity. Benefits should only be available to those that contribute or those that are genuinely incapable of contributing. See video Benefits is there a fairer system?
Income tax allowance to be abolished in favour of a Basic Income to be paid to all citizens. If unemployed this will be in return for undertaking national service (with equal democratic rights to the private sector) in government business initiatives or social services in a workfare scheme.
Welfare only available to permanent citizens with all others requiring proof own insurance at entry with the introduction of a national ID card to police this
With basic income covering the essentials of housing, food, energy and clothing other essential services to be made free - health service, education, limited public transport, libraries, leisure centres.
To encourage and support home working for those who cannot easily travel to work or live in areas of low employment
Each citizen to be allocated a lifetime learning allowance that can be taken at any age for free. Maximum use of technology, on line lectures, videoconferencing etc. to minimise costs.
To introduce a health bonus scheme for those that agree to a random health check once a year and maintain a healthy lifestyle i.e. monitor optimal weight, fitness, alcohol guidelines, smoking etc. to reduce health service demand via preventative measures.
Genuine disability and pension income to be maintained & linked to average earnings.
To reduce the age of retirement wherever possible
Scrap foreign aid budget in favour of practical hands on projects to ensure the funds are spent in an appropriate manner. The funds to be reallocated to the armed forces to carry out these projects.
Abolish child benefit payments to encourage responsible parenting and prevent children being used as a source of welfare income.
Sympathetic BBC documentary that shows who's claiming benefits, what it costs and their sense of entitlement. Remember a full time worker on minimum wage earns £262 a week!
How the welfare state was run when it did work
The Open University - learning for all
Preventative medicine - the missed opportunity
Does foreign aid really achieve what it sets out to achieve or actually make things worse?
Should we pay people to be healthy?
For further information and action see the following links
Basic Income & welfare reform