More than half of households get more from state than they pay in tax

More than half of Britain’s households receive more from the state than they pay in taxes as dependency on benefits reaches an all-time high, a new study has found. Some

36 million people – 54.2 per cent of all individuals – paid less tax than they received in benefits and “benefits in kind”, defined as the imputed cost of NHS and state education

services, according to the analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data for 2020/21. It trumps the previous high of 52.5 per cent in 2012/13, fuelled by Labour’s

surge in government spending under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, according to the research by Civitas, a think tank. Tim Knox, the co-author of the report and former director

of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “The proportion of households who are receiving more from the state than they pay in taxes has never been larger – and the outlook for the

near future is bleak. “The questions that all parties should answer is: what is your target for the net dependency ratio? And what are the practical implications for

achieving such a target? “Is it a good thing that more than half of Britons take more from the state than they put in? Is a further increase in dependency welcome? Do we, as

a country, want so many people to be dependent on the state? Or are we collectively hooked on more and more bread and circuses?”Shift in the tax burden The analysis shows a

dramatic rise in state dependency compared with 2000, when it was just 40.3 per cent, and is significantly above the average of 41.2 per cent between 1977 and 2000. It fell

from its peak in 2010/11 under Labour before falling through the Conservative administrations of David Cameron and Theresa May and then rising under Boris Johnson.