Monday, 31 December 2012

Fun Online Polls: Working age welfare and New Year's Honours

The responses to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

Working age and child benefits amount to what percentage of UK's GDP?

1% - 14 votes
2% - 16 votes
5% - 13 votes
10% - 16 votes
20% - 21 votes

The correct answer is of course 5%, which any sane person can guesstimate by assuming that a tenth of the population are on working-age welfare and that their income is half that of working households (certainly in pre-tax terms and probably in post-tax terms as well).

You could make all sorts of up- or downward adjustments, and at a pinch, you might just about be able to arrive at 2% or 10%, but how is it even possible to have a sensible debate about welfare spending when half of people don't even have a clue how much it is?

If you want the actual numbers (in £ millions):
Employment and support allowance - £6,554 (the new 'Incapacity Benefit')
Jobseeker's allowance - £5,455
Income support - £5,121
Incapacity Benefit - £2,847
SSP, SMP and Maternity Allowance - £2,770
Carer's Allowance - £1,859
Working Tax Credits - £6,999
Child Tax Credits - £22,915
Child Benefit - £12,221
Total - £66,741

GDP is said to be around £1,575,000 million. So that looks like about five per cent to me, or about ten per cent of total UK government spending.
And lo to the last Fun Online Poll of the year 2012!

Further to The Stigler's recent post about the New Year's Honours IT mixup, I wonder which of the people on the list accompanying this BBC article would have been on your New Year's Honours list?

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar. Pollcode counts the number of voters, so if you just vote for one or two, that automatically shows up as a negative vote for everybody else on the list.


Lola said...

Just a thought re Sants, but how do you 'knight' a 'c**t'?