It can't be done, George Osborne

Until the Chancellor tackles the relentless growth of 'social protection’, he will not make a dent in our deficit, says Jeff Randall

With two days to go before he unveils the Government’s Spending Review for 2015‑16, George Osborne has just about finished applying the thumbscrews to the few ministers who were holding out against further cuts to departmental budgets. This, I admit, is an exhausted figure of speech. The Chancellor, as far we know, does not possess a medieval instrument of torture – unless, perhaps, his brief and inadvertent encounter with a dominatrix a few years ago produced something more than scurrilous headlines.

JohnnyNorfolk: He could start by only paying family allowance for 2 children.

nickk: Just get rid of it completely. There is no reason for someone to be given money and a home simply because they have had a child. It should be up to the famiies of the mother and father to provide for them. If they can't, or won't, then they should have done a better job of raising the girl in the first place. A baby is a massive burden and a huge responsibility. Having one is a decision that should be considered at every step: financial, social, cultural. People must, quite simply, learn restraint. We can't afford the population growth we've got any way.

mrtracey: nickk, It's not the population growth we can't afford - after all, we need young people to pay tax and ridiculous house prices so all those boomers can have a nest egg…It's pensions & health care for the elderly that's crippling this country. Scrap the state pension NOW - why should my kids pay NI to support people who can't be bothered to save for their old age and live in large expensive houses? Then people wouldn't need child benefit & you'd be happy.

nickedcave: And what do you propose happens to these inconvenient children, who will continue to exist regardless of how much you wish they don't?

philsanuk: nickedcave They will have to make their own way in life just as our current Pensioners had to, hopefully the younger generations will be more intelligent about which Political Parties and fickle Ideologies they choose to vote for, but I have my doubts, stupid is as stupid does and the British have been complete plonkers voting in the way they have for the past 15 years.

nickk:   I've no problem with people having children. I just do not see why others should have to pay for them. Raising a child should be a responsibility that is planned for properly. That planning should include financial provision up to - and including - school fees.

philsanuk: mrtracey "Scrap the state pension NOW - why should my kids pay NI to support people who can't be bothered to save for their old age and live in large expensive houses?" Because most have paid NI for 40 years or more of their working lives and as such are entitled to claim a Pension, you have fallen into the ignorant and foolish trap of blaming Pensioners for the ineptitude and corruption of our Political Class.

mjg: philsanuk - but at the start of the "40 years of paying NI" they were aware that there "wa no such fund".  They were also the people voting for "inept and corrupt politicians.

letahead: mjg, sadly, none of the politicians of the time asked me if they could spend my NI contributions on other things. They just told me that if I made the correct number of payments, when I came to retire, I would would qualify for a state pension. Like any other insurance policy I suppose. It still works like that.

realworlder: Even using Andy Burnham's figures, the average 50 year old (i.e. 20 years short of retirement) has already paid £107000 in National Insurance, in return for which 20 years later he/she will qualify for what is already the worst state pension in the developed world. But presumably no longer indexed, so what is already a mere 25 percent of average wage is likely to be less than ten percent by then. If he/she also works in the private sector, he has had his savings for his pension taxed by the Government, and now stuffed into Government gilts that return between 1 and 2 percent less than the rate of inflation. Anything he saves outside the pension envelope is either effectively haircut every year to pay for the the Governments current expenditure on child tax credits and others of Gordon Browns client state wheezes, or is forced into more speculative ventures where he is once again taxed on any gains (but not on losses) to pay for that same current expenditure. So MrTracey why don't you go back to your island and think again?

mrs1234: So all old people live in large expensive houses and never bothered to save? Is that what you really think? They never paid income tax and national insurance either did they? Shows a massive ignorance.

boudicca: And scrapping it entirely for the children of EU immigrants who have never even set foot in the country (if they even exist).

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suffolkphil:  Why should I pay for other people's kids?

onthecorner:  Why should anyone pay for anyone else for anything?

nickedcave: You're welcome to try your hand out in the Siberian woods if you want. In fact, don't let the door hit you on your way 0ut, you incoherent knuckle dragger.

nickk: Is that your only contribution? An insult? No wonder the Left are utterly discredited.

permare: The answers to that Suffolk Phil are: 1:  Because at one point in your life others paid for you. 2:  Because like it or not the children being raised today are this country's future so should therefore be provided for to the highest standard possible by all 3:  Because in your dottage it will be those children who will serve your needs and protect and defend you if necessary - A question how well qualified and how extensive a service would you want as and when you may require medical care?  Who do you think will be providing it?

nickk:  permare, if a child is to be a productive member of society they need to be cared for and properly raised. That means they need responsible, decent parents. Parents who have provided for their childhood emotionally, financially and logistically. It is not the responsibility of the state to provide for parents.

piloto: Why should others pay for your defence, pension,  health needs, fire service etc etc etc? 

suffolkphil: They don't, I paid 40% tax most of my working life and 30+ years in the forces helping to defend your a…se.

alhamilton: 40% tax over most of your working life AND 30+ years in the forces? 

sothcoastreader: Because the services you have listed are or will be at some point be needed by everybody, including you. But if parents can't provide for their kids, which nature dictates - then, sorry, they shouldn't produce them.

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