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Is the UK benefit system out of control?

As we approach the next general election the Tory party has fired a shot across the bow of the Labour Party with confirmation that UK households claiming more than £15,000 a year in benefits have doubled to 1.2 million since Labour came to power. It was also revealed that 300,000 households in the UK now claim in excess of £20,000 a year in benefits, three times the figure in 1997 when Labour came to power.

There is no doubt that the benefit system has ballooned out of control since the Labour Party took office, an accusation which has on numerous occasions been directed towards Gordon Brown. Many people believe that the UK economic situation has been aggravated by the increase in benefits available and the public sector which has received massive investment from UK taxpayers. Little or no money has been put aside for "a rainy day" which has left the UK government short of liquidity in these troubled times.

UK national debt is now out of control with estimates of between £1 trillion and £2.5 trillion, depending on how you treat the bank bailout program and the stakes taken in Lloyds bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock.

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