The British Welfare State in the news….

Direct aid, subsidies, tax breaks – the hidden welfare budget we don’t debate

Aditya Chakrabortty writes in the Guardian:

“The term “corporate welfare” may sound unfamiliar to some. In the Westminster thesaurus, welfare appears alongside benefits and social security as a term for public spending targeted at individuals and households. But corporations rely on public funds, too.

When Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic took £28m from the Welsh government in 2011 to set up a call centre in Swansea, that was a form of welfare. The German, French and Dutch companies that now run our train services are subsidised by the British public to the tune of hundreds of millions. The £45bn taken by firms in corporate tax benefits is a form of welfare. So is the ultra-low cost insurance scheme the government runs for exporters such as BAE Systems.

None of these are labelled corporate welfare, but that’s precisely what they are: direct public spending aimed at protecting and supporting businesses.”

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