“Although abuse of the system are inevitable, social welfare payments are essential to protect the rights citizens have to a guaranteed minimum income in a democratic society” Discuss. Social welfare is an essential element of an advanced society. Good systems are always abused, but that does not mean they are faulty. In my opinion, the two main reasons why welfare payments are necessary are as follows:
First of all, critics forget that there are many forms of welfare besides payments to the unemployed. Their negative opinions harm those who are not capable of earning a wage, such as single-parent mothers, the disabled, and the sick. Moreover, the unemployed have the right to an income, too. They are not always at fault for not having a job, and in most cases the tax they have paid in the past entitles them to assistance.
The second reason is that crime increases when people have no means of support. The desperately poor inevitably turn to crime, which is not only dangerous but costly. Policing the streets is more expensive than providing welfare. A policeman’s wage is four or five times higher than a “dole” payment.
Certain members of society believe that people should look after themselves. They point out that welfare increases dependency on others and destroys dignity. This may be true, but in the case of the unemployed, the relief payments are usually temporary. It is surely the fault of the government if there are long-term unemployed. Welfare critics also believe that it is the responsibility of a victim’s family to provide financial assistance. However, it is too expensive to provide complete help for a severely disabled person.
To conclude, it is vital to understand the need for welfare in a modern democratic society. Without welfare payments the poor are destined to become poorer. The first duty of a government is to provide a financial safety net for all disadvantaged persons, and that includes those without work.