UK ministers and their allies are fond of talking about the need to reduce the welfare bill. They give the impression that the welfare bill goes to feckless scroungers, but almost never mention any statistics about who is actually claiming the money.
The Netherlands government plans to slash social care funding and put pressure on frail elderly and other disabled people to do ‘voluntary’ work in return for any help they get, the newspaper Volkskrant reported. Austerity measures have already taken a heavy toll, and are hugely unpopular.
Sniping at the holiday choices of politicians is a fixture of the Silly Season. Whatever they do, they lose. They are either self-indulgent and free-loading (Tony Blair) or grimly and self-consciously puritanical (Gordon Brown).