Someone in the comments for the last post dared me to generate a chart showing the number of sickness beneficiaries over the last few years (it’s an article of faith amongst certain circles that Labour took all the drug addicts off the unemployment benefit and added them to the sickness benefit.) Anyway, here’s the chart. I’ve added in median age, to make the point that as the population ages it gets sicker, thus – I would argue – the steady increase in sickness beneficiaries.
Also, DPF suggested I show these figures as a percentage of the working age population. The problem with that is, again, the aging population – if you present the data like that then it looks like more people are going onto benefits, when actually there’s a broader – unrelated – demographic change confusing the data.
(Dates on the x-axis are at the top because Excel was being annoying.)