The tangled web of the welfare state


crackbaby.jpgAt the beginning of the week the Family, Drug and Alcohol Court opened. It is a £1.3 million pilot scheme being run jointly by three London Boroughs, Westminster, Camden and Islington (part-funded by both the Ministry of Justice and Department for Children, School and Families) that has been set up to attempt to ensure that children remain with their parents despite any addictions the parent might have.

Yet to accomplish anything judicially it has, however, allowed another true cost of the welfare state to be exposed. There are obvious costs to the taxpayer, such as the set up costs shared unevenly between central and local government, but this court has revealed some unwelcome negative externalities created by the welfare state.

Specialist court judge Nick Crichton said, "We are routinely taking into care the fourth, fifth or sixth child from the same birth family" (this in relation to the removal of 14 children into care from one mother). It is not hard to see the perverse logic that the welfare state has created in the minds of these drug users. Despite the drug use, they have recognized a secure income stream that can feed their habit: children. The blame for this culture lies squarely at the doors of government (both shades) for the implementation of child benefit to its current high levels.

The welfare state as the abuser is no surprise. It has distorted incentives since its inception and will continue to do so via its warped perception of 'caring'. The socialist state has turned children into nothing more than inanimate objects, their value being no more than a hit to a drug addict.

If only the politicians were forced to live with the unintended consequences of their actions, they might rethink some of their most damaging policies.