The Celtic nations of the UK - Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - and the North of England are so dependent on public money that it is causing a "sovietisation" of many parts of the country. They now have even more bloated welfare states than France.

The Celtic nations and parts of Northern England are more reliant on public money than even Sweden and France, both countries renowned the world over for their generous benefits system and bloated welfare states!

Public spending (% of the economy)

Northern Ireland - 76.2
Wales - 66.2
North East England - 64.9
Scotland - 57.7
Sweden - 56.1
France - 54.1
Germany - 46
Poland - 41.2
Slovakia - 36.3
London - 33.4

Brown's billions are 'sovietising' the north

29th May 2006

Labour's obsession with spending public money is causing the 'sovietisation' of many parts of Britain, figures have revealed.

Large swathes of the country are now more reliant on the state - be it in the form of benefits or public sector jobs - than former Eastern Bloc countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Such has been the transformation under Tony Blair that Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and much of the North are more dependent on public money than Sweden, which is known for its bloated welfare state.

The figures, released today by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, fuelled allegations that Labour has deliberately built up the public sector to shore up the vote in its urban heartlands.

Britain's electoral make-up means it takes fewer votes on average to elect a Labour MP, particularly in highly-populated parts of the North. Tory support, meanwhile, is spread out across the suburbs and rural areas.

The suspicions led last night to claims of 'sovietisation' - a reference to the Soviet Union, where citizens were entirely reliant on the state to live. Tory MP Philip Davies said: 'It is a typical Soviet tactic to make more and more people dependent on the state.

'This Government is effectively buying votes as people are forced to rely on them for their jobs. But it is a recipe for economic disaster and I think people are seeing through this cynical tactic. They are fed up with paying taxes to subsidise this vote-buying exercise.'

Today's figures show that over the past five years public spending has grown from 38.9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product to 43 per cent.

There are, however, dramatic regional variations. In London, the state contributes just 33.4 per cent of GDP, while in Northern Ireland it is more than twice that at 71.3 per cent - up from 65.2 per cent in 2001/ 2.

The public spending share in Wales has risen from 56.3 per cent to 62.4 per cent; the North East from 56.4 per cent to 61.5 per cent; Scotland from 50 per cent to 54.9 per cent and the North West from 47.8 per cent to 52.6 per cent.

The figures are even more startling when adjusted for comparison with other countries. On this basis, public spending is equivalent to 76.2 per cent of the size of the Northern Ireland economy, 66.2 per cent in Wales, 64.9 per cent in the North East, 57.7 per cent in Scotland and 56.1 per cent in the North West.

This compares with 56.1 per cent in Sweden, 54.1 per cent in France, 51.9 per cent in Hungary, 51.5 per cent in Denmark, 46 per cent in Germany, 42.6 per cent in the Czech Republic, 41.2 per cent in Poland and 36.3 per cent in Slovakia.

A recent study showed that nearly half of Britons either work in public services or are reliant on benefits for at least half their livelihood, with one in four - or 6.8million adults - working for the state.


Come on, you Celts! Stop scrounging off the English taxpayer, you lazy people.