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    Counting the Cost - Britain: Going back to basics

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    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

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    Austerity seems inescapable, even in a prosperous developed country like Britain, which is going through some of the worst cut-backs since the Great Depression. Some of it simply comes from the UK, and so many other countries, still trying to find a way out of the financial crisis. But there is another element - a perception that things have gotten a bit too easy and that the once-beloved 'welfare state system' has gotten abused, and needs to be tightened up. Britain is instigating the biggest changes in its welfare state since the 1940's, remaking a system that has been seen as an example for developed economies. The changes are across the board: housing and sickness benefits, disability allowances, and a cap on individual welfare payments.