Dutch ditch committment to welfare state

King Willem-Alexander, in a speech written by the Dutch government is quoted as saying:

King Willem-AlexanderThe classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.

The Independent (and Guido where I found this) are calling this the end of the welfare state. The alternative is that “people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government”.

A step in the right direction.


  1. Yes, post war welfarism was never “affordable” or sustainable.

    Even Britain at the height of Empire probably could not have afforded it.



  2. The speech has been exaggerated – for example the hysterical people at the Financial Times newspaper screamed it was “the end of the Welfare State”,.

    Actually it was simply an acceptance that there the Welfare State is too big to be sustained that there will have to be some retrenchment (some return to both self reliance and to mutual aid).

    I doubt the Dutch government fully understand just how fundamental this retrenchment will have to be (as the world economy goes down the drain) – in fact I am sure they do not.

    However, yes, this speech is good news – it shows some effort to get to grips with reality (so statists, like the “FT” crew) hate it.

    Oddly enough this was not the first monarch to make such a speech.

    The Crown Prince of Liechtenstein (do not laugh – he has real power) has been making similar speeches for some time now.



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