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Two-thirds of UK government spending now goes to the welfare state, and where that money is spent—healthcare, education, pensions, benefits—is at the heart of major political and public debate. Much of that debate is dominated by the myth that the population is divided into those who benefit from the welfare state and those who pay into it. But this groundbreaking book—fully revised in this second edition with current data, discussion of key policy changes, and a new preface reflecting on the changed UK political context following the 2015 election and 2016 Brexit vote—uses extensive research and survey evidence to challenge that view. It shows that our complex and ever-changing lives mean that all of us rely on the welfare state throughout our lifetimes, not just a small welfare-dependent minority. Using everyday life stories and engaging graphics, top UK social policy expert John Hills clearly demonstrates how the facts are far removed from the popular misconceptions.