The first shows that benefit spending in the UK has fallen as a share of GDP, not risen. Of the 18 countries Declan compares, the UK spending fall was the fourth-largest from 1980 to just before the financial crash, and the fifth-largest from 1980 to 2009.
The second chart shows in more detail how spending has gone up and down. To avoid a mass of criss-crossing lines, I’ve included just six countries. This also shows that the UK welfare state – not counting pensions – is not particularly expensive by international standards.