Very valid points, as always Boydel, and the population increase is and will continue to be an issue: population increases, technology advances, the numbers of those in poverty will increase. However, does that, should that, lead to 'the inability of an individual to support himself'?
Whilst the figures you've given are excellent guides to how the benefit systems of this country work, and the lot of the working person, they don't give an idea of whether we've moved forward in our thinking of wealth, poverty and pauperism...I don't know if I'm right to seperate the three in that way, because I'm also trying to understand better what I'm actually talking about and will concede to others understanding more, perhaps what I'm trying to understand is, although the world of Colqhoun at that time was different to the world we are in now, the ideas of wealth, poverty and pauperism haven't really changed? in fact, I would argue they are more prevalent now than in Colqhoun's time, there will be 'no benefit to those who may be possessed of wealth'.
My apologies if I seem to be moving the goalposts frequently, but I do find his comment about poverty being a most necessary and indispensable ingredient in society a very telling statement about society today, just as it was in Colqhoun's time.