Current welfare system 'completely broken' claims IDS
Universal Credit will change people’s lives and replace a welfare system which is ‘completely broken’ and ‘divorced from its founding ideals’ a government minister is expected to say.
Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is speaking today at a conference in Spain organised by a think tank called the Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis.
Mr Duncan Smith will say: ‘Getting somebody into work can change their lives, not to mention the lives of their children and those in their community. But we had a system of welfare and employment support that encouraged people to do the exact opposite.
‘This was a system that was completely broken, divorced from its founding ideals. William Beveridge, the man widely credited with creating the modern welfare state in the UK, was clear that the welfare system must not be allowed to stifle ‘incentive, opportunity or responsibility’.
‘But by the time we entered Government late last year it was apparent that these values had been perverted - we had a system that punished those who did the right thing while rewarding destructive behaviours.
‘We wanted to introduce reforms that would put work and responsibility back at the heart of system, changing lives not just maintaining them on welfare.
‘Our first step was outlining plans for a Universal Credit - a simple, clear welfare payment designed to replace a whole range of complex benefits and tax credits.
‘Not only is the Universal Credit designed to be much simpler for people to understand, it is also designed to make work pay.’
Mr Duncan Smith is also expected to say that the government was putting pressure on businesses to employ British citizens.
He will also call for ‘tough action’ to be taken to tighten immigration rules to stop a generation of young people ending up on benefits.
‘We have to ensure that our immigration system works in the interests of Britain, enabling us to make a realistic promise to our young school leavers’, he will say.
‘It is part of our contract with the British people. This Government is reforming welfare to make work pay, and to help people back to work.
‘And we are toughening sanctions against those who refuse to take jobs when they are available.
‘But we also need an immigration system that gives the unemployed a level playing field.
‘If we do not get this right then we risk leaving more British citizens out of work, and the most vulnerable group who will be the most affected are young people.
‘In the short term controlling immigration is critical or we will risk losing another generation to dependency and hopelessness.’