Labour leader takes hard line on benefits
The Labour leader has attacked people who spend a lifetime on benefits and said it is often too easy not to work.
In his keynote speech to the party’s annual conference this afternoon Ed Miliband told delegates the benefit system has to change and create a culture of ‘something for something’.
‘Even after reforms of recent years, we still have a system where reward for work is not high enough,’ he said.
‘Where benefits are too easy to come by for those who abuse the system and too low for those who do not.
‘So if what you want is a welfare system that works for working people then I’m prepared to take the tough decisions to make that a reality.’
The coalition government intends to radically overhaul the benefits system, rolling payments together into a single ‘universal credit’ which will be capped at a maximum of £26,000 a year.
Mr Miliband said Labour also wanted to change the system.
‘The reason I talk about this is not because I don’t believe in a welfare state but because I do,’ he said.
‘We can never protect and renew it if people believe it’s just not fair, if it’s too easy not to work, and there are people taking something for nothing.’
‘It’s my job, my party’s mission to say: no more. It’s all got to change.’