» Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welfare Reform

Asked why the plan for housing benefit had been dropped, the PMS said that we were announcing a massive reform to the system and for good reason. One pound in every three was spent on welfare and that amount had gone up dramatically over the past years. At the same time there were lots of people who were trapped on benefits; five million trapped on out of work benefits and nearly two million children growing up in homes where nobody worked. A massive job needed to be done in reforming the welfare system. We had been doing that and developing our proposals over a period of time. The housing benefit reforms referred to were announced in the first Budget. Since then we had developed our proposals on universal credit, which were a key part of improving work incentives.

Asked why the 10 per cent reduction was not needed now, the PMS said that this was something that Iain Duncan Smith had spoken about before in front of the Select Committee. The original proposal had been designed to improve work incentives. We had since developed our proposals for universal credit and the work programme which would encourage people to come off benefits and get into work.

Asked if this was a victory for the Deputy Prime Minister, the PMS said that Iain Duncan Smith had been talking about this this morning and he and the Deputy Prime Minister shared exactly the same position.

Asked if Iain Duncan Smith had said that no-one would lose out, the PMS said that he had said that at the point of transition no one would lose out in cash terms, and then as people moved out of benefits and into work they would be better off.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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