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IDS sets out welfare contract with the unemployed, the very vulnerable and the taxpayer

By Tim Montgomerie

Within his speech announcing the universal credit, Iain Duncan Smith set out a welfare contract - with the unemployed, the very vulnerable and with the taxpayer:

  1. First our contract with the unemployed – those who can work. Getting a job isn’t always easy – particularly at the moment - but it’s the best path to self respect and to a better standard of living. That is why today I am delighted to announce the introduction of the Universal Credit, which will, I believe, restore fairness and simplicity to a complex, outdated and wildly expensive benefits system. A real time system which will also help cut the cost of fraud and error Our implementation of the Credit alongside the comprehensive work programme will make sure that everyone out of work will be given the greatest support to find work and every financial incentive to stay in work, because work will pay. Today we are going to go further. After discussions with the Prime Minster and the Chancellor I can announce that I will set up the New Enterprise Allowance that will be run by Chris Grayling. If you have been unemployed for 6 months and want to start your own business we want to support you.  We will provide business mentoring and a financial package worth up to £2000 to get your business up and running.... We will break down the barriers to work and ensure work pays but in return, we have the right to insist that when work is available you take that work and work hard to keep that job. For those who want to choose not to work, under this government this will no longer be an option. We will work with you but you must work with us. That is our contract with the unemployed.
  2. Second our contract with this country’s most vulnerable people. I say to those watching today and who are genuinely sick, disabled or are retired. You have nothing to fear. For pensioners it is this government that has moved quickly to re-link the basic state pension with earnings - something we should all here be enormously proud of. We will crack down on fraud and help able people off welfare. This means we will have enough resources to provide peace of mind to the very vulnerable. This matters to us. This government and this party don’t regard caring for the needy as a burden. It is a proud duty to provide financial security to the most vulnerable members of our society and this will not change. This is our contract with the most vulnerable.
  3. Finally our contract with the taxpayer. Most people in this country don’t wake up early in the dark and cold, and head to their job in order for the state to take their money and waste it. They don’t slump, exhausted in their chair after work, just to see their taxes spent on people who can work but won’t. I’m all for fairness. I will always fight for fairness for people who have fallen on hard times. I will always fight for fairness for the very vulnerable. But fairness must be a two way street. I’m determined that the people who pay their taxes into this welfare state get a fair deal too. I want to look every taxpayer in the eye and be able to say that their money is either going to people who are on the path back to independence or their money is going to people who, without question, deserve society’s care. No more spend and waste. This is our contract with British taxpayers.


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