Work not welfare!

Britain’s welfare system is broken! Over the last decade, the Labour Government threw billions into benefits without reforming the system. It meant people were trapped in a benefits trap, where returning to work did not pay. They were better off staying on benefits. That’s a criminal waste of skills and talent.

The Coalition is undertaking a fundamental reform of the system, the biggest since the creation of the welfare state. The approach is two-pronged; to help individuals off benefits where possible so they are not condemned to years of welfare dependency and to cut the crippling benefit bill that our country can no longer sustain.

The “Work Programme” will focus on helping people into sustained jobs, with employers receiving payments for substantially longer than under current programmes. We are keen to support people into jobs that last, and will reward employers for strong performance in this area.

Business Questions – 17th February 2011
Brandon Lewis (Great Yarmouth) (Con): May we have a debate on the Government’s Work programme, so that everyone in the House can better understand why the 5 million-odd people who have been trapped on benefits for the best part of a decade will be better off under this Government’s approach than under Labour’s approach, which simply did not work?

Sir George Young: Under Labour, roughly 1.5 million people spent most of the last decade on out-of-work benefits, and that benefit system cost every working family some £3,000. The Work programme will focus on encouraging people to get into work and reforming the welfare system, and it will have much better results than the programmes that preceded it.