Iain Duncan Smith appeared before the Work and Pensions Select Committee yesterday to give an update on Universal Credit.
Labour left a welfare system that disincentivised work and trapped people in poverty. The public lost trust in the system because it did not reward work and created a something for nothing culture.
Welfare should be the support of last resort not a convenient way of topping up salaries. It needs to be targeted at the frail, elderly and ill. It has no place for the able, healthy of working age who see it as an alternative to a lower paid job. A hierarchy must exist – well paid jobs, less well paid jobs, welfare. It must be seen as a good thing to move from welfare to work.
Welfare is not free. It is paid for by every hard working person through the tax system.
The Government is rolling out Universal Credit so we have a welfare system where work always pays more than benefits. Rightly for a programme of this scale, the Government’s priority is its safe and secure delivery. Universal Credit will be fully available in each part of Great Britain during 2016. From there, we will move existing claimants to the new benefit. The vast majority will be on Universal Credit by 2017.
These changes will make sure Universal Credit is delivered safely and responsibly – fixing the welfare system so that it works for people who want to work hard and get on.