The legacy benefits system is a mix of six benefits, has three cliff-edges – and punishes extra hours. It lets people down and holds them back.
“I remember the single mother who told me she wanted to get into the workplace…but the JobCentre had told her she’d be better off on benefits.”
Plus: The Sports Minister speaks to a stranger on the tube. Phone-in callers back Universal Credit. And: It’s Coming Home, It’s Coming Home, It’s Coming Home…
The Comprehensive Spending Review has to be seen as a way to reset the narrative. Government need to focus on reform as a positive – not expenditure.
The Conservatives are not going to win the hearts and minds of the British people by proposing Labour-lite policies. There must be something different on offer.
It has fascinated me since growing up in a single parent family on the outskirts of Belfast – before attending the lowest-performing secondary school in Northern Ireland.
Even in lefty France, socialist policies are now being dumped by Emmanuel Macron in favour of free markets. Now is the time to develop our next round of big ideas.
The work done in partnership with Baldwin, and by Chamberlain alone after 1937, gave Britain some of the best welfare services in the world.
Our New Generation programme will be tasked with producing policies in areas that are of pressing concern to voters: tax, enterprise, housing, welfare.
We need to renew that belief, that self-belief, and that optimism – about people, about society, about freedom and about human life – more than ever.
With sensible changes to things like direct payments and access to information, the new system can work better for everybody.
The Social Market Foundation isn’t tied to any party. We’re centrists – our advice and ideas on offer to anyone who wants to put common sense ahead of ideology.
The Chancellor should also support life-long learning through training vouchers, and offer tax breaks for politically independent trade unions.
It’s good that the absurd telephone charges have been scrapped – but the bigger problem remains unresolved.
Ministers would do well to listen to their colleagues who want to improve – not destroy – this laudable change to the welfare system.