A radical overhaul of the welfare system to try to make work pay better and tackle the “benefit culture” is being unveiled by the Prime Minister.
A new universal credit, new sanctions for those turning down jobs and a cap on benefits paid to a single family will be among the changes outlined in the Welfare Reform Bill.
David Cameron will warn that people can no longer be trusted to claim only the benefits they need.
The proposals include replacing most existing benefits with a universal credit, designed to ensure people are always better off when they are employed, and close the loophole where some couples receive more living apart.
Those who refuse to take up job offers face losing their handouts for up to three years, and there will be tougher sanctions for fraud.
The Prime Minister will also announce moves to tackle the UK’s “sicknote culture”, pointing out that 300,000 people leave work and claim sickness benefits every year.
Setting out his argument for shaking up welfare, Mr Cameron is expected to say the system was originally based on a “collective culture of responsibility” which acted as a brake on abuse of the system.
Mr Cameron will say the “finger of blame” should not simply be pointed at those who claim benefits, but at the “sheer complexity and perverse incentives” of the system.
“Yes, there are those who, with no regret or remorse, intentionally rip off the system – and that makes hard-working people, including many on low incomes who pay their taxes, rightly angry,” he will say.
“But I refuse to believe that there are five million people who are inherently lazy and have no interest in bettering themselves and their families.
“What I want to argue is that the real fault lies with the system itself. The benefit system has created a benefit culture.
“It doesn’t just allow people to act irresponsibly, but often actively encourages them to do so.”
Source: Sky News