Today marks an historic step in the biggest welfare revolution in over 60 years. My government has taken bold action to make work pay, while protecting the vulnerable.
Key elements of this include:
- The 'Benefits Cap' which ensures no one can get more that £26,000 in benefits (that's the equivalent of a taxed income of £35,000)
- The 'Universal Credit' which will ensure that work always pays more than being on benefit
These reforms will change lives for the better, giving people the help they need, while backing individual responsibility so that they can escape poverty, not be trapped in it.
Past governments have talked about reform, while watching the benefits bill sky rocket and generations languish on the dole and dependency. This government is delivering it. Our new law will mark the end of the culture that said a life on benefits was an acceptable alternative to work.
While we've been putting in place a sensible, modern welfare system that protects the vulnerable, our opponents have shown they are on the side of Britain's 'something for nothing' culture.
We've stood up against the abuse that left taxpayers footing the bills for people on £30,000 or even £50,000 a year in benefits. It's a fair principle: a family out of work on benefits shouldn't be paid more than the average family in work.
This is a core part of the government's task of turning around the legacy of debt, overspending and waste we inherited.
We want money to go to people who need it, not subsidising the consequences of our broken society. By reforming welfare we will get people into fulfilling jobs, not abandon them to poverty and dependency, save billions of pounds of taxpayers' money and make sure those who really need help get it.
That's compassionate modern government in action.
It's also a huge tribute to the Secretary of State for Welfare, Iain Duncan Smith, who has worked tirelessly and with real moral purpose in tackling the blight of welfare dependency.