IDS: Benefits system 'destructive'
Iain Duncan Smith will warn again that parents on benefits should not automatically expect more cash if they have more children
Some parts of the benefit system promote "destructive" behaviour, Iain Duncan Smith is to say as the Government seeks massive further cuts to welfare, it has been reported.
Chancellor George Osborne intends to slash another £10 billion from the bill for state help by 2016/17 on top of the £18 billion already being cut in a bid to balance the books.
The Work and Pensions Secretary is not expected to set out any specific new areas that face the axe in a speech at the Cambridge Public Policy think-tank, the Daily Telegraph said.
But he will look to justify the renewed assault on the welfare budget and renew warnings that parents on benefits should not automatically expect more cash if they have more children.
"All too often, government's response to social breakdown has been a classic case of 'patching' - a case of handing money out, containing problems and limiting the damage but, in doing so, supporting - even reinforcing - dysfunctional behaviour," Mr Duncan Smith is expected to say.
"You have to ask which bits of the system are most important in changing lives. And you have to look at which parts of the system promote positive behaviours and which are actually promoting destructive ones."
He will add: "Instead of supporting people in difficulty, the system all too often compounds that difficulty - doing nothing for those already facing the greatest problems and dragging the rest down with it.
"Our failure to make each pound count has cost us again and again over the years, Not only in terms of a financial cost - higher taxes, inflated welfare bills and lower productivity, as people sit on benefits long term. But also the social cost of a fundamentally divided Britain - one in which a section of society has been left behind. We must no longer allow ourselves to accept that some people are written off."
Mr Duncan Smith is expected to refer to warnings from the founder of the welfare state William Beveridge, that recipients should not expect to benefit "from a bottomless pit" of funds. "Especially so, when the economy isn't growing as we had hoped, the public finances remain under pressure and the social outcomes have been so poor," he will say.
But shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: "Iain Duncan Smith is destroying Beveridge not renewing Beveridge. For all the tough talk the truth is it's working people who are seeing their help axed. Never before have working people paid so much in and got so little back... We were promised a welfare revolution and all we've got is welfare chaos - chaos that working people are being forced to pay for."