Our Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, yesterday described Britain's sickness benefits system as in ‘dire’ need of reform. His goal? To help more Brits to find the courage, and the support, to secure meaningful work.
Our benefits system is profoundly broken, he said. Even after a Parliament of reform, it still leaves too many good people on the jobs scrapheap: permanently parked on benefits. This is a scandal, because it blights the hopes of children growing up, and tears families apart. Too many human beings are still being dumped in the JobCentre file marked: ‘incapable’.
Since the bad old days of Gordon Brown - and before - the Labour Party has long insisted that compassion can be measured simply in the doling out of welfare money. Here at CWF, we disagree. True compassion means helping people to find a better life.
This is not just about building a stronger economy. As IDS said yesterday: it is a profoundly moral mission too. Our current system is flawed because it is crassly ‘binary’, branding people as either ‘fit’ or ‘unfit’. This is an unhelpfully crude distinction, as IDS argued yesterday. It is ‘too simplistic’, and needs to change.
Reform is difficult. There will be resistance from the Labour Party no doubt. But. IDS's work is long overdue. We should give him every possible help and support.
TODAY AT CWF
Tony Lodge: How the Conservatives are finally delivering a better railway - John Major’s 1992 rail privatisation White Paper promised “more competition, greater efficiency and a wider choice of services more closely tailored to what customers want”
The Labour leadership candidates are due to meet Harriet Harman this afternoon reports the BBC – to ensure ‘Labour’s opponents do not vote’ …..!
1) Paul Goodman: Please take our special Feldman Review and Party Reform survey – Conservative Home
FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this day, August 25th, in 1977, Margaret Thatcher was interviewed for Tyne Tees TV ‘Face the Press’. An important part of this interview focused on the miners’ demands for higher wages, and was dealt with in classic robust style by Mrs. Thatcher: then Leader of the Opposition. She argued that the government had got into the habit of pronouncing on “far too many things”. This was wrong, as “you never get responsibility that way”. She further argued that the miners should not be subsidised out of the taxpayer’s pocket, particularly if they were not increasing their productivity! Mrs. Thatcher said that the miners could “have their increased wages by virtue of increased effort”.What would she say about striking Tube drivers, one wonders...?
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