Left ‘want to undermine reforms’

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Opponents of the Government’s welfare reforms are doing all they can to misrepresent them, according to a Minister.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told a conference yesterday that the reforms are being driven by a desire to change people’s lives for the better.

Speaking after new figures showed a fall in unemployment, and an increase in the number of people in work to more than 30 million, Mr Duncan Smith emphasised the scale of the task the Government has set.

He told the Centre for Social Justice event in London: “Our real success has been to reframe the argument – challenging a narrative beloved of the left, which focuses so exclusively on how much is being spent on welfare that it risks overlooking the real question ... that it is not about how much goes into the benefit system, but what difference it makes to people at the other end.”

He added: “It is not easy, as those arrayed against us do all they can to misrepresent what we are doing, angling for a return to the failed and expensive policies of the past.” However, he said: “The purpose for Government is not grand but simple. It is that through our economic and welfare changes we will have helped people feel that bit more secure about their futures ... feel more hopeful about their children’s lives ... and rekindle their pride in their communities, as their neighbours also begin to thrive.”