The Government’s package of welfare reforms have helped “get Britain back to work”, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is claiming.
In a speech a day after his Department for Work and Pensions announced it expects changes to welfare to save taxpayers £50 bn over the course of the Parliament, Mr Duncan Smith will say that the strength of the labour market is evidence that benefit reforms are also having an impact by boosting economic activity.
He will accuse the former Labour government of trapping people in welfare dependency and robbing them of the drive to go to work, and say that his reforms have given jobless people the incentive to seek and take employment.
Speaking in London a year after the implementation of a raft of welfare reforms – including the so-called “bedroom tax”, the introduction of Personal Independence Payments for disabled people and the imposition of the £500-a-week benefit cap – Mr Duncan Smith will say that changes to benefits have played a crucial part in “creating a stable economy matched by a strong society where people are ready and capable of work”.
He will credit economic reforms introduced by Chancellor George Osborne for creating the conditions which gave private businesses the confidence and freedom to create 1.7 million jobs since the election.
But he will say that welfare reforms have also played a key part in creating current record levels of employment.