IDS Says His Welfare Reforms Will Save Taxpayer £50Billion?

James Chapman reports in the Daily Mail –  Iain Duncan Smith will today say Britain’s benefit system is growing at the slowest rate since the inception of the welfare state.

The work and Pensions Secretary will point to almost £50billion  of savings for the taxpayer thanks to government reforms.

He will hail a ‘momentous reversal  of Labour’s reckless spending’ and claim that the lives of hundred of thousands of people have been ‘transformed’ by pushing them into work.

Despite Labour’s claim that austerity measures would cost a million jobs, there are 1.75million more people in work, and 700,000 fewer people in workless households, he will say.

Mr Duncan Smith will attack the ‘accepted wisdom of the Left: that poverty is solely about money, and more state money solves it’.

Iain Duncaan SmithThe Work and Pensions Secretary’s intervention comes as the election battleground moves on to welfare and with Labour’s work and pensions spokesman today accusing the Tories of failing on the issue.

Rachel Reeves will claim stagnation of wages over much of this parliament has meant more people in work reliant on the state.

She will say that by 2020, the number of working people depending on housing benefit to meet the costs of their home will have more than doubled, at cost of over £14billion.

Former Labour work and pensions secretary David Blunkett is expected to unveil his own proposals for welfare reform, including curbs on benefits paid to better-off pensioners.

But Mr Duncan Smith, speaking at the free market think-tank Reform, will attack Labour for opposing every one of the Government’s  measures to cut the welfare bill.

Labour allowed welfare bills to ‘spiral out of control’ having rocketed by 60 per cent in real terms he will say.

‘Now, welfare spending is under control, seeing the first real terms fall for 16 years. The Independent Institute  for Fiscal Studies estimates the cost of welfare next year will be nearly £17bilion lower thanks to our reforms.’

Controversial measures introduced by the Coalition include freezes on uprating of benefits, tax credits and public sector pensions to the less generous CPI measure of inflation, the removal of child benefit from better-off families and a £26,000 household benefit cap.

Mr Duncan Smith’s analysis suggests £50billion will have been saved cumulatively over the course of this parliament from 2010 to 2015.

‘We had to get spending under control – for under the last Government, welfare expenditure had increased on a trajectory that was entirely unsustainable by 2010, costing every household in Britain a an extra £3,000 a year,’ Mr Duncan Smith will say.

‘Yet it was not enough simply to top-slice the budget. To do so would be equally unsustainable in the long-term, for problems would simply accumulate further down the line or emerge elsewhere – with consequences for the health system, the justice system and more.

‘Rather in its true sense, welfare reform is about transforming the life chances and outcomes of those on benefits – bringing down the cost of social failure in the process.’

The Governments reforms have been designed so the state is ‘no longer just putting money in, maintaining people in dependency’, but tying spending to improved outcomes.

Back-to-work providers are paid by results, depending on how long someone moving from benefits into a job keeps it.

And the new Universal Credit, which is gradually replacing all the major out-of-work benefits and tax credits, is designed to bring about ‘a complete shift in welfare culture’.

It ensures it always pays for people to move into a job and take more hours, while allowing the state to place new requirements on claimants.

‘Gone are the days when it makes more sense to sit on benefits than enter work,’ Mr Duncan Smith will say. A welfare system that ‘can catch you when you fall, lift you when you can rise’ is the ‘strongest statement yet of this Government’s commitment to helping people get on’, he will argue.

Despite the progress, Mr Duncan Smith will warn that the ‘disparity between the top  and bottom of society is in many cases larger than it has ever been’.

‘We have a group of skilled professionals and wealth creators at the top of society who have little or no connection to those at the bottom,’ he will say.

‘Yet in so many cases what divides the two is little more than a different start in life. I believe social investment gives us an opportunity to lock not just wealth back into our most disadvantaged areas – but something else as well.’

Mr Duncan Smith will urge the wealthy and big firms to put money into ‘social enterprises’ in deprived neighbourhoods.

Miss Reeves is expected to say: ‘The Government’s failure to make work pay has meant they are struggling to keep social security spending under control.

‘Last week the IFS confirmed that, for all David Cameron and George Osborne’s rhetoric, social security spending will be no lower next year than it was when David Cameron took office.’

“With the Chancellor (G.Osborne) not giving details of more massive welfare cuts to come, if the Tories are re-elected?  – lets hope the purge on the disadvantaged in our society is bearable. Think I’ll watch a Bond Movie tonight – “Licence to Kill” seems favourite!”

Iain Duncan Smith: We’ll Root Out Benefit Cheats

Martyn Brown of the Daily Express reports Britain’s benefit system is seen as a money-making scam by criminals, Iain Duncan Smith warned yesterday.

The Work and Pensions Secretary promised to get tough with benefit cheats, vowing they will not get away with swindling the taxpayer out of anymore money.

A rogues gallery of 10 of the most outrageous con  artists caught this year includes people who claimed to ill to work, or even walk, but were caught jetskiing, Morris dancing, trampolining, bodybuilding, playing golf and even performing on TV’s The X Factor spin-off The Xtra Factor.

Latest figures show £1.2billion was lost to fraud last year.

Ministers say that the move to Universal Credit – combining several benefits into one – will make it easier to catch fraudsters.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “The vast majority of people play by the rules. I’m determined to root out the unscrupulous minority who are cheating hard working taxpayers and diverting it from those who need it most.

“Some people see the welfare state as a money-making scam but I have a simple message for them – you will not get away with it.”

Among the worst offenders last year, Sonia Mellor, 33, of Manchester, was given a suspended prison sentence for claiming £100,000 because she was “virtually immobile”. She was caught on film trampolining.

Karen Trant, 52, of Dartmouth, in Devon, was jailed for more than two years after raking in £134,000 in benefits. She said she could not walk outdoors in new places but enjoyed tropical holidays and had plastic surgery.

Former Mr Wales Peter Beddoe, 50, of Aberdare, was jailed for six months after falsely claiming £28,000 in benefits while competing in bodybuilding.

The £23,000 scam of father-of-five Joseph Ross, 44, of Walsall, West Midlands, was rumbled when a Youtube video of him emerged playing a guitar with boyband JLS on the Xtra Factor. He got a suspended jail sentence.

Allan Baldwin, 67, of Lockerbie in Scotland, claimed more than £28,000 in benefits after saying he was barely able to walk. Yet investigators filmed him joining in with a Morris dancing group. He also got a suspended jail term.

Mark Kemp, 58, of Oldham, Lancs, claimed £35,000 in disability living allowance saying he needed a stick to walk, despite teaching martial arts. He too was given a suspended jail term.

“And how is IDS going to push this zero tolerance through- another witch hunt.”

BENEFITS ‘COVER UP’

Iain Duncan Smith has been accused of a cover-up after denying cash has been lost in his struggle to introduce Universal Credit.

The Work and Pensions Secretary told MPs “no money has been wasted” as he rolls most working age benefits into one.

But Labour said: “This is a lie to cover up the failures of the Universal Credit programme.” And they insist that to avoid misleading Parliament Mr Duncan Smith must issue a correction.

Last year’s Department of Work and Pensions annual report said £40million has had to be written off.

And it predicted another£91million is set to be poured down the drain.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves said: “He has serious questions to answer over the millions of pounds of taxpayers money that has been wasted. It’s time for ministers to give straight answers and to finally get a grip of this failing project.”

A DWP spokesman said last night: “Universal Credit is already making work pay in one in ten job centres and will be rolled out nationally from next year.

“When fully in place the economy will benefit by £7billion each year.”

If and when this welfare reform is “fully in place” what will be the true cost and true price?.”

Nelson N. Sunday People 9th November 2014. p. 20

1m On Benefit Found Fit for Work in Crackdown

We just keep hearing from ‘boys club’ government ministers and civil servants etc, that their reason for getting disabled people back into work is for them to be endowed with a more rewarding and fruitful existence – “rubbish”. To anyone with a modicum of logic and insight, their reason is and always has been, lets try and save some money with a bulldozer attitude, get the unemployment figures looking better, look as though were achieving and totally ignore the plight of those underfoot.

More than one million disability benefit applicants have been found to be fit to work after the introduction of face-to-face assessments.

Since 2008, 1.06 million new claimants for Employment and Support Allowance were deemed able to undertake employment, figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions revealed.

This has helped see the total number of on sickness itself drop by 165,360 since 2010.

Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper said: “This shows how we are helping those with illnesses or disabilities to fulfill their aspirations to provide for themselves and their families.

“As part of the Government’s long-term economic plan, we are looking at what people can do – with the right support – rather than simply writing off those on long-term sickness benefit as has happened in the past.

“There are now 1.8 million more people in work than 2010 and our welfare reforms will ensure that disability benefit support is better targeted at those who need it most.”

The figures also show the number on sickness benefits in Britain who are looking for work has now risen to 730,000 for the first time.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has spearheaded benefit reforms. Earlier this year he said  ending “cycles of worklessness and dependency” had been his “one aim” (admiral Iain, admiral).

ESA claimants can receive up to £108.15 a week from the Government after a 13-week period.

The process has drawn criticism from disability support groups, with claims those carrying out the assessment were under-qualified or overly harsh with their decisions.

There were also claims that appeals against decisions were taking so long, many people were simply reapplying.

One firm providing assessments – Atos – reached an agreement with the Government in March to leave its contract early.

Liz Sayce of the Disability Rights UK charity, was damning in her criticism, and said its “work programme is a massively failing disabled people”

She added: “The problem is being found fit for work is not the same as getting any support for work or getting into work”. The Government need to seriously invest in support for both disabled people and employers so that more disabled people are taken into the workplace.”

There is and will be many supporters of the Government’s flawed approach – mostly those “I’m alright jack’s” and those who would have the Oxford English Dictionary enter “a scrounger” under the entry “disabled”.


 

Private Sector Drives Jobs Growth

Latest employment figures – Office for National Statistics (ONS) – No mention regarding disability.

Unemployment fell by 468,000 over the year bringing the unemployment rate to a new six-year low of 6.2 per cent. The employment rate, at 73 per cent, is also back up to the pre-recession level with 30.61 million people in work.
 

Youth unemployment is also continuing in the right direction with the largest annual fall since records began in 1984 – falling by 213,000 on the year. There are now fewer young people claiming the main unemployment benefit, Jobseekers’ Allowance, than just before the recession. Youth unemployment has dropped by 133,200 in the past year and for 33 months in a row.

 

The figures also show that private sector jobs are continuing to grow and have increased by almost 800,000 in the last year alone. There are now over 2.16 million more people in private sector jobs than there were in 2010.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:

“Creating jobs is central to building a stronger, more resilient and stable economy. With millions more people in private sector employment under this Government, it is clear that our long-term economic plan is helping Britain to recover following one of the deepest recessions in living memory.

 

“All of our reforms are focused on helping people off benefits and into work – giving people the peace of mind and security that comes with a steady income. We are helping people to break free from welfare dependency, look after themselves and their families, and play their part in getting our country back to work.”

 

Schemes like the Government’s Work Programme have contributed to the largest drop in long-term unemployment since 1998 – falling by 175,000 on the year.

 

A regional breakdown for your area is available at:

https://engage.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/your-local-economy/

 And more details on the jobs figures can be found on the ONS site


Benefit Claims to be capped at £23K

The Cap on benefits is to be slashed by £3,000 to  £23,000  a year, ministers will announce this week.

Thousands more families will see their benefits drop when the new lower limit comes into force. But cash saved will be pumped into providing  three million more apprenticeships for youngsters.

David Cameron decided to cut the cap as he launches a blitz on welfare dependency.

The PM will unveil a wave of measures including a ban on out-of-work youngsters claiming housing benefit.

Jobseekers’ allowance for 18 to 21-years-old will be replaced with a youth allowance – to stop if they fail to find work in six months.

The cap – started 18 months – saves taxpayers £2million a day. About 33,000 families who were getting over £26,000 a year in benefits saw their incomes drop. But Works and Pensions supremo Iain Duncan Smith says £26,000 – equivalent to £35,000 before tax – is still to high.

Workers in north-west Leicestershire earn an average £22,130 but keep only £17,866 after tax.

Mr Cameron has said that he wants to make sure young people are earning or learning and end the situation where they can finish school , leave home, sign on and get a flat with housing benefit too.

We don’t have a welfare state anymore  – we did not begin investing in are industrial heritage ( the residual wealth of our country) in the 50’s/60’s and watched exports reduce and imports increase over the years (never to claw it back).

This has lead to lost well payed jobs and tens of thousands of apprenticeships a year plus the ability to amply provide welfare in a modern world.

The government is trying to reform (years to late – “as always”) welfare in the UK and reduce NHS and community care budgets by ongoing cuts and slashes.

Support from the “cradle to the grave” – unfortunately a rough ride for many.

Iain Duncan Smith to Pay Back £130million in Benefits

I bet Iain Duncan Smith is not a happy bunny as he faces having to pay £130million in benefits to people who wrongly had their cash stopped after refusing to work for free.

The High Court yesterday ruled that a retrospective law he rushed in was illegal

Graduate Cait Reilly had challenged having to work for free at a Poundland store.

When the Supreme Court said she should have been told she risked losing benefit, the Work and Pensions Secretary brought in the emergency law.

But Mrs Justice Laing said it was incompatible with European Human Rights.

Lawyers acted for Ms Reilly said: “This case is another massive blow to this Government’s flawed and tawdry attemps to make poor people on benefits work for companies who already make massive profits, for free.

“I call on the DWP to ensure that the £130million unlawfully withheld from the poorest of our society is now repaid.”

The department said it would appeal. It said: “We disagree with the judgement on the legislation. It was discussed,, voted on and passed by Parliament.”

Benefits Cap – New Figures Revealed

The press over the weekend have revealed that more than a quarter of families set to be hit by the benefits cap have found jobs or reduced their claims.

It was estimated last year the £26,000 a-year limit would affect 56,000 families. But official statistics released on 12/04/13 show only 40,000 are likely to face the cuts – a fall of 16,000.
Of those who will avoid the cap, half have found jobs and the rest have moved into cheaper housing.

It also emerged 25,000 peo9ple set to be affected have accepted Jobcentre Plus help to find work.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said it proved the benefit cap was already helping to change behaviour – even before it is introduced. The cap limits welfare payments to £500 a cweek for families and £350 for a single person.

Pilot schemes will be launched in four London boroughs – Croyden, Bromley, Haringey and Enfield – on Monday 15th April 2013 ahead of a national rollout from July. It comes after officials sent out warning letters to families likely to be affected.

Mr Smith said “The benefit cap sets a clear limit on how much support the welfare state will provide – the average wage for working households.

But it’s also a strong incentive for people to move into work and, even before the cap comes in, we are seeing thousands moving off benefits. The cap is expected to save £110million a year.

However, shadow work and pensions minister Stephen Timms said the Government was having to borrow £245billion more than planned to pay for extra welfare spending caused by high unemployment.

As intimated in the blog before regarding welfare reform, an attempt to radically reform it at some time was inevitable. The reforms will begin to kick in and so will all the detrimental ramifications and knock on effects affecting the less fortunate. There will still be millions unemployed and genuine disabled people stressed into an earlier grave while those whose pockets are nicely lined will still tick over very sweetly – as ever!!!..   
More information on the Benefit Cap

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