When a 70 year-old welfare state has figured this out, you have to wonder why we haven’t:
The welfare system is “promoting destructive behaviour” by encouraging poorer families to have more children and denying them the incentive to get a job, the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will warn.
Iain Duncan Smith will say that the current payment of benefits is supporting “dysfunctional behaviour” and that for some families “the notion of taking a job is a mug’s game”.
In his first major speech since publicly agreeing to draw up another £10 billion of benefits savings, the Work and Pensions Secretary will insist that the system must return to the principles of William Beveridge, the founder of the modern welfare state.
Mr Duncan Smith will say: “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.
“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 highlight warnings from Beveridge, made almost 60 years ago, that those relying on benefits cannot hope to receive assistance “from a bottomless pit”.
“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,” Mr Duncan Smith will add.