As I have often mentioned on this website, the biggest single current budget in Whitehall is the welfare budget. (£200 billion). It’s the one Labour rarely talks about, and does little to manage downwards.
I am all in favour of generous treatment of the very ill, the disabled and the disadvantaged. I also wish to see many more people currently on benefits helped and incentivised into work.
The Conservatives have come up with a raft of proposals that combine help for the willing and a tougher regime for the unwilling. They have made it clear that if people refuse a job they could do, they will lose their entitlement to benefit. They have said that people on long term benefit will be given work to do for the benefit, which will help them gain experience and the discipline of work to reassure a future employer. Combined with much stricter control of numbers of new economic migrants and illegal immigrants, this policy should start to make inroads into the unacceptably high levels of unemployment.
Positive measures to stimulate small enterprise, to get the banks lending again, and to start to bring the regulatory and tax burdens on small and medium sized enterprise down should create more job opportunities for the out of work.
The UK cannot afford to have well over 5 million people of working age on benefits without a job.
It was good news yesterday to see a Great Repeal Bill announced as a first measure for a new Conservative led Parliament, in the Sunday Times. As one of those who has urged this on the leadership, it was great to see it has survived the drafting of the first Queen’s Speech. The Economic Policy Review contained many ideas for the items that could be included in it. ID cards and Home Information Packs are prominent in the early lists, but there are many other measures from the last thirteen years that have raised our costs, complicated our lives but not brought worthwhile benefits which should also be cast on the bonfire.
Promoted by Chrisitne Hill on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU