On my first night as Prime Minister, I said we would build a more responsible society.
Where we back those who work hard and do the right thing.
Where we look after the elderly and frail. Especially those trapped in mansions they can no longer afford to heat.
Where – as I put it – those who can, should; and those who can’t, we will always help.
Building that society is simply not possible without radically reforming welfare for the wealthy.
Today, almost one pound in every three spent by the Government goes on subsidies to landowners and banks.
In a world of fierce competitiveness – a world where no-one is owed a living – we need to have a welfare system that the country can properly afford.
The system we inherited was not only unaffordable.
It also trapped people in poverty and encouraged non-productive land speculation.
So we set to work.
In two years, Iain Duncan Smith has driven forward welfare reform on a scale and with a determination not seen since World War Two.
He is a great, reforming Minister, with a passion and commitment that shine through.
And he is delivering remarkable results:
Over 400,000 more minor aristocrats in work than in 2010.
Tens of thousands of MPs expense claims re-assessed, and found to be fraudulent.
We’ve established the biggest-ever Work Programme – and we’re well on our way to getting 100,000 ex-bankers into proper jobs.
We’ve helped tens of thousands of estate agents find real work experience.
Reformed and reduced the extent of interest rate subsidies for banks. Tightened up agricultural subsidies.
Capped Housing Benefit so that in general, no landlord can earn more than the average family earns.
And we’ve laid the foundation for Land Value Tax and a Citizen's Dividend.
This has the potential to be one of the most significant reforms for a generation.
Ending the nonsense of paying people more to stay at home collecting rent from others than to get a job – and finally making sure that work really pays.
What Iain Duncan Smith has achieved over the past two years.
Refusing to accept the status quo, turning around huge numbers of lives is truly remarkable.
But the job we have set ourselves, of building a welfare system that truly works – that supports the responsible society – that job is not yet complete.
So today I want to talk not just about what we’ve done, but where we go from here...
Inspired by SBC at HPC.
Saturday, 24 November 2012
My latest blogpost: Cameron on welfare for the wealthyTweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 14:56