11 SEP 2012

The Need for Welfare Reform

The Government inherited a situation where five million people are trapped on out of work benefits and almost two million children were growing up in homes where nobody works. Stopping the cycle of benefit dependency was a priority for the Government when it took power.

Universal Credit is the most radical redesign of the benefits system this country has ever seen.

It will replace the current costly, outdated process with a online system that will be simpler to use and will make work pay.· Around 2.8 million low to middle income households will be better-off on Universal Credit and it will lift around 900,000 individuals out of poverty.

Today in a debate about Universal Credit I said;

The kernel of what universal credit is about is it gives a clear message that it pays to work and it is good to work. The Opposition call themselves the Labour party, yet too often when in office they gave the impression of being the non-labour party. This coalition is on the side of the working person—those who are working in a job in order to earn money and bring cash back to their families, and thereby to lift their children out of poverty.

It was often said in past times that the best cure for deprivation is a job. Many people in my constituency live in deprivation. It is important to get people back into work, to incentivise and encourage people to be in work and to make work pay; that is an important message to send. That is why I see universal credit as a message of optimism saying that we want everyone to play their role, and that everyone is expected to play their role and to be active in the workplace.

I support universal credit because it is a simpler system. It makes the situation easier to understand. There are not five different types of payments; there is just one simple payment. It is a fairer system, too. Rather than people losing 90p in the pound—thereby entirely disincentivising them from working harder to get a pay rise or from working longer hours—only 65p in the pound will be withdrawn, which incentivises them to work harder and for longer, and to bring more prosperity back to their families.

You can read all my interventions, and the debate, here.


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Charlie Elphicke

It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term. 

Many of my appearances in the House of Commons are now on Youtube. Please click the link to watch the footage.

Please email me at charlie@elphicke.com or ring my office on 01304 379669 if you need to get in touch.