Monday, 21 February 2011

Making Work Pay...

Since I first stood as a Conservative candidate at the General Election I have wanted us to have a Government that is on the side of people who want to get ahead, the people who get up early, work hard, play fair and do their bit.

One of the key changes this Government is making is to make sure the system is on the side of just those people. The reforms of the welfare system will ensure that work always pays and no one can say they are better off on benefits.

The Welfare Bill Iain Duncan Smith introduced yesterday delivers just that. We will start to reduce these rates and simplify the system by introducing the Universal Credit, ensuring it will always pay to work.

What is so positive is that these reforms are particularly focused on helping those in work on low incomes who are doing the right thing but find they lose far too much of their take home pay. One million of these low earning households will now receive up to £25 extra every week.

The message is simple; if you play fair this government is on your side. However if you're unemployed and refuse to take either a reasonable job or to do some work in your community in return for your unemployment benefit, you will lose your benefits for three months. Do it again, you'll lose it for six months. Refuse a third time and you'll lose your unemployment benefits for three years.

We will ensure fairness for taxpayers by introducing an annual cap ensuring no family can get more in benefits than the average family earns by going out to work.

And we will ensure there will be no more cases of families getting over £100,000 in Housing Benefit by capping it at £400 per week.

After 13 years of Labour, I think most people in my constituency will welcome these changes.