What I am aware of is that the reforms are part of a package that includes an increase of free childcare to 30 hours, which is worth about £5,000 and will help working families combine work and childcare. That is how we are going to help children. Work, not benefits, is the route out.
Beveridge’s guiding principles were clear—the individual has to take greater responsibility, alongside the state establishing a national minimum standard to ensure that the most vulnerable are looked after and that there the system is sustainable. The main problem with the existing welfare system is that it has allowed businesses to act in a way that is both unpalatable and bad for the economy. It has facilitated the underpayment of workers, which has allowed chronic under-training and under-investment in staff. The problem is simple. If a business or an employer knows that low wages will be topped up by the state, what is the point of investing in its workforce? What is the point of investing in training or promotion?