UK & World News
Iain Duncan Smith Warns Of Benefit Cuts
Welfare claimants may in future only be able to have two children before facing curbs on their benefits, Iain Duncan Smith has indicated.
The Work and Pensions Secretary condemned the "madness" of the state subsidising poor families with lots of children.
He warned the current system encouraged people not to worry about the significant cost of a growing family.
Most families make decisions about the number of children to have based on what they can afford and what is workable, the senior Conservative told the BBC.
"People who are having support through welfare are often free from that decision," he said.
"We want to support people if they have children when they are out of work ... but what we also want to say is really 'is there an endless point to this?'," he said.
"Can there not be a limit to the fact that really you need to remember you need to cut your cloth in accordance with what capabilities and what finances you have?"
The Cabinet minister denied the number of families he is talking about is tiny, insisting it involved "large numbers".
"This is madness...," he said. "My view is that, if you did this, we would start it for those who begin to have more than, say, two children."
He added that it had been accepted "for far too long" that people could just stay on benefits "and we write them off".
"You can't just sit there and gather more and more on benefits. Benefits should be, for many people - unless you are chronically sick - a temporary place, a place you then move on (from) and into work."
Chancellor George Osborne intends to slash another £10bn by 2016/17 from the welfare budget on top of the £18bn already being cut as he attempts to balance the books.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: "For all the tough talk, the truth is it's working people who are seeing their help axed. Never before have working people paid so much in and got so little back.
"We were promised a welfare revolution and all we've got is welfare chaos - chaos that working people are being forced to pay for."
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what do you think?
Liam Byrne (Shadow Work + Pensions Secretary) - What you really mean is "Never before have non working people paid in so little and got so much back" the founder of the welfare state William Beveridge said recipients should not expect to benefit "from a bottomless pit" of f*nds (Can't write the word F U N D S - It apparently is a swear word ?????:) - Strange that the article above can though. Benefits should be - unless you are chronically sick - a temporary place, a place you then move on (from) and into work." Never a truer word spoken.
Quite right - if there is work available. One of Beveridge's prequisites for the welfare state was 'freedom from unemployment' - we were then on the cusp of full employment, and could be again if our politicians had the will to do it.
Chris I think that the boundaries of the welfare state have been pushed further by consecutive governments to a point where it no longer represents that for which it was intended. Beveridge could not have envisaged the effect of the EU or immigration therefore unemployment being a supply and demand condition is not helped by oversupply in the labour market. Peter is right you can not fund a bottomless pit when there are so many free riders.
What happens about those who have 3 or 4 kids and then find themselves on benefits after losing their job ?? I think a better idea is not to pay extra for kids born after a person goes onto benefits. Producing more kids is your choice and many working people who would like more kids are having to restrict their family because of financial constraints. Why should they support some benefit claimant who goes on producing more and more kids and then expects the state to keep them?
I agree entirely - well said.
Very good points Dave, it's not quite as simple as IDS has so far stated. I wonder if he's thought it all through? I think a fundamental requirement is to decide just how far into individual circumstances the benefits system is to intrude without tying the system into knots. There will be ealmost endless permutations to consider, i.e. what if the 3rd or 4th child is conceived whilst working, yet born during unemployment - what then? I suspect the courts are going to be sitting nights to resolve all the test cases.
Lee Wright Addy
I think the answer is to control how the benefits are spent. Instead of dropping cash in the bank which can be spent on anything - They should receive a card which can mostly only access food, clothes and utilities. If they need to access the balance of the account for another purpose then they need permission from one of the jobsworths at the jobcentre.
Lee Certainly an idea but they tried vouchers once before with asylum seekers and all they did was sell them to get money to spend as they chose
lee but its my money
Lee Wright Addy
If its a bank card then its harder to "trade" - the goods for cash/services. The responsibility needs to be pushed back on the card holder for them to buy the things they need and not the things they want. As for asylum - the people that come here and break the rules need to be deported immediately if they try and circumvent. We need to get tougher. Ive lived in countries where theres no benefits system - and people survive.
well go back
Whether or not people have more children, if further cuts are made, does it mean that the Tories will be content to see young children go hungry, sink into deeper poverty? Is giving the rich even bigger tax cuts worth a child going hungry? I mean, really? If they want to see prostitution as a boom trade, go ahead, as most prostitutes work the streets ususally for two reasons, to feed a habit and/or feed their kids. Tory Britain - isn't it fab?
There are unfortunately those who thrive on the benefit system and child benefit appears to be the icing on the cake however as Dave and others says I do not think IDS has thought this through because there is going to be the fringe case which falls out side the guidelines.
Agree with him working people live within what they can afford whereas some have kids to make more money about time it was restricted.
Shirley I accept there are a lot who fall within the category you identify but then there are those who for one reason or another could get caught in a trap therefore this would require a bucket load of guidelines. I am also wondering how certain ethnic groups would fair?
Good idea just as long as it is applied to those who are already on benefits and not to someone who, as Dave says below, was working and had three or four children, and then loses his or her job.
What about foreigners who claim housing benefits for living here when lot of time there's more than one lot of people living in the house - happens a lot round here 2 or 3 couples in one house but only one couple registered and getting housing benefit - they've not paid anything into system but get loads back yet almost impossible to report as council want names occupations etc etc
Makes me sick to see a rich politician, untouched by recession or poverty, taking benefits away from poor families as well as the disabled and invalided. . .Duncan smith wont be around to see the fallout of his cuts take effect in homes up and down the country. Deeper poverty than before. Whilst duncan smith and his Etonian mates sip the finest champagne and count their millions. Reject austerity, reject benefit cuts, reject greedy hypocritical politicians
So increase taxes then Stevie or do you have a magic wand?
well said stevie. should slap them on benefits for a while you. about time people stood up to this goverment
i work and buy the time i pay bills and towards rent im nearly skint. whats the point. and this goverment wounder why people suffer with depression and become ill. how low is this goverment to cut peoples money that is disabled. the way this goverment is going theres going to be more crime more riots. people in this country got no backbone myself. people winge about petrol but what do you do nothing. then people winge when it goes up again.
I agree. I only have one child. Hubby and I both work. We can't afford another child even if we wanted one. What really annoys me is our water board says if you have there or more children you get money off your bill (even though they're using more than you with either one or no children!)
Three or more children
Its a shame he is just playing you all and you're falling for it, why doesn't he start by making these huge corporates pay their fair share of taxes, increase taxes on earners over 150k and on those over a million even further. Stop pointless expensive wars and weaponry and nukes, make the banks repay ALL OUR MONEY plus interest .stop foreign aid..there that's a start, then you have the right to start picking on the people that really need money..stop gobbing off and turning the needy into diversionary scape goats...
Simon. How about discussing the issue in question rather than go off at a tangent with your own hobby horse about illegal wars, foreign aid and bankers etc
David, because its very relevant the point I'm making, you could get allot more revenue by what I'm suggesting and this is just a diversionary tactic which is biting at issues just to set people off rather than tackling the real finances that are readily available and instantly at hand that will save far more money a thousand fold....its just the politicians petty game...the employed against the unemployed the private sector against the public....when the real issues are the ones I've already dealt with..wakeup
Simon. We need to look at the ways in which we spend our money. The cost of Welfare has increased by 60% since 1997 and that is a lot of money. You seem to advocate Tax the Rich, tax the banks, stop foreign aid, stop illegal wars but whatever you do don't take a penny piece away from areas where we spend the most
people had 6 -8 kids years ago
Stephen. That is because years ago, and we are talking about the early 20th century here they didn't have either the means or the knowledge to stop them
Kneecaps. That is very true. I thought about ending my post with thank god for childhood diseases but thought better of it. You however have raised the subject
Dave we are talking about 50s 60s 70s as well
Stephen. You may be right but certainly not in my experience. I grew up on a council estate during the 50's and families with 6 -8 kids were rare
Iain Duncan-Donut has ordered that the third born child of a pleb couple must be left outside to be devoured by wild animals, compassionate conservatism in action.
Social Cleansing by another name.
Yay, another well thought out tory plan. Here's the problems I can foresee off the top of my head (some have already been mentioned) - What are families who already have more than 2 kids supposed to do, throw some of them in the recycling bin? What about working families with more than 2 kids who lose their job(s)? What about families whose beliefs/religion forbids contraception (ie - catholics), are they never allowed to have Sex again, just in case? What about accidental pregnancies. Even with contraception these can still happen. Will women be expected to have abortions because it's inconvenient for the state? I'm afraid the idea that there are thousands of young girls out there churning out sprogs just to get a house is pretty much a fallacy. After all, you'd have to be monumentally thick to have a kid, with all the fun of pregnancy and agony of birth, the feeding, sleepless nights, caring etc etc just to get a bigger living room and a few quid a week more (which has to be spent on the child anyway).
Excellent point, Bubs. It's a fact that a very small percentage of parents have as many as four kids.
Lee Wright Addy
stephen - its only your money unless you have earned it. this card should not be applied to everyone on benefits ( i.e. - real disabled people or people with good employment records ) but only to these clowns that think they can freewheel from day 1. I think labour wanted to expand the economy by growing the population ( hence child tax credit ) but the plan has back fired because the *wrong* people had the extra children.
you talk rubbish stop reading that rag the sun
So how do you tell the real cases from the fakes, Lee? At the end of the day, if people want to live on benefits for ever, they'll find a way to do it, and if they can't they'll just turn to crime or begging/borrowing. You can't solve this problem by cutting off benefits for everyone based on the actions of a few. Just like the war on drugs, terror or whatever else, you can't win by prohibiting the things people want or need or by imposing harsher and harsher sentences for those that break those prohibitions. You have to look at the underlying problem that makes them want/ need those things and eliminate them. In this case that solution is to provide enough decent jobs with a decent livable wage that people will want to take. Make working more appealing instead of claiming less appealing.
I really do believe that single parents and sick and elderly deserve the help from the benefits ......single parents dont get enough help so why would they want to go back to work??? I am a single mother myself and would love to go back full time,but with just my income and then less help its impossible its just not fair...and I would love more children in the future but this makes me wonder whats the point. Then you are only allowed to ernest a certain amount before all help gets stopped,it really rages me as I work so hard to support my child.
Well said, Janine. My daughter is a lone parent after escaping from her abusive 'partner'. He gives absolutely no support. CSA tried to get him but he left his job rather than support his child. My daughter has a job as an administrator on £19,000. Her company recently made lots of staff redundant, she was lucky and got relocated to offices in Cheadle (from Warrington). But it means my daughter now has to drop my granddaughter off at nursery in Warrington (and pays through the nose for that service), then drives over an hour to work and gets back shortly before 7pm after picking her daughter up from friends who have picked her up then it's straight to bed. She's exhausted, at her limit, and the money goes nowhere, just to exist.
Chris. One of the big problems where women are left as single parents is the attitude of the men involved. They father kids and then quite happily walk away from their responsibilities and leave others to pick up the pieces including the state. Months later and the next girlfriend is pregnant and the cycle starts all over again
people had kids in the 50s 60s 70s big families 6-7-8- kids . they all worked whats changed . i tell you whats changed no jobs rents unaffordable .in 1978 a council flat was £8pw all in . Cameron this your put council rents up &.7.1% all this started in 1979 rents should not be over 1/2 your wages
Absolutley Stephen. If you work a 40 hour week and 20 of those are just to put a roof over your head, it can look mighty apealing to do nothing and let the state pay for it. After all, they're the ones that helped to create the situation. I'm not saying that's a good attitude, but it is an understandable one.
This should of been brought in years ago as to stop benefits being abused. Why should a working person pay for something that we can't afford ourselves. This is definitely a step in the right direction because at the moment welfare breeds welfare and the cycle starts all over again.
IDS - the 'Quiet Man' that squeaks - another failed Tory leader - once was on one of those 'reality' TV shows where three politicans were to spend two weeks each with someone living on benefits. He bailed out after two days 'due to family illness' and didn't return. Did he base his 'Broken Britain' on that? The only thing that has 'broken' Britain has been the endless years of cuts, unemployment while the rich suck the wealth out of this country off the backs of ordinary working people. IDS? In Deep S*** more like.
I'm amazed how people lay into the the incredibly small minority of rich people from business, commerce and politics as if they are responsible for all the ills of this country. The 'illiterate' wealthy like footballers, pop stars, reality celebs are never mentioned. Broken Britain can only be mended by people taking a pride and responsibility in their country, not continually knocking it from the comfort of their bed, surrounded by giro cheques.
I wish I'd said that, Steve. I'd just like to add that a lot of the "evil" entrepreneurs work very hard to establish and expand their businesses - businesses that provide employment. I know a couple of people who've established flourishing companies from small beginnings and, to me, they seem to be giving a lot more than they're taking.
One of the great advances in my lifetime has been the fact that having children has become an issue of choice, rather than an issue of chance. So why are so many of my tax paying peers playing the role of adopted parents to children born from casual and irresponsible relationships or from an uneconimic background? It's a wonder the names of British taxpayers do not appear on the birth certificate of millions of children. Well done I D-S, you are absolutely right. One across - a method of limiting the size of a family - 13 letters - answer CONTRACEPTION
Drat, got it wrong. i'd written RESPONSIBILITY, but I tend to use that as the asnwer to most things.
indeed steve its a great pity that contraception is not mandatory in those nations that are ALWAYS begging us to feed their children BECAUSE OF THE FAMINE overpopulation brings !! WHEREAS blind stupidity from those in the west continue to throw our money at IRRESPONSIBLE ""PARENTS" that continue to have children at OUR EXPENSE !!