UK & World News
PM: We Must End 'Culture Of Entitlement'
David Cameron has outlined moves toward slashing benefits for families and young people - warning that the welfare system is causing deep social divisions.
The Prime Minister has laid out plans to strip housing benefit from the under-25s, forcing them to live with their parents.
He has also floated time-limited unemployment benefit, and hinted at restricting handouts for those who have large numbers of children.
To his core supporters, Mr Cameron's welfare crackdown is a new solution to an old problem - how to make sure people do not do better out of work than in it.
But, to his detractors, it is a cruel shifting of the goalposts, with the Government ducking its responsibility to ensure the economy generates employment.
Undeterred, the Prime Minister said: "We have, in some ways, created a welfare gap in this country - between those living long-term in the welfare system and those outside it.
"Those within it grow up with a series of expectations - you can have a home of your own, the state will support you whatever decisions you make, you will always be able to take out no matter what you put in.
"This has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. That it pays not to work. That you are owed something for nothing.
"It gave us millions of working-age people sitting at home on benefits even before the recession hit. It created a culture of entitlement.
"And it has led to huge resentment amongst those who pay into the system, because they feel that what they're having to work hard for, others are getting without having to put in the effort."
At this stage, Mr Cameron is not talking about Government policy, only the potential direction of travel.
But it is clear that he would like to see people having to make more effort to find jobs, or risk losing the dole.
Controversially, he favours the removal of housing benefit for most under-25s.
"I want to stress that a lot of these young people will genuinely need a roof over their head, like those leaving foster care, or those with a terrible, destructive home life - and we must always be there for them," his pitch went on.
"But there are many who will have a parental home and somewhere to stay - they just want more independence.
"The point is this: the system we inherited encourages them to grab that independence, rather than earn it. So we have to ask, 'Up to what age should we expect people to be living at home?'"
It is a radical posture, and one that cuts little ice with either the Labour opposition, or with campaigners for the homeless.
Shelter maintains that, as around half of under-25s on housing benefit have children, the changes envisaged would generate serious and widespread hardship.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: "This is a hazy and half-baked plan when we need a serious back-to-work programme for young families.
"Many young families with their first foot on the career ladder will be knocked off if help with their rent is taken away.
"And young families that want to work won't be able to move where the jobs are."
It is also clear to the Conservative leadership that the ideas mooted will find little favour with its coalition partners - though that would appear to be part of the plan.
Most commentators believe it is designed to deflect attention from the party's internal difficulties that started with the rows over the Budget and are now focused on the Government's plans for Lords reforms - plans that Liberal Democrats love as much as many Tories hate.
In the longer term, the Prime Minister's pitch seems part of a strategy for the next election - staking out distinctive Tory territory.
His hope, naturally, is for his party to win outright.
The fear is that swathes of vulnerable people could turn out to be the losers.
what do you think?
"Yes Mr Cameron some are more entitled than others"
Get rid of the welfare system altogether. It will encourage people to save for a rainy day rather than expecting the tax payer to bail people out!
Get a grip Karen, save up with what? There are hardly any jobs advertised in our local job centre and the majority of those are for minimum wage.
Recent report on zerohedge found the UK has the highest debt, liablities and entitlement load in the entire world at 735% of GDP,.......................................Greece is 450% This country has been conned by past political leaders into believing we were a wealthy country, and in parts we are, except the real position had been masked by borrowing on the basis we were productive. Well, the chickens have come home to roost as the former third world on which we relied on for cheaply produced goods is also more productive in the higher value items and often exceeds us it technology. Everyone has a mobile phone, which are assembled in China, except 90% of the value and all the high tech items are designed and produced in Japan. Britain is fast reducing down to third world income levels with first world costs of benefits and public services. Think it was Thomas Jefferson who said; if something cannot go on, it won't.
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Caneron would be better placed firstly ensuring all those blue chip companies and individuals that neatly avoided paying their full due in taxes were brought to book. Secondly changing laws so thar immigrants were not allowed to claim benefit or houses Thirdly getting on top of benefit fraudsters The monies collected would be massive, or can they not do that? One would ask themselves why do they go for the easy legal target every time. Are the illegals to hard for them to catch perhaps?
Go Dave! Ensure a generation never votes Tory. Couldn't of thought of a better way of doing it!
I think this is a good move forward. You have to ask yourself, If it is wrong to punish people who have done nothing wrong. Then why do we feel it is right to reward people who have done nothing right.
About time something is done to stop all those scroungers living the easy life with our hard earned money. How about if they cant find a job which the majority dont bother even looking they have to do some community service to earn their dole packet.
"And it has led to huge resentment amongst those who pay into the system, because they feel that what they're having to work hard for, others are getting without having to put in the effort." So why are people not born here getting it then?
what about the benefits cuts for the milliions who should not even be in the country?
Thank God!! At last the penny has dropped and someone is at last going to put a stop to the 'benefits' of farming out children for money!!! Thank you David Cameron!!
I think this is a move in the right direction We need to cut spending If it is wrong to punish people who have done nothing wrong, Then why is it right to reward someone who has done nothing right.
What about the imigrants who only come here to get benefits why not start with with them, stop all benefits unless they have paid in 5 years of Nat Insurance for every one.
Good! Let's hope he does it sooner than later! It's about time this country realise if you want something in life you work for it, not have a baby and expect everyone else to pay for it for you.
I know plenty of layabouts and scroungers who are happy to waste their days watching Jeremy Kyle and looking forward to their next giro. But why would anyone be happy with this way of life? Why are their aspirations and expectations so low? I agree that something needs to be done with the benefits system, it has created a sub class who see this as their place in society. However, what really infuriates me is how the rich can be so hypocritical! I'd be delighted if young people who only know benefits as a way of life were reeducated to believe they could carve out a better life for themselves and make a contribution to our society. But at the same time, why aren't we going after the tax avoiders! This is the rich saying do as I say, not as I do.
There is one entitlement culture I wish Cameron would end and that is to stop all the leeches, spivs, tax cheats expense cheats and any other cheats who think it is their god given right to live off the endeavours of the dwindling population of honest workers in this nation.
I will never understand why immigrants were given the red carpet treatment over and above our own citizens and agree its half the problem. I believe in a welfare system for those who are disabled and sick but for able bodied citizens, why can`t there be some form of mandatory community service in exchange for welfare? It would curb the `something for nothing` culture.