Welfare

People want well paid jobs rather than having to live on welfare.

The Peoples Party must
ensure that economic growth provides real jobs that pay living wages, thereby avoiding the need for welfare support
provide much greater help – education and opportunities to stop people making the wrong lifestyle choices, such as choosing single parenthood and large families. We must also encourage marriage as the foundation of family life
make fundamental changes in the welfare system abolishing all existing benefits and payments
create a cash limited Welfare Fund of £26bn, sufficient to pay 2.5 million people £200 per week
ensure that a proper welfare safety net is put in place so that none is excluded from help, no one should fear not having food or shelter
make benefit payments reflect previous salary levels and disregard savings. Welfare payments should be reclaimed from future income
introduce time limits for the payment of welfare to those capable of working. We must end the something for nothing welfare culture
look to leverage the spending power of welfare benefits by introducing deals with supermarkets and others that maximise the value of support
create a Personal Welfare Service (PWS) that will tailor support to individual and local circumstances
abolish the Department of Work and Pensions, with all payments being assessed by local PWS staff and payments made through the Inland Revenue
investigate the establishment of a compulsory, pooled insurance scheme, covering home, car, travel, disability, critical illness, and unemployment
significantly increase the benefits paid to those with disabilities and critical illnesses that make them incapable of work, ensuring they get the generous support that they deserve. The rule guiding PWS staff must be to do unto others as they would have done to themselves
see welfare as part of a much bigger picture of giving financial security and personal wellbeing. We must actively reward saving by ensuring attractive interest rates for Personal Welfare Accounts

The welfare state – living on welfare – condemns people to relative poverty. For millions this is their reality. Success in providing welfare must be measured by not how much, but by how little, the government has to pay in benefits.

The nature and scope of welfare payments have increased widely since benefits were first introduced. The concept of the safety net to catch people in hard times, and help them to recover, has long been forgotten. The idea that the state should routinely take money from you to then pay it back as benefits is outdated and inherently wasteful.

The challenge for the government is not to pay benefits but to so stimulate enterprise that good jobs are provided for all those who can work. Government must, through the provision of education and opportunity, help people avoid circumstances where welfare support is necessary. To reinforce the point, we should not be cutting benefits, we should not be having to pay them in the first place.

We must develop personal and community resilience so that people have savings, can acquire assets and own their homes. Financial security is a vitally important aspect of improving mental and physical health.