Yesterday I heard someone make the factious claim that we Conservatives persecute the unemployed. What I call persecution is being abducted and beheaded in the desert for your beliefs or being sentenced to prison and being flogged every other week for exercising free speech. But the hyperbole and histrionics of Labour’s supporters are boundless to the point where you can never cease to be amazed. We are tackling the slavery of benefit dependence and they accuse us of persecution.
At the heart of our welfare reforms is a simple goal: to tackle the culture of welfare dependency that Labour allowed to develop.
So we’re creating a system that helps people stand on their own two feet – restoring the incentive to work and ensuring that work always pays.
Gone will be the days when it could make more sense to sit on benefits than enter work. Now, the right choice is also the logical one.
Our new Universal Credit is already transforming lives, freeing people from welfare dependency and helping them provide for themselves and their families.
Yet Labour refuse to back the scheme. Having opposed every one of our vital welfare reforms, including the benefit cap, again they stand in the way of progress.
The difference between the Conservatives and Labour on welfare is one of values.
The Conservatives stand for giving people the security of a job and hope for a better future. We believe in rewarding the willingness to work and helping people get on in life.
By contrast, the only thing you can honestly say that Labour stands for is more welfare dependency. They truly are the welfare party.