Employment and Skills, The Benefit System, Welfare to Work

Labour’s new approach to the welfare state

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne has called for a radical rethink of the welfare state, arguing that the benefits system has betrayed its founding principles and “skewed social behaviour”.

The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary argues that the ballooning of the system has provided support that is unearned, and mislaid the original ideal of providing help to those that contribute.

In an article for the Guardian marking the 70th anniversary of the Beveridge report, Byrne identifies;

  • housing benefit budget,
  • benefits for long-term unemployment,
  • the lack of proper incentives to reward responsible long-term savers as three key flaws in the current welfare state.

He writes: “Beveridge would scarcely believe that housing benefit alone is costing the country over £20bn a year. That is simply too high.”


For the last 13 years Labour has presided and supported this system it is clear that Labour now believes that its past record and ambitions were wrong..  not sure that the electorate will buy this 360 degree turn… is labour credible?

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