The welfare state: continuing the revolution – keynote speech transcript


In a major keynote speech for Reform, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, outlined his vision for ongoing reform of the welfare state and mechanisms for funding interventions that deliver life change.

“Rather in its true sense, welfare reform is about transforming the life chances and outcomes of those on benefits – bringing down the cost of social failure in the process. In other words, restoring fiscal stability by restoring lives.”

“It matters not just how much Government spends, but how we spend it and, most importantly, what impact our spending has.”

“Emerging evidence shows that those on Universal Credit spend nearly as twice long looking for work, and report working more over a 6-month period compared to those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. In the long-run, the improved employment outcomes under Universal Credit will contribute to estimated economic benefits of up to £7 billion a year. For every person entering work, or working more, that is the British economy more productive. But equally, it is a family with the security of a wage and hope for the future.”

“We have to reject the old tendency to pour money into programmes, but with no care for the results the other end. The history of such programmes is of great hope followed by embarrassing failure. With taxpayers carrying the risk when they failed.”

“…the premise behind social investment – which to my mind stands to make the single most significant difference to how we fund and deliver social services in years to come. Opening up that sphere to a whole host of groups who might never before have seen themselves as part of the solution for positive social change: be it private sector companies, high-net worth individuals, venture capitalists and more. With it, that money brings the rigour and discipline of the private sector, and the innovation of our most savvy entrepreneurs…Reuniting the city with the inner city. ”

Media Coverage

The speech was covered in The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Times.

Further Information

The Twitter hashtag for the conference is #reformwelfare.

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