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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Duncan Smith urges welfare reform
Iain Duncan Smith
Mr Duncan Smith wants charities to have more freedom
Some welfare payments should be handed out by local charities and community groups rather than the state, says ex-Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The Chingford MP says public confidence in the welfare state has collapsed.

An opinion poll for his Centre for Social Justice suggests more than 70% of people believe the welfare state fails to target those in genuine need.

Mr Duncan Smith is unveiling the findings of the poll and his calls for change in London on Tuesday.

He set up the Centre for Social Justice earlier this year in the wake of being toppled as Tory leader.

'A different way'

Funds for the poor should be channelled through community groups as part of the drive against problems like drug addiction, argues the ex-Army officer.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the findings of the YouGov opinion poll, Mr Duncan Smith said: "Reform of the welfare state is popular but people don't want government to turn its back on the needy without putting an alternative in place.

"There is an alternative - the welfare society - in which more money and support is given to a local charity or directly to people in need.

"The welfare state has crowded out most of the room for such giving.

"I want more taxpayers' money to go to the kind of welfare entrepreneurs that enjoy the confidence of needy people and local communities - groups run by people who have personally conquered problems such as drug addiction."

Shadow work pensions secretary David Willetts is expected to attend the launch, although Mr Duncan Smith's calls are not official party policy.




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