Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Duncan Smith unveils details of welfare 'contract'

A major shake-up in the welfare system will benefit all those who "play by the rules", Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said.

The plan, which will see people who refuse to take up job opportunities stripped of benefits for up to three years, is part of a "contract" with the unemployed.

Mr Duncan Smith said simplifying the welfare system would ensure "work always pays more" than relying on the state by easing the rate at which benefits are withdrawn as income rises.

In a Commons statement on 11 November 2010, he said: "This is our contract: we make work pay and support you through the Work Programme to find a job.

"But in return, if we do that, we also expect co-operation from those who are seeking work.

"That is why we are developing a regime of sanctions for those who refuse to play by the rules as well as targeted work activity for those who need to get used to the habits of work.

"That will be a selective process, very much targeted on those who need to do it, not for everybody."

Shadow work and pensions secretary Douglas Alexander welcomed the aims of the plan but questioned whether Chancellor George Osborne had given enough support to make it effective.

Mr Alexander said: "He can count on Labour support when he is pursuing laudable aims even when it appears he cannot count on the support of his own chancellor."

SEE ALSO

Story Tools

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific