Press release

Major reforms to welfare system announced

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has joined Iain Duncan Smith to announce a radical overhaul of the welfare system.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has joined Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to announce a radical overhaul of the welfare system.

Launching the White Paper ‘Universal Credit: Welfare that Works’, they said the reforms were driven by the principle that the purpose of welfare is to help people into work.

Read the White Paper: Universal Credit: welfare that works

At the heart of the changes is a new Universal Credit which will bring together a raft of existing benefits into one single, basic household allowance and will be available to working and non-working families. The amount that claimants will receive will depend on factors such as income, number of children and the cost of their housing.

The Deputy PM said:

Under the new rules, people will no longer be penalised for working. Our changes will ensure that work is always worthwhile, even if it is just a few extra hours a week. As people find jobs, or increase their hours, financial support will be withdrawn gradually and clearly.

He added:

Across the country households will be better off. Not just better off because they’ve crossed a notional poverty line. Better off because they will have the chance of a better life for themselves, and a better life for their children. As the saying goes, a hand up, not a hand out.

Read the Deputy PM’s speech in full

Read Work and Pension Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s speech

Published 11 November 2010