The BBC is going to broadcast a look back at the Beveridge Report and the creation of the Welfare State (27 Nov on BBC Radio 4). The summary makes fascinating reading and indicates that a broader consensus is emerging amongst the political parties. Welfare payments are not delivering what Beveridge designed them to do, and, instead, have contributed to a population trapped in poverty and dependency.
The reasons for this are complex. Higher mobility of labour within Europe, fewer jobs in the low skilled category, a shift from industrial to a service economy with different income structures resulting in the need for top up payments for working families and much more.
Yet, one thing seems clear: the British people want to see a radical overhaul of welfare. The old status quo won't do anymore. It takes courage to embark on such an overhaul and Ian Duncan Smith may just have the determination to do it.
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