Grantham Journal column: Conservative councillor Richard Davies

Councillor Richard Davies.
Councillor Richard Davies.

Is it right that 13 years of Labour misrule left hard working households paying £3,000, on average per year (approximately £55 per week), to pay for the benefits system?

Recent figures show that a staggering 1.4 million people have spent most of the last decade on out-of-work benefits. This is a tragic, avoidable waste of talent and potential.

How can we, as a compassionate society, forget about the victims of our welfare system, the poor? Our broken welfare system gives some families over £100,000 in housing benefits in just one year, whilst many people who pay for this unaffordable subsidy through taxation cannot afford their own home.

This week, the Conservative-led Coalition government implemented the most significant changes to the welfare state since it was formed. The benefits cap will stop a family that is out of work from receiving more in total benefits than the average family gets in work: £26,000 a year. The reforms also end the perverse spare room subsidy, thereby ensuring social housing is used more fairly and effectively.

Making work pay is not only fair, it is the only way to regenerate our county. Universal Credit will replace the current complex myriad of means-tested benefits. No longer will it be possible to be better off on benefits than in work. These are common sense, fair and efficient reforms, that I hope we can all support.

Imagine the difference a reinvigorated welfare system can make here in Grantham. Better, more targeted support will help people get back into work. Sometimes people, perhaps a friend or family, needs a little help to reach their potential. Being stuck, dependent on handouts is not the way to help them.

Likewise taxpayers, who correctly fund welfare, have the right to expect people to help themselves and that the system is efficiently managed.

Lincolnshire Conservatives have a track record of delivering positive results here in Grantham. By working collaboratively with you, our electors, I am confident that together we can all make Grantham a better place to live, work and raise a family.