As the new system of disability benefits begins for new claimants in some areas, some critics have warned that the changes will lift people out of a life of poverty and into a much cheaper non-lifestyle of not living at all.
The government defended the changes and insisted that the new Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which are replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA), will finally end the costly cycle of claimants desperately clinging to life.
Iain Duncan Smith hit back at the criticism by highlighting that taxpayers are paying out £50bn in sickness and disability benefits, or £20bn less than tax avoidance costs the economy each year depending on where your priorities lie.
“Actual taxpayers are paying real money to help people who are less fortunate than them – it’s quite ridiculous,” he said.
“The message we are sending to claimants is that we want to lift you out of poverty.
“The message we are sending to everyone else is that benefit claimants are completely taking the piss.”
Disability benefit changes begin
Prime Minister David Cameron has also defended the welfare reforms by revealing that claimants are trapped in poverty and better off than you at the same time.
“Benefit claimants have a clear choice between the poverty they’re trapped in or the lifestyle they’re resented for,” he said.
“Being simultaneously trapped in poverty and better off than those in employment isn’t fair on anyone.
“These changes will mean we now have a system that makes the unemployed pay….makes work pay, I meant ‘makes work pay'”.