Welfare reform

Iain Duncan Smith's radical welfare reforms have been announced spurring reaction from politicians and commentators alike.

The work and pensions secretary proposes replacing the existing complex system of benefits with one 'universal credit', with sanctions for those who repeatedly refuse to take up work.

Labour have praised the principles behind the reforms, but argue that for them to work, there must first be sufficient jobs available in the economy.

Meanwhile, right-wing thinktank the Institute of Economic Affairs has criticised the reforms for not going far enough.

Fully £18 billion is being cut from the welfare budget under the spending review, though Mr Duncan Smith did secure funding for his idea to allow claimants to keep some of their benefits once they move into work.

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