I firmly believe in a welfare system that is both compassionate and fair. This means helping people move out of poverty and into work while protecting the most vulnerable.
Between 2008 and 2015, average earnings rose by 11 per cent whereas most benefits, such as Jobseekers' Allowance, rose by 21 per cent. Freezing working-age benefits intended to ensure that work always pays and that welfare did not outgrow earnings in a time of low earnings growth, following the last recession. This was a fair balance between taxpayers and those receiving benefits. There are, however, exceptions for benefits for disabled people and carers, as well as statutory payments. The final year of the freeze will be 2019/20.
I can assure you that the welfare system continues to be a source of help for many, and I will continue to support improvements when necessary.