Govt: Welfare changes help people into work and out of poverty

Simply increasing benefits isn't the answer to tackling poverty, the last decade has shown that.

For too long the welfare system has kept families trapped in a cycle of benefit dependency and made it impossible for many to contemplate moving into work and off benefits. That is not right or fair.

We are fundamentally changing the system so people are helped into work and out of poverty, whilst providing support for those where work is not a realistic option.

The facts are benefits have risen twice as fast as wages over the past five years, and even in these difficult economic times they will continue to rise each year. But we must ensure that every pound spent on welfare is helping people in the most effective way it can.

– A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson

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Bishops condemn benefit plans

The Archbishop of Canterbury is among 43 bishops who have written an open letter to a newspaper condemning Government plans to change the benefits system, saying it will have a "deeply disproportionate" effect on children.