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PM defends benefit changes

Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a staunch defence of the Coalition's controversial benefits shake-up, saying the reforms are "putting fairness back at the heart of Britain".

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PM: 'Lost' benefits system is 'causing resentment'

Writing in The Sun, David Cameron has said the benefits system has "lost its way" and has become a "lifestyle choice for some".

It was designed to bring us together, but is causing resentment. I think the British people are about the most fair and generous people on the planet - but no one wants to work hard every day and see their hard-earned taxes being used to fund things they themselves cannot afford or keep generations dependent on welfare.

So this month we are making some big changes. They are changes that have a simple principle at their heart: we are restoring the fairness that should lie at the very heart of our tax and welfare systems.

We are working our way through everyone on what was called 'Incapacity Benefit', more often known as 'the sick', to see who can actually work, particularly if they are given some help. We now have proper tests to make sure people on benefits are looking for work - and tough penalties, including losing your benefits, if you turn down work you are able to do.

– David Cameron

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