Chancellor George Osborne said there is "no something for nothing any more" when it comes to the long-term unemployed.
Mr Osborne told Daybreak: "What we're saying is people are going to have to do something in return for those benefits.
"There is no option of doing nothing for your benefits, no something for nothing any more. People are going to have to do things to get their dole.
"This is all activity that is going to help them get ready for the real world of work."
The Chancellor set out a tough new policy which will require future Tory governments to run an absolute surplus during periods of growth.
The costs will determine just how enthusiastic lenders are about jumping into the government's new scheme.
'Help to Work' sounds innocuous enough but it is a major gear change in the government's attempt to curb welfare costs.