Our welfare system undermines the value of hard workby Frank Field / September 19, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Protestors in Trafalgar Square (© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk)
The longer parties are in power the greater the difficulty they have in breaking free from their time in government—and their former policies—once they occupy the opposition benches. This rule is playing out with a particular vengeance in Labour’s welfare reform programme. Disengaging from the past is not made easier for Labour by the way that the coalition government has copied their welfare approach, tooth and claw.
Such a disengagement is crucial, though, if Labour is to become an effective opposition. It must do so to establish a wider electoral appeal and before the government’s approach fails. Now is the time for Labour to set out the principles that would underpin a new approach.