Commenting on the launch of Ian Duncan Smith’s 21st Century Welfare Consultation, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:
“The Secretary of State’s objectives of simplification of the system and making work pay are laudable if hardly original. However, work can only be made to pay by cutting out of work benefits or through providing a wage that allows for a decent standard of living.
“Remarkably, the consultation sidesteps the fundamental issue of low pay which is a key contributor to poverty and a drain on the welfare budget. Up and down the country people in work are forced to claim benefits in what amounts to a public subsidy for poor employment practices.
“With jobless benefit levels already at levels below those when Mrs Thatcher was in power, it is morally unacceptable to cut them further. Therefore, to make these proposals work a rise in either in-work benefits or the minimum wage will be required. I wish Mr Smith luck in his negotiations with the Treasury”.
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