GUEST COLUMN: Support for working families, by Mark Spencer MP

Mark Spencer MP.
Mark Spencer MP.

The Government is often criticised for making reforms to our welfare system, but for me the single biggest priority for Theresa May as our Prime Minister has to be ensuring that there is more support for working people.

Here in Sherwood and across the country there are an awful lot of families, for example, who go out to work every day doing long hours on low wages and then still find they have very little disposable income once all the bills are paid.

For those families it is hugely frustrating to find that there are people who don’t work and still have a better standard of living than they do.

That isn’t right and that’s what the Government is trying to address, not just through welfare reform but by raising the Living Wage, reducing taxes and taking the poorest out of tax altogether, creating thousands of jobs and record levels of employment since 2010. In 2017 we’ll cut taxes again and double the level of free childcare available to all parents of three and four-year-olds.

It is quite obvious to everyone that we must support people who are unable to support themselves, whether that’s through illness or disability, or because they are caring for someone full time, or for one of many other reasons. What we must not do though is fall in to the trap that Labour did, and end up paying more and more money out to people who actually could be out working, so they can choose to just stay at home and live on benefits. That’s what our welfare reform is about, to offer every possible support and training to everybody who is able to work, to make sure that they get in to a job and can support themselves.

Getting people off benefits and in to work is the best possible way to reduce our welfare bill, and to help readdress that balance so that people who work hard can have the standard of living that they earn and deserve. That’s what Theresa May promised when she became Prime Minister and it’s what every member of her Government is working towards.