Last night at the second Leonard Steinberg Memorial Lecture at Policy Exchange, Iain Duncan Smith outlined his mission for welfare reform. Interestingly, Ian Duncan Smith opened his speech by paying homage to Beveridge and his analysis: Beveridge foresaw many of the problems about dependency we face today.
Today 6 million people in Britain are dependent on welfare: worklessness, as Iain Duncan Smith acknowledges, is “engrained” in many people’s lives. To create the kind of society that Beveridge envisaged (a vision that Iain Duncan Smith seems to endorse) will require deep cultural change. And to achieve that kind of change, we need a grassroots conversation – open to everyone – on Beveridge’s successes (and failures).
This is exactly the kind of conversation we want to make happen (and we hope Iain Duncan Smith will want to be part of it too).