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Publication by the Blair ‘New Labour’ administration of new social security green paper “New Ambitions for our Country: A New Contract for Welfare”, setting out the principles of welfare reform based on the idea of “welfare dependency”.

What: New Ambitions for our Country: A New Contract for Welfare says that the current system contains disincentives to work and that fraud is taking money out of the system and away from “genuine claimants”. The green paper proposes to “reduce spending on Incapacity Benefit” by “fundamentally” reforming the benefit . The paper sets out the principles of welfare reform, claiming that the “system as it stands promotes fraud and deception, not honesty and hard work. It has led to growing poverty and dependence, not independence. It has fuelled social division and exclusion, not helped in the creation of a decent society.”

Why significant: Shows the charge of “welfare dependency”, which the previous Conservative governments had primarily levelled at unemployed people, was now also applied to people on incapacity benefits.


New ambitions for our country: a new contract for welfare, March 1998
Welfare: Green Paper