Labour adopts tougher line on benefits system

THE LABOUR party yesterday signalled it would adopt a tougher line on benefits payments, as the coalition’s radical reforms to the welfare system begin to be implemented.

Harriet Harman, the party’s deputy leader, admitted that some claimants are “not pulling their weight”, as the party leadership set out proposals that would directly link welfare entitlement to past tax contributions.

“[People in work] feel very resentful to people who are not working. For the people who are looking for a job and can’t find work, it’s deeply frustrating,” Harman told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

She backed local councils that are choosing to allocate housing on the basis of “whether people contribute to the local economy through their work, or contribute through community work”.

Labour has vehemently opposed the raft of reforms being introduced this month, such as a £26,000 cap on the total amount that can be claimed by each household and a charge for social housing tenants who have spare bedrooms.

However a recent YouGov poll suggests 67 per cent of Britons back the changes.