Instead of making them a bunch of soon to be broken promises, and trying to create a siege mentality that Sir Alex Ferguson would be proud of, the Government is trying to bring people into the economy, not simply throw away the bits it doesn't want.
The Chancellor is faced with a simple mathematical problem; he doesn't have enough money to pay for all the things that we want, so some hard decisions need to be made. If we were a less demanding lot, and would accept lower standards of education, health, and other social services, then our upkeep would be easier to meet, but for the most part we don't like that idea. Similarly, if we were prepared to keep on putting all our goodies on the never never, the Chancellor could keep up our standard of living by racking up an ever increasing deficit, but we don't like that idea either. So the only way out is to economise at home, and that means taking a long hard look at things like defense and welfare.
And while I can see that making cuts will help to balance the books it's reassuring to see that between them George Osborne and Work and Pensions Secretary, Ian Duncan Smith, are taking a strategic long-term view on the problem, which aims to move people from one side of the ledger to the other, and hopefully improve lives as they reduce welfare reliance. For some people the thought of getting back into the workforce after years on benefits must be a scary thought. But I don't believe the lazy view that the majority of people receiving benefits are a bunch of scroungers. Ask 100 smokers if they want to quit and I reckon 85 will tell you they would love to, but most will admit the pain of withdrawal is what is holding them back. In the same way I bet if you asked 100 people on benefits if they would rather work for a living and most would answer 'yes!'
This problem of facing the pain is exactly what IDS was talking about when he was explaining the need for a 'complete cultural shift' to end reliance on benefits. After all who would chose dependence over independence? The difficulty is that for years people have been allowed to become dependent on state money, and like the cigarette example, getting off the drug takes more than the knowledge that it isn't good for you. That is why those who can work need to be incentivised to get back into jobs, and if that means cutting some benefits then I'm 100% behind that.
In the last year a staggering 350,000 new companies have been registered, and somehow, despite being in and out of recession, the private sector has been absorbing the redundancies in the public, so I'm sure with the right support we can actually pull off IDS's 'complete cultural shift', and if we do the next decades could be very positive for the UK.