"This is not because voters do not have very clear ideas about the welfare reforms they would like to see. On the contrary: a recent survey by Policy Exchange shows that if they had their way, the electorate would poleaxe the two central pillars of the welfare state, which are the assessment of eligibility and the balance of responsibilities.
"Overwhelmingly, voters reject the idea that the right to welfare should be decided on grounds of need. A vast majority insists that welfare should instead be earned. Voters are deeply uneasy with the direction of policy, begun in the early Sixties, that has seen Britain move away from its insurance-based system, where benefits were awarded only to those who had paid in, to a means-tested system that gives a universal right to benefits to anyone whose income is below a certain level. Especially since, under the guise of tax credits, a third of the country has been sucked into the welfare net."