In the good old days we did not seem to care how much money was spent on welfare, but now there is a plan to put a limit of £500per week on what a household may claim. Rowan Williams, one of our most intellectual bishops (is an archbishop) is leading a campaign against this as it will force more children into poverty.
Welfare was developed to help those unable to work and those out of work and it has become a bureaucratic and costly monster. It does do good but a big chunk of it is wasted.
I believe that the standards for disability should be fair but also that someone who may be unable to do a particular type of work may be quite able to do another. Training should be provided where possible and the person not consigned to the scrapheap.
Paying people based upon the number of children is stupid. Any working family must consider the implication of additional children. Those on welfare do not. That is wrong. A ceiling is required and procreation has responsibilities.
The average income in this country is £24,000 approx and surely a cap of £500per week for those not working is itself too low. Somewhere between 60-75% of the average income would be an incentive to work.
Finally the growing number of young unemployed must be tackled to make them employable. This includes reading and writing (for many are functionally illiterate) , as well as customer service skills (most jobs require) and timekeeping awareness which seems to have been thrown out as old fashioned. Too many employers are frustrated by the low skills of home grown talent who must compete with the most ambitious people exports of other countries.
More on the bishop in the Guardian