If you can work and if you’re offered a job and you don’t take it, you cannot continue to claim benefits. It will be extremely tough.
This statement has a partner. David could have gone on to say:
If you’re able to hire, and if you define a role for someone and you don’t offer minimally decent wages and conditions, you cannot expect to prosper through recruitment. It will be extremely tough.
State benefits aren’t just a signal to workers, they also send a message to employers: treat your people at least as well as this, or they’ll tend to prefer living on benefits. It shouldn’t always be the case that you’re better off working: in fact, one way to guarantee that work makes a person better off involves putting slackers in jail. It’s been tried.* For those who don’t want that sort of country (or something closer to it than we currently are) discussion of benefits can’t just be about the unemployed. More balance in the rhetoric please, Tories, or we’ll assume you don’t understand this.
* If you think that coming up with an actual example involves confirming Godwin’s Law, well, you’d be wrong. Apparently the Swiss had an arbeitsscheu policy of their own up until the early 1980s.