http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...e-entitled-to-more-than-the-average-wage.html Some families are able to claim nearly 100,000 a year, according to a new report from the Department for Work and Pensions. Iain Duncan Smith, the Welfare and Pensions secretary, said the generosity of the benefits system meant claimants thought those who worked were bloody morons. He said: This is a tragedy. We must be here to help people improve their lives not just park then on long term benefits. The State of the Nation report published by the DWP yesterday estimated that 670,000 households were eligible for benefits and tax credits worth more than 15,600 a year. Of that figure, 50,000 households were allowed to claim benefits worth over 500 a week or over 26,000 a year. The average Briton is paid 25,500 annually. To reach this level of income, two adults in a family would have to claim incapacity benefits, council tax benefit and housing benefit. They would also have to have three or more children, and claim child benefit and tax credits. The report also disclosed the amount of public money spent on housing benefit - intended to help cover the costs of rented accommodation - rose by nearly 40 per cent to 14.2billion in 2009/10. The maximum housing benefit award, the report said, was now more than 93,000 a year, according to the report. Unveiling a shake-up of the benefits system, Iain Duncan Smith, the Welfare and Pensions secretary, said: Aspiration it seems is in danger of becoming the preserve of the wealthy We literally cannot afford to go on like this. For some of the poorest people it simply was not worth risking going into work in case it fell through and they could not get back on the benefits, he suggested. He added that many people regarded those who took up job offers as bloody morons. For some people the move from welfare into work means they face losing more than 95p for every additional pound they earn," Mr Duncan Smith said. As a result the poor are in effect being taxed at an effective rate that far exceeds the wealthy. The system has become regressive. Our current benefits system is actually disincentivising people from work. These prohibitive marginal tax rates mean that for some people, work simply does not pay. We have in effect taken away the reward and left people with the risk. It is not wonder they are so resistant to finger-wagging lectures from the Government. The Government would bring forward new measures to ensure people were able to get back into work more quickly, coordinated by a new Cabinet committee looking at the benefits system. Longer term Mr Duncan Smith said he would be looking at wider reform of the tax and benefits system. However he gave warning that he would resign if his plans were not acceptable to the Treasury. He said: "The purpose of my life here is to improve the quality of life of the worst-off in society. If somebody tells me I have to do something different then I won't be here any longer. The report came as other DWP figures suggested that the nearly all of the UKs 2.6million incapacity benefit claimants should be in work. Since October 2008, all new claimants for incapacity benefit have been given medicals to see if they able to go to work. These found that nine out of 10 new applicants were either fit for work or could be moved towards rejoining the workforce. The medical tests have not yet been carried out on the existing 2.6million incapacity benefits claimants. However they suggest that if applied to existing claimants, 2.4million of them could be fit to work, or ready to join a work related activity group before taking up a job. :: A flagship 538million Government programme has made only a limited impact in helping disabled people into work, a report said yesterday. The Pathways to Work programme was first introduced in 2003/04 as part of the Government's drive to cut numbers on incapacity benefits by one million by 2015. The National Audit Office said the scheme offered poor value for money. It said that private companies and charities to deliver support to get people off incapacity benefits had universally under-performed, delivering results no better than those achieved by job centres. It said Pathways had had a limited impact and, while a serious attempt to tackle an intractable issue, has turned out to provide poor value for money. Claimant numbers have fallen by around 125,000 to 2.63million in recent years, but Pathways made only a "modest" contribution, said the report.