The Adam Smith Institute have published an excellent study (PDF) on the vitally important subject of welfare reform. It shows how the US has managed to fight poverty by getting people into work. In stark contrast, Britain's over-complicated welfare system masks incentives and tries to spend the poor out of poverty.
The success in the United States is hard to overstate, the ASI study said:
"America’s reforms emphasised work, long–term support and parenting responsibility. The process began with waivers allowing for individual states to opt to try their own welfare programs. These were broadly successful and paved the way for the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996. This changed the face of American welfare provision: between 1994 and 2000, the number of people receiving welfare dropped by half dropped from 5.5 percent of the population to just 2.1 percent."
With dependency blighting so many communities and so expensive for the taxpayer welfare reform needs to be made a top priority.