IAIN Duncan Smith has signalled his determination to intensify welfare reforms, arguing that the crackdown on benefits is cutting unemployment.

The Work and Pensions Secretary used a speech in central London yesterday to insist the Government is "delivering" after Labour left "whole sections of society... stuck on the sidelines".

The comments come amid speculation that the Tory general election manifesto could pledge to lower the benefit cap or extend other tough measures.

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"The number of households where nobody had ever worked doubled - and the welfare bill rose by twice as much as average earnings," Mr Duncan Smith said.

"More than half of the rise in employment that we saw was accounted for by foreign nationals."