Firstly, it's important to realise that there's such a thing as the 'deserving poor', those who because of poor education, lack of training and the removal of, say, a manufacturing base (or pre-WWII a servant 'place') can't get jobs. They become demoralised through lack of prospects; the more depressed they get, the less likely they are to work - were there the jobs available in the first place, which there often aren't. The following 'big ideas' could provide opportunities for a proportion of the artisan classes to return or get into work:
1) ensuring that locals get first dibs at a job; ensuring that local jobs aren't passed out to immigrants because natives think they're too 'good' for it by removing benefits; providing on-the-job training for new starters rather than demanding experience that it would be impossible for them to obtain;
2) cutting overseas aid to India and China. In effect, we're handing them a hefty percentage of our GDP on a platter. A massive proportion of our manufacturing industry has been relocated to these countries, thus taking jobs away from Britain. Our miners and steel workers and ship builders are a fast-vanishing breed. Paying Indian and Chinese manufacturers to do the work we should be doing at home is an insult to our workforce;
3) offer substantially better business taxation rates to locate factories/manufacturing bases in the UK rather than overseas. Running a nation as a service economy is a hiding to nothing for, when the overseas manufacturing bases go bottom up, there's nothing left for us to provide a service for.
The 'deserving poor' get a pretty bad time of it. They've been badly educated in large classes which can't take the time to teach them properly and exposed to all kinds of experimental teaching methods. Small wonder that 25% of the population can't even write its own name. Many can't apply for jobs because they don't have any educational qualifications or the ones they do have aren't good enough. We need to buck up the education system seriously so that the vast majority of children are taught the 3Rs and little else until they've mastered them.
The amount on which the 'deserving poor' is supposed to live is scandalous. Beneath contempt. One simply cannot make ends meet on £60 a week. There is almost nothing one can do on £60 a week. Being given this little when one has no prospects of anything better fosters huge dependency and depression. A system of food stamps that would provide enough nutrients for a family would be a good start: if you have enough to eat (which most benefit claimants and the elderly alike don't, or have to live on the cheapest ready meals so impregnated with E numbers it's surprising they don't glow in the dark) you're a little less desperate. Soap and clothing ditto. Looking and feeling clean and presentable automatically changes you in the eyes of the world. If you smell of poverty and appear full of despair you become invisible. Society turns its back. You might as well not exist.
The poor will always be with us. There will always be those who are intellectually subnormal or retarded in some way. In the 'old' days, monasteries or parishes used to take them in and give them little jobs to do. Now they're put in over-priced facilities or into prisons after committing crimes. There will always be the undeserving poor: those who don't want to work; those who would rather turn to thieving, drug-running and scams. They've existed throughout history. What we don't want is for the deserving to turn into the undeserving poor because 'society' doesn't care if they're alive or dead: that they're damned if they try and damned if they don't.
These are the people who have been beaten through circumstance, poor aspirations, lack of opportunity, abysmal education, wretched housing, disjointed and fragmented upbringing and a Nanny State that doesn't care. To deal with our Welfare crisis, we need to deal with people, rather than statistics or stereotypes: because at present we've got an awful lot of people who have the potential to be very useful to themselves, society and the economy, but are all being treated and called 'scum'. We need to create the kind of Britain which permits free industry on home ground employing local people.