Exclusive: Tory Plans To Get Benefit Claimants Back To Work On Course To Fail

Official forecasts show the numbers signing on are set to soar at a cost of billions of pounds.
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Tory attempts to get people off welfare and into work have been branded a failure after it emerged that the number on health and disability benefits is set to soar by more than half a million by the end of the decade.

Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride unveiled the government’s ‘Back To Work Plan’ last month with the aim of getting up to 1.1 million benefit claimants into employment.

Under the scheme, those with long-term health conditions and disabilities will be given extra help to get them a job.

If they refuse the offer of a job once they are declared fit, their benefits will be stopped.

But forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility show that the number on health-related benefits is expected to rise by 600,000 to 3.4 million in 2028-29.

The overall amount spent on disability benefits for working age adults is set to soar by £33 billion to £77.1 billion over the same period.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall said: “Amidst much fanfare in the Autumn Statement, the Tories pitched their so-called ‘back to work’ plan, but the truth is it is no such thing.

“Their plans won’t get Britain working: a falling employment rate, and over half a million more people forecast to be on health and disability benefits – costing the taxpayer tens of billions of pounds in extra funding.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “Our Back to Work Plan will help up to 1.1 million disabled people, people with long-term health conditions or the long-term unemployed to look for and stay in work.

“Inactivity has fallen by over 300,000 since the pandemic peak, payroll employment is close to a record high at 30.2 million and there are nearly 4 million more people in work than in 2010.”


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