Magazine article Public Finance

Blunkett Brushes off Incapacity Benefit Reform Fears

Magazine article Public Finance

Blunkett Brushes off Incapacity Benefit Reform Fears

Article excerpt

Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett has dismissed claims that the government's proposed welfare reform package could punish the genuinely sick or disabled by forcing them back to work.

Blunkett said the public should 'not believe for a minute that the reform of the welfare state for the twenty-first century is somehow punitive - it is not'.

The programme outlined three key welfare reform Bills, including existing plans to reform incapacity benefit, which is paid to 2.7 million people at a cost of £7bn annually.

The government plans to scrap IB and replace it with two benefits. Claimants with severe disabilities will be moved to a disability and sickness allowance, with no requirement to seek work. But others would be given a rehabilitation support allowance, which will pay out less to claimants who are not actively seeking jobs. …

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