IMF says cutting benefits and tax would 'encourage more men back into work'

Cutting tax and benefits would “encourage” more men to get back into the workforce, a leading think-tank has said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says there is an “urgent need for policies” that would get more people working and provide a boost to the economy.

It comes as new figures revealed the number of Britons who are unemployed and not looking for work hit 9.25 million, a record high.

According to the Office for National Statistics, over a fifth of UK adults aged 16 and 64 are considered economically inactive.

The IMF has now said men would be encourage back into the UK’s workforce if benefits were slashed and tax was reduced.

Meanwhile improved childcare and training opportunities would help women get into work, the IMF said. Increasing retirement age would keep older people working, it claims.

The IMF’s report was not just examining the UK population, It says there are high levels of inactivity across the globe, reports MailOnline.

The think-tank has however been criticised previously for its glum outlook regarding Britain’s economy.

Former Conservative Party deputy chairman Brendan Clarke-Smith, told MailOnline: “It’s nice to see some actual sense from the IMF for a change.

“I couldn’t agree more with the idea of tackling worklessness by cutting benefits and our own reforms from the Department of Work and Pensions have certainly been very welcome.”

Around 2.8 million of the 9.25 million “economically inactive” people in the UK are thought have be on long-term sick. While students make up 2.6 million, 1.6 million are looking after their home or family and 1.1 million have retired early.

There are however around 700,000 more people on benefits in the UK now than before the Covid pandemic. An increasing number of these are people suffering from mental health problems.

Last month Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride announced plans to get 150,000 people signed off work with mental health issues back into employment.

Writing in The Telegraph, Stride said: “There is a real risk now that we are labelling the normal ups and downs of human life as medical conditions which then actually serve to hold people back and, ultimately, drive up the benefit bill.

“If they go to the doctor and say ‘I’m feeling rather down and bluesy’, the doctor will give them on average about seven minutes and then, on 94 per cent of occasions, they will be signed off as not fit to carry out any work whatsoever.”

Another think-tank, the Taxpayers’ Alliance agreed that the tax system “reduces the incentive to work hard”. It said Brits feel as though their “pay packets seem to be shrinking”.


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