Tough welfare reforms aiming to get thousands off benefits set to come into force

TOUGH welfare reforms that come into force tomorrow will help get thousands off benefits, a Cabinet minister claims.

New rules mean Universal Credit claimants working less than 18 hours a week will be expected to graft more.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said the changes are in the interests of 'fairness'


Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said the changes are in the interests of ‘fairness’Credit: Alamy

The changes affect more than 180,000 people on the hand-outs who’ll need to find more work.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We will always back those who work hard.

“That is why I am bringing in the tough new welfare reforms needed to get thousands more off benefits and into work.”

Claimants will join “intensive work search groups” — meeting with coaches to plan their progression.

Before 2022, a claimant could work nine hours a week while on benefits without being expected to look for more work.

The update is part of Rishi Sunak’s major welfare overhaul, which will include new benefits fraud squads able to arrest and fine more welfare cheats.

The PM has also promised to remove benefits after 12 months for anyone who does not take up work or a job offer.

And he will take power off GPs to stop them signing people off sick.

Mr Stride added: “Our work-focused plan for welfare is about doing what is beneficial for the economy — and keeping the benefit bill under control.

“It is about doing what is right for individuals, given all the financial, social and health benefits we know work brings.

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“Above all, it’s about fairness. It is not right for taxpayers to see their efforts rewarded by a system that does not use both ‘carrot and stick’ to help as many people into work as possible.”


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