Tuesday, February 01, 2005

More on Tony Blair's Disability Benefit Reforms

See this article. The first few grafs:

Tony Blair today heralded changes to the rules on incapacity benefit which he said could take one million people off the government's books.

The Prime Minister said the reforms were only needed because the benefits in question were used to mask mass unemployment under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Mr Blair said in a speech in Manchester that wide-ranging reforms due to be announced by Alan Johnson, the Work and Pensions Secretary, would deliver a system that rewards work and encourages people to "play by the rules".

Mr Johnson has already described the measures as the biggest change in benefits for sick and disabled people since the 1945 Beveridge Report created the modern welfare state. The Government says one million of the 2.7 million people claiming Incapacity Benefit - at a total cost of £7 billion a year - would prefer to be back at work but are financially penalised for doing so.


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