Text Only Version Last Update: Press Releases (22 May 2006)
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Sick payout bid 'doomed'
The Sun, 25 January 2006
A DRIVE to slash Britain's sick pay handouts by 7billion a year is doomed, critics warned last night.
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Welfare supremo John Hutton confessed that incapacity benefit would be cut ONLY if people did not try to get jobs.
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The Work and Pensions Secretary, right, told MPs: "Existing claimants will remain on existing benefits."
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Labour's target was to take one million people off the incapacity benefit list - currently running at 2.7million. It was swelled by a staggering 661,000 new people last year.
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A third of those cited problems such as stress and depression. The problem is worst in South East England.
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Shadow welfare minister David Ruffley said: "These plans do not go far enough. The Government does not have the political will or competence to deliver these proposals, just doing what it thinks it can get by its own backbenchers."
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Mr Hutton said existing claimants would have to attend interviews to agree "an action plan to take steps to return to work". Labour MPs have been hostile to plans to tackle welfare bills and may yet scupper the plans.
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