Elections

Welfare Cuts, Work Incentives, and National Service

Main image to the post Welfare Cuts, Work Incentives, and National Service

Rishi Sunak has pledged to cut the welfare bill by £12 billion and get more people into work, calling it a "moral mission." The Conservative manifesto includes a crackdown on benefits, aiming to reverse the increase in claimants following the Covid pandemic.

Sunak emphasizes the importance of work for dignity, purpose, and hope, and believes everyone should have the opportunity to live independent lives. The government will increase mental health provision and encourage those who can work to do so.

The Conservative plan contrasts with Labour's, which Sunak criticizes for lacking a plan to control welfare spending. He argues that Labour's policies would result in a £2,094 tax bill for working families.

The Conservative plan includes a £700 million investment to transform NHS mental health treatment, aiming to provide therapy to over 500,000 additional people annually by 2030. Mental health support will be available in every school, and treatment for young people will be accessible nationwide.

The government will implement tougher sanctions for individuals capable of working but refusing suitable jobs, leading to the complete removal of their benefits after a year. The Department for Work and Pensions will receive new enforcement powers to combat benefits fraud.

Rules for claiming benefits will be tightened, requiring individuals with moderate mental health or mobility issues to seek employment. General practitioners will no longer be responsible for signing fit notes, with specialist work and health professionals conducting assessments instead.

The Conservative manifesto also includes a "Backing Drivers Bill" to prevent further charges on motorists. It pledges to increase the threshold for the Child Benefit Tax Charge from £60,000 to £120,000, effectively reducing taxes for 700,000 families.

Sunak will propose a new veterans' Bill, offering extended tax breaks for veterans' employers, cheaper railcards, and a new annual cap on visas to reduce immigration. A "triple lock plus" tax guarantee will ensure the income tax allowance for pensioners remains higher than the state pension. The manifesto also introduces compulsory national service, requiring individuals to complete either 12 months in the armed forces or volunteer work.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09