Press Esc to close

Britain targets jobless in huge welfare shake-up

Last updated: 11 November, 2010
London, Nov 11, (AFP): 21:07 IST

Britain unveiled plans on Thursday to stop handouts for up to three years to jobless who refuse work, in the biggest shake-up in the history of the welfare state, a day after violent protests rocked London.

Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government also plans a "universal credit" instead of the current complex system of separate benefit payments as part of reforms aimed at cutting Britain's huge deficit.

The announcement came a day after university students stormed the headquarters of Cameron's Conservative party during a march against plans to hike tuition fees, in the first sign of public anger against the austerity drive.

"We will make sure work always pays more than being on benefit," Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said as he unveiled the plans before parliament.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, which took power in May, describes the plans as the most radical since Britain's wide-ranging welfare state was put in place shortly after World War II.

Speaking in South Korea where he is attending the G20 summit, Cameron said: "It simply has to pay to work. You can't have a situation where if someone gets out of bed and goes and does a hard day's work they end up worse off."

Cameron also condemned as "completely unacceptable" the actions of students in yesterday's protests in which 14 people were injured and 50 arrested.

Duncan Smith said the plans would reduce the yearly five-billion-pound (5.8-billion-euro, USD 8.0 billion) cost of fraud and error on Britain's welfare bill, which now accounts for roughly a third of government spending.

The government wants to introduce a sliding scale of penalties for those who either decline a job offer, fail to apply for a job they are advised to or do not turn up for mandatory four-week manual labour placements.

The weekly 65-pound unemployment benefit will be stopped for three months for those who violate any of the conditions. That would rise to six months for a second violation and three years for a third.

The plan for a single benefit payment to replace the system of handouts and tax breaks for housing and childcare would, meanwhile, lift 800,000 people out of poverty, Duncan Smith said.

"The universal credit will provide a huge boost to those who are stuck in the benefit trap," he told parliament.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
CPI(M) workers chant slogans at a protest rally outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday...

CPI(M) workers chant slogans at a protest rally outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday...

Woman teachers pose with Diwali greeting messages at a school in Moradabad on Tuesday...

Woman teachers pose with Diwali greeting messages at a school in Moradabad on Tuesday...

A girl buying decorative items in a market on the occasion of Dhanteras festival in Bhopal on ...

A girl buying decorative items in a market on the occasion of Dhanteras festival in Bhopal on ...

Vendors show lanterns to customers at a roadside market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in ...

Vendors show lanterns to customers at a roadside market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in ...

BJP National President Amit Shah and BJP Kerala state president Kummanam Rajasekharan wave to the ..

BJP National President Amit Shah and BJP Kerala state president Kummanam Rajasekharan wave to the ..

England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.