Simon Fell welcomes a clear plan from the Conservatives to reform welfare and says ‘only the Conservatives will take the bold action needed to make welfare fair for taxpayers’

  • The Conservatives have taken bold action over the last 14 years to reform the broken welfare system inherited from Labour. However, since the pandemic the numbers claiming working age benefits have been rising and action must be taken to ensure the welfare system is fair and sustainable.

 

  • That is why the Conservatives are setting out our clear plan for welfare, taking bold action to reform the system by delivering a step-change in the provision of mental health support, controlling the rise in the number of working age people claiming benefits for a health condition or disability, and ensuring being on benefits is always a safety net, not a lifestyle choice.

 

  • These changes will deliver £12 billion of savings and ensure the welfare system supports people into work and is fair for both claimants and the taxpayer. Labour’s soft touch on welfare would take the country back to square one.

 

Simon Fell has welcomed the Conservatives’ clear plan to deliver £12 billion of sayings from the welfare system, getting more people into work across Barrow and Furness.

 

Since the pandemic, the number of people inactive for health reasons has increased by 40 percent from 2 million to 2.8 million, and the number of working age people claiming benefits is projected to grow at an unsustainable rate.

People are now three times more likely to be assessed as not fit for any work than they were a decade ago, suggesting the system is not functioning as designed and needs updating. Over half of those being signed off have a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression.

Meanwhile, spending on benefits for people of working age with a disability or health condition is projected to increase from £69 billion to £90 billion by the end of the Parliament.

The Conservatives will reform the welfare system to make it fairer and more sustainable. The Conservatives will bring the numbers of working age people claiming benefits for a health condition or disability under control and take action across the welfare system to make sure that being on benefits is a safety net, not a lifestyle choice.

With fewer people moving onto welfare and more people fulfilling their potential, the Conservatives will save taxpayers £12 billion a year by the end of the next Parliament.

Mr Fell said:

 

“The Conservatives’ bold action has made huge progress to reform our welfare system but we must go further to better support claimants across Barrow & Furness whilst being fair to the taxpayer.

 

“The Team Barrow project that I was glad to kick off has focussed very clearly on this locally – bringing together DWP and the Department for Education to help those who are struggling to get back into the jobs market to do so. This clear plan will dramatically expand mental health support and deliver on our fraud clampdown measures that are forecast to save £7.7 billion, saving taxpayers money whilst improving support for those in need, building on Team Barrow even more.

 

“Only Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives will take the bold action needed to make welfare fair for taxpayers. Labour’s soft touch will drive up taxes, taking us back to square one.”

 

Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister:

 

“Reforming welfare is a moral mission. Work is a source of dignity, purpose and hope and I want everyone to be able to overcome whatever barriers they might face to living independent, fulfilling lives.

 

“That’s why we have announced a significant increase in mental health provision, as well as changes to ensure those who can work, do work.

 

“That’s the choice at this election – between our clear plan that’s fair to taxpayers and fair to people who need help, and Labour who have no plan to control welfare spending and will land working families with a £2,094 tax bill.

 

Mel Stride, Work and Pensions Secretary said:

 

“”As Conservatives, we believe that work brings a sense of purpose, identity and belonging, and that everyone should have the right to contribute and fulfil their potential.

 

“So we are taking bold action to help more people into work and make the welfare system fairer for the taxpayers who pay for it.

 

“That’s the difference between us and Labour – we’ll take bold action to get more people into work and grow the economy, Labour don’t have the courage or conviction to have a plan for the British people.”


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