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The Prime Minister, expressing concern over a significant increase in individuals labeled “unfit to work” and claiming benefits, announced plans to implement reforms in England’s welfare system. Rishi Sunak highlighted the need for changes, emphasizing that the current system has not been reformed in the last decade, leading to a threefold rise in the number of people declared unfit to work.

Sunak dismissed the notion that the country is now “three times sicker than it was a decade ago” and asserted that tax cuts would be a reward for England, provided the welfare system is restructured. The government aims to address the issue of people claiming out-of-work and sickness benefits, which is costing taxpayers tens of millions annually.

In an interview with the BBC, Sunak outlined the forthcoming reforms, stating, “We have seen a very significant rise in the number of people deemed unfit to work, and that is something that is concerning to me. The system is not working as it was designed to work, and now we are bringing forward reforms that will mean that we look at the eligibility for who is signed-off sick.”

The reforms are intended to make it more challenging for individuals to claim benefits, focusing on newly presenting cases to the welfare system rather than affecting those already on existing benefits. Sunak stressed the importance of fairness and the conservative approach of ensuring that everyone who can work does so, with tax cuts serving as a reward for hard work.

The proposed changes aim to realign the welfare system’s objectives, reinforcing the idea that work should be incentivized and recognized with tangible benefits for the workforce.

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