RISHI Sunak has pledged to end the “national scandal” of two million people who are out of work by forcing more benefit claimants to look for jobs, under plans to be announced in the Autumn Statement.

Under the changes, to be revealed on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of people with mobility and mental health problems will be told to search for work they can do from home.

It means benefits could be reduced by £4680 per year as ministers insist they can no longer be “written off” as incapable of working.

The changes in the rules for claiming benefits will apply to all new claimants from 2025.

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It comes after we previously told that benefit claimants will reportedly have their bank accounts monitored under anti-fraud plans drawn up by the UK Government.

As part of the new approach, The Times reports that existing claimants will be given a guarantee that they will not have their right to benefits assessed if they look for work.

The PM (below) has said he does not believe the existing benefits system is “sustainable” although said the Government would be “compassionate”.

The Chancellor is expected to increase benefits by 6.7% in line with inflation figures in September.

The National:

There are currently 2.4 million people claiming incapacity benefits.

Sunak highlighted his plans to overhaul benefits during a speech in north London on Monday in which he said: “We believe in the inherent dignity of a good job. And we believe that work, not welfare, is the best route out of poverty.

“Yet right now, around two million people of working age are not working at all. That is a national scandal and an enormous waste of human potential. So, we must do more to support those who can work to do so.

“And we will clamp down on welfare fraudsters. Because the system must be fair for the taxpayers who fund it.

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“By doing all of this, by getting people off welfare and into work, we can better support those genuinely in need of a safety net.”

Hunt is expected to say that people are currently being “written off” without any support of the prospect of getting a job.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride (below) started consulting on reforms to the work capability assessment back in September. 

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He is looking to tighten the rules on who can be classed as unfit for work based on a “substantial risk” to their mental health and plans to limit it to people with crises such as “active psychotic illness”.

Speaking last week, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “If you want to control the size of the state, you do need to include welfare reform as one of your priorities.

“As a Conservative, I believe you need to make work pay, and you do have to take measures that address the fact that every year we sign off nearly 600,000 people who come out of work, go on to benefits and are not required to look for any work at all.”

He said it was “not just right for taxpayers, but it is also right for the individuals concerned that we break down every possible barrier to moving back into the world of work”.

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A UK Government source told The Times: “We are taking long-term decisions to tear down the barriers to work we know people face.

“The evidence on this is clear: thousands of incapacity benefit claimants are desperate to work but don’t dare to dip their toe for fear of reassessment.

“So this is government saying loud and clear: if you want to try to work, we will back you – every step of the way.”