Sunak vows to cut £12 billion in benefits as part of ‘moral mission’ on return to work

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Rishi Sunak has claimed the Conservatives will save £12 billion from the welfare bill by the end of the next parliament by embarking on a “moral mission” to keep people in work and out of work. enjoy benefits.

The Prime Minister is desperately looking for ways to get his troubled election campaign back on track after last week’s crisis. D-day incidentin which he was forced to apologize for leaving the anniversary event early.

A welfare crackdown will feature in the Conservative Party manifesto, to be launched on Tuesday, along with a promise to make permanent a stamp duty exemption scheme for first-time home buyers with worth up to £425,000.

Labour, which will launch its manifesto next Thursday, will confirm Sir Keir Starmer’s promise no interest rate increase income tax, national insurance, corporation and VAT in the next parliament.

Sunak’s launch manifesto risks leaving the public indifferent, with opinion polls continuing to show Labor with the advantage A typical lead is 20 points and with the Conservative Party’s election campaign in chaos.

The Prime Minister remained silent on Saturday, canceling interviews, after he was heavily criticized for returning early from Normandy last Thursday, missing international D-Day commemorations.

Penny Mordaunt, a cabinet member, said in a BBC debate on Friday that Sunak’s actions were “absolutely wrong”, while some Conservative candidates feared the incident had hit the public. a major blow to their election campaign.

Nigel Farage, the UK Reform leader, claims that his party is becoming the “real opposition” to a future Labor government and Conservative candidates fear the populist party could soon surpassing the Conservative Party in the polls.

Against that bleak backdrop, Sunak promised to deliver a package of welfare reforms aimed at reducing the growing number of benefit claimants and keeping people in the workplace.

He argued that the number of people inactive for health reasons has increased by 40% from 2 million to 2.8 million since the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the welfare bill for working-age people with disabilities or health conditions is expected to rise from £69 billion to £90 billion by the end of parliament.

“Welfare reform is a moral mission,” Sunak said. Work is a source of dignity, purpose and hope and I want people to be able to overcome any barriers they may face to live independent and fulfilling lives.”

“That’s why we’re announcing a significant increase in mental health provision, as well as changes to ensure those who can work continue to work.”

Proposed measures include further investment in NHS mental health treatment, disability benefits reform, “matching notes” reform and tightening the system so that people with “ moderate mental health or mobility problems” can be helped with returning to work.

However, Tom Waters, deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said most of the measures had been announced by the Conservatives and he was skeptical about the savings they would bring.

“History shows that spending cuts are often much more difficult to implement than claimed,” he said. “Delivering an additional £12 billion in savings from this set of measures on top of what was forecast in the March Budget looks extremely difficult.”

The Labor Party said: “This is the latest desperate announcement from Rishi Sunak, who has once again pulled numbers out of thin air in an attempt to hide the fact that he has botched a welfare bill skyrocketed.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt told the Sunday Times that the Conservatives want to make progress on tax cuts for those earning over £100,000, including removing some “bumps”. ” taxes in the current system.


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