£88 Billion Benefit Bill: Claimants Told They MUST Work Increased Hours

Changes to the welfare system mean that anyone working for less than 18 hours a week will be expected to seek more work if they want to keep receiving Universal Credit. 

Increase in Hours For Claimants

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Before these changes, people claiming Universal credit only had to work for 15 hours a week. The changes have been introduced as part of a broad reform of the welfare system in the UK.

Changes Impacting 180,000

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The Department for Work and Pensions says that the new regulations will impact 180,000 people claiming benefits. 

Work and Pensions Secretary Comments

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Regarding the changes, Mel Stride said” “I want to help thousands of people on their journey off benefits. We will always back those who want to work hard, and today, we are radically expanding the support available to help people progress in work.”

Stride Defends Reforms

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He also said, “With the next generation of welfare reforms, I want to help thousands of people on their journey off benefits and towards financial independence.”

Plan to “Make Work Pay”

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The initiative is designed to make working more attractive. Stride said, “Our plan is making work pay, with people in full-time work now £7,000 better off than on out-of-work benefits and our tax cuts putting £900 back in the pockets of millions of workers across Britain.”

Sunak Backing Reforms

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The Prime Minister said: “Welfare should always be a safety net, and not a lifestyle choice which is why we’re ushering in a new era of welfare reforms to help more people progress off benefits and into work.”

Hope More Workers Means Better Economy

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Sunak also said, “Today’s changes will help more people on Universal Credit move into well paid jobs and progress towards financial independence – which is better for them and for the economy.”

Changes Relative to Income

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The changes allow people to work fewer hours as long as their earnings meet the Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET). The figure has been set at £892 – the monthly equivalent of 18 hours on minimum wage. 

Additional Hours Expected if AEt Not Met

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Suppose a person claiming Universal credit isn’t earning the Administrative Earnings Threshold. In that case, they will be asked to look for more work or more lucrative sources of income. 

Changes Extend to Job Centre

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The government website says that to help people find additional work, “dedicated employment support will be offered through our Jobcentres, like CV support and skills training.”

Benefit Loss Will Occur

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The Government has said that if people claiming the benefits don’t engage with the help or turn away work offered to them, they may lose some of their benefits. 

The Charity Sector Has Concerns

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Michael Clarke from ‘Turn2Us’, a charity that helps those experiencing financial difficulty, said, “It’s vital that the support system truly supports, rather than penalises those it’s meant to help. These changes severely challenge those managing jobs with irregular or fluctuating incomes and carefully balanced responsibilities like childcare.”

Clarke Concerned for Single Mothers

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He also said: “For single mothers and others on razor-thin margins, these adjustments risk tipping them into crisis, exacerbating financial instability and mental stress as they struggle to meet these new demands.”

Government Figures Show Intervention is Working 

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They say the new rules “builds on the significant steps already taken to break down barriers to work, with almost four million more people in employment compared to 2010. The Government is clear that those who can work to support themselves, should work, and they should feel better off for doing so.”

Figures Show Enough Jobs

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The government figures show that 180,000 people will be affected by the changes, and there are 900,000 open job vacancies in the economy, so there is plenty of work to go around. 

Changes Widely Praised on Social Media

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Social media shows that there are plenty of people who support the measures. Anything that reduces the amount of people on benefits is a vote winner, whoever is behind the proposals. 

Government Determined to Increase Workers

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As mentioned in previous statements, Rishi Sunak is determined to increase the UK’s workforce, given the large number of people on sickness benefits. There’s also a significant economic cost when people aren’t working. 

Costs of Universal Credit

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Figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility show “spending on UC alone is expected to be £51.2 billion in 2023-24, up from £42.6 billion in 2022-23, and is forecast to reach £88.1 billion in 2028-29.”

Government Keen to Reduce This Spend

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By reducing this bill, there’s an economic double-whammy. One is a reduction in cost to the taxpayer, and the other is more people in work, which means GDP growth and more tax revenue for the Government. 

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The post £88 Billion Benefit Bill: People Claiming Told They MUST Work Increased Hours first appeared on Edge Media.

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