21 April 2011
Employment minister Chris Grayling has told the BBC’s Today Programme that the government is launching a "revolution" to cut incapacity benefit.
You can hear the interview on the programme’s website.
Political monitoring agency DeHavilland has summarised the broadcast as follows:
“Newly published Government figures appear to show that more than 80,000 people are on Incapacity Benefit because they are either obese or have problems with drugs or alcohol.
“More than 2m people in the UK are currently on Incapacity Benefit at a cost of £7bn a year however most are now being reassessed to judge whether they are fit for work.
“Chris Grayling, Employment Minister, told the Today Programme, ‘We have a large number of people, some of whom have the potential to get back into work, but the support, guidance, the reassessment to understand what they can do has just never happened.’
“On the availability of jobs he said, ‘We've have got… half a million vacancies in the economy… (and) the Independent Office of Budget Responsibility is forecasting an increase in employment… over the next four years.’
“On whether the 80,000 listed as being obese or having substance abuse issues should be working he said, ‘All of these are conditions which are treatable. We will be launching in the summer the Work Programme which will provide specialist back to work support for people who are out of work, who are long term on benefits.
" ‘That support will be individualised and personalised. It's being delivered by private and voluntary sector groups and we pay them when they're successful (in finding a person work).
“ ‘ We're also going to extend that principle to the treatment of addiction, where we will shortly be unveiling a scheme that will deliver support that will treat people with addictions on that same payment by results basis.’
“Mr Grayling said, ‘The benefit of the Work Programme is that we're using the money that we're saving by getting people off benefits and into work to pay for the cost of the programmes that get them there.
" ‘We have private and voluntary sector organisations investing £580m of their own money over the next 12 months in getting people into work’."