New advantages crackdown as disabled folks could also be supplied vouchers as an alternative of money | EUROtoday

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Disabled folks face being stripped of month-to-month money funds as the federal government prepares to announce a crackdown on Britain’s “sick note culture”.

Changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can be introduced within the coming days as a part of a wider blitz on advantages coverage championed by Rishi Sunak forward of native elections this week and a looming basic election.

The proposed adjustments will reportedly goal these with what the federal government phrases gentle psychological well being circumstances that ought to not forestall Britons from working.

The crackdown could embody receipts being required to say a reimbursement from the state, in keeping with The Telegraph, whereas vouchers or therapy could also be given as an alternative of month-to-month money funds.

Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, will tackle the Commons on Tuesday in regards to the plans, that are being printed in a “green paper” session.

The session is anticipated to make reference to related fashions in different nations, similar to New Zealand, the place a well being practitioner verifies additional prices, and Norway, the place a letter from a GP outlines prices related to somebody’s situation.

PIP is considered one of quite a few methods Britons can search monetary assist from the federal government for incapacity. It is distinct from incapacity profit, which is paid to these too sick to work.

Works and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride is anticipated to make the announcement on Tuesday (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Around 2.6 million folks of working age at present obtain PIP each month, which may quantity to as a lot as £5,000 a yr and covers any additional bills for folks with disabilities, from stairlifts to taxis.

The annual value of PIP, at present at round £22 billion, is forecast to rise by 50 per cent in 4 years as extra folks, together with these with psychological well being considerations, qualify for the assist.

Roughly 360,000 folks at present declare PIP for anxiousness and melancholy, which is double the determine 5 years in the past and thrice as many as for all cancers mixed.

Mr Stride stated this progress had been prompted partly by the over-labelling of psychological well being circumstances and that the welfare system needed to get higher at “appropriately differentiating” these circumstances that make work unimaginable and people that don’t.

“There are those that have perhaps milder mental health conditions, or where perhaps there has been too great a move towards labelling certain behaviours as having certain [medical] conditions attached to them, where actually work is the answer or part of the answer,” Mr Stride instructedThe Times.

“What we’ve got to avoid is being in a situation where for those people we too readily say, ‘well, actually, we need you to be on benefits’.”

He instructed that speaking therapies, social care packages, respite care and different choices could possibly be options to money funds.

It comes after Mr Sunak stated earlier this month that he was on a “moral mission” to reform welfare and warned too many individuals had been being “parked” on advantages.

Johnny Timpson, considered one of Mr Sunak’s dementia champions, later stop in protest over the therapy of disabled folks and the complexity of the advantages system.

Critics have additionally questioned the place such various assist will come from given there are at present 1.9 million on NHS psychological well being ready lists.

But Mr Stride claims the federal government is prioritising this challenge. He pointed to latest bulletins of 400,000 extra speaking therapies as proof that shortages could possibly be plugged, although he didn’t elaborate on how.

He insisted that the elemental purpose for the adjustments was serving to folks get again into work, reasonably than value chopping.

But he acknowledged that cash needs to be an element given the projected will increase in prices. “It’s difficult to describe as sustainable when we’re looking at a 63 per cent increase in PIP spend, about £13 billion over the next few years,” he stated. “These are huge amounts of money.”