Britain’s astonishing welfare bill revealed as 1.6m more claim benefits | Personal Finance | Finance

It found 8.7 million working-age adults are now receiving welfare benefits – 1.2 million more than would have been expected had Covid-19 not shattered normality. The 23 percent increase in working-age applicants comes as concerns about labor shortages mount.

The CSJ claims that “poor health and disability” are the main reasons for the increasing number of people on working-age welfare.

It is estimated that almost 3.5 million applicants are “not required to seek a job” – many of whom have health conditions and disabilities. The think tank claims that’s an increase of 570,000 since 2019.

The CSJ warns that it is “a profound social injustice to effectively write off the many thousands of sick payers who want to participate in the labor market”.

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A new report says: “Many are not finding the right opportunities for themselves. Many find it difficult to overcome several work obstacles at once. Many simply need a helping hand.

“One in three sick pay recipients surveyed said they were interested in work-related support.

“At a time of record job vacancies – and pronounced labor shortages in several sectors – it is a dereliction of duty in any fair and just society not to help this group seize the opportunities in our economy.”

Rather than increasing immigration to fill gaps in the labor market, she argues that “helping this disadvantaged and all too often marginalized group to work could reduce current job vacancies”.

The CSJ wants Universal Credit to increase in line with inflation for the next fiscal year to “ensure a fair minimum income as the cost of living rises.”

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It’s also pushing for the introduction of “Universal Support” alongside Universal Credit, which would help people facing particularly difficult challenges to enter the job market.

Policy Director Gavin Rice said: “Since the pandemic began, the number of people claiming working-age benefits has increased by 23 percent to 8.7 million. Many of them, some 3.5 million, are expected to remain unemployed due to factors such as long-term illness or mental health.

“Nevertheless, many of these people want to work – that is a huge untapped potential. That’s why we need to activate Universal Support, the equivalent of Universal Credit, which through individualized, targeted support plans can help the most disadvantaged overcome the barriers holding them back and get them into work.”

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A spokesman for the Department for Works and Pensions said: “Our mission is to create higher paying, better quality jobs and boost the economy. Helping people return to work the right way is at the heart of our plans to reduce work inactivity and is also the best way for people to support their families.

“Our job centers work closely with employers to fill their vacancies and we encourage more companies to leverage local talent available through our Jobcentre Plus network.

“We also provide tailored support for jobseekers, including the recent £122million increase in employment support for people using NHS England mental health services.”


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