Disabled people on bus
UK charities say that the changes proposed by the UK government to make the UK welfare system sustainable might lead to £400 loss per month in disabled people support. iStock

In a shocking revelation, a UK government minister said today that disabled and mentally ill people will need to work from home to avail the benefits as per the new policy under consideration by the Sunak government.

The UK Minister has described working from home as doing "their duty".

The upcoming policy will be announced by the UK government in its autumn statement as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's plan to change the welfare system. The British Prime Minister has termed the existing welfare system "unsustainable".

As per the new policy change, the Sunak government is cutting down the benefits by £4,680 a year, and many disabled and mentally ill people on benefits would be asked to work from home to get them.

Speaking about the matter, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "We believe in the inherent dignity of a good job. And we believe that work, not welfare, is the best route out of poverty."

"Yet right now, around two million people of working age are not working at all. That is a national scandal and an enormous waste of human potential. So, we must do more to support those who can work to do so," Sunak added.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people on health-related benefits in the UK has increased by a quarter and most of them fall under the limited capability work-related activity (LCWRA) group who get an additional £390 every month.

Earlier this year, the UK government launched the disability action plan to make Britain a more inclusive society.

Setting the right mechanisms for the UK welfare system

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott said: "Of course there should be support for people to help them into work but ultimately there is a duty on citizens if they are able to go out to work they should. Those who can work and contribute should contribute."

Earlier, Trott said that the UK government is not forcing people out, only putting up the "right mechanisms" to help out the people.

"Ultimately, you have to engage with that, and that is an obligation on you as a citizen to do this. And if you don't do this, we will look at sanctions," Trott added.

Meanwhile, UK charities have criticised this change in policy for the welfare system, calling it "rushed and ill-thought-out".

According to anti-poverty charity Z2K director Ayla Ozmen, there aren't enough suitable remote jobs for disabled and mentally ill people.

"This is simply a cut for those of us who become seriously ill or disabled in the future and need the support of social security, and risks worsening people's health and pushing them further from work," said Ozmen.

The Head of policy at the national disability charity Sense, Sarah White termed this new policy a punishment for disabled people.

"Everyone should be able to work if they want to and can, but this latest government move looks set to punish disabled people, adding more anxiety to disabled households that are already struggling," said White.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will set out the details of the new policy as per the UK government's consultations about work capability assessment (WCA) a few months ago.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury indicated that the Sunak government could go beyond business tax cuts and cutting taxes for individuals as she revealed the focus is there.

"In broad narrative terms, this is a big moment for us, for people at home, because inflation has halved. We know how difficult it has been and it will mean important things for the household budget," said Trott.

UK charities have cautioned the government that tightening the grip on health-related benefits could cause anxiety amongst the three million adults receiving these benefits while for disabled people it means "sanctions".

Many charities are claiming that the proposed changes in the UK welfare system could lead to a £400 loss per month in support.