DWP could 'close' claims and 'stop' benefits in dramatic crackdown from July

Rishi Sunak has threatened a fresh benefits shake-up affecting Department for Work and Pensions claimants if the Conservative Party win the General Election in July. The Prime Minister and Tory MP promised to cut National Insurance by a further 2p by 2027, taking the main rate to 6 per cent, and abolish National Insurance entirely for self-employed workers by 2029.

It vowed to protect pensioners from ever paying income tax with a new Triple Lock Plus and promised to give working parents 30 hours a week free childcare by September next year, as well as create a mandatory new form of national service for 18-year-olds and impose a ban on any new green levies that makes Brits pay for Net Zero.

The Tories want to ban mobile phones in classrooms as well as clamping down on sex education, boost defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2030 and slap an annual cap on legal migration while pledging immediate Rwanda flights.

READ MORE UK set to sizzle in Azores High heatwave which 'is as hot as Spain and Portugal'

Speaking today, the PM said: "We will pay for permanent reductions in taxation by controlling the unsustainable rise in working-age welfare. In this party we believe that it is morally right that those that can work, do work, and that work is rewarded with workers being able to keep more of their own money.

"We will ensure that we have lower welfare so we can deliver lower taxes." He said: "We will bring forward the new claimant review point for the long-term unemployed from 18 months to 12 months. At the claimant review, Work Coaches will set renewed conditions for claimants.

"If they fail to accept or comply with those conditions, such as refusing a suitable job or mandatory work placement, their claim will be closed and their benefits will stop." The manifesto adds: "We believe in fairness and the value of hard work.

"Alongside a tax system that rewards work, we want a welfare system which supports everyone to fulfil their potential and live dignified and independent lives." The PM said: "If we don’t have a clear plan to deal with the challenges facing it, there’ll be a huge waste of human potential, an increased benefits bill and higher taxes for you.

"We Conservatives are compassionate and believe that those who really can’t work should be supported. During the pandemic we created furlough to save millions of jobs and protect people’s livelihoods. For me, it is a moral mission to help as many people as possible back into work."