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George Osborne to attack sickness benefit

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has today announced plans to attack the UK benefits system and in particular the £12.5 billion a year being paid out in incapacity benefit and employment support allowances. The Chancellor will seek to tighten up the regulations which often make it more attractive to remain in benefits than find employment although he has also mentioned that genuine cases will still attract the full support of the government.

This is the next stage of the £155 billion budget deficit reduction program which came to light in George Osborne's emergency budget last week. There is talk that if significant savings can be found from the UK benefits system this could reduce the average 25% budget reductions expected across all Whitehall departments with the exception of a handful of services which will be ring fenced and protected. The move has attracted the wrath of the Labour Party which has labelled this nothing but a benefit reduction program.

It will be interesting to see how the government plans to reorganise and reduce the massive state benefit system which many believe has grown out of control. This move will be part of a summer spending review which could throw up a number of surprises.

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