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CAMERON PLANS TO STRIP BENEFITS FROM PEOPLE WHO TURN DOWN WORK.

Byline: MERCURY REPORTER

ANTI-poverty campaigners are worried about Conservative plans to strip claimants of benefits if they reject jobs.

David Cameron is due to unveil his party's proposals to shake up welfare in a Green Paper to be published this week.

It is believed these include plans to order benefit claimants to work or lose pay outs, inspired by reforms introduced in the USA under Bill Clinton.

And that Mr Cameron will announce plans for a "screening" regime to identify fraudulent claimants of invalidity benefit, cut benefits to people who refuse to make themselves available for work and force lone parents to seek employment once their youngest child reaches the age of four.

A Conservative spokesman declined to confirm or deny the press reports.

But the chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, Kate Green, said: "The Conservatives should not threaten family security by attacking families' welfare rights when storm clouds are gathering over the economy.

"Any family could find themselves suddenly needing their welfare rights through job loss, bereavement, illness or disability.

"Cameron should not refocus the welfare system on a tiny minority who may cause problems, but must guarantee high quality support and poverty protection to families striving to put their problems behind them."
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2008
Words:207
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