Full steam ahead for new work and pensions minister

The new work and pensions secretary has vowed to press ahead with the government’s planned overhaul of the benefits system.

John Hutton, who replaced David Blunkett two weeks ago, said changes to the incapacity benefit system would happen as soon as possible.

There has been speculation that the controversial nature of the proposals would see them put on the backburner.

In an article in today’s Independent, Hutton said: “We should not shy away from considering any measure that better helps and supports those who can work to find a job, while giving better protection and security to those who genuinely cannot work.”

He said: “We promised the British people that we would deliver real improvements to their lives by changing the welfare state and public services; the difficulties of the past week should make us more determined to keep that promise, not less.”

Hutton is also preparing to receive the recommendations of the Pensions Commission, which reports on 30 November with its suggestions on closing the UK’s £57bn pensions deficit.

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