Hutton to reveal plans to force incapacity benefit claimants to work

Work and pensions secretary John Hutton is set to push plans to compel incapacity benefit claimants to work.

Pilots of the government’s Pathways to Work programme have focused on supporting people with disabilities who want to find jobs with financial incentives and advice.

In a keynote speech to the Work Foundation in London, Hutton will say that the scale of the challenge is such that “a greater level of compulsion” will be needed.

“The largely voluntary approach of Pathways has been a success, but it is not enough on its own to reach our goal,” he will say.

The speech comes ahead of a Green Paper setting out proposals for change, due next month. Tough measures have been floated as ways to cut the number of claimants by about a million.

These include means-testing, setting a time-limit on eligibility, and paying part of the benefit in vouchers which could only be redeemed in return for undertaking training programmes.

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