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Tories take on welfare state

THERE will be “no free ride” for the work-shy under a Tory government, David Cameron said yesterday, as he unveiled his plans to shake-up the welfare state.

Speaking at a rally in Burton upon Trent, the Conservative leader said he would write a “new welfare contract” for “those who refuse to work”.

“Do the right thing and we will back you all the way. But fail to take responsibility and the free ride is over,” he added.

A Tory government will scrap the existing benefits system, Cameron said, and replace it with a new “work programme” that offers support to the unemployed.

There will be work clubs that teach essential skills, as well as 50,000 training places and 400,000 apprenticeships for the under-25s.

But anyone who refuses to sign up to one of the programmes will see their Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) slashed, Cameron said, while the long-term unemployed will have to do community service in exchange for benefits.

All people who are on incapacity benefit will be reassessed by the government, with those deemed fit for work moved back onto JSA, a move that is sure to see the unemployment count spike in the short term.