Hewitt to pressure Hutton over reform

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has vowed to press work and pensions colleague John Hutton on concerns the government’s welfare reform plans have neglected the role of social care.

Hewitt said she was “surprised and disappointed” after John Knight, head of policy at disability charity Leonard Cheshire, told her the current Welfare Reform Bill did not recognise social care’s role in getting disabled people into work.

The bill is designed to get many incapacity benefit recipients into work by attaching conditions to the benefit, such as undergoing workfocused interviews, and providing support.

Hewitt said: “I will pick this up and talk to my officials about it and certainly talk to John Hutton.”

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