David Cameron vows to end welfare for those who refuse jobs

Conservative leader David Cameron told his party’s conference yesterday that benefit claimants who refused a fair job offer would lose access to welfare under a future Tory government.

Cameron attacked the government’s record on welfare reform, saying there were five million people of working age who were out of a job and more young people not in education, employment and training than 10 years ago.

He promised a future Conservative government would increase the role of private and voluntary agencies in running benefits, and added: “We will say to people that if you are offered a job and it is a fair job and one that you can do and you refuse it you shouldn’t get any welfare.”

David Cameron used the speech to reiterate a number of previous policies: more places in special schools for disabled children, the abolition of appeals panels for school exclusions, giving headteachers the final say, and improving benefit rates for cohabiting couples.

He also promised an end to “top down” NHS targets.

At the end of his speech, Cameron challenged prime minister Gordon Brown to call an election, which many commentators expect him to do next week.

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