Labour’s Wes Streeting brands Rishi Sunak’s welfare crackdown an ‘irresponsible’ attack on mental health sufferers

LABOUR has been accused of “all talk and no action” after suggesting they will tear up the PM’s welfare crackdown.

Rishi Sunak promised to tackle sick note culture in a major overhaul of state handouts.

Labour's Wes Streeting brands Rishi Sunak's welfare crackdown an 'irresponsible' attack on mental health sufferers


Labour’s Wes Streeting brands Rishi Sunak’s welfare crackdown an ‘irresponsible’ attack on mental health sufferersCredit: Getty

Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting tore into the plan – despite previously admitting sick notes are “dished out willy-nilly”.

Mr Streeting said this week: “For the Conservatives to be attempting to make mental ill health another front for their culture wars is not just tone deaf, it’s shameless and irresponsible.

“Instead of attempting to cover up the scale of the problem, the next Labour government will give people the support they desperately need.”

Labour’s flip-flopping has sparked a backlash.


Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “It’s plain to see that Labour have not outlined a single proposal to curb the welfare bill, preferring as they always do to take the easy way out and spend more of taxpayers’ money parking people on benefits.

“That’s not the Conservative way, nor what the British public rightly expect. Our plan is fair, compassionate, and will get Britain back to work.”

Tory MP Siobhan Baillie, who sits on the Work and Pensions committee, said: “Labour will leave people dependent on welfare handouts rather than properly champion the power of work and they do not have the stomach to make tough decisions or be straight with the public.

“Only the PM has the guts to tackle this huge problem.”

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Tory MP Paul Bristow, who sits on the health committee, added: “Labour might talk tough on reforming welfare and curbing benefits, but here they are attacking plans that will do just that.

“Keir Starmer’s Labour Party are all talk and no action. They have no plan to curb the spiralling welfare bill.”

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This week the Government vowed to take the power off GPs to stop them signing people off sick. They also promised to remove benefits after 12 months for anyone who doesn’t take up work or a job offer.

Mr Streeting hit back: “The Tories have left millions of people languishing on waiting lists. No wonder the welfare bill has ballooned on their watch. Labour will cut waiting lists to get people back to work.”