Bill `will cut jobless benefit'

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Indy Politics
The Government will save £7.8m a week under plans to reduce benefit payments for the unemployed, according to a report opposing the jobseekers' Bill which has its Second Reading in the Commons today, writes Rosie Waterhouse.

The Greater Manchester Low Pay Unit claims the allowance, to replace unemployment benefit and income support for people signing on as unemployed from April 1996, will mean 100,000 losing the right to any benefit after six months, saving £4.4m a week. Aligning jobseeker's allowance with income support rates means nearly 366,000 people aged 18 to 24 losing £9.30 a week - saving another £3.4m.

In a separate report, the Disability Alliance argues many on invalidity benefit will find themselves in a "twilight zone" receiving neither disability benefit nor the allowance.

On 13 April, incapacity benefit replaces invalidity benefit. The Government estimates 200,000 people will lose the entitlement over the next two years.