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Page last updated at 07:41 GMT, Thursday, 21 April 2011 08:41 UK

Incapacity benefit 'is a sorry tale'

Britain spends £7bn a year on incapacity benefit for more than two million people, but new figures show that more than 80,000 current claimants are on IB because they are too obese or have drug and alcohol related problems.

Employment minister Chris Grayling told John Humphrys that the government was launching a "revolution" to reform the system.

"This time as the economy picks up... we've got to make sure that those with the potential to work have every opportunity to return to the workplace," he said.

Drug addicts and alcoholics should not be "consigned to the fringes of society", he added, explaining how specialist back to work to support, paid by results under the Work Programme, would get people working and lead to "huge savings".

"We're actually using the money that we're saving by getting people off benefits and into to work to pay for the cost of the programmes," Mr Grayling said.

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