More than 7,000 unemployed people in the West Midlands will be ordered to accept voluntary work or lose their benefits, under proposals unveiled by Conservatives today.
David Cameron, the Conservative leader, will reveal plans to force Jobseeker's Allow-ance claimants into work, as he unveils radical reforms of the benefits system.
Anybody who has claimed the allowance for two years will have to take part in community work in order to continue receiving financial support.
In the West Midlands, 7,600 people have claimed Jobseeker's Allowance for more than two years and would be affected by the measure.
The proposal is one of three reforms designed to cut the number of people out of work.
Conservatives are also planning to force everyone receiving incapacity benefit to be assessed to see if they really are suffering from a serious disability or medical condition.
Those who are found to be "fully capable of working" will be transferred onto Jobseeker's Allowance instead.
This means they will receive up to £20 less per week - and will be forced to look for work.
There are 53,270 people currently claiming incapacity benefit in Birmingham according to official figures, including 7,420 in Ladywood constituency and 7,320 in Sparkbrook and Small Heath.
In order to help people into work, a Conservative Government would create new welfare-to-work schemes, employing private and voluntary organisations to give people job-seeking advice.
The third part of the Conservative proposal is a "three strikes and you're out" rule for benefit claimants who turn down reasonable job offers.
Anyone who refuses to accept a job will lose their right to claim benefits for one month. A second refusal will lead to the loss of benefits for three months, and a third refusal will mean benefits are withheld for three years.
This will apply to people receiving incapacity benefit as well as Jobseeker's Allow-ance, as long as they job they are offered is one they are capable of doing.
Mr Cameron and Chris Grayling, the Tory shadow work and pensions secretary, will announce the plans today.
They are based partly on policies developed in the US state of Wisconsin which have been copied across the US.
But Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain dismissed the proposals as "spin" - pointing out that the Government already requires Jobseeker's Allowance claimants to accept reasonable job offers or lose benefit for up to six months.
He said: "The existing Jobseeker's Allow-ance regime already requires claimants to take up reasonable job offers or face a loss of benefit for six months. Seeking to present a 'three strikes' policy as a radical shift is dishonest. "Under Labour the numbers of people on Jobseeker's Allowance has fallen by half. Before Christmas we announced new measures to increase the expectations on job seekers. The Tories are left desperately playing catch-up.
"The Tories had been promising radical new welfare policies, based on the tough stance of the US state of Wisconsin, for months.
"As usual, when you look at the detail, they have no genuinely new policy ideas and have provided scant detail on how any of their plans would be paid for."
Mr Grayling said: "We think it's time to take tough action against those who are deliberately staying at home and claiming benefits rather than going back into work.
"Under Gordon Brown we have seen millions of people coming into the country to work. Yet it's still possible for many British people to stay at home on benefits, and not go back to work. That simply doesn't make sense."