Labour is calling for a One Nation approach to welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works, with a compulsory Jobs Guarantee for long-term unemployed adults.
Under the jobs guarantee, we would ensure there is a job for every adult who is long-term unemployed and people out of work will be obliged to take up those jobs or face losing benefits.
In Southampton, this would help 285 adults get back into work.
This is in contrast to the Government whose approach on welfare has shown them to be more interested in exploiting the challenges the country faces than solving them.
George Osborne and David Cameron have looked to divide the country by dishonestly claiming that their welfare policies are targeting the work-shy and benefit ‘scroungers’. But in the weeks since the Autumn Statement the truth has emerged that it’s striving families doing the right thing that are paying the price of their economic failure.
Mr Denham said:
“Like everyone, I want to cut the benefits bill. But the best way to do that is to get people into work, not punish people who are already doing the right thing by working but are struggling to make ends meet.
“That’s why I am pleased that Labour has announced a compulsory jobs guarantee for people who are long-term unemployed. This could help 285 adults living in Southampton get back into work.
“The guarantee means that every adult who’s been out of work for two years would be offered a job. And they would have to take it or lose their benefits.”
Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, in an article for Politics Home, said:
“A One Nation approach to welfare reform means government has a responsibility to help people into work and support those who cannot, but those who can work must be required to take up jobs or lose benefits as a result – no ifs or buts. Britain needs real welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works, not divisive, nasty and misleading smears from an out of touch and failing government.”
Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:
“This government’s welfare revolution is in tatters. The Work Programme is worse than doing nothing, universal credit is descending into universal chaos and George Osborne’s last Budget was such a disaster that more than a third of a million people extra are now forecast to join the dole queue. What we need to bring the welfare bill down is a tough but fair plan to get Britain back to work – not another raid on tax credits from working families.”