Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

The Work Programme: Worse than doing nothing

Last week we learnt that the Government’s flagship Work Programme, which is supposed to be getting people into jobs, is just not working.

In fact, it’s a miserable failure.

In its first year, just over two in every hundred people have been getting a job. In Coventry North East constituency, just 2.1 percent of participants in the Programme have found work.

It’s a shocking statistic – but what’s just as shocking is the Government’s own estimate that, if the Work Programme didn’t even exist, five in every hundred people would be getting a job.

So the Government’s flagship policy on getting people back into work is actually worse than doing nothing.

Why isn’t the Work Programme working? Because to reform welfare, which is what everyone wants to see, you’ve got to have government and people playing their respective roles, shouldering their responsibilities. A One Nation approach.

We shouldn’t be letting young people languish out of work – we should be getting them jobs. We should be working with employers and saying government will pay the wages, if you pay the training and mobilise business across this country to get our young people working again. That’s the way we can really reform welfare. Pulling together as One Nation and each taking and delivering on our responsibilities.

What we’ve seen from this Tory-led Government is a failure to reform welfare. Welfare bills are going up not down – they’re now over £20 billion higher than expected – because the Tories’ plans aren’t working.

When it comes to the Autumn Statement this week, we need to finally hear from George Osborne how he’s going to create the jobs and growth that are vital to get people off benefits and back into work, so that we can make up all the lost ground of the last two years.

Labour has suggested using funds from the 4G auction to build 100,000 affordable homes; bringing forward infrastructure investment; a temporary VAT cut; and a bank bonus tax to fund a jobs guarantee for young people. Business groups have been calling for action this week, so it’s time this Government listened and stopped being so complacent.

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The Joint Committee Publishes its Report on ETPIMs

The Joint Committee on the Draft Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill, under Bob’s Chairmanship, was appointed to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny into the draft Bill and the policies it seeks to implement. 

The Joint Committee has now concluded this work and published its Report on 27 November 2012.

Upon publication of the Report, Bob said:

“The draft ETPIMs Bill, if introduced by the Government and approved by Parliament, would bring in very stringent measures against suspected terrorists. The granting of these powers to the Government can only be justified in the most extreme circumstances.

“However, my Committee accepted that there may be circumstances in which such stringent measures are necessary and justifiable; it is therefore disappointing that the Government is vague about the types of circumstances that would lead to the introduction of this Bill. “Emergency legislation” like this Bill is difficult for Parliament to scrutinise properly and this Bill in particular does not lend itself to close questioning of the Government’s decisions. I therefore call on the Government to be more open about the situations in which it would introduce this Bill.”

You can view the full report here

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