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Long-term jobless face benefit axe

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18/12/2006

Work and Pensions secretary John Hutton is today announcing benefit cuts for the “hardcore” unemployed who make no contribution to the UK investment and labour arena.

Hutton is concerned that a group of about 100,000 people, out of 950,000 who claimed Jobseekers’ Allowance last month, have spent the last six to seven years on State benefits and show no inclination to work. He does not regard the money spent on this group as the best investment that could be made with it.

In a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in London he will outline the new measures and is expected to say: “The next challenge we face is to ensure the hardcore of ‘can work but won’t work’ benefit claimants take advantage of the opportunities out there and compete for jobs in the UK investment and labour market.

“These people really need to compete alongside the growing numbers of migrants arriving to in Britain specifically to look for work rather than to settle for the long term. There is no shortage of vacancies for low-skilled workers, even in areas of relatively high unemployment.”

Hutton’s view is that economic migration from other parts of the EU – half-a-million have come in the past three years – has only served to highlight this deficiency in best UK investment spending and he is determined to remedy the problem with tough measures.

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