The Guardian reports that thousands more unemployed people will be forced to work for free or lose their benefit. Whitehall sources have indicated that the mandatory work scheme will be “​significantly extended”​. Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is expected to make an announcement about the extension of the scheme over the coming weeks.

The government is also considering a national trial of six months mandatory unpaid work for claimants. Currently claimants have to accept unpaid work for four weeks or lose their benefit.

The plans are described by critics as evidence of the government’​s panic over its failure to deal with long-term unemployment, and come following a warning from the Employment Related Services Association (the trade body for welfare-to-work providers) that its members may not meet the government’​s “​minimum”​ targets. Fewer than one in four people who had participated in the work programme for six months had found work.

The Labour Party claim a House of Commons Library analysis shows that government estimates for spending on jobseeker’​s allowance (JSA) and housing benefit (HB) have been revised upwards by £​9bn.

Full story in the Guardian


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

Free PIP, ESA & UC Updates!

Delivered Fortnightly

Over 110,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.