MP Gloria calls for benefit crackdown

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Ashfield MP Gloria de Piero has backed plans that would see long-term unemployed youngsters forced to take or job or face losing their benefits.

In her column for the Chad, the MP echoed the Labour party’s election manifesto pledge for getting the next generation back into work with a compulsory ‘jobs guarantee’ for young people out of work for a year and for over 25’s out of work for two years.

Ms De Piero said: “While I welcome the recent news that unemployment is down I think it’s wrong for ministers to say the economy is fixed when the majority of hard working folk in Ashfield are still to see any signs of the recovery in the pockets.”

She added that in 2008 there were 1,286 people out of work in Ashfield, yet last month almost 500 more people were signing on: “Under my plans the long term unemployed would have to take a job or face losing their benefit. I’d much rather see cash spent on getting people back to work than not getting depressed at home.”

There are currently 50,000 young people unemployed for more than a year, and all would be required to go on the scheme or lose benefit. The state would pay those on the scheme the minimum wage for 25 hours work for six months, plus equivalent national insurance contributions. Labour claim 80 per cent of the young unemployed were likely to be kept on by employers.