Nick Smith, Member of Parliament for Blaenau Gwent, has welcomed Labour’s call for a compulsory jobs guarantee for long-term unemployed adults. The policy would see government ensure there is a job for every adult who is long-term unemployed and people out of work would be obliged to take up those jobs or face losing benefits.
The latest figures show that there are 300 people in Blaenau Gwent who have been claiming Job Seekers Allowance for at least 24 months. Under the jobs guarantee these people would be given the chance to work and develop the skills they need to get back into work on a more permanent basis.
The jobs would be at the minimum wage and they would last for six months. They will be part-time so that the person can look for a permanent job at the end of the temporary opportunity. Over the course of a year the scheme would help 263,000 people. Initially the guarantee would be for adults who are out of work for 24 months or more, but we would seek to reduce this to 18 or 12 months over time.
Nick Smith MP said: “People in Blaenau Gwent are suffering from the flatlining economy and the Tory-led coalition seems to have no solutions to the crisis of long term unemployment. The government needs to get people back on their feet and back into work. Britain needs real welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works and that is what Labour’s approach will provide.”
There are currently 129,400 adults in the UK over the age of 25 who have been out of work for 24 months or more – a rise of 88 percent since the same month last year and a rise of 146 per cent in the last two years.
The £1 billion costs can be funded by reversing the government’s decision to stop tax relief on pension contributions for people earning over £150,000 being limited to 20 per cent.