INTERNATIONAL EXPRESS Tuesday September 6, 2011
‘Generous benefits just trap people in poverty’ FROM FRONT PAGE welfare benefits bill being picked up by taxpayers. Critics seized on the statistics as fresh evidence of the culture of benefits dependency that was allowed to spiral out of control under the previous Labour government. The figures confirmed that the number of households where no one has ever worked doubled under Labour. Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group, said: “Those out of work are living on benefits and it is taxpayers who are picking up the tab. Despite a fall, there is still a shocking number of workless households and this is partly a symptom of our broken welfare system. Confusing and over-generous benefits are trapping people in poverty and mean they aren’t getting the help they need to get a job and start earning for themselves and their family again.” The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics and based on data collected between April and June, show that the number of households where no one has ever worked went up by 18,000 in the past year to 370,000. Excluding students, the figure was 297,000 – an increase of 27,000.
‘This underlines the sheer scale of the challenge we are facing’ In some of the worst pockets of unemployment, one in four households is workless. Regionally, the worklessness rate was highest in the Northeast of England where between 22.8 and 25 per cent of households have no one with a job. In contrast, in the South-east and East of England, only between 14 and 16.1 per cent of households are workless. Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “While the slight fall in the numbers of workless households and children living in workless households is encouraging, these figures still underline the sheer scale of the challenge we face. Over the last decade thousands of people were simply abandoned to a lifetime on benefits, and a staggering 1.84million children are living in homes where currently no one works.” According to the figures, the largest fall in the percentage of people living in workless households was for those aged 50 to 64, down 0.4 per cent to 21.1 per cent, while for those aged 16 to 24 the figure increased by 0.6 per cent to 14.2 per cent. The biggest fall in workless households was driven by an 82,000 cut in the number of people classed as inactive, while there was a 37,000 increase in the numbers who were unemployed. The percentage of chil-
400 jobs up for grabs... but nobody wants them By Anil Dawar EMPLOYERS in one of the UK’s poorest areas are struggling to ﬁll nearly 400 vacancies, including one paying £80,000 per year. Despite rising unemployment, workshy Britons are shunning the jobs on offer in Penzance, Cornwall. A spokesman at the town’s Jobcentre blamed our soft-touch welfare state which has taken away the incentive to ﬁnd work. The area’s public transport network was also inadequate for those relying on it to get to jobs in rural areas, the spokesman said. There are 387 vacancies at the Jobcentre Plus. One job hunter called Chris, a father of one in his 20s, was made redundant by BT a few months ago. He said he felt better off on beneﬁts than working. “I am around £25 a week worse off not working full time. I want to work but there isn’t a huge incentive because of the money I got after being laid off. “There is no point getting any old job which doesn’t pay very well. I would ﬁnd myself worse off and I have a family to support. “I agree with hard-working people who are probably appalled at the system. I was one of those paying my taxes. I didn’t want to lose my job but it is hard ﬁnding anything else that you are qualiﬁed for or have the necessary experience in.” Another jobseeker, Craig, said he had been out of full-time work for a year. “Although agency work is great, and it’s good to work, sometimes there could be a two-week maximum term on the work but it takes six or seven weeks to get back on beneﬁts once you’ve signed on again,” he said. Cornwall is well known as a tourist destination but it also has more than its share of
dren in workless households was 15.8 per cent, down 0.3 per cent from a year earlier. Over the same period, the percentage of children in working households increased slightly by 0.1 per cent to 51.4 per cent. Charities and trade union chiefs claimed that the level of worklessness could be worsened by benefits cuts. Barnardo’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said: “A sure way to help children out of pov-
Job hunters in Penzance where there are 400 vacancies despite high unemployment
SITUATIONS VACANT: FROM £15K TO £80K A YEAR Supermarket assista nt: Wo Packers: Working in factories in on checkout and shelf-fillin rking ph £6 ne bor Cam er: and h offic g £8.90ph Redrut Security 0ph £6.5 ided prov ng rainiing Train Mechanic: Cleaner: Cleaning shop 15 hou Ma rs a o n a part-tim intaining taxis week £6.12ph plus petrol allowa n o k r o e basis £10 w nce ph porary £11ph m e T : r e Bench joiner: Building windows, Bricklay gh an agency rou Head chef: At a newly refurbished doors and stairs £10ph sites th seafront hotel in St Ives £30,000pa sed Warehouse assistant: Ba Recruitment co pa Business ns in nearby Helston £15,000 and coaching ca ultant: Finding developm ndidates for po sitions manag ent tor: - training provided er: Field operations administra up to £30,000 pa Working in Working for the General th 0pa payment c e Lighthouse Authority £17,00 a rd Associate dentist: industry Working in the west Cornwall Chef de partie: At a coastal hotel up to £55 ,000pa and restaurant £18,000pa plus tips area £80,000 a year spokesman for the dentist with a salary of deprivation. Penzance was Department for Work and £80,000. once dubbed the UK’s Pensions said people had The county has some of the “repossession capital” been better off on beneﬁts in highest unemployment rates because of the number in the past but a new system to in the UK. In July there were arrears with their mortgage. be brought in from 2013 would 8,163 people receiving Supermar The jobs currently advertised in ket as ies tor fac sistapay. in g rkin nt: Working make work Jobseekers Allowance. A include associate kers:forWoan Pacone
SITUATIONS VACANT: FROM £15K TO £80K A YEAR
on checkout and shelf -filling £8.90ph Security officer: 0ph provided £6.5 Traininggeneral ertyCle is to their into TUC secretary Mechanic 02n04graphic anehelp r: Cle aningfamilies sho : Maintainin p 15 hou rs a work. Brendan Barber said: “The wel- on a g ta we ek p n £6 a .12 o rt ph plu -t s k pet im rol allo e basis £10 xis “Barnardo’s fears that anywance come fall in workless households wor y r a r ph o progress towards reducing the is thanks largely topGovernment er: Tem y £11ph y c a n l e k g c number of joiner: children livingwindows, in support in helping lone parents Bench Building a i n Br oughasa ministers workless could be into work. talk Head chef: At a newly refurbished doorshouseholds and stairs £10ph es thrBut it s jeopardised by families poten- tough on unemployed people, seafront tially losing out on childcare the fact is their own economic hotel in St Ives £30,000pa t: Based se assistan rehouuniversal helpWa when credit is policies, which have created Recruit mentunemployment Business 00pa record consultant: Find introduced. Damaging female lston £15,0work in nearby He d coaccutbacks developm hing candinidat incentives must be avoided at andan harsh childcare ing ent es fothe r positions m : - trainiare all costs if era ng prlikely ns administratorsupport, tioGovernment ovidedtoupmean ld optothe to £30,000pa W anager: truly Fie wants make workl pay number of workless households orking in th the Genera g for Workin and end child poverty.” will rise again.” e Emma Boon It’s shocking, says a 0p p ,00 a £17 yment card rity Lighthouse Autho Associate dentist: industry Working in the west Cornwall Chef de partie: At a coastal hotel up to £55
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Eric Pickles cut red tape
Town hall ‘snooping’ outlawed EQUALITY policies that led to people joining public libraries being quizzed about their sexuality, race, religion and health have been outlawed. Councils have been freed of the duty to undertake intrusive “lifestyle and diversity” surveys of residents under a red-tape busting move by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles. Pressure from the Audit Commission for councils to carry out “equality mapping” is ending, as part of the spending watchdog’s abolition. The Coalition has decided to lift the requirement under Labour’s Local Area Agreements for councils to “monitor” equality data, which saw them urged to build up details about age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. Mr Pickles said: “Residents shouldn’t be asked to reveal detailed personal information just because they’ve inquired about getting their bins emptied or how to join their local library.”
New curb on terror suspects EMERGENCY powers to forcibly relocate terror suspects are being drawn up. They would enable the Home Secretary to tighten restrictions on suspects in exceptional circumstances, the Home Office said. These would include “the power to relocate the individual without their consent to a different part of the country”. Under the measures, the Home Secretary could also restrict a suspect’s use of computers and phones and limit where they could work.