Latest Public Sector News

14.10.13

Labour will be ‘tough but fair’ on welfare

Labour’s new work and pensions secretary, Rachel Reeves, has set out the party’s new line on welfare. She replaced Liam Bryne in Ed Miliband’s reshuffle last week.

Reeves said: “Nobody should be under any illusions that they are going to be able to live a life on benefits under a Labour government. If you can work you should be working, and under our compulsory jobs guarantee if you refuse that job you forgo your benefits, and that is really important.”

The jobs guarantee scheme would see under-25s offered a job after one year of unemployment and over 25s after two years. It would be funded by a tax on bankers’ bonuses.

She added: “We would be tougher [than the Conservatives]. If they don't take it [the offer of a job] they will forfeit their benefit. But there will also be the opportunities there under a Labour Government.

“We have got some really great policies – particularly around the jobs guarantee and cancelling the bedroom tax – that show that we are tough and will not allow people to linger on benefits, but also that we are fair. Where there are pernicious policies like the bedroom tax, we will repeal them.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

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