Getting Britain back to work

First published in North West

MP Julie Hilling has urged Ministers to look again at their policies for getting Britain back to work.

Recent government statistics have shown that, across the Atherton MP's Bolton West constituency, only 3.7% of those enrolled onto the Work Programme achieved sustainable employment.

This has been a trend which has been repeated across the country, with no greater than 5% of claimants finding work in any part of the country.

The Work Programme was established by the government two years ago and contracted private companies such as A4e. Organisations are paid “by results” for every long-term unemployed person they successfully support into work for six months or more.

Ministers have so far spent £436 million on the programme and private companies and charitable groups have invested more than £600 million of their own money in the schemes.

The government had expected some 2.4 million to be helped to find jobs during the five years of the Work Programme’s operation.

Ms Hilling said: “The government needs to urgently rethink its policies for creating employment opportunities and boosting economic growth. Locally, the government’s steep rise in business rates is preventing new businesses setting up in our town centres. I’m calling on Ministers to introduce a banker’s bonus tax which can be used to kick-start investment and help get residents back into the labour market.”

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