NEW “ridiculous rules” which mean jobseekers could lose out on benefits have been slammed by a Bolton MP.
Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, said the government creating hurdles for jobseekers by making them create a CV and register their details online.
Her comments came as employment minister Esther McVey announced more changes for people receiving Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in a bid to end the “signing-on culture”.
From April 28, jobseekers must prepare for their interview at the job centre by preparing a CV, registering on the government’s jobs website site and have an email address.
Benefit sanctions could also be applied if people are deemed not to be doing enough to make themselves more attractive to employers before claiming benefits.
Ms Hilling said the government should stop blaming unemployed people.
She added: “I am sick and tired of this continuous attack on people who are unfortunate enough to find themselves unemployed — and and we should not forget that there are two and a half million of them at the moment.
“Of course people should do everything possible to get a job, but setting hurdles before they can even sign on for money to feed themselves and their family is ridiculous and continues the government’s disgraceful attempt to demonise claimants as scroungers.
“There are very few people who are content to remain on Jobseekers Allowance and indeed, as the average length of time people spend on JSA is 13 weeks, this month the two and a half million people are not the same two and a half million people who were unemployed last month.
“Until we have enough jobs we should not blame people for being unemployed.”
Ms McVey said the changes had been put in place so that people could “hit the ground running” when they apply for a job.
She said: “This is about treating people like adults and setting out clearly what is expected of them.
“In return, we will give people as much help and support as possible to move off benefits and into work because we know from employers that it’s the people who are prepared and enthusiastic who are most likely to get the job.”