Forthcoming changes to how people receive Jobseekers’ Allowance have divided opinion among politicians.
Later this month new rules that require jobseekers to work harder to get their benefits will be brought in by the coalition Government.
They claim it will bring an end to the “one way street” of benefits, which the Government argues allows people to sign on without making themselves employable first.
Among things jobseekers will be asked to do are preparing a CV, set up an e-mail address and register for the Government’s new jobs website. Fortnightly meetings with Jobcentre advisers could be replaced by weekly meetings and new claimants will need to have quarterly progress reviews.
Minister for Employment Esther McVey said: “With the economy growing, unemployment falling and record numbers of people in work, now is the time to start expecting more of people if they want to claim benefits.
“It’s only right that we should ask people to take the first basic steps to getting a job before they start claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – it will show they are taking their search for work seriously.
“This is about treating people like adults and setting out clearly what is expected of them so they can hit the ground running. 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.”
Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies said: “I want to see as many young people move into work as possible.
“People can’t just sit back and expect a job to come to them. While people are receiving benefits paid for by the taxpayer they should be doing everything they can to find a job.
“When you are out of work your job is to find a job.
“The Government has been extremely successful getting people back to work - obviously there is still a long way to go. Some people might see this as tough love, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) said: “I have received a few complaints that people do attend the job centre and don’t get the support they need. I would be very concerned if it came out that sanctions were being used against people who were missing these new targets for minor reasons or through genuine mistakes.”