Following an Opposition Day Debate in the House of Commons, Dame Anne Begg, has called for the introduction of a compulsory jobs guarantee creating a real, paid job for every 18 to 24 year old who has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than a year and for every adult aged 25 and over who has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than 2 years.
With the oil crisis starting to bite in Aberdeen, it’s time we ensured that people have real opportunities and are not left claiming unemployment benefits for years. It scars their lives, weakens our economy and costs billions.
It’s time we got the benefit bill down by getting people into work, instead of unfairly cutting benefits for the most vulnerable.
This Jobs Guarantee will be paid for by a banker’s bonus tax, and restricting pensions tax relief on those who earn over £150,000.
This will provide over 13,890 people in Scotland with a job, training, and the opportunity to succeed in life.
There are over 1,445 people across Aberdeen currently on job seekers allowance, including 230 young people and 235 people who have been on benefits for over a year.
It is unfair that in one of the richest cities in the UK people still can’t find work. It’s time we act, get the benefits bill down, get people into work, and create a successful economy where all can succeed and not just the few.
The full motion of Labour’s opposition day debate is
That this House calls on the Government to put a strict limit on the amount of time that people can be left on Jobseekers’ Allowance without being offered, and required to take up, paid work, by introducing a compulsory jobs guarantee that would ensure that anyone under 25 who has been receiving Jobseekers Allowance for a year, and anyone over 25 who has been receiving Jobseekers Allowance for two years, would be offered a paid job, with training, that they will have to take up or face losing benefits; and further calls on the Government to ensure this compulsory jobs guarantee is fully funded by a one-off repeat of the tax on bankers’ bonuses and restricting pension tax relief on incomes over £150,000.
Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee will guarantee a real, paid job, preferably in the private sector, to every 18 to 24 year old who has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than a year and for every adult aged 25 and over who has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than 2 years.
The Government will pay full wages and national insurance costs (at National Minimum Wage levels) directly to the business to cover 25 hours of work per week at the minimum wage. In addition we will provide an extra £500 per employee to help businesses with set-up and admin costs.
In return, the employer will be expected to provide training and development for participants for a minimum of 10 hours a week. In bidding for the money employers would also have to explain how the jobs are additional and would not exist without the Compulsory Jobs Guarantee investment. They will not be able to replace existing jobs or vacancies and must not lead to someone else losing their job or seeing a reduction in hours.
Participants will be required to undergo training provided by the employer as well as intensive job-search activity for a permanent opportunity at the end of the six months. Those jobseekers who refuse to take up the offer of a job would risk losing their benefits, in line with the existing sanctions regime.
By bringing together government, employers and workers to tackle the issue of long-term unemployment Labour will ensure that this is a recovery for the many.