The Conservatives will announce plans to scrap the New Deal and Train to Gain programmes in a bid to tackle unemployment and improve training, at their party conference this week.
David Cameron has revealed the Tories’ plan to replace the government’s flagship New Deal programme with a new plan called ‘Get Britain Working’.
Cameron said this programme would create change across the whole of Whitehall to “unleash investment and entrepreneurial activity that helps create more jobs”.
Referring to Labour as the “party of unemployment”, the Tory leader told the Sunday Telegraph: “The urgency of this crisis and the scale of the suffering is why we’re putting this problem – and our solution – front and centre at our conference.”
He added: “Our solution is to put economic power into people’s hands. This will not happen through any one policy or programme alone. It requires a sweeping change in economic policy right across the board – from taxation, to training, to infrastructure – to unleash investment and entrepreneurial activity that helps create more jobs.”
The Conservatives will encourage private employers and charities to bid for the contracts to get the the unemployed back into work.
But under the Tories, employers’ incentives to take on the long-term unemployed will be delayed. Employers will only receive 20% of the incentive on taking on an unemployed person, rather than the 40% they currently receive. The remainder will be paid only after the unemployed person has been off benefits for a year, not – as at present – after six months.
The Conservatives have also revealed all 2.5 million claimants of incapacity benefits will be reviewed, with one in five expected to be found no longer eligible and transferred onto the jobseekers allowance.
The Times reports those currently receiving £89.90 a week on long-term incapacity benefits would instead receive the £64.30 jobseekers allowance. The £600m saved through this scheme would help to fund the Tories new welfare-to-work programme.