Tory leader David Cameron sets out back-to-work plans for long-term unemployed

Conservative Party leader David Cameron has unveiled a series of measures which, he claims, will get the long-term unemployed back into work.

The Opposition leader insisted that work was the best way out of poverty, as he defended Conservative proposals to strip claimants of their out-of-work benefits if they refuse to sign up to ‘return to work’ programmes.

Under the proposals, the long-term unemployed would also be forced to join community work programmes if they want to carry on claiming benefits.

The Tories have already warned of the three-strike rule, which would stop Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for three years to claimants who turn down three reasonable job offers.

Incapacity Benefit claimants would also have to undergo a new assessment to gauge their fitness to work.

“We need to take some quite tough steps to say, ‘Look, if you are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance and you don’t accept a reasonable job offer, then the something-for-nothing culture has got to go’,” Cameron told GMTV. “You can’t just sit at home and say ‘I’m not going to work’.”

The Conservative proposals include

  • a two-year limit for JSA claimants
  • a mandatory, year-long community work programme after that, or face losing their benefits and
  • a network of ‘back-to-work’ centres around the country, where claimants would be expected to spend most of their working week.

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