Neath’s long term unemployed would be guaranteed a job under plans unveiled by Labour which would ensure there is a job for every adult who is long-term unemployed and people out of work will be obliged to take up those jobs or face losing benefits. Local MP Peter Hain has welcomed the announcement calling it a ‘real alternative to the failed policies of the coalition government to get people into work and reduce the benefit bill.’
Initially the guarantee would be for adults who are out of work for 24 months or more, but would be reduced to 18 or 12 months over time. There are currently 110 adults in the Neath constituency over the age of 25 who have been out of work for 24 months or more and would benefit from the plan.
Mr Hain said, “The best way to cut the benefit bill is to get people into work, not punish people who are already doing the right thing by working but are struggling to make ends meet, which the Governments policies are doing as two-thirds of people hit by the cuts to tax credits and benefits in the Autumn Statement are in work.
“The system needs to help people who are doing the right thing and trying to get a job or our already working but struggling to make ends meet. A system which is tough but fair and which rewards people who work.”
The £1 billion costs would be funded by reversing the government’s decision to stop tax relief on pension contributions for people earning over £150,000 being limited to 20 per cent. “When times are tough it cannot be right that we subsidise the pension contributions of the top 2 per cent of earners at more than double the rate of people on average incomes paying the basic rate of tax.”