At the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Government's new Help to Work programme that will help the long-term unemployed get a job. Karen welcomed the move and said:
"Labour trapped people in a life on benefits and gave unlimited handouts and asked for nothing back. It was unfair on the claimants and unfair on the hardworking people paying for it. there is low unemployment in the Moorlands but we must not be complacent. It's good that starting next April, the long-term unemployed will have to do something in exchange for their benefits. The option of just ‘signing on’ as usual is going to disappear completely.
I'm glad to be part of a Government that is fixing the welfare system to end Labour’s something for nothing culture and support people out of benefits and into work."
Karen wrote this article for the local press this week:
"The final party conference of the year, the Conservative Conference, is taking place in Manchester this week. The theme of this year's Conference is that the Conservatives stand up for hardworking people. Having already delivered a tax cut for 25 million people – while still reducing the deficit – making it possible for businesses to create more jobs, capping welfare, reducing crime, hiring more doctors and nurses and cutting immigration, I am proud to say that this Government has listened to the concerns of those who work hard and do not want something for nothing.
This good news is a reality in the Moorlands. We have seen unemployment fall locally so that less than 2% of people are claiming Job Seekers Allowance. But I know that those looking for work are not statistics but individuals. The Government and taxpayers must be there to help those that cannot help themselves. There is an implicit contract in the relationship between the individual receiving help and the state that is looking after them: the individual acknowledges that they have to help themselves as much as they can.
So, if someone has been unemployed for over two years, has completed the full two year work programme, and is still without a job, the state will do everything it can to help to find them a job. That could include requiring them to visit the job centre every day to carry out job searches and also to do voluntary work which will help them to become more employable.
It’s not only positive for job seekers. A tax break for most married couples is also good news. The welfare system recognises and assists single parents, widows, the elderly - but there is no help for married couples. A tax break means that married couples will also have more of their hard earned money to spend as they see fit."