Coalition proposes controversial plans for unemployed

| June 28, 2010
”Coalition

Proposals have been unveiled by Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, which could see unemployed people encouraged to seek jobs outside the areas where they live.

According to Mr Duncan Smith, millions of people are “trapped in estates where there is no work” but have been unable to relocate because it would mean giving up their right to a home.

However, the scheme would allow them to go to the top of the housing list in another area as Mr Duncan Smith said he wants to get people out of unemployment blackspots.

The proposed scheme comes as the new coalition Government has pledged a “radical reform” of the country’s benefits system.

Mr Duncan Smith told Sky News: “In the UK today, under the last government, we have created almost ghettos of poverty where people are static, unable to get work because there isn’t any work there, unable therefore to get to work because the wages aren’t high enough so they can’t get there and they are stuck.”

He continued: “And you’ve got two and three generations of people, unemployed, in households and whilst there’s been more work created over the last 15 years actually most of that has gone to households that already have work.

“We have tons of elderly people living in houses which they cannot run and we’ve got queues of desperate people with families who are living in one and two-bedroom houses and flats,” he said.

However, the proposals were criticised by Shadow education secretary, Ed Balls, who said unemployment blackspots are just the sort of areas that desperately need investment to create employment opportunities.

He told Sunday Live: “It’s this idea that somehow the only solution to unemployment is to cut benefits. It is get on your bike and if you’re not willing to get on your bike I’ll take away your right to a home as well.”

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), unemployment in the UK currently stands at 2.471 million.

The number of Britons claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) stands at 1.48 million, according to the ONS.

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