PM: New benefits measures 'road to a secure future'

Measures aimed at getting the long-term unemployed into work come into force, with claimants facing sanctions if they refuse to take part. Long-term unemployed can take part in "intensive" coaching, daily meetings with advisors or community work.

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Govt: We 'provide the cost' for daily job centre travel

The long-term unemployed who have to travel to the job centre every day in order to avoid sanctions on their benefits will be covered for travel by the Government, the Employment Minister said.

Esther McVey told Good Morning Britain the Government would "provide the cost" of travel for those who attend to job centre every day as part of the Help to Work scheme.

"What we are doing here is providing more support for more people. It's costing us money to do this because we believe everybody should benefit and if people can work, they should work."

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Govt failing to 'provide literacy training for jobseekers'

Labour have hit out at the Government for introducing tougher measures for the long-term unemployed but failing to assess the basic literacy and numeracy of benefit claimants.

Shadow employment minister Stephen Timms said:

Under David Cameron's government nearly one in ten people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance lack basic literacy skills and many more are unable to do simple maths or send an email.

Yet this Government allows jobseekers to spend up to three years claiming benefits before they get literacy and numeracy training.

A Labour government will introduce a Basic Skills Test to assess all new claimants for Jobseeker's Allowance within six weeks of claiming benefits.

– Stephen Timms

Work scheme will get people 'to a more secure future'

A Government scheme designed to get the long-term unemployed back into work or face benefits sanctions, will get more people "on the road to a more secure future", the Prime Minister has said.

David Cameron backed the Department of Work and Pensions tougher measures so "everyone who can work is in work".

A key part of our long-term economic plan is to move to full employment, making sure that everyone who can work is in work.

We are seeing record levels of employment in Britain, as more and more people find a job, but we need to look at those who are persistently stuck on benefits.

This scheme will provide more help than ever before, getting people into work and on the road to a more secure future.

– David Cameron

Claimants face benefit sanctions or work scheme

Tougher measures designed to get the long-term unemployed off benefits and into work come in, with claimants facing penalties if they refuse to take part, the Government has said.

Voluntary work could include gardening projects or restoring historical sites and war memorials, the Government said. Credit: PA

The Help to Work scheme will include "intensive" coaching, required meetings with advisers every day or a six month stint of community work.

Ministers pointed out there are more than 600,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time, saying that the new measures were intended to help unemployed people fill them.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith explained: "There's always more to do, which is why we are introducing this new scheme to provide additional support to the very small minority of claimants who have been unemployed for a number of years.

"In this way we will ensure that they too can benefit from the improving jobs market and the growing economy."

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