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Labour: 'No surprise businesses want corporation tax cut'

Labour's shadow secretary for work and pensions dismissed a letter from business leaders declaring support for a Conservative-led government as a call for lower corporation tax.

Rachel Reeves told Good Morning Britain:"It's not surprising that big businesses want to see a cut in their corporation tax rate. But actually for the one and a half million businesses who have benefit from Labour's cut and then freeze in business rates those businesses also need voice and need policies that will help them grow and succeed. So we make no apologies for being on the side of small businesses and ordinary workers."

Labour: Unreliability of zero-hours contracts 'not good enough'

Labour has defended its plans crackdown on zero-hours contracts, saying that for most people on them "they are not a good thing."

Rachel Reeves told Good Morning Britain: "Particularly if you have got child care responsibilities and a family, not knowing from week to week, day to day...whether you're going to afford to pay the rent and bills and put food on the table, that's just not good enough. The Prime Minister says he couldn't live on it, well if he couldn't live on it we shouldn't be asking fellow citizens to do so."

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Labour target 'jobs guarantee' at under-25s

A life time of unemployment was more likely if young people spent long periods out of work, Rachel Reeves said. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

The Labour jobs guarantee will focus on youth unemployment, the Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions told Daybreak.

Rachel Reeves said the jobs guarantee will force under-25s who have been out of a year into a minimum wage job, but will only do the same for over 25s after two years on jobseekers allowance.

"We know that there are particular problems with youth unemployment. 20% of young people are out of work - much higher than for the population as a whole.

"And for young people what we hear time and again from them and from businesses, is that there is quite a risk - they haven't worked before.

"But that is not quite the same for older people, which is why we are targeting this scheme at younger people."

Labour: New jobless must past tests or lose benefits

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves is to announce plans for a "basic skills test" for all new benefits claimants.

She is expected to say in a speech this morning:

We all know that basic skills are essential in today’s jobs market, but the shocking levels of English and maths among too many jobseekers are holding them back from getting work.

This traps too many jobseekers in a vicious cycle between low paid work and benefits.

Government plans in this area just aren’t enough. They’re now asking jobseekers who exit the failed Work Programme to take up literacy and numeracy training, three whole years after those people first make a claim for benefits.

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

Those who don’t have the skills they need for a job will have to take up training alongside their jobsearch or lose their benefits.

Labour’s Basic Skills Test will give the long-term unemployed a better chance of finding a job and will help us to earn our way out of the cost-of-living crisis.

– Rachel Reeves

Labour: 'When will IDS get a grip on Universal Credit?'

Labour's shadow work and pension secretary Rachel Reeves has asked "when will the PM and IDS [Iain Duncan Smith] get a grip" on Universal Credit, after Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude admitted to ITV News that its implementation had been "pretty lamentable" so far:

Labour: Disability benefit delay reveals ‘chaos’

Rachel Reeves has attacked delays to the introduction of PIPs. Credit: ITV/Daybreak

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said the delay to the government’s Personal Independence Payment programme was the "latest example of chaos" in the Department for Work and Pensions.

She said: "The delivery problems we are seeing at the Department for Work and Pensions now risk descending into farce.

“But for thousands of disabled people who are already extremely anxious about the changes, this is no joke.”

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Labour 'will be tougher than Tories' on benefits

Labour will be tougher than the Tories when it comes to slashing the benefits bill, Rachel Reeves, the new shadow work and pensions secretary, has insisted in her first interview since winning promotion in Ed Miliband's frontbench reshuffle.

New shadow welfare chief Rachel Reeves reveals Labour will be 'tougher' than Tories on benefits. Credit: John Stilwell/PA Wire

In an interview with the Observer, Ms Reeves said: "Nobody should be under any illusions that they are going to be able to live a life on benefits under a Labour government.

"It is not an either/or question. We would be tougher [than the Conservatives]. If they don't take it [the offer of a job] they will forfeit their benefit. But there will also be the opportunities there under a Labour government".

Labour: Tories only ever stand up for a privileged few

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves said the Conservatives "have shown once again that they only ever stand up for a privileged few not for hard working families” following George Osborne's conference speech.

Ms Reeves continued: "The few things he has said are already unravelling. His panicky announcement on fuel duty turns out to be just an aspiration if he can find savings elsewhere.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves. Credit: ITV/Daybreak

"The IFS [Institute for Fiscal Studies] has said the marriage tax break will help just 28 per cent of married couples and only 15 per cent of families with children.

"And his work scheme turns out to be less ambitious than Labour’s compulsory jobs guarantee."

Newsnight editor's Twitter gaffe acknowledged in credits

Newsnight editor Ian Katz has apologised for his comments about the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Credit: Newsnight/BBC

Last night's closing credits of Newsnight acknowledged the gaffe by its editor Ian Katz after he accidentally tweeted that Labour's shadow Treasury minister Rachel Reeves was "boring" and "snoring."

The former Guardian deputy editor meant to send his remarks in a private message but instead posted it to his 27,000 followers.

Mr Katz issued a written apology to Labour and Ms Reeves for his comments.

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