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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

Labour: Welfare reform 'has comprehensively failed'

Shadow employment minister Stephen Timms. Credit: PA Wire

Stephen Timms, shadow employment minister, said: "The Government’s welfare reform has comprehensively failed at a time when youth unemployment is edging towards a million, and long-term unemployment is at its highest level in 17 years.

"The Youth Contract is on course to miss its target by 92 per cent, and the flagship Work Programme has not hit a single one of its minimum performance standards."


Labour: Leaked DWP staff reports 'utterly damning'

Labour's Stephen Timms said Ian Duncan Smith's Universal Credit system was "in deep trouble." Credit: PA

Stephen Timms, Labour’s shadow employment minister, said strongly critical reports of DWP management by staff were "utterly damning."

“These testimonies from the heart of the Universal Credit programme are utterly damning. No strategic leadership, no plan, no idea.

"The scheme is in chaos. The truth is Universal Credit is in crisis and everyone knows it.

"It’s time for Iain Duncan Smith to admit this project is in deep trouble, come clean about how bad things are, and ask for help, because if things stay as they are this flagship will sink – taking hundreds of millions of pounds of public money with it.”

Labour: Coalition is making a 'complete hash' of welfare

Stephen Timms, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Timms has called the Government's welfare reforms a "damp squib".

Speaking to Daybreak he said: "This government is making a complete hash of introducing the new system, the computer system is nowhere near ready, we were promised a welfare revolution, what we're actually getting today is a damp squib, a tiny number of people being affected."