Chancellor targets part-time workers in win-win welfare reshuffle

Kwasi Kwarteng to announce a reorganization of the welfare system, calling it a “win-win” policy (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

More than 100,000 people who work part-time could face a cut in benefits if they don’t adequately seek more work, the chancellor will announce in his mini-budget on Friday.

Among a series of measures Kwasi Kwarteng will unveil is a major reorganization of the welfare system, with applicants working up to 15 hours a week at the national minimum wage required to meet regularly with a job coach and take “active activities”. “. steps” to increase profits.

If they don’t, depending on the plan, your benefits could be reduced.

Billed by Treasury as a phased expansion, the move will be an increase in the 12-hour incoming threshold for a more intensive job search regime and is expected to take effect from January as part of the Universal Credit system.

Although unemployment is at its lowest rate in almost 50 years, the high number of vacancies that still exist and the inactivity in the labor market is limiting economic growth.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng

Mr Kwarteng has described the policy as “win-win”, presenting it as a way to fill 1.2 million job vacancies across the country.

Under the changes, applicants over the age of 50 will also receive additional support from job coaches, while the newly unemployed will receive nine months of targeted sessions.

The Treasury believes that increasing economic inactivity among those over 50 is contributing to a shortage in the labor market, increasing inflation and limiting growth.

The return to pre-pandemic economic activity among those over 50, according to a government estimate, could boost GDP by up to one percentage point.

“Our job market is remarkably resilient, but it’s not perfect. While unemployment is at its lowest rate in nearly 50 years, the large number of vacancies that remain and sluggishness in the labor market is limiting economic growth,” said Mr. Kwarteng.

“We must make Britain work again. These incremental changes are focused on getting people back to work and maximizing the hours people put in to help grow the economy and raise living standards for all.

“It’s a win-win.

“It increases family incomes and helps businesses get the domestic workers they need, while supporting economic growth.”

Whether it’s increasing your hours in your current role, entering a new industry, or changing careers, we want people of all ages and at all stages to be able to progress toward fulfilling careers.

Secretary for Work and Pensions Chloe Smith

The latest announcement comes ahead of a mini-budget on Friday, in which Kwarteng is due to set out the details of the government’s plans to boost growth and attract investment, including how it will pay for energy price guarantees for homes and the companies.

As well as reversing the rise in national insurance contributions and scrapping a planned increase in corporate tax, which Prime Minister Liz Truss has promised, the chancellor is reported to cut stamp duty in a new bid to boost growth.

Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith said of the plan: “Whether it’s increasing your hours in your current role, entering a new industry or changing careers, we want people of all ages and all stages to be able to progress to fulfilling careers.

“The experience our dedicated DWP job coaches bring will help drive this change by removing barriers to progress and opening up opportunities to train and develop skills to increase earnings.”

Labor responded quickly to the plan, with Shadow Labor and the pensions secretary referencing a reported Conservative plan to remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

“So Conservative ministers think the reason we have over a million vacancies is because the underpaid are not working hard enough and should be threatened with sanctions, but bankers need extraordinary bonuses,” tweeted Jonathan Ashworth.

“We need a serious plan to help people get back to work and increase the job supply,” he said.

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