Chancellor announces unpaid work programme for long-term unemployed 

The Chancellor George Osborne is to announce a £300m programme aimed at making long-term unemployed people do unpaid community work, face a mandatory intervention regime or report daily to job centres.

The Help to Work programme, which will launch in April, will be aimed at the 200,000 jobseekers allowance claimants who are still unemployed after having completed the two-year Work Programme.

They will be put on one of three schemes: doing community work placements, attending a job centre every day to seek work rather than every fortnight and taking part in a ‘mandatory intervention regime’ which targets underlying problems they might face such as addiction. Those who do not co-operate will lose their benefits.

The Conservatives have piloted a six-month unpaid community work scheme.

Minister for universities and science David Willetts is also announcing £200m of capital investment for universities teaching science, technology, and engineering and maths with preference being given to those institutions which particularly target women.

Over the weekend, the Conservatives trailed plans for a £200 a year married couple allowance for couples where one partner is on a salary taxed at the basic rate and the other doesn’t work.


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