Tom Blenkinsop MP has today (30th May 2012) hit out at the Coalition’s Work Programme branding it ‘a failure’ after it was revealed that spending on benefits will be £9.1 billion higher than the Government predicted.
“The forecast increase in benefit spending is proof that the Coalition’s Work Programme is a complete failure, and the Government is only damaging our economy by continuing to stand by it.
“We are seeing year on year increases in the level of unemployment, particularly in the North East. In my constituency alone we have almost 3,400 JSA claimants – an increase of over 5% from just last year.
“The Coalition has failed to develop any meaningful strategy for jobs and growth, and until it does our economy will continue to suffer. The work programme so far has been a shambles ranging from extra costs due to outsourcing to private companies and even possible fraud at A4e, including on Teesside.
“When the programme was launched, economic growth for this year was for forecast at more than 2.5%, but since then Downing Street has led us into a double dip recession and growth is now predicted to be less than 1%. Clearly now is the time for a Plan B.”