December 18, 2006 5:31 PM

Responding to John Hutton's speech to the IPPR today, Jenny Willott MP, a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said:

"The Government's welfare reforms seem to be so full of spin and sound bites that there is no room for anything new. As ever, the Government is talking tough on welfare reform but doing little.

"If the Government was serious about withdrawing benefits from the long-term unemployed, you would expect proposals to have been included in the Welfare Reform Bill - but they are not there.

"The long-term unemployed often have low levels of skills or health problems. If the Government seriously wants to help them into work, it could extend the Pathways to Work programme so they are given the advice and training they need to get back into work. This would be more effective than the talk tough, do little strategy."

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