Welfare Reform Bill admission of failure in Wales - Willott

December 3, 2008 12:00 AM

Commenting on the Welfare Reform Bill announced in today's Queen's Speech, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary and MP for Cardiff Central, Jenny Willott said:

"This bill is a frank admission that after 11 years this Government still has a mountain to climb on welfare reform.

"The number of people out of work in Wales has remained unacceptably high under Labour. What's more, over the last year, the number of people on the dole in Wales has rocketed by more than 10,000 in a year.

"The Government cannot make sanctions more severe without improving and personalising the support available. It is absurd that people are expected to languish on the dole for 6 months before they start to receive any form of help to get back into work.

"James Purnell has to deliver far better support for the unemployed if he wants support for tougher sanctions."

Commenting on the Child Poverty Bill, Jenny Willott said:

"Putting the child poverty target into legislation is an unnecessary distraction form the fact that the Government is failing to tackle it.

"Over the last year, more than 50,000 extra Welsh children fell into child poverty.

"The money and resources that will be tied up getting the target on the statute book would be far better spent on concrete measures to tackle child poverty.

"Politicians should be as good as their word and not need laws to ensure they honour their commitments."

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