Employment pledge

Starmer wants more in work and cut in benefits bill

Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer: those who can work, will work (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will today outline plans to get more people into the workforce and reduce the cost of welfare.

He will tell voters that “with Labour, those who can work, will work. I want more people to work, to get on at work and to get the benefits bill down”.

Announcing Labour’s Back to Work Plan with Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liz Kendall, Sir Keir will set out a series of reforms to employment support and welfare benefits that a future Labour government would get started on within weeks, if the party is elected at the general election on 4 July.

The Labour leader will take direct aim at the cost of continuity under the Conservatives, with spending on health and disability benefits for working age adults set to rise by more than 50% over the next five years, without change.

Labour will target an increase in the employment rate from 75% to 80% which would be the highest in the G7 and mean over two million more people in work across the UK.

As part of Labour’s first step to economic stability for the country, Keir Starmer will commit to a major programme of reform to support more people into work to bring the benefits bill down, including:

– a new combined national jobs and careers service – bringing together jobcentreplus and the careers service – to get more people into work and to support those seeking better opportunities with the means to find better paid work

– new local plans for work, health and skills support to get more people with health conditions and disabilities into work, with devolved funding and leadership from Mayors and local areas

– a youth guarantee that will mean opportunities for training, an apprenticeship or help to find work for all young people aged 18- 21 years old, to prevent young people becoming excluded from the world of work at a young age. 

Sir Keir said: “With Labour, those who can work, will work. We want more people into work, to get on at work and to get the benefits bill down.

“Under the Tories, there are too many people who are not in work, who should be. Too many people stuck in jobs with no promise of earning a better income. Young people who are yet to experience work, at risk of falling off the radar. We can’t go on like this. It’s time for change. 

“The first step of my Labour government will be to create economic stability, which means getting a grip of the spiralling welfare bill that’s gone out of control under the Tories. 

“We will set about, within days of a future government, reforming work support to get more people into work.”

The Labour leader says it is “a good thing that people are aspirational” and says that it is in tune with his changed Labour Party.

“When I say our No 1 mission is economic growth you could say our number one mission is wealth creation. Now that’s an odd thing for the Labour Party to say. It might have been in the past.”

Ms Kendall added: “Under the Tories, employment is falling, economic inactivity is rising and the benefits bill is soaring. Millions are stuck on lower pay, millions written off and nearly a million young people not in employment education or training.

“The health of our nation is critical to the health of our economy. They are two sides of the same coin.

“Labour will set to work on day one with our first steps to expand opportunity to those who have been let down by the Tories. This includes a youth guarantee that will mean training, an apprenticeship or help to work for all 18- 21 year olds.

“New local plans will be put in place, supported by Mayors across the country, to get people from economic inactivity and into work. And a national jobs and careers service to help people not only get into work but get on at work.” 

One Comment to Starmer wants more in work and cut in benefits bill

  1. Well whoever gets in just remember there are a lot of very ill people unable to work with neurological and many other illness .
    These please should be pensioned off as from 60 instead of endless medicals

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