Home Politics Kwasi Kwarteng to shrink part-time work benefits to grow labour supply

Kwasi Kwarteng to shrink part-time work benefits to grow labour supply

Kwasi Kwarteng will tighten benefit rules for part-time workers, requiring them to work longer hours or take steps to increase their earnings.

Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters© Provided by The Guardian

The new rule will require benefit claimants working up to 15 hours a week to take new steps to increase their earnings or face having their benefits reduced. The current threshold is nine hours, though it was increased this summer to 12 hours, which will come into force next week.

The further increase, expected to be implemented from January 2023, will affect only a small additional number of those on universal credit, about 120,000 people out of about 5.5 million claiming the benefit.

But the move is intended to signal a new offensive by the Treasury to fill job vacancies, with many industries facing chronic shortages.

Kwarteng will also announce new support to get over-50s into work, after a sharp increase in economic inactivity in that age group since the Covid-19 pandemic, with a significant number citing stress or mental health reasons.

See also  We must hold Akufo-Addo to his commitment to ensuring press freedom - Prof Gadzekpo

The Treasury has found that economic inactivity in the over-50s is contributing significantly to shortages in the jobs market, one of the key issues driving up inflation.

“Our jobs market is remarkably resilient, but it is not perfect,” Kwarteng said in advance of the announcement. “While unemployment is at is at its lowest rate for nearly 50 years, the high number of vacancies that still exist and inactivity in the labour market is limiting economic growth.

“These gradual changes focus on getting people back into work and maximising the hours people take on to help grow the economy and raise living standards for all. It boosts incomes for families and helps businesses get the domestic workers they need, all while supporting economic growth.”

See also  Livestream:2020 NDC Manifesto Launch
See also  Livestream:2020 NDC Manifesto Launch

The changes will be announced at Kwarteng’s mini-budget on Friday, along with a slew of other measures including significant tax cuts and further details of the energy package to support households and businesses with bills.

Benefit claimants working up to 15 hours a week on the national living wage must now meet regularly with their work coach and take active steps to increase their earnings or face having their benefits reduced.

Work coaches will require the claimants to make commitments such as applying for jobs, attending interviews or increasing their hours.

Chloe Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said the aim was to address labour market shortages and helping people on lower incomes to increase their pay.

The changes will be UK-wide and certain groups will remain exempt from sanctions, including people who are unable to work due to long-term sickness or a disability.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Video: U.K Based Ghanaian Actor/Immigration Lawyer, Mcshak Kwame Amoako Passes On

The sad demise of former actor and immigration lawyer, Kwame Amoako occurred days after his birthday in the United Kingdom.He left behind his wife,Dilda...

DrupZ Music to Flip Accra upside-down with a Free Concert

Highly versatile Afrofusion and World Music whiz, DrupZ is set to host a Live in concert on the 12th day of November, 2022.The Rockstar...

Foreign students are bringing relatives in record numbers to the U.K

Record numbers of foreign students are bringing relatives into the UK, as ministers consider how to bring down overall immigration.Numbers of dependants of foreign students...

Immigration must fall even as Britain pushes for growth, Liz Truss told

Suella Braverman, the new Home Secretary - Aaron Chown© Aaron ChownThe Home Secretary is insisting that immigration must fall even as Britain pushes for growth, The...

BBC EastEnders: Charlie Brooks exits show as Janine Butcher just 18 months after return

Charlie Brooks is set to exit EastEnders just 18 months after she returned as Janine Butcher. The evil and manipulative Janine Butcher will be...