Selly Oak MP urges caution over unemployed plan

Tough welfare reforms forcing the unemployed to accept community work should be delayed because of the recession, according to a Birmingham MP.

Lynne Jones (Lab Selly Oak) told ministers their proposals would put pressure on Birmingham residents to find jobs when there was no work available.

She highlighted warnings from the Engineering Employers’ Federation, which represents manufacturers, businesses were making staff redundant. Anthony Lloyd, employee law director at the EEF’s Birmingham office, said this week his office is receiving 40 calls a day from employers, and two thirds are asking for legal advice about laying off staff. The Government has completed a consultation about drastic reforms to the welfare and benefits system, set out in a Green Paper in July.

They include enrolling unemployed on training courses.