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Poverty: Liverpool

Volume 477: debated on Friday 20 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what recent assessment he has made of measures to tackle worklessness in Liverpool, Riverside constituency; and if he will make a statement; (212385)

(2) what recent assessment he has made of measures to tackle poverty in Liverpool, Riverside constituency.

[holding answer 19 June 2008]: Work is the best route out of poverty. For example, children in working households are much less likely to be in poverty than those living in households where no one is working. The Government have made considerable progress in tackling worklessness through national back-to-work programmes such as New Deal and Pathways to Work, as well as local initiatives such as Step Closer 2 Work.

Since 1997 the number of unemployed people in the Liverpool Riverside constituency has fallen by 45 per cent., the number of lone parents claiming benefit has fallen by 28 per cent. and the number of people claiming incapacity benefits has fallen by 17 per cent. Specific information on the level of poverty are not available below regional level.

However we recognise that there is more to do.

In August the Jobcentre Plus District for Liverpool Riverside will start a campaign targeting over 2,000 small to medium-size employers, encouraging them to work with us in local employment partnerships. This will open up job opportunities for those of our customers who have found it difficult to take advantage of the employment opportunities that exist across the district. Across Liverpool the working neighbourhoods fund is investing over £3 million in 2008-09 and the deprived area fund over £2 million to improve employment opportunities. Jobcentre Plus have also been working with the local authority and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to improve the transition when people move between welfare and work.