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Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent steps the Government have taken to reduce unemployment. (221330)

The Government's economic objective is to build a strong economy and a fair society, where there is opportunity and security for all. Since 1997 the Government have introduced a series of reforms, which have had a significant impact in tackling unemployment. As a result, the majority of JSA claimants move into work quickly—around three-quarters move off benefit within six months. For those who remain on JSA, the flexible New Deal will be introduced from October 2009, replacing the existing New Deal programmes with earlier, more intensive and personalised support.

On 21 July 2008, the Government published their Welfare Reform Green Paper, setting out a major package of welfare reform, with increased support in return for additional responsibilities.