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New Enterprise Allowance

Volume 552: debated on Monday 5 November 2012

Because self-employment is the right option for many unemployed people, on 22 October we expanded the new enterprise allowance so that additional jobseekers could take part. We have also extended it so that jobseekers can take part from the first day on which they claim jobseeker’s allowance, rather than having to wait for six months.

In Redditch, more than 40 people have taken up the opportunity to be mentored under the enterprise allowance scheme. What else can be done to encourage more jobseekers to start their own businesses?

My hon. Friend has made a good point. I think that we should try to give good examples to jobseekers about where they can start businesses. Under Get Britain Working, we can set up job clubs to encourage people to see self-employment as an option for the future. I think that that is a good route out for many people with great skills.

Self-employed people in my constituency are experiencing increasing difficulty in finding work because of the Government’s austerity measures. Does the Minister accept that the bureaucratic requirement for self-employed people to produce two forms of evidence relating to their income is making it very hard for them to claim benefits and to find a way back into work?

We try to do as much as we can to reduce the burden of red tape on businesses. That is why the Government set the red tape challenge and introduced the one in, one out rule. All those measures lift the red tape burden from businesses to help them to focus on what they should be focusing on—creating jobs and wealth.

22. One great barrier for people in work and indeed for people not in work is the cost of child care. Would the Minister look at allowing people on the new enterprise allowance to deduct the cost of child care from their tax bill? That could be taken out of the profits of their company when it was up and running. Will he meet me to discuss the idea further? (126319)

I know that my hon. Friend is a great champion of the importance of child care when it comes to helping people into work. I would be happy to meet her to discuss that option.