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Workless Households

Volume 604: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2016

In all parts of the United Kingdom our welfare reforms are working, transforming the lives of those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. The number of workless households in Wales continues to fall, with 12,000 fewer in the last year alone.

Does the Secretary of State agree that the Government’s welfare reforms are improving the life chances of children in Wales?

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. We on the Government Benches understand that work is the best route out of poverty. I am very pleased that in Wales the number of children growing up in a home where no parent works has halved, falling by 62,000 since 2010. I am clear that if we are to transform life chances, we have to go much deeper and address the root causes of worklessness, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister pointed out in his speech on Monday.

Four years ago, my constituent Margaret Foster was sacked from Remploy by this Prime Minister. Yesterday, I raised her case in a debate. Today, I have been approached by local employers offering her work. Why are the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister presiding over a system to support disabled workers so useless that it takes a Member of Parliament raising the issue in Parliament for anything to happen?

The proportion of disabled people in Wales in work has increased under this Government. There was a time when Labour Members understood and talked the language of welfare reform. Maybe when they have stopped kicking lumps out of each other they will get back to addressing it.