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Workless Households

Volume 607: debated on Monday 14 March 2016

When we took office almost one in five households had no one in work and about 1.4 million people had been on benefits for most of the previous decade. Since 2010, the number of workless households has fallen by more than 680,000 to its lowest level since records began. The number of children in workless households is at a record low, down nearly 480,000 since 2010.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that making progress in reducing the number of people in workless households is key to improving the life chances of millions of children?

I do agree with my hon. Friend. From all the evidence, we know that children in workless households grow up without the aspiration to achieve, something they might have if they grow up in driven families who are in work. They are almost certain to repeat the difficult lives of their parents and we want to turn those lives around. Since 2010, the number of workless households in the social rented sector has fallen by more than 280,000 to a record low. It is worth remembering that when we took office in 2010 the number of households where no one had ever worked had nearly doubled under the previous Labour Government.