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Benefits: Employment

Volume 708: debated on Wednesday 11 March 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government to what extent the remarks by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in his foreword to the White Paper Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future that the White Paper “draws on international experience, particularly from Scandinavia and the Netherlands” take account of the relative proportions of single adult unemployment benefits to average earnings in those countries and in the United Kingdom. [HL1636]

The ministerial foreword to the White Paper Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future (Cm 7506) outlines the Government's ambition for a welfare system supported by a stronger framework of rights and responsibilities. The proposals draw from international experience of conditionality regimes. For jobseeker's allowance customers, this means progressively increasing obligations in line with time on benefit and giving customers the support they need to keep and progress in work and gain relevant skills.

The United Kingdom has a comprehensive safety net scheme. Income support and other income-related benefits are available to top up flat-rate benefits where these are insufficient and the housing benefit scheme is among the most generous in the European Community.