Bloomberg News

U.K. to Tighten Welfare, Force Jobless to Look Further for Work

October 04, 2011

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. government will force jobseekers to spend longer searching for work each day and to look further afield in a tightening of welfare rules.

Under plans announced today by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party at its annual conference in Manchester, northwest England, the unemployed will forfeit benefits unless they spend several hours each day looking for work within a 90-minute commute. Those who repeatedly refuse job offers face losing their benefits for up to three years.

“People in the past have been parked on these benefits,” Cameron told the BBC today. “It is right to reform” them.

The plan reflects the coalition government’s desire both to spur economic growth and reduce the welfare bill as it tries to eliminate the structural budget deficit by 2015.

--Editors: Eddie Buckle, James Hertling

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in Manchester, England, at rhutton1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net.


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