As Unemployment Spirals, Government Prepares to Blame the Unemployed

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Unemployed people should do a 9 to 5 day looking for work or undertake community service style duties such as digging gardens under moves to tackle the hardcore of joblessness, the author of a Government-commissioned report said.

Professor Paul Gregg said there should be a completely new approach towards people such as parents of young children and those on incapacity benefit.

Virtually everyone on benefits should be required to take steps towards finding a job and should face having their benefits stopped for up to four weeks if they repeatedly refuse to co-operate with attempts to find them work, it was suggested.

Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell said he "strongly welcomed" the report, adding: "The direction of travel is the right way."

A welfare reform bill will be included in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, and the report is part of the Government's drive to get more people into work and cut down the numbers on benefit.


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