THE borough’s Conservative Parliamentary Candidate has welcomed his party’s proposals to help more people into work and away from dependency on the welfare state.
Stuart Penketh said: “These proposals will encourage people who have been in long-term unemployment to move away from the culture of benefits, and encourage them, through training, volunteer schemes and practical assistance, to not only find a job, but, more importantly find a job that plays on their strengths.
“A Conservative Government will also work with charities to offer help and support for those moving forward into work for the first time.”
He added: “The current Labour Government has failed the young people of Ellesmere Port and Neston.
“Nine per cent of the unemployed in the borough are under 25. This Government is condemning a large number of young people to a cycle of welfare dependency, and the spiralling low self-esteem which this can cause.
“It is time to encourage young people to recognise their own self-worth and empower those who feel disenfranchised. However, this can only be achieved if they are given the economic freedom that they deserve.”
Mr Penketh went on: “With Ellesmere Port and Neston having 32.5 benefit claimants per 1,000 residents, which is well below the North West average of 45.1 per 1,000 residents, there are still too many people feeling they have no option but to claim benefits.
“An incoming Conservative Government promise to remove this dependency so those who can work can thereby releasing money and resources that would be used to help those that can not.”
Under Tory proposals announced last week, the long-term unemployed would be forced to carry out useful community work if they fail to find a job after two years.
David Cameron’s plan to reform the welfare system would also require benefit claimants to complete a mandatory year-long work programme on exceeding their entitlement to out-of-work payments.
The Conservatives have proposed that Britain’s 2.6m Incapacity Benefit claimants should be reassessed.
Mr Cameron believes that most of those on Jobseekers’ Allowance should be required to attend new “back-to-work” centres to qualify for their benefits.
The centres could be run by charities, other voluntary bodies or private companies with funding linked directly to their success in keeping individuals in jobs.