Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to advance extracts of George Osborne’s speech on the Help to Work scheme, said:
"It’s taken three wasted years of rising long-term unemployment and a failed Work Programme to come up with this new scheme. But this policy is not as ambitious as Labour’s compulsory jobs guarantee, which would ensure there is a paid job for every young person out of work for over 12 months and every adult unemployed for more than 2 years.
"With Labour’s plans we would work with employers to ensure there are jobs for young people and the long term unemployed - which they would have to take up or lose benefits. Under the Tory scheme people would still be allowed to languish on the dole for years on end without having a proper job.
"After just two days of their Conference, the Tories have made £1 billion of unfunded spending commitments. But the Tories still haven’t set out how they will help most working people, who are on average £1500 worse off since David Cameron came to office, with the cost of living crisis.
"By pressing ahead with a tax cut for millionaires and opposing the measures we announced last week to freeze energy prices and expand free childcare for working parents, the Tories have shown just how out of touch they are."