Welfare measures must reflect changed economic climate

03 Dec 2008

Commenting on the announcement of the Welfare Reform Bill in the Queen’s Speech today (Wednesday) SNP Work and Pension’s spokesman, John Mason MP, has described plans to force parents with young children back to work as draconian.

The Glasgow East MP said:

”Instead of offering hard-pressed families a helping hand Gordon Brown is pushing parents out the door to work.

”With dole queues getting longer every day, the focus should be on stimulating the economy and creating new jobs and opportunities. Half-baked and draconian reforms are not the answer.

”We will look cautiously and constructively at the wider proposals, but the fact is that much has changed since the Welfare Reform proposals were first mooted in July, and any reforms must reflect the changed economic climate.”


Since 24th Nov. 2008 lone parents of a child aged 12, or over, making a new claim were required to claim Jobseekers Allowance rather than Income Support, as a part of a plan to move most Lone Parents onto JSA.

From 26th October 2009 lone parents with a youngest child of 10 were required to claim Jobseekers Allowance.

From 25th October 2010 lone parents with a youngest child of 7 were required to claim Jobseekers Allowance.

This requires Lone Parents to actively look for work; and they will be expected to sign on fortnightly and have an Action Plan for seeking employment of at least 16 hours. The longer they are on JSA the more will be required of them to seek paid work.

They will be subject to sanctions; including losing up to 40% of their adult benefit.

DWP source:

Jobcentreplus source: