§ Mr. Leighton
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will increase the funding of the community programme so that every person who is long-term unemployed and every person under 25 years who has been unemployed for six months may be offered a place on the community programme; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
No. I recognise and share the hon. Member's concern for the problems of long-term unemployed people. But there remain some areas in London and the south-east which have not yet filled even those places already available under the current community programme. I would therefore urge the hon. Member to use his influence to try to persuade the small minority of local authorities and trade unions which now oppose the community programme on ideological grounds to adopt a more constructive approach so that the places for which funds are available can be taken up by long-term unemployed people.