HL Deb 15 July 1997 vol 581 cc106-7WA
Earl Russell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment's comment on 3 July on Welfare to Work that "for the able bodied we do not believe it is right after they have been offered choices for them to turn down those choices and to continue drawing benefit. We made that clear before the election" (HC Deb., col. 442), where and in what words this was made clear before the election.

Baroness Blackstone

The position was clearly set out in the manifesto and in the policy documentNew deal for a new Britain, which was published on 18 March 1997. The latter included the following: The young unemployed have a responsibility too—to seek work, accept reasonable opportunities and upgrade their skills. They have a clear responsibility, in return for the new opportunities which we will provide, to choose from the opportunities for work that are available and make the best efforts to develop the skills that are necessary. With our new opportunities, continuing forever on full benefit cannot and will not be an option.