Magazine article Public Finance

Jobcentre Plus 'Will Struggle' to Deliver Reforms

Magazine article Public Finance

Jobcentre Plus 'Will Struggle' to Deliver Reforms

Article excerpt

Experts this week cast doubt on the ability of the Jobcentre Plus service to deliver ministers' welfare reform proposals.

Key contributors to the consultation on the reform green paper, launched by Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton in January, have told Public Finance that the performance of Jobcentre Plus could hinder plans to get millions of lone parents and older and incapacitated people off benefits and into work.

The government wants to achieve an 80% UK employment rate as part of its anti-poverty and improved productivity plan. But former benefits minister Chris Pond, chief executive of the charity One Parent Families, led a group that was sceptical of Mutton's confidence that Jobcentre Plus would deliver crucial changes.

Speaking at a conference on February 28, Pond said he had 'growing concerns' about Jobcentre Plus because of 'its current funding [restraints] and capacity'.

Kate Green, the chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, also outlined her fears over a 'potentially excessive reliance' on the overstretched' executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions. …

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