Two million people have never worked, Tories reveal

The Tories are basically the Right, and the Labour Party is the Left.

From The Telegraph:

In a hard-hitting speech tomorrow, Theresa May, the shadow work and pensions secretary, will launch an attack on the Government’s record, saying that millions of people are living in “workless ghettos”.

She will accuse ministers of failing to tackle a “benefits culture” which has seen three million people fail to find a job since Tony Blair came to power in 1997, on top of another two million who have never worked.

The figures, based on the 2001 census, come as unemployment levels reach their highest level since Labour came to power, with six million people now claiming job seekers allowance or sickness pay.

In the speech, at the Policy Exchange in London, Mrs May will say that far from being a product of the recession, four out of five of those on benefits were out of work before the start of the downturn.

And in an attack on the Government, as part of this week’s focus by the Conservatives on what they describe as “Broken Britain,” with rising crime and entrenched social problems, she will say that Labour’s failure to reform the welfare state during the good times has resulted in huge economic and social costs.

She will say: “These are people that have been hidden away by Labour for the past 10 years.

“They have slowly built a wall between the working and the workless, hoping to keep their failures out of sight.

“Well let me spell them out. The reality is that under Labour there has been a steady growth in welfare ghettos – unemployment did not disappear during the ‘boom years’. “It was merely disguised, renamed, and hidden away in ever growing pockets of poverty.”

Mrs May will highlight the areas of greatest worklessness around the country, pointing out that the majority are in Labour heartlands, including Newham and Tower Hamlets in east London and Merthyr Tydfil in Mid-Glam.

She will say: “Almost 3 million people have not worked under this Labour Government.

“It is important to remember that not everyone can work, those with severe disabilities or those who do an invaluable job as full time carers or parents of young children.

“But at the same time we should not shy away from demanding more of those who can work, and often desperately want to.

“Within these figures are over 100,000 people who classify themselves as unemployed and able to work but have never had a job. There are a further 140,000 people who are unemployed but have not worked since 1996.”

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has come under pressure from some within his party to end handouts, such as child benefits and the winter fuel allowance, for middle class and well off families and individuals, as a means of tackling soaring public debt.

A party insider said that while the Tories were actively pursuing cutting tax credits for those earning more than £50,000, there were no plans at this stage to scrap other benefits.

A Government source described the Conservative figures as “meaningless”.

Jim Knight, the Employment Minister, added: “This is two-faced nonsense from the Tory party who deliberately pushed people on to sickness benefit and on to long term worklessness in the ’80s and ’90s, and are now opposing our investment and reforms that are getting people back into work.

“The facts are that there are 2.5 million more people in work now than in 1997 and before this recession the claimant count was at its lowest ever level. Our reforms have been reversing the damage of the Tory years.

“The Tories did nothing to support people into work back then, and have repeatedly opposed Labour’s £5 billion to help people now, when they need it most.”


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