Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day]
James Purnell (Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions; Stalybridge and Hyde, Labour)
As I have said, we have announced an extra £83 million to help people who are out of work back into work—and the hon. Lady has Innovation, Universities and Skills questions every month if she wants to put that question to the relevant Minister.
We can redouble our efforts, unlike the Conservative party, because we are prepared to increase our investment. We can also increase conditionality because we can increase our investment. The Conservatives would reduce that investment, cutting support and, in the end, they would cut the conditionality, which is exactly what happened when they were in power. That is why they ended up using unemployment as a tool of policy; that is why they said it was a price worth paying, because they were not prepared to pay the cost of the right policy. The right policy is to increase support for people: we are doing that and we are prepared to pay that cost; the Conservatives are not, and the people who would pay the price if the Tories ever got back into power would be the unemployed.