Employment: Finance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of all Government employment programmes, excluding Remploy, in each year for which information is available since 1997.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Employment and Welfare Reform)

There are a range of employment programmes that ensure that people get the support that they need to move back into work.

The new deal embodied the idea that rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. In return for the extra support and opportunities provided, young people were expected to take up jobs and training or see their benefits cut. As we saw this approach working, we extended it to other groups. Together with a stable economy, this has helped take a million people off key out-of-work benefits and cut claimant unemployment by 50 per cent. The latest figures show that the number of people on jobseeker's allowance is 819.3 thousand. This is down 58.1 thousand on the year, and down 800.3 thousand since 1997. The result is we are spending over £5 billion less on key out-of-work benefits.

At the same time, we have increased employment support by £800 million and been able to increase help to those who simply cannot work. This is good for the individual and for our society as a whole. All the evidence shows that work is the best route out of poverty and that by helping people into work, we make sure our economy benefits from making better use of individuals' talent while cutting the welfare bill.

Information about the cost of employment programmes is in the following table.

Employment programmes excluding Remploy
£ million
1997-98 200
1998-99 322
1999-2000 531
2000-01 557
2001-02 791
2002-03 805
2003-04 919
2004-05 1,044
2005-06 973
2006-07 865

1. Figures are in nominal terms.

2. Programmes included are: Employment Zones; Working Neighbourhoods Pilot; External Action Teams; Princes Youth Business Trust; Work Based Learning for Adults; European Social Fund; Jobsearch Provision; Incapacity Benefit Reforms; Ambition; Adviser Discretion Fund; Internal Action Teams; Ethnic Minorities Pilot; New Deals; Work Step; Access to Work; Residential Training Centres; Work Preparation.

3. Not all programmes ran in each year.

4. Information about programme expenditure for Employment Zones, The Prince's Trust, and Working Neighbourhoods is not available prior to 2004-05, and is not included in the figures for earlier years.

5. The figures do not include administration expenditure.


Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus, and Employment Service annual reports.

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