Worse-off areas need private sector growth and jobs

Apr 12, 2013

Sir, Naturally, areas with the highest unemployment levels and reliance on the state will see higher benefit cuts as a result of the welfare reforms currently being implemented (“Prosperity gap widens as welfare cuts hit north hard”, April 11). But the approach of propping up worse-off areas with benefits and public sector employment has failed. What these areas need is private sector growth and jobs.

Thankfully we have seen stronger than average employment growth in the midlands and north of England. A full analysis needs to look at how much better off these families are who are moving into work, rather than just looking narrowly at how much money the state is pumping into the area. Of course, families seeing cuts to their benefits may struggle, which is why the government needs to do much more to reform Jobcentre Plus and the Work Programme to ensure they are providing personalised support to help people into jobs and to increase their earnings.

This article originally appeared on The Financial Times’s website (£)

Author

Matthew Oakley

Matthew Oakley
Head of Economics & Social Policy, 2011-2013 Read Full Bio

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