UK Politics

Labour Party: Labour exposes 'Big Society' con

News   •   Sep 15, 2010 12:42 BST

Labour has attacked the coalition Government for paying lip-service to the ‘Big Society' - while cutting its volunteering programme for the unemployed.

The DWP Volunteering Programme launched in April 2009, had placed over 13,000 people unemployed for over six months into volunteering opportunities. The work-focussed programme gave jobseekers real experience to put on their CVs and kept them active whilst they looked for work.

But the Government is stopping it early, taking away tens of thousands of volunteering opportunities for people who are looking for work, and taking away opportunities for them to contribute to their communities.

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Yvette Cooper MP, commenting the day before the latest unemployment figures are published said:

"Iain Duncan Smith claimed he wanted community groups and the voluntary sector to help people into work. Yet the shocking reality is he's cutting help for the voluntary sector who were doing exactly that. 

"The Government is abandoning people to do nothing on the dole rather than keeping them active and working for their communities while they look for a job. 

"It is even crazier to cut Labour's requirement for young people to take up volunteering, work or training if they can't get a job. No young person should be left on the dole for months at a time with nothing to do. 

"Despite all the promises about the Big Society, Iain Duncan Smith has given in to short term Treasury cuts, at a time when unemployment is still too high. It will end up costing us all more."