David Ruffley MP Investigates How Welfare Reform Will Operate

Friday, 21 January, 2011

David Ruffley MP Investigates How Welfare Reform Will Operate

David Ruffley MP will visit Workwise in Bury St Edmunds on the 21 January 2011 to see how the organisation is progressing.

Workwise is a social firm which provides work-based rehabilitation for adults who are recovering from various forms of mental health problems. They run a small business which offers trainees the opportunity to gain qualifications in business administration, information technology, arts and craft design and production, woodwork, engraving, CNC technology, ID badge production, computerised embroidery and process manufacturing.

Mr Ruffley said: 'A civilised country protects the most vulnerable and helps those who look for work. However, the current system is failing many millions of our fellow citizens. People find themselves trapped in an incomprehensible out-of-work benefit system for their entire lifetimes, because it simply does not pay to work.'

'I believe we have to support people as they make their move back to work. The Government's new Work programme aims to provide integrated back-to-work support. It will pick up and bring together many of the programmes that were in place before, and add to them to create a comprehensive system of support. Organisations such as Workwise will be central to achieving this.

The Government has started a three-year programme to reassess the 1.5 million people who have been abandoned for years on incapacity benefit.

Its aim is to make work pay and support people to find a job through the Work programme. To encourage this, a regime of sanctions for those who refuse to play by the rules is being developed, as well as targeted work activity for those who need to get used to the habits of work. It will be a selective process, targeted at those who need to do it, not at everybody. It will be targeted as required, using the understanding and knowledge of those based in jobcentres.'