Benefits 'sanctioned' for Jobcentre no-shows while low income families get up to £300 for saving

04 December 2008 / by Rachel Mason
People on benefits who do not make the effort to find a job could find their benefits cut, while low income families could get up to £300 of Government money if they start saving.

These were two of the Bills outlined in this year's Queen's Speech yesterday.

The speech included 12 bills this year, including the Saving Gateway Accounts Bill, which will create a new national savings scheme to encourage people on lower incomes to put money into savings accounts and the Welfare Bill, which aims to tackle the problem of people seeing benefits as a better option than employment.

The Savings Gateway Accounts will offer a massive incentive to those on lower incomes to save as the Government will contribute 50p for every £1 saved into the scheme, (up to £300 from the Government) while the Welfare Bill will help encourage unemployed people to find work by ensuring "a greater sense of rights and responsibilities" through the application of a regime of benefit sanctions for non-attendance at Jobcentre.

“A Bill will be brought forward to reform the welfare system, to improve incentives for people to move from benefits into sustained employment and to provide greater support, choice and control for disabled people.”

Also outlined in the Queen's Speech yesterday was the Banking Bill, which aims to "enhance financial stability" by introducing measures which will reduce the likelihood of banks getting into difficulties, and "improve the tools available to resolve the situation if they do."

Another significant announcement was The Equality Bill, introduced to "promote equality, fight discrimination and introduce transparency in the workplace" and "help address the difference in pay between men and women.”

"My Government is committed to ensuring everyone has a fair chance in life," said the Queen.

Following the tragic tale of Baby P, the Queen also announced The Child Poverty Bill, "My Government will enshrine in law its commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020,” she said.

Other Bills included a move to involve communities and individuals more in local decision making, a Bill to improve policing and reduce crime and the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, introduced "to manage marine resources and to create a new right of public access to the coastline,” in order to "protect the environment for future generations."

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