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Ministers wants unemployed people on benefits to earn their benefits by volunteering to work for free and want the scheme to become a standard practice rather than optional

Date: (28 May 2012)    |    

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Ministers have decided that unemployed who are being paid benefits will have to earn it by doing unpaid community work under the governments cleanup drive.
As it is the job centre staff was already empowered to force the jobseekers who were suspected of shirking work, to spend 30 hours a week trimming hedges and painting schools for the £67.50 weekly allowance they receive.
All the able bodied claimants would have to work for their benefits. Under the current scheme which was started last year only those who were unemployed for longer terms were forced to join supervised work groups and refusal of joining the work entailed them to lose their benefits.
There have been 18,000 people who have taken part in the programme since it was launched.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling had been carrying out secret trials in one area, to see the possibility of imposing the sanctions on all benefit claimants and double that number.
In case the trials prove successful, the minister would want it to be launched across the nation.
A source from the Employment department had told The Sun that the minister wanted the scheme to be a normal practice rather than an optional extra.
They are planning to extend it rapidly from next month and have already found funding for thousands more places.
Mr Grayling's scheme does face some opposition though, a recent study revealed that half of all unemployed claimants prefer losing their benefits than work for free.