Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP joined Wes Streeting at the James Leal Centre in Ray Lodge Park today to talk about how to get people into work and improve conditions for people on low pay.
Rachel was joined by Maeve Sherlock, a member of Labour's team in the House of Lords. Together with Wes, they spent time talking to people about a range of concerns including low pay, unemployment, zero hours contracts and the impact that the Government's botched welfare reforms is having on low-income households.
Rachel told the audience: “Today we are publishing new independent research which shows that David Cameron’s Government has spent £5 billion more than it planned on tax credits over the course of this Parliament. This huge overspend is the result of the Tory Government’s failure to tackle rising levels of low pay and job insecurity. This failure means spending on in-work benefits, including housing benefit, is set to continue rising in real terms well into the next parliament.
“This is yet another example of Tory welfare waste: billions more of taxpayers’ money spent on in-work benefits, 900,000 people waiting for a combined 118,000 years in a huge backlog for sickness and disability benefit assessments. And the shambles of Universal Credit leading to huge delays and over £130 million of taxpayers’ money already wasted on failed IT.”
Rachel also talked about what Labour will do to support young people into work, including a new Youth Allowance to support unemployed young people to access training to get the qualifications and skills they need ti find a job.
Wes Streeting, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North, said: "I'm really pleased Rachel took so much time to listen to individual concerns about unemployment. There are still over 1,000 people unemployed in Ilford North - a quarter of whom are young. That's just not good enough. I want to see every young person in Ilford North equipped to stand on their own two feet with the support they need to realise their ambitions."