Jobcentre Plus criticised by MPs for ‘missing the point’

A House of Commons Committee has criticised Jobcentre Plus for focusing on getting people off benefits rather than into work.

Tue, 28 Jan 2014A House of Commons Committee has criticised Jobcentre Plus for focusing on getting people off benefits rather than into work.

In a report published today, the committee says that Jobcentre staff must be incentivised to get people into work.

Chairman of the work and pensions committee, Dame Anne Begg, says Jobcentre Plus (JCP) “could be hitting its targets but missing the point”.

“JCP’s performance is currently measured primarily by the proportion of claimants leaving benefit by specific points in their claims,” she explains.

“This takes no account of whether they are leaving benefit to start a job or for less positive reasons, including being sanctioned or simply transferring to another benefit.

"We believe this risks JCP hitting its targets but missing the point. JCP must be very clearly incentivised to get people into work, not just off benefits.”

In a statement, a DWP spokeswoman stated: "The report recognises that Jobcentre Plus responds well to changes and is cost effective. Every day Jobcentre advisers are successfully helping people realise their aspiration to move off benefits and into work so they can secure their future.”

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