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Letter: Benefit of change

Sir: We read with interest Andrew Grice's report on the Joint Employment and Social Security Select Committee report on the new ONE Service ("MPs warn of `mistrust and alarm' over benefit interviews", 28 July). We are grateful to the committee for their helpful report which is generally very positive about the ONE Service. We will take their recommendations very seriously.

On the points to which Mr Grice draws attention, we fully intend that the invitation to attend ONE interviews, especially as they become compulsory, should be positive and helpful as the committee recommends, and we shall do everything possible to establish personal contact before stopping benefit. Further, the choice of areas was driven by the need to test the feasibility and effect of the ONE Service on a variety of labour markets, so needed to include affluent and mixed as well as deprived areas.



Department for Education and Employment

London SW1