The Tories in Bournemouth: 'Bonus' incentive for jobless

A 'BACK-TO-WORK bonus' to encourage the unemployed to take part-time work as a prelude to full-time employment, was announced by Peter Lilley, Secretary of State for Social Security, in a speech in which he claimed that the Tories remained the innovators on the welfare state.

At present, those who work part-time lose benefit pound for pound above a small amount of earnings. That provides little incentive to take part-time work, even if it might lead to a full-time job.

Under the bonus, a credit equal to half the value of the extra earnings above the disregard will be built up - to a value of pounds 1,000 - which will be paid as a bonus when people go off benefit into full-time work. The scheme, which Mr Lilley claimed as 'the most imaginative innovation in this field for decades', comes as Labour's Commission on Social Justice is believed to be proposing similar bridge- building incentives to get people back to work.

The bonus, which could become payable from April 1996 and which is expected to benefit at least 150,000 people a year, would 'transform the system from a safety net that traps you, into a trampoline that you can spring from', Mr Lilley told the Tory party conference in Bournemouth.

'It will encourage part-time work as a stepping stone to full-time jobs, boost incentives and reward honesty,' he said.

Some people were reluctant to risk coming off benefit because of the uncertainty of whether a new job would last, or how much overtime would be available, Mr Lilley said later. 'The relative security of benefits as against jobs makes it difficult for people who would otherwise want to work (to make the move).'

The bonus, which can be built up over any period of time, would 'encourage people to take part-time work, to declare part-time work that they are already doing, and to take advantage of working more than 16 hours a week and coming off benefit,' Mr Lilley said.

The signs of changing times were also marked by Mr Lilley attacking yuppies as well as New Age travellers in his speech. He disclosed that his department has now found a wholesale answer to 'spivvy schemes to avoid national insurance contributions', in which 'yuppies' have been paid bonuses in 'gold bars, diamonds or vintage wines'.

Instead of banning such scams one by one as employer's invent them, the law is to be changed to define which payments - such as luncheon vouchers - are legal, making all others illegal. That, Mr Lilley said, should 'put an end to them once and for all'.

Prisoners are also to have their entitlement to housing benefit cut from 52 weeks to 13 weeks.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'