Pool funds to tackle unemployment, says minister

Cities could be given the power to allow agencies to pool employment-related funding to deliver an overall strategy to tackle unemployment, minister Margaret Hodge told a conference today.

Under the scheme cities would be able to keep a proportion of the money saved by getting claimants off benefit to spend on employment programmes, she explained at housing umbrella organisation Homeless Link’s event.

As part of the plans curently being discussed with the Treasury, European and council funded and other initiatives could be combined into one scheme.

“What I would love to see is getting rid of silos and pooling budgets so we can do what the individual client needs,” said Hodge.

Telling delegates about the welfare reform green paper Hodge said it is not about cutting benefits. She said the paper is about extending “the opportunity and right to work to as many people as we can.”



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