New Dole Claims in NW highest in country

November 24, 2008 6:15 PM
Job Centre

New Dole Claims in NW highest in the country

The North West had 60 new dole claims per day on average over the last year, the highest in the country; while a massive 49 customer facing job centres have been closed in the North West since 2004, according to new figures discovered by the Liberal Democrats.

The research also revealed that the number of unprocessed Jobseeker's Allowance claims in our local Benefit Delivery Centre in Hyde had increased by 47% from 323 in December 2007 to 475 in September 2008. These figures show that while the Government continues to close much needed JobCentres, the JobCentre Plus network is struggling to cope with increasing unemployment.

Speaking about these figures Mr Hunter said, "With unemployment increasing in the North West and set to rise dramatically over the next few years, it's clear that the JobCentres Plus network is struggling to cope.

"The Government cannot continue to close Jobcentres and leave them short-staffed in a time of recession when families rely on the Jobseeker's Allowance for essentials like food, housing and heating. The Government needs urgency to halt closures and staff cuts so that JobCentre Plus is able to cope with the coming years."

Mr Stunell added, "With thousands more people being laid off, many families are struggling to cope, and are relying on Jobseeker's Allowance just to put food on the table.

"It is vital that the government recognise that their closure programme is ill-advised in the current economic climate, and put a halt to it, before this current backlog grows any further."

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