South Yorkshire MP welcome reduction in benefit claimants

paul blomfield

paul blomfield

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South Yorkshire MPs have welcomed news the number of people claiming work-related benefits in South Yorkshire fell by more than 11,500 this year - but say workers are still too poorly paid.

The figures were published by the Department for Work and Pension and show those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support and other income-related benefits.

There were 47,645 people claiming such benefits in Sheffield in February 2013, which has fallen to 43,585 this year.

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, said: “Any decrease in unemployment is welcome, but too many new jobs are low paid and insecure.

“Twenty per cent of the workforce is on low pay, increasing to 30 per cent for young workers.

“Constituents in part-time work tell me they’re desperate for longer hours and that the awful uncertainty of zero-hours contracts has replaced regular hours and income.

“We need secure jobs, with the hours people want and the pay that they need to make work pay.”

In Rotherham those on benefits fell from 24,930 to 22,780.

MP Sarah Champion said: “I welcome the news that the number of workless benefit claimants is decreasing. This is good both for those finding work, and for the size of the benefits bill.

“I am still concerned that people are being displaced from unemployment into underemployment.

“I am worried about the prevalence of zero hour contracts, part time working, and people being forced into self-employment that may be less stable.

“The reality is that many families are still finding it difficult to make ends meet.”

The number of claimants in Doncaster fell from 29,535 to 26,820.

Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton said: “The fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Doncaster is welcome, but working people continue to see their pay fall behind the cost of living.

“Across the country, pay excluding bonuses is now the lowest on record.

“Under this government, wages after inflation have already fallen by more than £1,600 a year since 2010 and by next year working people will have seen the biggest fall in wages in recent times.”

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