DWP – JOBSEEKERS (BACK TO WORK SCHEMES) BILL – 19 March 2013
Dr Julian Lewis: Will the Minister tell the House how our employment rate compares with that of eurozone countries and even with that of the United States?
[The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Mr Mark Hoban): My hon. Friend makes a good point. The unemployment rate in the UK is below the average of the eurozone and the European Union. We are seeing one of the fastest rates of job creation in the developed world and we have record numbers of people in work, and record numbers of women in work. Our policies to help people into work are effective. On the whole, jobseekers welcome them and it is important that they continue to take advantage of the schemes that are on offer.]
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Dr Lewis: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way and am sincerely impressed with the passion with which he makes his case. However, if I were in his shoes, I would be determined to vote against the Bill. Perhaps I have misunderstood something. My understanding is that Opposition Front Benchers are proposing not to vote against the Bill. If so, why not?
[Ian Lavery: I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman has misunderstood the situation, but perhaps when the vote takes place, he will be much better informed. The Bill turns my stomach. ...]