Labour hypocrisy claimed over ‘golden hellos’

By Alex Stevenson

The Conservatives have expressed frustration after the government adopted its proposals to pay employers £2,500 for taking on an unemployed worker.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Chris Grayling said Gordon Brown’s announcement of the so-called ‘golden hellos’ reflected Tory arguments for subsidies to employers who take on people who are out-of-work made two months ago.

“We therefore welcome today’s announcement but what the government now needs to do is adopt our plans for a national loan guarantee scheme to help existing businesses and to protect jobs,” he said.

In November the Conservatives outlined a series of proposals changing the rules for jobseekers and helping them retrain and return to work.

They suggested immediate access to training, training courses while claimants still receive benefit and personal employment plans for new skills.

At the time employment minister Tony McNulty said the Tory proposals were “desperate stuff”.

“There is no way they can get 350,000 new jobs out of these proposals. There are too many restrictions being applied, the incentive is too small and many of these ‘new’ jobs will simply displace other people seeking work,” he said.

Gordon Brown told a business summit held at the Science Museum in London today he hoped his proposals would see 500,000 in work or work-focused training in two years.