Rowen condemns pressure placed upon jobseekers

April 14, 2009 12:00 AM

Rochdale's Liberal Democrat MP Paul RowenRochdale's MP Paul Rowen has condemned Government guidelines that suggest jobseekers should have to travel long distances to find work.

It comes after Tony McNulty MP, Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, reinforced ideas that would expect prospective jobseekers to travel up to 90 minutes to find work.

The proposals suggest that those looking for work should be expected to travel anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes with people who are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance expected to travel up to 90 minutes to get to work.

Paul Rowen, who is the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Works and Pensions, said: "It is absolutely disgraceful to place jobseekers' under such massive amounts of pressure. Many of the people who are looking for work cannot afford the cost of travelling to and from prospective interviews. This will just cause even more stress and financial problems for them. Last month unemployment figures reached the 2million mark for the first time in 12 years. Many of these people are currently not long term unemployed and have never been unemployed before. These people need help and advice on a wide range of issues and not more added pressure."

Tony McNulty MP was heavily criticised recently for claiming £60,000 for a "second home" owned by his parents only 11 miles from Westminster. John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, has agreed to follow up on a complaint over Mr McNulty by a Conservative MP.

Paul Rowen added: "Moreover, in light of the recent revelations regarding Tony McNulty's expenses it seems incredibly hypocritical for him to expect people to commute for up to 90 minutes one way when he seemed to struggle with a 12 mile journey. I will be taking this issue up with the Government."