12 October 2013
What: Rachel Reeves, the new shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, vows to cut the welfare bill and force long-term jobless people to take up work offers or lose state support. In her first interview since taking up the position she says: “Nobody should be under any illusions that they are going to be able to live a life on benefits under a Labour government…If you can work you should be working, and under our compulsory jobs guarantee if you refuse that job you forgo your benefits, and that is really important….It is not an either/or question. We would be tougher [than the Conservatives]. If they don’t take it [the offer of a job] they will forfeit their benefit.”
Why significant: The main opposition party recites the same rhetoric demonising benefit claimants as used by the government to justify its welfare reforms.