Cooper tackles benefits trap - work incentives proposed

Anyone who starts work after six months on benefit will be at least £40 a week better off, under a guarantee yesterday by Yvette Cooper, the work and pensions secretary.

Other proposed changes to housing benefit aim to cut some of the highest rents the state pays for out-of-work people, and to reduce the immediate impact on rent payments for people moving into work.

In an employment white paper and housing benefit review, Ms Cooper confirmed a government promise of a job, training or work experience after six months’ unemployment for anyone aged 18 to 24.

Some 100,000 posts will be made available, including police community support officers, work in the NHS and probation service, and constructing a national cycle network.