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Government backs down on volunteers

August 9, 2006 1:07 PM

Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson, Danny Alexander MP today welcomed a Government U-turn which means people on benefits who volunteer will no longer have to pay the cost of their meals. He said, "It is welcome, though rather belated news that the Government has decided to make a u-turn on its previous policy not to allow benefit recipients to claim lunch expenses when they volunteer."

Labour's plan had been to make it impossible for volunteers in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance to get so much as a cup of tea from the organisation they volunteer for without facing having their benefits cut.

DELGA Chair Kelvin Meyrick added, "Many organisations - and particularly LGBT organisations - rely on the work done by volunteers. How much smaller and less vibrant our community would be without all the people who work unpaid running support groups, pride festivals and so forth happen. The Government's proposals were foolish in making it harder to take part in voluntary work, which gives so many people the necessary confidence and skills to gain full-time employment."