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Blair tells single mums: You can't stay on the dole.

Radical plans to get single mothers back into jobs will be unveiled by Premier Tony Blair today as he offers a helping hand to the "workless class" abandoned by the Tories.

In his first major speech outside Parliament since the election, Mr Blair will promise opportunities for all in his crusade to unite Britain.

But single mums and other unemployed people will face losing their benefit if they refuse advice, training places or jobs. The Prime Minister will announce his proposals at a rundown South London estate. The venue underlines his determination to curb the massive pounds 90billion social security bill.

Mr Blair is to pledge that there will be no "forgotten people" under his Government.

But he will warn that "life on benefits is not an option" and the welfare state is to be reformed to get people off the dole.

Up to 800,000 jobless single parents with kids at school are to be invited into Jobcentres to discuss their future.

Current rules exempt those with children under 16 from any obligation to consider job offers or training.

Downing Street insisted nine out of 10 want work and the move was not designed to force them to take jobs.

"It's not a gun in the back of the head to say come in to work or you get your benefits stopped," said a senior spokesman. But Welfare Reform Minister Frank Field is pressing for benefit to be docked if single parents turn down help.

And reforms in next month's Budget to help jobless youngsters will penalise skivers as well as assisting the majority.

Mr Blair will declare: "The making of Britain as One Nation is a job for everyone.

:"nd by One Nation, I mean everyone enjoying the chance to get on."
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Maguire, Kevin
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 2, 1997
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