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UK: Job centres to become a thing of the past for dole claimants?
Until now, anyone claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) has had to make a regular appearance at the Job Centre in person. Soon though, this could become a memory for the 1.58 million people who claimed JSA in February. Current plans are to have 80% of payments made online “within months” with the biggest challenge being how to ensure that claimants really are willing and available for work if the requirement for personal attendance at the job centre is removed.
The eventual goal is for all JSA to be paid online to save more than £1 billion a year in “customer service costs.” This will not happen, however “until we get 100% broadband coverage”, according to a Government source.
Last week, the Office for National Statistics reported that unemployment had fallen to 2.45 million in three months to January, though in the same period, the number of people in work also fell by 54 000 to 38.8 million.