Make benefits cheats work on farms, says MP George Eustice

Make benefits cheats work on farms, says minister

Make benefits cheats work on farms, says minister

First published in News
Last updated

Farms minister George Eustice, who's family owns a farm, has said that benefits cheats should be sent to work on farms.

He told the NFU conference that this would cover any shortages in seasonal migrant labour following the abolition of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.

Mr Eustice said we should be focusing on getting unemployed UK workers onto farms instead of foreign labour.

“Having worked in farming myself, I know that some people will say ‘you won’t get them (UK unemployed) to do this work, they don’t want to do it’,” he explained.

“But as a government, we shouldn’t really tolerate that attitude that says, ‘we’re going to pay people to stay on benefits because they don’t want to do certain types of farm work’.

“We need to get across and overcome this attitude where we say, ‘it’s OK to pay people benefits and accept that they are not going to take jobs that are on offer’.”

He added that the government was working on getting more local people to take jobs on farms, which would be “factored in” to the work the DWP was doing on allocating benefits.

He was responding to calls from Ali Capper, a hop and apple farmer from Worcestershire, who called for the reintroduction of a seasonal agriculture workers scheme (SAWS), which was abolished in January.

The migrant labour scheme allowed workers from Bulgaria and Romania to come and work in the UK, especially during busy harvest periods, on short-term contracts up to six months.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:22pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Gillian R.Z. Martin says...

Am I missing something here? "benefit cheats" is this the new title for all those unemployed and claiming benefits?
Am I missing something here? "benefit cheats" is this the new title for all those unemployed and claiming benefits? Gillian R.Z. Martin
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree