Getting UK citizens working 'key challenge' for state
Getting British citizens into employment alongside migrant workers will be one of the challenges facing the welfare state in future years, the work and pensions secretary has announced.
Speaking at the Labour Party Conference, John Hutton said that the challenges facing the economy and society were getting bigger rather than smaller.
He said: "Our economy has created jobs for 400,000 migrants from eastern Europe in the last two years, but the number of people seeking work is still rising. What more can we do to help get UK citizens back into jobs?"
Mr Hutton also raised the need to increase employment support for low income couples, "without stigmatising lone parents".
His comments come after concerns were raised over the numbers of new migrants that may come to Britain from Romania and Bulgaria when the countries join the European Union in 2007.
However, Romania's prime minister Calin Tariceanu said that poor Romanians were more likely to head to countries such as Italy and Spain than the UK.