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4 Sep 2013

Work for the dole: pilot scheme, please

The Daily Mail picks up figures from the 2011 British Social Attitudes Survey, showing that 62% of Britons think unemployment benefits are ‘too high and discourage work’. And 59% of those who said that they or their spouse were receiving the handouts agreed.

This is quoted in a study of the welfare system by the TaxPayers’ Alliance which concludes that welfare payments are ‘high and generous’ and that the penalties for those who refuse to work are too low.

It says the jobless should be forced to carry out 30 hours of ‘compulsory activity’ a week in return for their benefits.

Note that this isn't setting out to tackle the level of jobseeker allowance, but to make it harder to claim for it long term.

The report, which has cross-party backing, calls on ministers to introduce a new policy of ‘work for the dole’.

It says the Social Attitudes Survey confirms that public opinion is ‘ahead of the politicians on this issue’.

The report cites international evidence to argue that punitive sanctions are needed to persuade the most stubborn claimants to get off their sofas.

It argues that a programme of 30 hours of unpaid work experience, community work or charity work would provide valuable skills and persuade some to turn their lives around.

Those who refuse to take part would lose all their benefits. Only those too disabled to work or claimants with young children would be exempt. But jobseekers with a long track record of National Insurance contributions would be excused from duty for two years.

The report suggests that 575,000 people could move on to the programme immediately. And it says that the programme would generate net savings of almost £2.5billion a year and see 345,000 people come off welfare in the first year.

Potentially this could tackle a lot of jobseeker allowance fraud, where people work full time but claim they are working fewer hours.

The study says that existing sanctions are rarely used and only involve the removal of Jobseekers Allowance for short periods, leaving people with access to housing benefit and other allowances:
Although the complete suspension of benefit payments may seem an extreme sanction, the evidence from the United States suggests this is required to make the scheme fully effective.
Former Labour welfare minister Frank Field gave his backing to the idea:
Labour needs seriously to look again at the idea of work for the dole. The next Labour government must ensure that claimants are not simply left drawing benefit.
Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
The Government is improving the incentive to work but they need to go further and remove the option of sitting at home and claiming benefits entirely.
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions welcomed the report:
Some jobseekers who are a long way from work are already required to carry out work placements which benefit local communities while giving them valuable skills to help them get a job, and we are constantly considering how best we can support unemployed people into work.
The DWP continue to talk the politically correct language of support and encouragement, to avoid criticism from charities and the Opposition. Let's face it, this policy proposal is aimed at the 'can work, won't work' brigade who have made a lifestyle choice.

Pilot, please.


UPDATE

Joanna Long from Boycott Workfare says:
Study after study comes out from the DWP showing that these schemes have zero effect on helping people find work.
That's just one of the arguments, though. The scheme also aims to
  • Establish the principle of the long term unemployed giving something back to society in return for their benefit
  • Make benefit fraud more difficult
  • Cut costs.
Polling shows 86% supporting this proposal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Human rights article 4,(1) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.(d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.
Is it any wonder the government is wanting to renege on the human rights issue (Abu Qatada fiasco) by getting their way, the future for the ordinary British citizen will not be very good.
They will have us all working for next to nothing in no time.

How come they can justify jobs, when millions cannot get back into regular employments anyhow? Can someone answer that.

How can the government say we have no money, yet they spend billions on armaments, answers please.

Are we a corporate resource to be employed for corporate benefit, never and not likely to be.
What they propose is really disgusting.
Social welfare was created to support the poor and not the other way around.