Putting the jobless to work.

Since I posted that I was putting the blog on hold for a while, I've not watched or seen any news. It's surprising how much you miss, just having a few days away from it. What's not surprising is how little it matters. It's like when you go abroad for a couple of weeks. When you get back, the news is still there but what you've missed doesn't affect you in any way.

Anyway, I've be trawling t'interweb looking for a story, and I came across the news that the government are planning to put the long term jobless to work, on pain of loosing their benefits.

It seems some religious dude objects. I disagree:

Ministers have defended their plans to force the long-term unemployed to do manual work or lose benefits.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told the BBC the idea was not to "punish or humiliate" but to get people back into the habit of working.
Quite. I'm of the opinion that those on benefits are getting something for nothing. Now I'm only referring to those who have chosen a life of benefits, however the same applies to those who are just down on their luck.

We are all forced to pay into the welfare system, and those of us who have always had a job would be grateful of the assistance should the worst happen and we find ourselves out of work. but what should the taxpayer be funding if I loose my job. Should they be paying for me to sit at home feeling sorry for myself or should they be paying for me to get temporary employment in the interim? In my younger years, I've taken on packing jobs because it was better than being on the dole. This is similar, it's just the government paying for you to work while you look for something.

But the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the changes could drive people "into a downward spiral of uncertainty, even despair".
Now I don't know why the Arch Bishop should be involved in this discussion. I suppose we all have our opinions but if he wants his in print he should really start a blog.

To respond, I don't see what he means about uncertainty and despair. Surely if you've lost your job, being given another one should keep your spirits up. Maybe if you are one of those who want to live on benefits forever, being forced to work would cause despair, however you've only yourself to blame in that situation.

Under the plan, claimants thought to need "experience of the habits and routines of working life" could be put on 30-hour-a-week placements.
Reading that sounds like they are targeting the long term unemployed anyway. And whats thirty hours per week? That's less than the Dolly Parton shift.

Anyone refusing to take part or failing to turn up on time could have their £65 Jobseekers' Allowance stopped for at least three months.
Fair enough?

The Work Activity scheme is said to be designed to flush out claimants who have opted for a life on benefits or are doing undeclared jobs on the side.
Mr Duncan Smith said his plans were designed to reduce welfare dependency and make work pay.
He said: "One thing we can do is pull people in to do one or two weeks' manual work - turn up at 9am and leave at 5pm, to give people a sense of work, but also when we think they're doing other work.
The more I read, the better it sounds. Some, a lot of people, chose to live a life funded by the taxpayer because they can't be arsed to work. If they knew they would be put into work in order to receive their benefits, surely they would be more likely to try and find a job they want.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, expressed his concern, telling the BBC: "People who are struggling to find work and struggling to find a secure future are - I think - driven further into a downward spiral of uncertainty, even despair, when the pressure is on in that way.
Or maybe they will realise that the gig is up. That the world is no longer willing to give them a living. That if they want things in life, they have to work for them. Maybe?

"People often are in this starting place, not because they're wicked, stupid or lazy, but because their circumstances are against them, they've failed to break through into something and to drive that spiral deeper - as I say - does feel a great problem."
Those with genuine bad luck are not wicked, stupid or lazy. Those that choose the dole life are.

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman told the Andrew Marr Show she would wait to see the full details of the proposals on Thursday before giving her verdict.
She probably wants to see how much "equality" is involved. (Whats the Andrew Marr show anyway?)

But she said the government needed to understand that to get people back into work, there had to be jobs for them to go to - and at the moment there were five people chasing each vacancy.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Douglas Alexander accused the government of "focusing on the workshy but offering nothing to the workless".

There are five unemployed people chasing every job vacancy, he said, adding: "The tragic flaw in the Tory approach is that, without work, it won't work. A longer dole queue will mean a bigger benefits bill."
 One step at a time eh? Creating jobs has to be a priority, (Real jobs in private industry, not local council rubbish) but in the interim, something needs to be done about all the people squeezing the benefits system. This seems like a good way. Maybe some of the "equality" and "diversity" staff on 30k+ per year could be made redundant and put on this system. Imagine the saving to the taxpayer (not that we will get any of our tax back.)

Richard Exell, a senior policy officer at the Trade Union Congress, said there was high unemployment, not because of a problem with the work ethic, but because there were not enough jobs.

"Unemployed people are the victims in this story, not the villains," he said.
I'm sorry but I think I just read TUC and Work Ethic in the same sentence. Ha!

The UK has five million people on out-of-work benefits and one of the highest rates of workless households in Europe, with 1.9m children living in homes where no-one has a job
I've never been out of a job even though I'm not really qualified for much apart from pub work. I can think off hand, of  five times when I have left a job and got another one within a week. Most of those were in the pub industry. Before the smoking ban, pubs were crying out for experienced staff who were in it for the career rather than earning some cash to get through college. However the one really significant time was before I worked in pubs. I left a well paid office job because it was sapping my will to live. I did various packing jobs while I got some qualifications for working in the licenced trade. When I left the pub trade I signed on with an agency and ended up doing call centre work until a company gave me a full time job in the stock control and logistics line that I am doing now (and love). Call centre was crap. People phoning up and bollocking you for thirty five hours a week, but it got me into something better.

Work is out there. The question is, do you want to put up with the shit to get the good or do you want to go down the Arch-Bishops route of depressing downward cycles of feeling sorry for yourself and wondering when somebody else is going to give you a break?

I doubt the Arch-Bishop has ever had to ask that question of himself. The flock will always provide.


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