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#281100 - 7th Jan 2009 2:49am 'We'll force Shameless families to go to work,'

A crackdown on 'Shameless' families could see state officials turning up at people's homes to get them out of bed for work and make sure their children go to school.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said the Government was prepared to take drastic steps to tackle a ' hardcore' of workless neighbourhoods where no one has a proper job.

The plan is likely to be dismissed as a gimmick by Opposition MPs, and there will be doubts about the reception council staff or social workers can expect in areas riddled with crime and anti-social behaviour.

Miss Blears admitted that despite Government investment, there remain parts of the country where three generations of families have never worked and live a life funded by state benefits.

Some neighbourhoods, particularly in inner cities and on large estates, are so blighted by long-term unemployment that no one on a street has a job and children never see anyone going to work.

She said it was increasingly clear that a minority of 'Shameless' families were causing the majority of crime and antisocial behaviour, and using up a disproportionate amount of government resources in welfare benefits and state intervention.

That was a reference to the Channel 4 drama featuring father-of-eight Frank Gallagher, who heads a dysfunctional family living on a council estate of benefit claimants and cheats in Manchester.

In response, Miss Blears is preparing to publish legislation paving the way for unprecedented 'community intervention projects'. In effect, entire streets or blocks of flats would be put on 'special measures'.

Sources say council staff would be given the power to enter homes to get people out of bed in the morning, or turn up with rubber gloves and detergent to oversee the cleaning of filthy homes.

They could require people to take part in cleaning up gardens or outside areas.

Children with no good role models could get 'mentors' from local voluntary groups, while local businesses and universities would be asked to give them placements to show them another side of life.

Miss Blears is working with Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell on measures that would see families who refuse to take part stripped of their benefits.

'We should give local agencies and voluntary groups new powers to do whatever it takes to get people off the sofa and into a job,' she said.

'We need to be bold and innovative, because it is clear that for "Shameless" families the current system does not do enough to get people into work.'

Miss Blears added: 'In a recession, there's no space for freeloaders. We need a more muscular approach to the ways the state intervenes into deliberately0unemployed people's lives.'

The Government says pilot schemes have produced encouraging results.

There were significant falls in anti-social behaviour among 90 families who had intensive supervision such as monitoring children's attendance at school, curfews and drug or alcohol dependence treatment.

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#281122 - 7th Jan 2009 8:45am Re: 'We'll force Shameless families to go to work,' [Re: ]
mindplayer Offline

Registered: 19th Aug 2008
Posts: 220
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Pleased you shared that with us Jase, but were is the Do-Gooders rebuttal. We all know there are plenty of jobs around in England just like there is in Australia, yet we still have heaps of unemployed. Out here the Government brings in workers, generally skilled and sometimes unskilled, because of the shortage of people to do dirty jobs or jobs that are below us. However there are no apprenticeships any more, no training schemes and if there are you have to go to Tech first and pay for it. I can't see this scheme working on a large scale, even though it does have some merit. All you need is one council worker to get hurt or even worse attacked and that would be the end of it. It is a pity Governments and their departments do not spend some time planning what to do and how to do, instead of one raver(Miss Blears) shouting from the rooftops and going like a bull at a gate. That is it had my rave see ya.......

#281157 - 7th Jan 2009 12:19pm Re: 'We'll force Shameless families to go to work,' [Re: mindplayer]
MissGuided Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
I'm pretty sure that the original purpose of Unemployment Benefit was to keep you afloat while you looked for your next job. It was not a lifestyle option or career.

Maybe they should bring back the Poor Law and the Workhouse.

When did being unemployed cease being 'an object of wholesome horror'(Jeremy Bentham)?

#281186 - 7th Jan 2009 2:00pm Re: 'We'll force Shameless families to go to work,' [Re: MissGuided]
derekdwc Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4936
Loc: Birkenhead
With the recession more and more workers are going to lose their jobs and become unemployed and on benefit.
In Birkenhead there are no major employers now (maybe Cammell Lairds if you've got a shipbuilding trade}
Most jobs advertised are for qualified or experienced personnel
or through a job agency on a day to day basis short term.
My youngest son is working thru an agency and he tells me that at the place he is working he's one of the few who is English

This is all political spin
where are these jobs to be found when they get the people out of bed or off the sofa

Maybe Wirral Council can get shut of their workers and use the unemployed thereby saving them more money to put into Icelandic Banks

I can't see how the government can get people out to work when the jobs ain't there

#281223 - 7th Jan 2009 4:26pm Re: 'We'll force Shameless families to go to work,' [Re: derekdwc]
AX_125 Online   content

Forum Guardian

Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 3790
Loc: Home
also, i bet alot of the newly unemployed are skilled professionals who are going to be very reluctant stacking shelves in Asda.

I agree that people on long term benefits should be made to accept any job in factories and supermarkets if they are fit and able.

I think people who are unfortunate enough to be made redundant should get far more in benefits and Job seekers than people who can't be bothered to work.

Edited by AX_125 (7th Jan 2009 4:29pm)

I am a signature virus, copy me into your signature to help me spread.

#281253 - 7th Jan 2009 5:49pm Re: 'We'll force Shameless families to go to work,' [Re: AX_125]
Softy_Southerner Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 2nd May 2008
Posts: 4088
Loc: Beyond Belief
Originally Posted By: AX_125
I think people who are unfortunate enough to be made redundant should get far more in benefits and Job seekers than people who can't be bothered to work.

The problem with doing that is that the incentive to get back to work is then removed. If benfits were withdrawn after a certain period, I bet MOST poeple would then accept any job they were offered. The reality is that sometimes we need to do work that we feel we don't want to do or even that it is beneath us but needs must...........


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