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#442039 - 8th Nov 2010 5:37pm Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work
MissGuided Offline

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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.

But the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the changes could drive people "into a downward spiral of uncertainty, even despair".

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is to unveil the plans this week.

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.

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

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.
'Bit more of a push'

Job advisers would be given powers to require tens of thousands of claimants to take part in community work for charities or local councils.

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 message will go across; play ball or it's going to be difficult."

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.

"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."

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.

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.
'Encourage'

Mr Alexander denied the plans were treating the long-term unemployed in the same way as criminals doing community service, telling the BBC's Politics Show the "purpose is emphatically not to punish and it's not to humiliate".

It was intended to "support and encourage" and to get people back into the habit of getting up and going out to work. It also meant those who did it could demonstrate their employability to prospective employers.

This meant that "more people can do what they want to do which is get a job and go out to work because that is the best thing for the country, but it is also the best thing for those individuals and it is by far the best route for anybody out of poverty".

Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show tackling the welfare budget was "one of the big political challenges".

"What we are talking about here is people who have not been used to working having both the opportunity and perhaps a bit more of a push as well, to experience the workplace from time to time and again the vast majority of people in Britain will think that's the right thing to do."

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."

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.

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.

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#442072 - 8th Nov 2010 8:13pm Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: MissGuided]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7852
Loc: tranmere
I can see it now, get rid of public service workers and replace them with the unemployed on £65 per week. Then the private sector move in, why pay minimum wage and above, they will just use someone off the dole on £65 a week. The return of slave labour, and there are plenty who will capitalize on that.
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#442079 - 8th Nov 2010 8:51pm Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: bert1]
davew3 Offline
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Registered: 16th Jun 2009
Posts: 1024
Loc: Wirral
I do hope before they kick off with this rigmarole,they have sorted out the benfits that is flowing out to foreign lands that support kids that were never in this country and while were at it will the all the MP's who were in the last Parliament and still owe money from their last sojourn into corruption,will they make sure it's paid up,"it's within the rules",doesn't cut any mustard,you still stole,also the Lords who made money by selling new laws to business,will they be made to pay up.

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#442080 - 8th Nov 2010 8:52pm Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: bert1]
MissGuided Offline

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Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
I think it will catch out those claiming, who are working on the side, at least.
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#442155 - 9th Nov 2010 8:12am Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: MissGuided]
StuyMac Offline

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Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
clap About time too....

Not sure it will take away paid jobs, just get people moving. They will probably make up pointless jobs - a bit like army punishment - like move the sand from one part of the beach to another, only for it to get washed back later in the day by the tide. Its just the point that they have to do something.
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#442164 - 9th Nov 2010 8:57am Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: StuyMac]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7852
Loc: tranmere
At one time they use to have unemployed people clearing snow from public places, i think they use to get a few extra bob, nothing wrong with that, at least it provided a good public service, especially around schools etc. I don't suppose health and safety would allow that now.
What i can see happening with this new scheme is various company's putting their names forward, willing to take someone off the dole for a week or two to give them work experience and so called get them back into the swing of things. That in its self wouldn't be a bad thing if they get the going rate or the minimum wage. My fear is they won't, they will just get their dole rate and the company's will end up with cheap slave labour. A scheme like this won't create jobs, the so called scumbags on the dole as people call them will just see it as I've done my bit, now they will leave me alone for a while, exactly the same as when they made unemployed people go on courses, they done a six week course and were then left alone for years, when after a few years they got on their backs again, they done another course and so on.
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God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


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#442216 - 9th Nov 2010 12:19pm Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: bert1]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4973
Loc: Birkenhead
I tend to agree with all of what you have said Bert
I also think there will never be a time where you can get a job
where you can expect to put in 40/50 years service in the same firm with all the things like holiday pay, pensions and workers rights anymore. People are just numbers now and can be dismissed
as and when it suits the penny counters.
As always the rich ( the "we're all in this together" spouters
will get richer and the poor will get poorer.

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#442267 - 9th Nov 2010 4:47pm Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: derekdwc]
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5595
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Getting job seekers receiving benefits into employment. Isn't that the point? I'm sure this has come up before, and was never successful.
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#442375 - 10th Nov 2010 10:32am Re: Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work [Re: DavidB]
ponytail Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 578
Loc: wirral
Sounds like a quick fix on juggling figures and meeting targets. I suppose it would do no harm to work for payment. People did this on Community Programmes years ago - good for putting on CV. Unfortunately, this new angle on 'work for your dole' would see no quality and worthwhile work to enter a competitive job market. Would this mean that the streets are cleaner and parks tidier?

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