More than a Million to Face Unpaid Workfare.
Ipswich Unemployed Action has been warning about the Community Action Programme for some time.
We learn that it now called “Support for the Very Long-Term Unemployed”.
The Guardian (Hat-tip to Tobanem) reports that,
Almost one million people will be forced to work unpaid for six months if a new government work scheme is extended across the country, a thinktank has said.
Under the Department for Work and Pensions community action programme (Cap), which has completed a pilot stage and whose rollout is expected to be announced this autumn, people on jobseeker’s allowance for longer than three years must work for six months unpaid or have their benefits stripped from them.
Two weeks ago the employment minister, Chris Grayling, flagged his intention to introduce the scheme – recently renamed support for the very long-term unemployed – across the country to tackle the rising number of chronic unemployed, driven up by a stagnant economy.
Earlier this year we expressed the fear that, “working with Councils and Charities will replace what could be paid jobs.”
We later discovered that the existing pilots were meant to be of ”community benefit”. But that this “includes benefit to business”.
It’s now clear that this scheme will have every Artful Dodger in the Country trying to exploit the unpaid labour of the unemployed.
The Guardian continues,
Under its lowest estimate, the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) predicts that over a five year period starting in June 2013, 1.78 million people will be unable to find work through the government’s current two-year-long employment scheme, the work programme, even if targets are met.
CESI estimates that of those failed by that programme, 1.35 million will be claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) as opposed to sickness and other types of out-of-work benefits. A further 378,000 people will stop claiming even though they will not have found work. In total the thinktank predicts that between 2013 and 2018, 972,000 will stay on JSA who will have been completely out of work for more than three years and will be eligible to be sent to work for free for 26 weeks.
But if the economy continues to shrink, and current employment schemes fail to reach targets, the number eligible to be sent on the programme could reach 1.06 million.
Calling this ‘support’ for the unemployed is not just an insult: it is a lie.
Is this unworkable?
The scheme will mean people working for well-below the minimum wage, under conditions of compulsion: work or lose your accommodation and means to buy food.
Or just plain slavery for a large chunk of the population?