Unemployed to Have to Commute up to 90 Mins to Sign on.
Another day, another loony-bins right-wing idea about the unemployed.
Unemployed people should be made to commute for up to 90 minutes – just to sign on, according to David Cameron’s favourite think tank.
The Policy Exchange, which has close links with the Conservative Party, said the controversial proposal, aimed at people without children, would “boost their confidence of commuting”.
The idea comes in a report, Cultures of Dependency: Fact, fiction, solutions.
The bright young chap who wrote it has never done a proper job in his life,
Matthew Tinsley joined Policy Exchange as a Research Fellow in the Economic and Social Policy Unit in September 2011. He has researched on a range of economic issues, focussing on UK labour market and social policy issues. Prior to joining Policy Exchange Matthew gained a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Bristol with a focus on the labour market, policy analysis and econometrics.
We note with concern that Mr MA in loony-bins says this, “The author would also like to thank Jobcentre Plus and, in particular, Stuart Bennett and offices in Hounslow, Leicester and Stockport. Without their help the surveying of benefit claimants that underpins much of our work would not have been possible. “
His basic idea is that “Individual cities rather than central government should be in charge of helping local people into work.”
This is the recommendation that made the headlines,
Commute to Sign: Currently, jobseekers tend to be assigned to JCP offices near where they live. In areas of relatively few job opportunities, this could reinforce beliefs around the lack of work. To give some single childless claimants a broader knowledge of potential opportunities in a wider area, break down perceived barriers around commuting and boost confidence with navigating public transport, some claimants should be required to sign-on in JCP offices which are located in areas where more opportunities exist (e.g. town centres). This should be within the accepted travel to work time (legislation stipulates that jobseekers should be prepared to travel for up to 90 minutes for work) and JCP would be required to pay associated travel costs until the individual found work (for instance through the flexible support fund).
There is also this,
Family signing: Given the influence that families exert on individuals, both in terms of attitudes and opinions and directly in terms of barriers to work like childcare and caring arrangements, when barriers to work are seen to be driven by family circumstances JCP should pilot family signing. Where appropriate,105 this would involve all members of a family claiming benefits coming in to sign-on and engage with employment support together.
Discussions could involve guidance and support for how childcare is managed across the family and sign-posting to existing family-based support.
Work Groups: Once Universal Credit is rolled out, it is likely that some employed groups will be required to attend JCP to sign-on.106 We believe that these individuals could provide a positive influence on jobseekers by
extending their networks and giving them access to potential opportunities with employers. They could also break down any norms around a lack of employment opportunities or worries about work. For this reason, JCP
should pilot group employment support activities which bring together jobseekers and those in-work laimants required to sign-on.
Tinsley, Candidate Phd in Advanced Nutterism says (wisely),
Each of these areas of flexibility would likely only apply to a relatively small number of benefit claimants
I say wisely, because this is highly unlikely to happen: it would cost money and involve a lot of futile effort.
There is one major concern however.
This, “The government should go further to devolve control over employment support and skills funding, as well as sharing the rewards of any benefit reduction that they cause. This can create innovation, join up the different branches of support more effectively and reward the most successful programmes.”
Does this mean people will get unequal treatment across the country?
Is it a step towards “decentralising” benefits – that it, cutting money for those in some areas?