Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Back To Work Programme; Back to Same Old Sagging Schemes?

with 17 comments

Ian Duncan Smith (Secretary of State for Work and  Pensions).

From his speech today,

“I believe it is only right that if we are helping people to get back into work, then we also have a right to expect that those we support are ready and willing to take on work if it is offered. That is why reform of the Back to Work programme is so important. We will create a Work Programme which will move toward a single scheme that will offer targeted, personalised help for those who need it most, sooner rather than later… It seems obvious to me that if we know a particular older worker is going to struggle to get back into employment, it is only fair that we try to get them on to a welfare-to-work programme immediately, rather than pausing for 12 months as is currently the case.

“To make sure we get the best value for money, we will also be changing the framework to bring the ideas and energy of the third sector and the private sector to the forefront of the process. We will reform the regime so that we properly reward the providers who do best at creating sustainable jobs that help people move out of benefits and into work. But we are not prepared to pay for anything less. At the same time, we will also make sure the system is fair by ensuring that receipt of benefits for those able to work is conditional on their willingness to work. So to be fair to the taxpayer, we will cut payments if they don’t do the right thing.

“In addition, we will re-assess all current claimants of Incapacity Benefit on their readiness to work. If people genuinely cannot work, then we will make sure they get the unconditional support they need. However, those assessed as immediately capable of work will be moved on to Jobseeker’s Allowance straight away. At the same time, those who have the potential to return to work will receive the enhanced support they need through ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) and the Work Programme.”

Here

Work Programme has been analysing these systems for some months (Here).

Many of us are familiar with the existing schemes. That is, their providers’ incompetence, their inability to help create jobs (except for the ‘Unemployment Bizniz’), and the sheer waste of time they are for the out-of-work.

Now, watch the small print, there will be heavier sanctions for those on these programmes who get stroppy.

Apart from that….what’s new?

Well, at least this has been dropped:

U-Turn on Housing Benefit.

Hat Tip to Crystal Balls.

The government is set to unveil the biggest shake-up of welfare for a generation today, but it has backtracked on plans to cut housing benefit.

The welfare reform bill, which will be published today, will not include plans to cut housing benefit by ten per cent if someone in the household had been on jobseekers’ allowance for over a year.

“We won’t see this in the bill for one very good reason,” work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the Today programme.

“The more we looked at this, the more I reviewed the interplay between that reduction at 12 months and the universal credit and work programme meant that all of these people were going to move into the work programme anyway, so they would be having intensive help to get back to work.”

Here

Advertisements

Written by Andrew Coates

February 17, 2011 at 10:49 am

17 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The rethink on Housing Benefit is welcome…and a common sense decision. Few enough landlords are prepared to accommodate unemployed people as it is, and a policy which was going to reduce people’s benefits was never going to work.

    Lee

    February 17, 2011 at 11:16 am

    • Indeed Lee.

      But how are these plans going to deal with this:

      “Youth unemployment hits record high.

      By Robert Adungo

      More than one in five people in the UK are now out of a job following revelations that UK unemployment rose by 44,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of December 2010.

      Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show youth unemployment jumped to a new high, after the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work climbed by 66,000 to 965,000.

      The unemployment rate now stands at 7.9 per cent and the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance increased by 2,400 in January to 1.46 million, the ONS figures showed.

      Furthermore, it was revealed that many people are in part-time jobs because they are unable to find full-time assignments and their figure increased by 44,000 to 1.19 million, the highest total since records began in 1992.”

      Where all the private sector jobs going to come from while they slash public services?

      Andrew Coates

      February 17, 2011 at 11:46 am

  2. But I know this country and therefore refuse to believe that there are five million people who are inherently lazy and have no interest in bettering themselves and their families.’

    Cameron has just conflated the figures again, the disgusting creature, the Welfare Minister had to apologise for this to the Churches, this must include the very sick and disabled, so no one is ill or sick in Bulligdon Daves world…

    john

    February 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm

  3. TUC

    February 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm

  4. any details about workfare ?

    will it be expanded into chain gangs walking the streets picking up litter as punishment for not having a job.

    Samuel L Jackson

    February 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

  5. OK So who gets to decide if someone is getting stroppy ? The third party provider or the DWP ?

    OK Customer A is disabled, tells service provider he needs this and that such as large print ? is this to be classed as getting stroppy.

    I was called uncooperative my only crime was asking for large print ? Is that to be directly sanctionable.

    Kyron

    February 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    • Its all nonsense though.

      As a human being with “human rights” I reserve the right to expression of undesirable elements such as being stroppy, difficult, sarcastic, making jokes etc.

      No one regardless if they have a contract with, employed by someone who does or are employed by Government have the right to inflict any such compensation, sanction or infringement because THEY judge it to be “not nice”.

      People are people. Anyone working with customers will realise many do get like that. Why is it different with unemployed people?

      Save any criminal offence committed which may conflict with the above list such as being used in a racist context and other ‘isms etc), any threatening behaviour (yes there is a difference!) etc. etc. there is no right for them to take their step of action.

      Work Programme

      February 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

  6. ANy ideas of what covert recording equipment we shold use for the best results so when they screw up we can publish it

    Kyron

    February 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

  7. Don’t forget YOU could be in breach of the data protection act and communications act. ANY unauthorised recording of ANY conversation is a criminal offence and YOU could find yourself in court. Most likely get a benefits sanction too (0:.

    Stavros

    February 18, 2011 at 8:45 am

  8. Yes I am back and I am watching

    Stavros

    February 18, 2011 at 8:46 am

  9. “In cases of suspected fraud, ministers will introduce a new minimum penalty of £350, or 50% of the amount overpaid, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of £2,000.

    To encourage personal responsibility a new civil penalty of £50 will be payable for anyone negligent in maintaining their benefit claim.”

    From here

    “Suspected fraud”–does this mean they don’t have to prove it?

    “Negligent in maintaining their benefit claim”–this could mean anything…

    Crystal Balls

    February 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

    • Sorry, for the first sentence of the quote I assumed this was a anti-fraud measure for the Work Programme!!

      The new £50 civil penalty seems a good idea… (for some middle class ***** to get money) as this extends quite deeply.

      Up until now it was a CPS case for real fraud, benefit sanctions for low level “suspected” fraud, and now there will be £50 fine for not keeping your benefit claim up to date?!

      To cut a long story short there is no crystal clear definition in law regarding benefit claims and dishonesty.

      Everyone claiming benefits has a genuine responsibility to ensure its in good standing but this £50 is nothing more than an additional “sanction” likely to be enforced in addition to a sanction for the same offence.

      Its the DWP through Jobcentre Plus that is maintaining your benefit claim NOT the jobseeker – s/he has only to report Changes of Circumstances but does this now mean jobseekers will be fined for DWP mistakes?

      We already know of plans to fine people for making mistakes on application forms.

      Why not fine people when they make a new claim?! Oh wait, this basically happens with the “waiting days” some people are subject to (basically lose a few days money from the start of your claim).

      Work Programme

      February 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

      • This worth looking at:

        Tough tests for sickness benefit are “all about saving lives not saving money”, claims Employment Minister Chris Grayling.

        He might try telling that to the family of one father who died after being told to get a job as his heart condition wasn’t “life-threatening”.

        We constantly hear about the sicknote fakers who screw the system then get caught running a marathon or playing in their local Sunday football league.

        But not about the tens of thousands of genuinely sick people who are turned down for the new Employment Support Allowance benefit but go on to appeal and win.

        More:

        http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2011/02/sick-who-gives-atos.html

        Andrew Coates

        February 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

  10. You can’t cut £18bn from the poorest without pain

    Iain Duncan Smith claims there’ll only be winners in his welfare reforms. Many of us will soon discover how wrong he is.

    Government by hyperbole and bald assertion was an aggravating Blair-Brown habit, but it has reached new heights with David Cameron. Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel – a bit of deprivation handy for Downing Street – is the spot for prime ministerial flights of fancy on welfare and poverty. Here Tony Blair astounded a hall full of economists with his pledge to abolish child poverty by 2020. Here this week, David Cameron laid claim to “the most ambitious, fundamental and radical changes” to welfare since Beveridge, which would lift 300,000 children out of poverty.

    But with no plan B economic policy, Cameron can only leave many more poor children in his wake. The Institute for Fiscal Studies expects the numbers to rise. Taking £81bn out of public spending as unemployment rises and real wages fall, how could it be otherwise?

    But Cameron’s gift for planting great political myths in the popular imagination, aided by his mighty press, means he wins most arguments – until found out. This week it’s welfare. Polls show the public deeply believes immigrant/teen mother/druggy idlers live the high life on others’ hard-earned taxes. One anecdote is worth a hundred facts, but phoney facts can be very useful too – until found out.

    Was there a serious problem of a ballooning welfare bill? Mike Brewer of the IFS says unequivocally no. “Labour deliberately increased spending on specific things, such as pension credit and child tax credits.” These had precisely the planned effect, taking a million pensioners and 600,000 children out of poverty. The Department for Work and Pensions bill didn’t rise until the crash.

    Next myth: there are growing legions of families where no one has ever worked, Shameless for generations. But here are the facts from the Office for National Statistics, well spotted by Channel 4 News. Long-term unemployment hasn’t risen – it has fallen tenfold over the last decade. In 2000 47,700 had claimed jobseeker’s allowance for five years or more. By this year there are only 4,220 long termers. Research by LSE Professor John Hills shows low earners in the bottom 20% move in and out of insecure work in temporary jobs, never getting their foot on a ladder. The growth of agency work consigns willing workers to a life revolving through the jobcentre door. That is not Cameron’s “benefits culture”: it is a miserable, underpaid culture of outsourced jobs with no future. Labour’s tax credits made this work just about worth taking, but taxpayers’ money subsidises employers not to pay a living wage or pension. (No thanks, ever, from the CBI.)

    True, numbers on some disability benefits grew: Labour had started to tighten the screw. There will always be bogus “bad backs” caught running marathons, but it is another myth that disability claims were inexplicably out of control. Most of the rise in disability living allowance claimants is due to disabled children and young adults who used not to survive, together with the increase in old people – and campaigners encouraging more people to claim.

    It’s a myth that incapacity benefit rose: it plateaued for a decade. Will it shrink now? The DWP has earmarked hefty savings of £2.1bn. Tougher medical tests for the new employment support allowance are finding 30% “fully fit” – but let’s see how many of these borderline cases employers actually take on. As for the work programme, to help people into jobs, only two of its 35 prime contractors are from the “big society” voluntary sector: the rest are big firms who will subcontract the real work to specialist charities, skimming 21% off the top: watch out for this unfolding story.

    The housing benefit bubble was another convenient myth. The bill did rise 30% in a decade, but that’s surprisingly little when house prices and rents rose 50%. Cameron has backed off one housing benefit cut, but other deep cuts will see many evictions and the poor removed to lowest-rent zones.

    So will universal credit mean work always pays? Yes, but it already did for most. There will be more incentive to work, but keeping 35p in every £1 they earn is only an extra 5p for most – hardly life-changing.

    What of work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s great claim that universal credit (UC) will have virtually no losers? True, it will be a better-run system, so long as the massive new computer system works. Once UC starts in 2013, there will indeed be more winners than losers.

    But here’s the catch – and it’s such a breathtaking swindle that Duncan Smith’s sanctity should be taken rather less than at his own valuation. By the time UC begins, £18bn will already have been stripped out of benefits of all kinds. These cuts over the next two years will leave millions of losers, many losing a lot – and children most of all.

    The Child Poverty Action Group, adding up the cuts, shows a baby born this April will have £1,500 less than one born in April 2010. Meanwhile, the IFS points out, everyone drawing any benefit will lose 1%-2% every year forever on the reduced CPI inflation measure. No losers? This £18bn will feel a mighty loss – and before long it will flash up in lights in the poverty figures.

    This bill has been published without two vital ingredients: policy on paying for childcare and council tax benefit is, as yet, undecided. Daycare Trust research shows nursery prices rose twice as fast as wages last year, yet childcare credits will be cut by 10%. How are all these extra single mothers to be helped into work while losing another £430 a year in childcare support? The DWP expects savings of £300m from childcare cuts – but if just a few working mothers fall back on to benefits, the welfare budget will lose more than it gains.

    This is still frustratingly only the surface of what’s going on. The government has escaped this week because most media accept its word and don’t read the small print. But the facts will emerge soon. Claimants who have not yet understood will find April’s sudden drop in income a terrible shock. Real hardship – and a political storm awaits. Hold on to just one big fact: you can’t cut £18bn from the poorest and neediest women, children and disabled without causing harm. Lurid examples of scroungers and cheats will only disguise what’s happening for a short while. Will people protest as much about children as about trees?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/18/18-billion-cuts-will-hurt-poor

    Polly Puts the Kettle On

    February 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

  11. the atmosphere on these programs makes them unworkable and are provocative and intimidatory when the mandatory referral is in play.
    given the pressure to apply sanctions and the against odds of finding work it can only be expected the outcome.

    there is mention of the minimum wage by the adamsmith institute who appear favorable to its abolition reported in the media”

    “It is plain that many employers think a large proportion of young people are just not worth that amount of money”.

    if that’s the attitude amongst employers towards this generation on that level of wage then it leaves a worrying taste.

    http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/welfare/scrap-the-minimum-wage-for-young-people/

    ken

    February 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

  12. OPEN LETTER TO LÁSZLÓ ANDOR, EC COMMISIONER FOR EMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND INCLUSION.

    Dear Sir,

    This is a letter of protest against what I regard as the broad misuse of the Social Fund in the UK.
    Namely, the UK governments’ channelling of these funds to contract companies used to implement the Work Program.
    As an unemployed person who has been put on the WP, I would like to make sure you have the facts about what this actually entails, and also supply a little relevant background information.

    To start with, the WP is in effect compulsory, in that candidates will lose what is for most their only source of income if they refuse to participate and become a “Customer” – the cheeky, free-market-sounding title for someone forced onto the program.
    Customers must attend the premises of the contractor they are assigned to, usually for a half-day, a few days a week, over a period of 2 years. They are subject to prolonged scrutiny and are obliged to surrender personal information during weekly interviews with “Advisors”. Advisors are employees of these contracted companies who are assigned to customers and function in a similar way to case workers, (or probation officers), but usually without any relevant qualifications. Customers must supply evidence that they are seeking work and answer questions about their recent efforts, discuss their personal histories and plans, etc.
    A customer may be sent off to work for a company without pay for a period of up to 6 months.
    Classes are also provided (which have a certain remedial flavour), usually given by someone who, like most employees of these contractors comes across as a poorly-educated security-guard type. During lessons customers are obliged to reply out loud to sometimes personal questions thrown at them and things can get a bit like Jeremy Kyle Show loser-bashing.
    Subjects covered range from the practical: CV Writing, to the mystical: “Hidden Jobs”.
    Then there are the embarrassing expeditions to rain-soaked business parks in search of these hidden jobs. There seems to be a bit of an effort at re-education in the classroom – attempts to instil belief that the predicament of customers is entirely their own fault and that a change in attitude would somehow conjure up jobs. Employees are so intensively trained for their work that some display a kind of evangelistic fervour. Apparently the Daily Mails’ feral yeti of the estates need to be brought the message of the Work Ethic, (and Jesus too, probably).
    Customers are obliged to go along with what is mostly a senseless humiliation, for fear of being “sanctioned” for “lack of cooperation”, and entirely at the discretion of those put in charge of them. These sanctions involve a total loss of benefits for a period ranging from several months up to a full year if the customer refuses to participate in any of the things just outlined, including working for free.
    Given that benefits are the only source of income for many customers and their families, most are in effect compelled to go along with ill-conceived and exasperatingly pointless activities, in the spirit of someone humouring a lunatic.

    The assumption seems to be that the unemployed are incapable and/or unwilling to find jobs for themselves and need to be cajoled, shamed, and regimented.

    According to the governments’ own statistics, there are over 1 million more people seeking employment than there are actual vacancies. In some cities, such as Liverpool, there are 7 jobless to each vacancy. Nevertheless, the Stalinistic slogan :”There’s jobs there for those who want them”, is repeated ad nauseum . And never mind the facts.
    WP contractors are in the end trying to push people into jobs which simply do not exist.

    In order to understand the significance of the WP in the UK, it is necessary to be aware of the
    social and political background to it. In short, to view it in the context of British national culture.

    In a country where aristocrats still wield significant power, whatever democratic and progressive values that used to form part of British political culture seem to have lost ground to autocratic power politics. Unmerited elitism is seemingly counterbalanced by a scatty fascist populism. Consent is stage-managed by a press who keep opinion practically on the level of mob hysteria, in which many are only playing the dupe. Whilst seeking advantage for going along with whatever casually cooked-up, interest-serving agenda-camouflage currently counts as a ‘political philosophy’. Even as technology advances in leaps and bounds, socially and politically we are slowly being dragged back to the Middle Ages.
    British subjects tend to be obedient toward authority, and mostly would fail to understand the significance of ideas of political and civil rights.
    The European concept of “Menschenwuerde”, as a political principle, overlaps little with charitable British notions concerning human dignity.

    Moreover, it is true that many working-class Britons are enthusiastic police helpers, much of the middle class being supporters of cross-agency policing, including teachers and doctors.
    Amongst all strata of British society there is a very real dislike of, and contempt for the poor and disadvantaged (“sozialschwach”).
    This animosity can largely be accounted for by the provocative material disseminated by the media for very many years now in which these people are portrayed as immoral and deserving of punitive measures. Welfare per se is even reviled as the source of many evils. Benefit claimants are denounced in the media as quasi-criminal “scroungers”, encouraging a level of prejudice which would be illegal if directed against other groups.
    Year after year national advertising campaigns appear, to increase public awareness of “benefit fraud”. (Burglary, pick-pocketing, and tax fraud apparently do not merit this). In these campaigns citizens are urged to inform on people they suspect to a body specially established to deal with benefit fraud.
    And hardly a week goes by without some newspaper publishing a hysterical expose of a fraudster.
    (Not long ago one popular newspaper, The Daily Star printed an invective against an unusually large family living on benefits, the father of which had had the temerity to sire so many children. The story was accompanied by a front-page photo of two house-bricks with which it was stated the father should be castrated.)
    Such hysterical expressions of “moral outrage”, which appear on an almost daily basis in British newspapers are often accompanied by nationalist sentiments and a disguised hatred of minorities.

    It must really be noted that the Work Program upon it’s introduction was proclaimed by the media, especially Tory party papers, as no less than a long-awaited set of reprisals against these despised “scroungers”, and using the language which would be used to announce a `crackdown on crime’.

    A few historical details are now supplied to help in the understanding of the origin of this belligerence toward the disadvantaged in Britain:

    After WW2, the establishment of both the social health and welfare systems provoked a negative
    reaction from the politically conservative who saw these changes as a threat to the status quo.
    This fear was rationalized into “arguments” made up of a mix of 19th century Liberalism and a kind of half-baked Darwinism.
    The line taken was that enduring anything other than harsh and nasty lives would ultimately spoil the common people. The majority of people did not so much disagree with, as laugh at this position.
    Nevertheless, the Conservative Revolution of the 80`s gave new life to what had been seen as the misanthropic ravings of reactionary fossils. The gradual dismantling of the public health and welfare systems is generally supported by the media who cynically seem to be seeking to engineer popular consent for these regressive measures.
    A comparable offensive of political measures, combined with a long-term media campaign of defamation and disinformation was also deployed to cripple the Trade Unions.
    Because of this effort welfare gradually became associated in the minds of the public with a host of evils: immorality, lack of patriotism, economic stagnation, and even religious infidelity. Much of this propaganda found fertile ground amongst those who believed that the New Right’s reintroduction of “Victorian Values” (such as mass starvation), would in effect raise their own social status relative to a growing underclass.

    The British establishment have, in their zeal to repress and exploit, traditionally viewed the working class with contempt; as stupid and bad people who need to be kept down, discouraged, and controlled, via oppressive policing from a variety of agencies.
    And the poorest sections of the working class, those dependent on benefits, are regarded with downright belligerence, as a concentrated mass of immorality and uselessness. This hatred has even infected most of the working class, thanks to relentless media propaganda.

    So, given the posture of undiluted contempt toward the jobless that exists in the UK, the political will to do anything other than make their lives more difficult is just not there at all.

    Past schemes, such as the YTS and the JCS were always unpopular amongst the unemployed themselves, and seemed actually designed to waste the time of, to demoralize, and to humiliate candidates, rather than put them on a viable path to a real job. Maintaining the existing social order has always been a priority for Britons, regardless of its shape. In the light of all this, it is probably inappropriate to compare programs to help the unemployed that exist in the UK with those in countries where a genuine effort is made to assist the jobless.

    In recent years the oppressed and disadvantaged in Britain have been increasingly subject to
    extra-legal measures imposed usually on persons who have not actually broken any law at all.
    This usually involves punishment for what is deemed “misbehaviour”, without hearing, or any chance of appeal. This new ‘punk’ approach to mass oppression is promoted and applauded by the media who cleverly sold it using stories which featured mostly youths and children behaving loutishly : the state acting in locus parentis, distributing slaps around ear, as it were.
    In reality most persons subject to such measures are adults, sometimes only guilty of displays of social insubordination, such as raising their voice at a Jobcentre interview.

    And in December 2011, (the same month in which a petition on an official government website to stop the benefits of even the relatives of persons convicted of looting in the summer’s riots attracted over 1M signatures), the government announced a new initiative to deal with “problem-families”.
    A welcome initiative against drunken and abusive parents? What about violent & delinquent youth? Apparently not. The main “problem” the authorities have with those families singled out for intervention is just that they are poor and claiming benefits they have a perfect right to. Working parents can ply their kids with vodka, sacrifice cats to Satan with no danger of being targeted.
    Apparently the very people now taking charge of the lives of the jobless will soon be dictating to whole households. Will benefits be cut if these new family-ticket “customers” have the residual dignity to refuse these sinister government attitude-adjusters admission to their homes? Watch this space.

    The reason for mentioning all this in a letter about the Work Program, is that it seems that the WP is just another example of a general long-term policy of authoritarian and conspiratorial intervention in the lives of groups of people considered to be too culturally independent, undesirable or deviant. The WP itself is extra-legal in nature. It seems parliament did not wish to be associated with such things as forced labour. It appears they regard the jobless as being beneath the law and, like a plague of urban foxes, should be dealt with via ‘initiatives’. Culpability was carefully spread about by involving as many bodies as possible. Sadly, the ‘Big Society’ apparently has supporters in Trade Unions and local Councils.

    The WP can only be clearly seen in the context of a more general strategy to erode basic rights.
    If this tendency grows, then it is likely that we will be permanently saddled not only with a degraded and institutionalised caste, but also the bold army of amateur police put in charge of them.
    And there has been a huge growth in amateur policing in recent years: from Special Constables and Community Police to the hordes of security guards who now occupy British city centres. How long till these people start wearing brown?
    It may be a revelation to some, but the control of troublesome communities by what amounts to direct police rule is nothing new at all in Britain. Covert measures have long been arbitrarily meted out by policing agents and their stooges without reference to the law, or worries about legality. Psychiatry: the antidote to human rights, was essential to this effort and deserves a whole letter in itself.
    The unjustifiable, of course, can be granted no publicity, and keeping people quiet has become a major priority, even the remit of security forces.
    Is Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in reality this ‘British Stasi’ finally coming out?

    Writing as someone who has been given 2 years on the Work Program, I feel chronically harassed: and for no practical reason. The diminished sense of autonomy and privacy are hard to cope with.
    The faithful peons put in charge of me seem in turn to expect a conscripts’ obedience on my part and are genuinely puzzled at signs of my rejection of the idiotic, rotten values they dissimulate and try to subordinate me to. Although I’m over 50 years old, these people provoke the uncanny impression of having been hypnotised to see me as a juvenile delinquent. To me and to others I have spoken with, it seems like an arbitrary punishment, decreed by those who would never think they have to justify what they do to those they regard as worthless. Dim-witted crony Mr Cameron has had a little tantrum and thrown a shoe at me. And it looks like I am now condemned to spend years of my life studying that shoe, overseen by even dimmer cronies for whom some sort of quasi-religious Shoe-cult has been created.
    And obviously, only a fool would think that the profiteering companies who get the free labour and these contacts worth several hundred millions apiece are run by people who Cameron & Co do not regard as friends.

    The fact is that there is not a lot that can be directly done to reduce the high unemployment which seems structural to modern western economies, due to such factors as cheap foreign labour, low growth, and increasing automation. It is also rarely mentioned that high unemployment is something that Big Business actually view as desirable, in that it depresses wages and makes workers less troublesome. And that’s it in a nutshell.
    Any educated person who blames the victims of these external circumstances and deliberate policy is open to accusations of insincerity and belligerence. Nevertheless, we can be sure that the gutter press will be going on about poverty and unemployment being the ‘lifestyle choice’ of individuals for years to come.

    In conclusion, the Work Program involves a misuse of funds which I respectfully suggest could be better used in other ways.

    jo

    January 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  13. Thank you Jo,
    Nothing more to add really it’s all so true.

    gissajob

    January 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: