Biting Back Against ‘Help to Work’ Unpaid Labour.
Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘chain-gang scheme’ says Daily Record.
The Void observes,
G4s will operate the flagship contract to provide Community Work Placements in six regions. This is despite the fact that up until recently they were banned from carrying out new public sector contracts due to concerns about fraud. The company are currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office after over-charging huge sums on their electronic tagging contract. Other companies with their snouts in the workfare trough include Pertemps, Seetec and Interserve.
We await news of the other 2 companies and a list of the scabs in the ‘voluntary’ sector hoping to make money out of forcing people to work for nothing.
How should we react?
First of all by making our opinions known, above all to the touts running the Community Work Programme.
Next, by making it as difficult as possible for them to run their little money-earner.
Finally, by getting as many bodies, charities, local government, companies, as possible to boycott the scheme.
How are the media reacting?
We can expect little from the mainstream television: the BBC is frightened of the Cabinet, and anxious to present ‘balance’.
The far-right press loves the idea of us cleaning the streets with our toothbrushes.
But not everybody is the same.
The Scottish Daily Record says this,
THERE is nothing wrong in principle with expecting people who have been out of work for long periods to undertake work experience or a more intensive search for a job.
But two things have to be in place for such a scheme to succeed – real work experience placements which are more than just slave labour and real jobs at the end of the process.
The Help to Work scheme, which came into place yesterday, offers neither.
Instead of offering real opportunities to people worn down by no work, it will belittle and stigmatise people by forcing them to carry out menial tasks.
This is a case of punishment for being on the dole – meted out by trust-fund Tories who have no idea what it is like to actually have to look for work.
Participation in these “chain-gang” schemes does nothing to improve people’s chance of getting work after six months – as the Government’s own studies have shown.
In fact, there’s every possibility that being sent on one of these schemes could make it harder to find real work at the end if employers end up discriminating against the people who have been sent on them.
Real work placements, paying real money at the minimum wage level, and guaranteed work for the long-term unemployed along with training … now that does produce results. How do we know? Because it was called the Future Jobs Fund under Labour.
Then the Coalition Government scrapped it for this punitive, menial, work-for-dole scheme that denigrates benefit claimants.
It ignores entirely the fact that many of those currently on the dole have paid decades of National Insurance contributions and are therefore perfectly entitled to the state’s help when they need it.
Attacking the jobless for the “crime” of being unemployed is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Tories.
But the question, as ever, is: “Why are the Lib Dems – the party of David Lloyd George, who helped pave the way for the Welfare State – helping them do it?”