Sunday, November 07, 2010

Work for Benefits

The idea must be thirty years old by now, so why has it taken so long to start asking the long term unemployed to work for their money?


Dack said...

How are they going to administer this? Seeing as we can't keep tabs on paroled prisoners, can't chase feckless fathers (and mothers, for the sake of pc-ness) to insist they support their offspring, can't administer pfi effectively, oversee tech contracts effectively, organise a piss-up in a brewery - do you really think these policies have been thought through in terms of vf(taxpayer)m?

The only difference will be the Tories (sorry, Coalition) will flog off a higher % of stuff to the private sector (starting with their mates or anyone who's shoved a few quid their way, obviously) then bail them out with the taxpayers' shillin' when these companies get out of their depth.

Just like the 25% of opted out schools who are already in the red and holding out their begging bowls.

rippon said...

Rather than instituting some massive bureaucratic system, at taxpayers’ expense, to set tasks for the unemployed (and making their benefits conditional on their performing those tasks), it would make much more economic sense to use taxpayers’ money to invest in the creation of real jobs, where the workers’ income could then be taxed – for the purpose of even more investment in the real economy.

Anonymous said...

Too expensive to set up and maintain. Too little comeback on those who won't pull their weight.

Anonymous said...

Rippon I think that the point is to target those who don't actually want to work and there's no shortage of them, just look on any sink estate.

You are dead right about it being more important to create jobs though. The problem is that employment law makes it a nightmare for small and medium sized firms to take anyone on and this latest round of new legislation (Harman's stuff and the new rules about pensions provision is just the final straw)

I've been in business for 28 years but after a couple of problems with bad employees in the last five years I've realised that it's just not worth the hassle. They can absolutely screw you over even if they are in the wrong. For the last 15 years in this country small businesses have just been hammered.

I'm now selling up but I can honestly say that I wouldn't if it wasn't for all the unnecessary red tape and rules. If I was young again and just starting up, I wouldn't stay in this country. We've lost the work ethic and anyone who is entrepreneurial would be better off elsewhere. It's very very sad to have to say this, but I believe it's true.

Don said...

Who's going to provide the work and the supervision for this scheme? For the most part it looks like it's going to be local councils, half of whom can't even supervise their own staff properly, let alone a load of "conscripts" as well.

It might work if everyone was required to do some work to actually earn the dole, but by specifically targeting the workshy, which is what they're apparently doing, they're deliberately going for those who are the most adept and practised at wriggling out of doing anything useful to start off with.

Will said...

It's a nice idea but it's not practical. Who supervises them? Some social worker who wouldn't say boo to a goose?

If you don't have tough supervisors who actually insist that these people do some work then it will just end up like community service where only the good ones do any work and the others either don't turn up or intimidate the person in charge to sign them off.

Who organises the work and takes responsibility for all the health and safety. These people will be looking for every possible way of suing somebody.

rippon said...

Anonymous above mentions SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises).

Well, Vince Cable, before the general election – and before he turned into hypocrisy personified – pointed out (correctly) that SMEs were the biggest employer in this country, so that support for them was crucial to getting the economy (and the unemployed) working again.

Hypocrite Cable further argued (correctly) that the problem was/is the banks, e.g. RBS. On the one hand, they had accepted trillions in taxpayer bale-outs, but, despite that, they were failing to perform their basic function in the economy, i.e. extend credit to SMEs, including +plenty+ of SMEs that were perfectly sound, profitable businesses. They preferred instead simply to horde the bale-out money for their own interests and security.

It is because governments are typically lackeys to big-business that, even when they are majority-shareholders (e.g. in RBS), they dare not dictate to Directors how to run their businesses. To disguise their cowardice, they like to appear tough by dictating instead to weak, vulnerable, unemployed people.

The cowardice and hypocrisy is breathtaking, and the widespread appetite for people to buy into this bullying mentality (hound the weak instead of the strong) is chilling.

Anonymous said...

I thought that one of the ways SMEs could avoid the employer's bureaucracy was to employ everybody as a private contractor - they take care of their own tax payment, pension provision etc.

Am i wrong in this?

Formerbanker said...

Rippon, you've got to get a grip on these figure you're throwing around...

The taxpayer currently holds a paper profit on the RBS bailout. By this I mean that if the Government sold its shares in RBS tomorrow morning, they would receive more money than they paid for them.

Secondly the banks simply dare not lend any more money. They know that the next G20 summit in Korea later this month will significantly raise the ratio of what they must legally hold in reserve to what they loan. (Amazingly it used to be just 8%)

We cannot have it both ways. If we want safe and steady banks that won't fall down every time there is a financial crisis, then they must be forced to build up their cash reserves, which stops them lending money for a while.

It really is as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - am I wrong in this - it depends - IR35 came in to stop people doing full-timejobs under the guise of contractors to prevent the issues you mention.

Anonymous said...

anon 20.12

If they only work for you, then you will have the Inland Revenue claiming that you are in fact their employer.

The last Government hated business. This one hasn't done anything to help us yet either.

Defence Brief said...

The benefits people can already stop benefit payments for three-months to anybody who is not making enough effort to look for work.

I know this because I met my first ever claimant who's benefits had been stopped.

Maybe they need to use their existing powers a little more before jumping on the next band wagon.

jut said...

They've been doing this for a while under Labour's 'New Deal'. Same shit, different colour.

SMAC said...

This is simply another opportunity to undercut SME's with low cost workers. It was even touched upon in the movie (and book), "the Shawshank Redemption". I have a better idesa, instead of getting rid of all our industries and undercutting those that are left, why don't the government try and support them, like every other country does?

Obviously the exception is the banking and financial sector. Somebody mentioned that the taxpayer would make a profit if the RBS shares we hold were sold. The only problem is no-one wants to buy them, they are worthless due to the inconvenient fact that RBS are insolvent and only Enron style accountancy is keeping the whole rotten enterprise afloat.