The Government has today announced a new breed of its benefit reorganisation strategy and guess what its stupid. The idea is to require 18-24 year olds who claim jobseekers to WORK 30 hours a week or be denied their benefit.
How the Government thinks having young people doing work for companies for free is going to stimulate the jobs market I don’t know. If you’re running a business say Tesco, Sainsbury’s, or any other retail based business, are you going to hire a someone to work for you when it requires you to pay NI and these strange things called wages. No if you can get away with, and lets face it most businesses can, you’re going to have an endless rotation of young people doing the jobs you used to have to employ people to do.
The old workfare scheme where young people were asked to take work placements without the risk of losing their benefit was deemed legal, but only due to the fact you were not forced to partake in work experience. However it can not be seen as reasonable or even economically sound to require someone to work for what would be the equivalent of around £1.76/hr.
The benefit system is there to protect people, who are trying their best to be active in society, from destitution and ruin. I agree that you shouldn’t receive anything for nothing. Which is why when you claim JSA you have to keep a diary, you are held to account and you have to be active in seeking employment, that’s fair. I agree that if you turn down employment within a reasonable distance of your current home you should be penalised.
But punishing someone because those who have come before have so screwed over the countries economy that they have no prospect of work is no reason to institute a program which does nothing to help people gain employment and everything to maximise corporate profits and executive payouts.