So the most recent emergence of economic reform comes in the shape of making people work for ‘their dole’. According to various speeches made at the conservative conference in Manchester, the party are going to begin making those who claim certain benefits work from 9-5 everyday on community service projects such as litter picking and building work. This is a scheme used in both Australia and the USA to help encourage people to get work. This may be a perfectly legitimate idea, however there are a few things I don’t understand.
Firstly one of the main reasons people are on job seekers allowance is because there are not any jobs at the moment. However surely this scheme is paying people to work? If they can create enough jobs to make people ‘work for their dole’, then surely they can create enough jobs to give to job seekers and allow them to get off benefits for good? Also this may feel degrading for those with qualifications and certain skills, when these government co-ordinated schemes categorise them. Also what happens to the people who do these jobs for a living? Are they going to end up jobless and end up back in the system, to be recycled and used for another government scheme aiming to educate the jobless?
Secondly, the minority of people on Job Seekers who simply just do not want to work, will not show up for this scheme. Although a very small group and we must not be judgemental, there are people living in our communities who have no intention of working. By forcing these people to go out on the streets to earn their money, it will immediately defeat the point, to them of benefits. Watching Jeremy Kyle as I write this, the tone of the man who pays for his drugs with ‘your money, you who work; your money’ proves what being on benefits actually is to them. What happens then if they just don’t show up? Will they get their money taken away? If this is so, how does our government expect them to survive?
Earlier, David Cameron declared that it was not the responsibility of the government to create jobs for people and instead the responsibility of the businesses. This came after a couple of employment schemes; such as work experience in big corporations failed to get people employed. Presumably the government feel this new, hardcore scheme will help increase employment levels in order to, increase the success of ‘our people’ in Britain.