Home Politics Can’t find work, No problem, be treated like a criminal instead.

Can’t find work, No problem, be treated like a criminal instead.

by Barry
Community Service Awards

Image by Scottish Government via Flickr

The next “Big Idea” from the Government is to give those seeking a job a proper kicking when they are already down.

The principle seems to be that if you don’t do exactly what the government want you to do, then they will make you do unpaid work and reduce your income.  Now don’t get me wrong, this is nothing new, it has been happening for years, but in the Justice System.  If a crime is “Serious Enough” then you would receive a Community Service Sentence, which includes unpaid work.  So the Government is now wanting to criminalize those who can’t get work, because it is their fault, and not down to the fact that there are not enough jobs.  They are using their favoured tactic of the Daily Mail headliners and making us all believe that everybody on Job seekers is out to milk the system, which then leads to everyone saying “Yes, because Bobs friend Bill, knows someone who is a lay about!” .

And where are these roles going to come from, oh that’s right, all the public sector jobs that are being cut as “unnecessary” which includes litter picking, Public fence painting etc.  So they make the workers redundant, then effectively criminalize them and make them do the job for free, while cutting their income too.  Oh and expect them to find a new job, because this is to “help” them.

But the measures are not unfairly picking on the poorer sections of are society, because the Lib Dems say so!



Jon November 7, 2010 - 4:18 pm

i can see your argument Baz, but equally i think contributing something back to the community in exchange for JSA is not a bad thing either.

My friends daughter describes her JSA as her ‘wages’ – i think that indicates that something needs to change!

Claire November 7, 2010 - 4:22 pm

The true point of the welfare state has been badly warped in recent times. The point is to help the MOST needy in society – not just hand out money to those that are able to work but have no intention of contributing positively to society. Don’t forget that this will only apply to the LONG TERM unemployed. Personally, if I were long term unemployed, I would like to be doing something useful that contributed. I think that it would help to build up my motivation and confidence. The times of being ‘better off on benefits’ have got to come to an end. There are far to many people out there now who just expect hand outs… even the term ‘benefits’ is crazy! If you want money (unless you are a full time parent or physically unable to work) you should work for it, I have to!

Claire November 7, 2010 - 4:22 pm

There are so many things that people could do that would not take away from paid jobs. The charity sector is screaming out for volunteer people power. You’d be hard pushed to find a charity organisation that would say no to some help. Also there is so much that local councils want to achieve but just can’t afford to implement. This is the key really, JSA ‘jobs’ should be for the good of the community and not just free hands for private businesses.

bazkirby November 7, 2010 - 4:35 pm

Claire, your right about the long term thing, so why not do it sooner, as Jon says, it provides something back. And motivates etc. Keeping a work ethic and not losing it and having to regain it seems to make better sense.

(Thanks for copying over from Facebook too :-))

I think if this was being done for the right reasons it could be implemented a lot sooner, say after a month or so, and be used as a part of the progress. It also would be good for the CV I guess. I prefer to be proactive rather than vindictive. As someone pointed out on Radio 4, what could be a good thing, will be attributed as a negative to job providers if they “find out” you have been on this programme due to the negative connotations.

Eddie November 8, 2010 - 8:03 am

“The point is to help the MOST needy in society – not just hand out money to those that are able to work but have no intention of contributing positively to society”

Exactly. Another misleading headline Barry

bazkirby November 8, 2010 - 12:37 pm

My headlines are to provoke discussion, I don’t see you writing in tot he Daily Mail 😉

This subject has provoked a good discussion, unfortunatly most of it on my facebook, though Claire and Jon kindly copied their comments over for me.

But if you don’t want to comment on the substance, then thats fine.

As a general comment I don’t think the welfare state is just there to help the most needy as a baseline, but to use the collective historical knowledge of the state to predict when people will need help. Such as new parents who are going into a new personal era can use assistance from the state to help them (Maternity grants, Anti Natal classes etc). Bit more on that later.

Eddie November 8, 2010 - 12:40 pm

Good lord. I’m so glad you arent in the government. Big brother politics are just what I dont like.

The best government is the least government

bazkirby November 8, 2010 - 3:56 pm

So your against the NHS, Schooling system, Justice System, etc?

I believe what your getting at is we don’t want a Bloated government system, or a top heavy one, but I was looking at the whole government system, from Parliament down to the local organisations. As a country we have a lot of collective knowledge and experience, and in my mind, one of the good things that Govenment can do is bring that for the good of society as a whole.

For example, we know, through collecive experience, that TB is a bad thing, but we have a Vaccine avalaiable. Therefore the Government machine can ensure that we all get/have access to the vaccination.

We have learned that when people retire, many of them have less avaliable cash in order to survive, the government Machine anticiapes this with the Bus Pass and Winter fuel payments etc.

Locally, Local government knows we need to get rid of rubbish etc, therefore provides these services as a public service.

They are all part of a welfare state.

A good Government would get the balance between providing good services to the tax payer, including helping when they are down (Ill, jobless etc), and proper scruitiny of those taking it for a ride. I don’t believe any UK government has done this well yet. But then, you could argue that it never will, becuase if you measure the success on thse people who abuse it, rather than those who really benifit from it, then human nature will aways find a way.

matthaslam November 8, 2010 - 9:14 pm

Baz, liking the debate! Also like the last para!
The whole issue of long-term benefit claimants is a very serious one, and not for anything to do with money. The impact on society is huge and it breeds failure and a lack of ambition. I agree that there just aren’t enough good jobs out there and any drive to get everyone into jobs they want to do is doomed to failure. But I would never discourage anyone to strive to better themselves.

Eddie November 9, 2010 - 3:11 pm

Of course I’m not against those things, but none of them work today in the way they were intended.

Even the original labour government never intended the state to be a rest home for the lazy or the corrupt.

I came across a chap yesterday that told me there were no jobs. After 5 minutes chatting the truth cane out. There were no jobs he fancied or that paid him enough.

Anyone can get a job if they are really determined. Try the commercial agencies. Loads of tem jobs. The supermarkets are all advertising for shelf stackers, and I can’t get a competent programmer despite advertising the position heavilly.

The welfare state should be a fall back, not an easy option to sit at home watching sky TV. We don’t have real poverty in this country. Anyone who has travelled to the east or Africa will say the same. There you will see people who have nothing. They can starve without anyone noticing. That doesnt happen here.


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