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Mr Cameron, with 1.6 million on JSA, more to join them from Incapacity Benefit and with only 600,000 vacancies available at any one time, how are you going to provide work for the unemployed?

This is a dangerous road for the party - labour is very quick at playing the right wing nasty party card and i think it resonates with the public only too quickly. I also worry about the added bureaucracy and cost (dont we want smaller, cheaper government?)

I dare say Europe may have a few things to say about people realistically working for nothing for the state (slavery????) - A conservative leader not out of place in the soviet union. Is it just me or has labour somehow managed to establish a socialist, leftist welfare hegemony since 1945? Pity i see no change for this once great party - Conservatives should not support the welfare state or keep it going any longer.

I was at the presentation this morning. The tone and content of Cameron and Grayling's announcement was excellent. They should be congratulated for a tough but compassionate approach which should yield significant reductions in welfare rolls.

Debbie Scott, who hosted the event, is an inspiration as head of Tomorrow's People. When the fine detail of the policy is worked out, we must ensure that the contracts are not so large that execellent voluntary bodies like TP are squeezed out in favour of a handful of very big private companies with access to large amounts of working capital.

Poltico, interesting points. If the Conservative government cuts peoples benefit, it will mean their rent rebate ends and they will become homeless. Seeing as JSA and Incapacity are subsistence money, taking that money away could be classed as a contravention of human rights, especially if children are involved. It only takes one person, or an organized group like 'Gingerbread' to successfully challenge this in court to bring down the entire governments policy on welfare reform. As you say this a dangerous road for the party to take in more ways than one.

I have a feeling that this far from losing us votes as Tony Makara suggests this policy could be very popular. It will be interesting to see what the reaction is in the media over the next few days. I haven't seen BBC TV yet but their website is playing it straight so far.
Not suprised you don't want to post under your real name 'politico'('a conservative leader not out of place in the Soviet Union'). With views like that I wouldn't want to reveal myself either.

Malcolm, we already have a right-wing government in this country. If we want power we have to appeal to the broad electorate and include, rather than exclude people for the sake of a cheap (and already safe) vote.
This policy appeals only to the tory heartland and grey rinses - not to the new tory growth and certainly not the broad electorate. There will be 1.8m votes we could secure if we can get this policy right.

Tony Makara is correct. And, it doesn't matter how good the presentation is - if the substance is either missing or poorly conceived.

I know of long-term unemployed who would happily retrain if the government actually offered genuine training e.g. be a plumber or something similar. I know of a former company director who would have been quite happy to be a postman at one point, had he been able to get the job!

The government training courses are simply massaging the statistics by getting people off the stats and into a locked room where foreign instructors tell them how to succeed in employment in the UK. Just think about the implications of that.

What happened to the excellent work produced by the Centre for Social Justice? Did GGrayling not read it, or deliberately ignore it?

So what do you suggest 'watervole'? Doing nothing and keeping the status quo where millions of Britons are not working and are on benefits and many of our industries require hundreds of thousands of foreign workers merely to function rather puts the 1 or 2 people you know who are unable to find work in the shade doesn't it?
Cameron Watt's reaction above suggests that if implemented correctly this policy will have the full support of those at the CSJ.

It was a candid reference to the apparent irony of the welfare state (the vanguard of socialism/communism) being taken as a "given" in the 21st century (including apparently non socialist conservatives) - but i have no liking for Cameron at all and if Brown continues his media blitz - i cant see it being long before this party begins to cannibalise itself again - policy such is this will not win the election.

Everything is tied to population growth, which continues unabated. Until we get a grip on this aspect of "modern" Britain we shall fail to slow or even reverse our decline into a "third world" economy and Nation.

A way to get into work would be to have a person on JSA placed with an employer. The person then serves under the employer while receiving JSA in a training/working capacity. Then after a given period, say three/six months, and if the person has met the criteria, turned up everyday, been a good worker etc. Then the employer would be obliged by law to offer that person a job, which in turn they would be obliged to accept.

"Malcolm, we already have a right-wing government in this country."

Where do you get that idea from?

I can't help thinking I've entered a time warp and rerunning arguments from the eighties with Labour students.

The people who want to live on £40 a week obviously have no ambition to better themselves - money spent on that part of society (who may or may not have the actual ability to gain new skills) is a waste and could be better spent on lowering taxes for citizens and business (a much larger vote winner).

Cameron should try and position the conservatives as a party of the middle class and of enterprise - none of this blue labour nonsense is going to do anything. The wishy washy policy that HQ was coming out lead to a downturn in support for Cameron and the tories - one whiff of a tax cut and the results are brilliant - is the campaign missing something here?

we already have a right-wing government in this country

On what basis have you come to that conclusion? We have high taxation, socialist education, socialist health care, socialist anti-fee-speech laws, govt "targets" which are Soviet-style "norms" in all but name, our main TV/radio broadcaster is state-financed and run and routinely peddles left-wing propaganda, our very constitution is biased towards the Left . . . to suggest that all this is "right-wing" beggars belief.

One million full-time jobs need to be created to end JSA benefit dependency. We need to see plans from the Conservative party to create these jobs. Otherwise the treasury will be paying for workfare instead of JSA but paying just the same. Benefit dependency will not end until we as a nation produce one million more jobs. How is this to be done?

It's not the business of government to create jobs. The role of government is to create an environment, by reducing taxation and barriers to employment, whereby jobs will be created.

Even now, there are occupations where employers have to look for Eastern European immigrants because the locals won't do them - and they're not all poorly paying jobs either. In Merthyr Tydfil, they're having to employ Polish bus drivers, because so much of the local population is on incapacity benefit.

Lower taxes, lower business rates, less regulation, nothing socialist - all things that breed a good business environment which generates jobs and can help bring the socialist institutions in the country to an end; things this party should be prioritising! - but if the election is off for a while - better keep the cards close I suppose.

Cameron should present long term plans for the ecomomy (this is what labour is going to fight the next election on afterall). The UK needs to broaden its service based economy - the party should present plans for investment in manufacturing sectors and other areas - having an economy majority based on services is horrendously short-sighted.

I think this party could also change the travesty that UK industry (with all its intellectual ability) is so far removed from the space industry that is not even funny. Space has been neglected by Europe and he could take a stand in making the ESA or a UK venture a conservative party priority.

Well put, Sean. A friend of mine, who for obvious reasons must remain nameless, has told me that in Londonderry, the locals themselves refer to Disability Living Allowance as Derry Liquor Allowance. I see nothing fair or just about people in low-paid jobs paying income tax, NI and VAT to fund the benefits of those who can and should be able to do some paid work.

Sean Fear, if it is not the business of government to address unemployment by creating jobs then you can continue with a core of a million unemployed and continue to dole out benefits except that its now called workfare and not JSA. Government has to be proactive and create the conditions for work. Otherwise mass unemployment will not go away. Surely you must see this?

Sean, I am neither Labour nor a student.

Prison ships, cancelling soup kitchens - are these the actions of a left-wing government? Right-wing socialism is the worst of both worlds as Spain and South America found out.

I support Tony Makara's suggestions. Re the Merthy bus drivers example; I know of local garage mechanics who nearly lost their jobs because the owner wanted to employ cheaper Polish labour. Why was it cheaper? Because foreign workers don't pay the same levels of tax and NI and so the employers can pay less.

I trust that is not too complicated for everyone to follow.

Tony, it's the business of government to keep taxes and inflation low, and to deregulate Labour markets. That way, jobs can be created as the economy expands. Employing people directly (except to achieve the basics, like security and administration) is something that the government should steer clear of, because governments don't have a very good idea of what the employment needs are in any locality.

Watervole - I think Alex has already exploded your argument that this is a right wing government - I shan't repeat what he's said.

I'm well aware that some employers take on Eastern Europeans because they'll work for less than the natives. But the example I gave was one where the employer couldn't find locals willing to do well-paid work, because so many of them are on incapacity benefit.

Sean, I think Michael Portillo adequately demonstated how difficult it was for anyone to live on benefit when he swopped places with a housewife for a week.

Sean at 15.16:

"It's not the business of government to create jobs. The role of government is to create an environment, by reducing taxation and barriers to employment, whereby jobs will be created".

There may well be occasions when government does have to create some jobs (Gordon Brown did when Chancellor to reduce the unemployment figures a bit and he must be a bit embarrassed with having to reduce public spending now) but on the whole I agree with you.

I would add two other points that clearly are the responsibility of government (i) the numbers of migrants must be more strictly controlled - the infrastructure just can't cope - and (ii) education. People from the new accession countries are willing to work for less than many of our people are, they will do jobs that ours won't and too many of ours just don't have the education or skills to do the job anyway.

I'm not clear how this "make poverty history" line sits with the Party's earlier espousal of the doctrine of relative poverty (a la Toynbee). The definition of relative poverty seems designed to ensure that (as someone once said) we'll always have the poor with us.

Also, the organisation of voluntary work in the community would be a massive undertaking. As it is, the Probation Service is very hard pressed to find sufficient places for offenders who are sentenced to carry out unpaid work - partly because they're not supposed to be allocated to anything that would otherwise be done by a paid employee (of the local council or whatever).

Poltico talks about "people working for nothing" - surely that's not going to be the case? Won't they be working to earn their "benefit" money?

"I'm not clear how this "make poverty history" line sits with the Party's earlier espousal of the doctrine of relative poverty (a la Toynbee). The definition of relative poverty seems designed to ensure that (as someone once said) we'll always have the poor with us."

Richard Weatherill I entirely agree with you. I am fully in favour of these reforms which I think will do a great deal to empower people by getting off benefit and back to work but I do wish we would stop using this soundbite "Make Poverty History". Sadly that is never going to happen either in this country or worldwide - all we can do is work as hard as can to alleviate it.

Here is a way to get the country back to work. Publish all applications for work-permits, together with those currently issued and jobs filled by non-UK citizens on a website. The unemployed should be able to apply for these jobs. It should then be the responsibility that the applicant could never do the job even after training. If they cannot then the job should immediately go to the UK citizen, the foreign worker deported and bared from working in the UK for at lest a year, and the employer fined for not employing the UK worker in the first place. Work permits should cost ten times the annual salary pro-rata. That will stop the abuse and allow us to work again.

I am one of the thousands of IT workers that had their careers destroyed by the abuse of the work permit system in the early 2000’s. I have gone through bankruptcy, homelessness, physical and mental health problems including a short period locked up against my will in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt outside a government office in a protest against the crimes committed against me. I can’t get the medical treatment I need, or any other help whatsoever. I don’t even have a bed to sleep in, chairs to sit on, or even a cooker.

All I ever wanted to do was work. I used to have exceptionally good skills software development for the front office of financial companies, but they have all gone to ruin. Now nobody will ever consider me for employment. How can putting me on a chain gang picking up litter in the park help me?

We need to get tough with the employers not just the unemployed.

We need to make claiming benefits shameful again (i.e. if you are unemployed - the government will feed you, but thats about it. - then people will be forced to find a job.

They don't care about it being shameful.
Someone who is obese and slumps in front of celebrity junk (which we'll get more of if we abolish the BBC) doesn't care about that.

What we need to do is cut taxes at the bottom - take more people out, and bring back the 10p rate, and be much harsher about withdrawing benefits from people who won't take jobs that are offered.
We should keep the min. wage (otherwise the state is involved anyway topping it up - therefore intervening in the market even more).

And taxes should be cut on businesses aswell, so more real jobs can replace those we axe from the bloated public sector.

And slash the numbers on sick pay by 60%

David Bodden, I think what you are suggesting would violate the four freedoms (free flow of labour, capital, services, etc) of the EU, which we are obligated to follow.

Prison ships, cancelling soup kitchens - are these the actions of a left-wing government?

Don't know why you're against prison ships, but yes, banning soup kitchens should happen under a left-wing govt.

Under true socialism, everybody has the opportunity for properly paid employment (and in fact, if that is not the case now, why do we need immigrants?). It follows that anybody who refuses this is refusing to contribute their labour to society - the proper term is "parasite" - and is therefore a criminal. Soup kitchens encourage such behaviour and are therefore by definition incitements to crime.

And the amazing thing is, I didn't have to make this up. It's really true.

Very good policy.

Middle class Labour voters will love this... my mum for example!

"I think what you are suggesting would violate the four freedoms (free flow of labour, capital, services, etc) of the EU" -- Buckinghamshire Tory.

Isn't that what has happened to me?

I am aghast at some of the naive and unfounded views expressed here and the lack of sympathy for the likes of David Bodden who is by no means an isolated example. I sincerely hope the tory party is not going retrograde and reverting to its old ways which made it unlectable. Portillo rightly pointed out on Sunday that it needs a turnaround. Given some of the comments expressed here, it also needs a lobotomy.

We'll make British poverty history, say Cameron and Grayling, yes and how are they going to do that by making more people go into poverty.

And where are you going to magically find all these jobs for the 2.6 million people?. shifting to new training schemes for non-existent jobs, just sounds like a new version of the new deal to me. go on this fantastic new scheme, it makes the figures look good, no job at the end of it unless you are really lucky.

And how are you going to make employers employ all these disabled people?. They don't employ enough disabled people as it is. Discrimination is still rife in this country. If you were disabled you would know what it is like trying to get a job, employers don't touch you with a bargepole unless its for packing soap, wiping floors & tables in Mcdonald's, collecting trolleys in B&Q car park and all to earn a pittance.

Not all people on incapacity benefit are actually scroungers, they are actually disabled and there chances of getting a job are remote to say the least. Disabled people are now being tarred with the same brush as the scroungers because of all the media hype and now the politicians have jumped on the bandwagon as well to try and win votes.

C'mon guys get real stop living in some some sort of dreamland.

I think it's you living in dreamland Richard, if people are genuinely ill they have absolutely nothing to fear from these proposals. If you had actually listened to what Grayling and Cameron had to say you might have noted that they expected the number of people claiming incapacity benefit to decrease after the enactment of these proposals from 2.6 million to 2.4.Hardly earth shattering is it? I ask you the same question as I asked 'Watervole' which he/she predictably declined to answer, what do you think we should do? Nothing?

As many others, I do not think we will be able to eradicate poverty once and for all. However, I beleive that this new welfare reform is a stepp in the right direction.
We need a radical new approach to deal with this problem. Some of the measures might be a bit firm, but it is better than doing nothing.

However, welfare reform is only one part of the solution. There must be sufficient jobs. There will always be a few percentages of the working population that will be unemployed. That is only natural, and to some extent it is healthy for the economy.
To provide more jobs the best way would probably be to deregulate the economy even further (abolish the minimum wage for example), cut taxes and spending.

Quite, Malcolm. I would have thought that these proposals would be unexceptionable for a Conservative.

I would prefer Charles Murrays proposed plan to replace the welfare state with a fixed payment to every citizen. No more means testing. No disincentives to work. Much less bureaucracy and fraud.

If Michael Howard had proposed this it would have been derided as a wolf whistle. The whole process of JSA and IB and DLA is riddled with inconsistency, arbitrariness and political minefields.

I agree with DougR - scrap the whole thing and institute a universal benefit, the Citizens Wage. Then forget about welfare and disability. Privatise the job centres and disband DWP.

For Tony Makara, who is normally so reliable to talk about the State and the Conservative Party having to create 1m jobs is heartbreaking. Harold Macmillan and Ted Heath are dead and with a map you can go and walk on their graves for pleasure. Wealth creators make jobs; the government, especially a Conservative government, should stick to winning wars.

to malcom,

I am genuinely ill, will brain damage from a serious head injury do you?, unfortunately people like me are being classed as scroungers as well. I am not in a wheelchair, I just look like anybody else. It makes me so angry that people are taking advantage of IB. I want the help from the jobcentre, not shunted on a course and get a certificate at the end or to a place to pack soap.

Whenever I see disabled people at work they are like I described previously. they never seem to get the good job. Don't you think disabled people deserve better than the work I described previously in my previous post?.

I have been to interviews where I was clearly the best candidate, then as soon as they reliaze I have a disabilty, you don't have to be in a wheelchair to be disabled you know. There is some excuse not to offer me the job.

I do voluntary work trying to get myself back well enough to work but after head injury there is a limit of what you can do before you actually start feeling worse. I would love to to work again but how do you get past the discrimination?.

If you can't get a job not for the worth of trying how would you then feel with the threat of your income being taken away as well? can you feel the anxiety? I certainly do.

Peter Hains loopy ideas will send me onto another stupid course/training or areas where it is impossible to compete for a job.

Please don't tell me to get a job for a few hours working on the pc from home? It not practical and not what I want to do

The jobcentre are useless now, I have to chase them up, write to my mp etc before anything gets done, still waiting as usual.

how are they going to manage in the future trying to find jobs for 2.6 million?. My situation is real, you want to try being me for a week,month,year.

Jonathan, my argument is that in the long run we have change the economic direction of our country if we are ever to eradicate the dependency culture that has steadily grown over the last thirty-five years. That change will require the re-building of our manufacturing base. Only this time that base should be privately owned and union free. Once we are producing manufactured goods for our domestic market we will be creating work for our own people and keeping money in our country to be re-spent on other British made goods, this will enhance our economy and make us less prone to currency fluctuations.

While such an economic re-vamp is taking place we should employ the unemployed on public works programmes as a way of tackling the problem until manufacturing can provide the jobs we need through the private sector. The important thing we must realise is that if we do nothing then the massive welfare burden isn't going to go away. So as much as I support the market in most things I believe that there is also a role the state can play here in providing training, and waged work to take people off benefits and put them into the structured responsibility of work. This is better for the unemployed and better for the nation.

Ultimately the name of the game has to be creating work by providing the economic conditions for manufacturing to flourish. Without a manufacturing base we will never be able to produce the million more jobs we need to end benefit dependency.

Does Team Cameron look in on these threads?

On the basis of reading this discussion forum and the other on "Tories to impose two year limit on Jobseekers' Allowance and then it's workfare" I nominate Tony Makara Shadow Minister for National Revival.

I wouldn't want to see sickness benefit reduced for people who genuinely need it.

In fact, I would probably like to see it increased for those who are in genuine need, but taken away completely for those who don't.

Malcolm wrote

"If you had actually listened to what Grayling and Cameron had to say you might have noted that they expected the number of people claiming incapacity benefit to decrease after the enactment of these proposals from 2.6 million to 2.4.Hardly earth shattering is it?"

It's hardly Conservative!

"Richard" should recognise that the genuinely disabled will always be entitled to state support under a Conservative government.

These policies will take a generation to make a difference. The country has been following a policy of "outdoor relief" for at least thirty years and IB has been used to mask and manage the headline unemployment figure.

Rising aspirations leave many unwilling to take on the low skilled and low paid jobs that have to be done. I suspect immigration will continue to meet this need unless some effort is made to raise the status of necessary but undervalued labour.

Punishing the people trapped in welfare dependency may provide good headlines but it will not "abolish poverty"

If big government doesn't work, how do people expect the voluntary sector to succeed? The history of social policy illustrates the limitations of voluntary action in the face of social distress.

Lowering public expenditure by a few percentage points avoids the challenges facing the nation and at the end of the day it can always be reversed.

Unfortunately, it may be time for a "vision."
about what sort of country DC wants us to live in.

How much will this cost to implement say over a Parliament? I cant see any costings here or how it will be paid for. I understand that was a rule that Osborne made (no unfunded spending commitments). Has he again broken this rule?

As for the "ambition" (see CPS lexicon) of abolishing British poverty, poverty is relative and as such cannot be abolished without the most extreme policies imaginable.

I see the Tories are still using that appalling phrase "post bureaucratic age". Is there not a warmer phrase rather than that clunky term.

In that case, it's about time GPs sorted themselves out and said no to people who aren't feeling very well. Having a nasty cold or being stressed is fairly obviously different from someone who is genuinely disabled or unable to work.

Sorry, there are costs in the green paper, thought its not exactly brilliant. Its all rather hopeful rather than being concrete figures.

We should seperate Employment from Benefits and Pensions as a Whitehall ministry.

We should drastically upskill and re-finance a dedicated anti Black Economy Team. If necessary, this Team should be staffed or trained by ex members of the police force and army/security services, fully trained in surveillance techniques.

At the moment it is worth too many peoples while to claim benefits and fiddle the system, because it is so easy. Nothing that the Conservatives announced yesterday will change this. That is disppointing to say the least. Why on earth is a young person going to get up early every morning to spend 8 hours a day shaking salt on the fries in MacDonalds for £6 an hour, when he can have a rest at home during the day, work as a DJ in the evening, and get £100 cash in hand ? With no chance of getting caught.

Finally, Tomorrows People are a truly mediocre bunch in terms of delivery. They have had lucrative DWP contracts to re train the unemployed under both Governments, with very patchy results. It may have been good PR for Cameron and Grayling to be photographed with them yesterday, but the footballing equivalent would be to have had their piccies taken with Steve McClaren.

Richard @ 21.57. I'm obviously sorry to hear about your circumstances but don't see how these proposals will affect you. Presumably you will still qualify for Incapacity Benefit as your doctors will attest.

Malcom wrote:

I'm obviously sorry to hear about your circumstances but don't see how these proposals will affect you. Presumably you will still qualify for Incapacity Benefit as your doctors will attest.

thank you for your understanding. the GPs are supportive who know your genuine medical history, however I have been to DWP medicals that last 10 minutes. Peoples conditions are complicated, not 10 minutes in and out. The doctor who I saw who was probably on commission or had to meet targets decided that after asking if I could read the paper, watch tv and be able to fill the dishwasher up that I was magically fit for work again. IB stopped, letter received in 2 days. Sent to the jobcentre to claim jobseekers allowance instead and get all the support I need to get back into work.

The jobcentre just write you off and don't even ask you to come back every 2 weeks to sign on and say appeal against the doctors decision.

Under Peter Hain's Work & Support Allowance I can imagine this happening all over again again, sent on a course to get a certificate at the end or spend all day practicing to write your cv or looking on the internet for a job that doesn't exist or a job which everybody else is competing for as well.

My local MP wrote to the jobcentre on my behalf to find out whats going on, I am still waiting to hear from the jobcentre, no surprise there! I have to chase them up. I went on a course for 6 months which was paid for by the jobcentre to help me get back to work. The doctors wanted a review to show how I had progressed. Everytime the guy at the jobcentre was asked to attend he just made some excuse not to go, probably going to play golf instead I should think. All I have for my efforts is a certificate.

I feel let down by the system, If the system can't manage now, how is it going to manage in the future? I want the help, I want to go to work, the jobcentre staff who say they will help you but then do nothing. The media have whipped it up so much recently that even as a disabled person I doubt myself sometimes.

It is so disheartening and then you wonder why people are on incapacity benefit year after year.

Mr Cameron, Peter Hain should get to ground level and see what it is really like for somebody like me trying to get a job not just read what it says in The Sun. I am not proud to be on IB but at the same time I have to exist on something and it is a lifeline.

Stop picking on easy prey like the disabled. If it is done properly, ie doctors who are not on commission or who have to meet targets. it should be obvious if they have the right notes to pick out who is genuinely disabled and need support and those who are not.

Sort out a proper system with proper support so people like me can get to a work with decent pay.

Sorry for War & Peace but this is how it is.

We should seperate Employment from Benefits and Pensions as a Whitehall ministry.
Why not simply merge DWP into the Treasury and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury could also handle welfare and pensions, Employment responsibilities of the state could be wound down - there are too many Government ministers and there needs to be a bit of downsizing along with a downsizing of public sector involvement in the labour market and business regulation!

Tony: "A way to get into work would be to have a person on JSA placed with an employer. The person then serves under the employer while receiving JSA in a training/working capacity."

Hang on a sec. Yesterday you were saying that JSA was not sufficient for those on community work, and yet at the same time it is OK for an employer? Well run community work is easily as fulfilling as the sort of tasks that the vast majority of JSA people are going to be put on on the scheme you propose above.

Pay JSA to people working for free for employers and it risks displacing creation of genuine jobs, much as YTS and the Manpower Services Schemes did in many cases - it will end up with workplaces where large numbers of the workers are JSA claimants, the employer is not going to take people on if there is no easy way to ditch them once the state money runs out - so what it ends up with is either state subsidised cheap labour or a scheme largely ignored by employers.

If workfare is to be used then it would be better simply to setup labour camps where unemployed persons would only get benefit on entry and would be expected to do unlimited amounts of work. Failure to work for whatever reason would have to be punished ruthlessly with withdrawal of benefit threatening destitution for those failing to co-operate, the camps would then have to bid for work at cheap rates to private employers - this is the only way such a scheme would be viable. It would have to be so nasty that those who were not genuine claimants would drop out rather than participate - getting work done though has to be done in a ruthless way, either the person is a worker albeit at rates below normal pay and below normal working conditions or they are treated as welfare recipients - doing both is not possible, paying market rates would just draw the state further into being a mass employer.

People such as Peter Lilley came to realise the failings of the schemes setup by the Callaghan and Thatcher administrations and why such state involvement in the labour market just made things worse.

John Ionides, I would only support the unemployed taking up a position with an employer while receiving benefit if that employer was providing a course of real training. Such training would have to involve on-job training as skills like gardening or learning to be a carpeter cannot be learnt from a book. By training I mean real skills and not stocking shelves in supermarkets as happens under the NewDeal. Any employer who takes an unemployed person onto a training placement would be obliged to give that person a job at the end of the training. Something that doesn't happen in the NewDeal and has been a fundamental flaw in the NewDeal system.

Yet Another Anon, the Community Programme of the 1980s was a good idea in my opinion. It paid double the amount the person received on benefit and guaranteed twelve months employment. The only failing with the Community Programme was that it was a voluntary scheme. If the Community Programme had been made mandatory it would have introduced many to the structured responsiblity of work and would have shown them the benefits of having an increased disposable income, thus acting as a taster for full-time work elsewhere. In the 1980s I think Unemployment Benefit as it was then was 30 pounds a week and the Community Programme paid 60 pounds a week, so in reality it was only costing the state an extra 30 pounds a week to get someone into a waged environment at a time when unemployment was over three million.

I'm not against the idea of the unemployed doing Community Work as the Cameron/Grayling proposals suggest. I'm just opposed to the unemployed not being paid for their work.

I ask David Cameron and Chris Grayling to consider offering training placements for the long-term unemployed with employers, who after training will be obliged to guarantee a full-time job. While on the training course the unemployed should be allowed to draw benefits and claim travel expenses. This would provide incentive to three groups. To the unemployed person who knows that he/she will have a definite job after training. To the employer who knows that he/she will be getting a willing and able worker, and finally to the government who will be lifting someone out of the misery of benefit dependency.

Any employer who takes an unemployed person onto a training placement would be obliged to give that person a job at the end of the training.
Employers are not going to go allow with a scheme railroading them into taking someone on, the ability to shed people who an employer decides is not suitable for their company, not ready or who they are just generally not happy with is vital - it would be crazy to guarantee jobs, people on a trial basis or some kind of work experience have to convince an employer that they are suited to be being employed by that employer - people on such schemes may well do things that an employer feels is unacceptable, or fail to do things required of them to a desired standard and there may well be a disagreement between some kind of employment programme monitor and the employers over whether they met the standard or not.

I think Unemployment Benefit as it was then was 30 pounds a week and the Community Programme paid 60 pounds a week, so in reality it was only costing the state an extra 30 pounds a week to get someone into a waged environment at a time when unemployment was over three million.
It isn't just the cost, there are other major effects such as the tendency to corrupt employers into expecting the state to provide cheap workers, the actual costs have to be considered, there was not money available to pay any more in the way of welfare in the 1980s than was being paid - as it was John Biffen made his famous joke "We're all Social Democrats now" commenting on the fact that Public Spending as a proportion of GDP was being maintained at high levels in the early 1980s.

Yet Another Anon, yes I see your points but there would be conditions on the person doing the training. They would be expected to turn up every day, and be in a position to pass any final assessment. Of course I'm not saying that 100% of such training would prove to be successful. Some people are a problem. However I think most would welcome the opportunity to train if it meant a job at the end of it. Any that happened to sabotage their training or refused to take any job offered would have to be dealt with sternly.

We could by-pass this whole welfare debate if we structured our economy to produce a million more jobs. That has to be the long-term objective. Otherwise this welfare headache is never going to go away.

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