Workfare: it’s just plain wrong

Intersting article on IDS’s chain gang proposals for the unemployed in today’s Scotsman,

There are also fears that controversial welfare reforms could see some public sector workers replaced by people doing their old jobs for a fraction of the pay.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will this week unveil plans for four-week programmes of compulsory community work, doing jobs such as litter-picking or gardening, for unemployed people deemed to have lost the work ethic.

I see they picked up on my point about low-paid public sector workers being replaced by the free labour of the unemployed.

But it is also unfair to workers who find themselves competing against people paid much less than themselves and to any businesses in competition with the organisations that have got this subsidised workforce.

Quite. I think we understand the class-based thinking behind this now. Millionaires who have been born into privilege impose a form of economic slavery on those who are on the lowest economic rung of the ladder. Where’s the fairness in that?

The Herald Scotland is equally critical of the proposals. John Dickie of the Child Poverty Action Group said,

“These punitive proposals are a distraction from the real barriers people face trying to get back into work – lack of jobs, lack of childcare and discrimination in the labour market. People need real jobs that pay real wages.

“Expecting people to work for 30 hours for no extra money is insulting. If the Government wants to provide employment for the unemployed to help them back into work, it should do so with genuine jobs that comply with minimum-wage legislation.”

This government is making the unemployed pay for the recession. Fairness? These people don’t know the meaning of the word.


Leave a comment

Filed under Big Society, Government & politics, Public spending, Welfare, Workfare

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s