Making people work

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

In the comments on this post, Charlie asked how I’d make people work for a living.

The solution is very simple.  Please bear in mind I’m only talking about scroungers who can work but won’t work here.

Why do people sit at home on benefits when they are capable of work?  Because they get cash for doing nothing and if and when they are forced to work there is no penalty for having claimed benefits unnecessarily.

In one state in America (California I think), if you go to prison you get billed for your stay.  If you work while you’re there that comes off your bill.  If you don’t work then you get an invoice when you leave and if you don’t pay it you get sent back to prison.

Imagine a similar system here for benefits.  People who are fit for work should be given a grace period of, say, 6 weeks to find a job.  If they haven’t found one after 6 weeks they should be allocated a job with the local authority doing things like cleaning graffiti, sweeping roads, etc.  If they refuse then they should be given as much as possible of their benefits in food vouchers and just enough cash to pay essential bills.  They should then be billed for the benefits they’re receiving and if they still refuse to get a job and pay the bill then the baliffs should be sent in to take their TV, Playstation 3, XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, laptop, DVD player, computer, Sky Plus box, stereo, etc.  If they still refuse to get a job and pay up then take them to court and have them banged up like they do for people who won’t pay their council tax.

Pros: local authorities get free labour, keeping down council tax bills and the unemployment rate will drop like a lead balloon.
Cons: ummmmmm …

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  1. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    Don’t councils already employ people to maintain our streets? Will they get sacked and replaced by this free labour?

    In some areas a fifth of the adult population are not in work – where will tens of thousands of jobs come from? The bosses are closing factories every day to move to countries with lower pay and conditions.

    You don’t address the issue of who controls the economy. If working people had economic and political power, very quickly we would see unemployment fall. We won’t ship our jobs abroad, will we?

  2. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Councils employ people to maintain the streets, etc., but there is so much that could be done but isn’t because of the cost. I don’t know about where you live but round by me it could do with a damn good clean-up. The council sent out graffiti cleaners but only did about 3 streets because it’s expensive. There’s dog shit all over the grass by the local school because the nearby flats are full of scutters with Staffies and Rotweilers and they’ve not got gardens. The whole place is just tired and in need of a good clean and tarting up but it’ll cost tens of thousands of pounds, if not more, just to clean up this one estate.

    You know I agree with you on working people having political power – the British government needs to be brought under control – but it’s not going to change the attitude of people who’ve almost been encouraged not to work.

    Local authorities, charities, etc. whill always be able to find something for any number of people to do – even if it’s one day a week. Hell, even if they sit on a bench in a yard with nothing to do all day – at least they’re not sitting at home in front of their nice TV drinking a can of Stella watching Trisha. Inconvenience people enough and they’ll work because it’s easier than being on benefits.

  3. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    I don’t doubt that councils don’t do all that they should because of the financial limitations – my concern was with this idea being implemented as a way of cutting council jobs. My local has been slowly shutting down services for the last few years, and I could see the scheme you suggested being implemented as a way of doing it on the cheap.

    From my own experience of meeting people who are genuinely unable to work due to disability, I can say that the general feeling is that it is better to do something productive and the struggle is to find employers that will assist with issues arising from the disability — bosses don’t want sick workers, they want healthy workers, just like they are after young rather than older workers.

    As for the minority of shirkers – it’s harder to get them into work because the work isn’t there. The issue of benefit fraud is blown out of all proportion to discourage genuine people from claiming what they are entitled to – the millions of pension credits that are left unclaimed because shame (and the paperwork) puts people off.

    If working people were the dominant class in this country, the issue of benefit fraud would be quickly dealt with. As i’ve said, we wouldn’t be interested in sending our jobs abroad; we would want to expand manufacturing and farming to cut our huge trade deficit – providing plenty of jobs. And for people with disabilities looking to get working, it would be a priority to assist people back into the workplace.

    The government claims that it wants disabled people to be at work – but at the same time, Remploy is threatened. This is under the pretence that it is not desirable for disabled workers to be segregated, but employers aren’t keen on hiring people with physical and mental disabilities on the assumption that productivity will be lower.

    The suggestion that people should be jailed if they won’t work — i can’t imagine that many would get to this stage, and it might just be that such a scheme would result in a rise in the prison population with taxpayers funding expensive private prisons (and thus the profits of their owners).

    I can tell I’m waffling now, so I’ll stop here.

  4. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Of course local authorities would be tempted to cut jobs because of this free labour but they would have to be prevented from doing so. It’s already illegal to sack someone just to give their job to someone else. Local authorities would have to be restricted to using the labour for “value added” services like road sweeping, graffiti cleaning, etc. – non-core services that aren’t already covered.

    I did make a point of saying this was only aimed at those able to work but refuse to do so. I do feel for disabled people who want to work because they are limited by the fact employers don’t want to employ disabled people if they can avoid it. What can change that? I don’t think legislation will change it, it’s how pepole think and you can’t change people’s thoughts with laws.

    With this scheme, people wouldn’t be put in prison for not working but for not paying what they owe to the Crown. For people who can work but won’t, social security should be seen as a loan rather than a gift. If most people were working for a living the crime rate would drop. People either wouldn’t have time – or wouldn’t need – to commit crime because they’d be working and earning. That’s free up prison places.

  5. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    I’m not talking about changing thoughts in the bosses heads or using laws to do this, I’m talking about changing the bosses – democratising the economy, from the workplace up…

  6. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    I’m talking about getting people back to work, you’re talking about a marxist revolution! With the current capitalist system we have now this idea is workable, surely?

  7. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    Perhaps, but you see, the capitalist system doesn’t usually do full employment… Not for long, anyway.

    In some areas, local authorities would quickly run out of things to get people to do. The getting people to work thing would take second place to cutting the social security bill, I’m sure. No doubt the private prison industry will be glad of the extra prisoners…

    I maintain that only a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people and their families will result in full employment.

    Short of the “marxist revolution”, a priority should be ensuring that the outcome of the education system is paid employment — through free university education or through an apprenticeship.

  8. Robert (3 comments) says:

    Another good one is to stop employers going overseas, perhaps lowering taxation for companies might help, after all if Labour can give a bank billions, then perhaps employers could also get help.

    I was at my job center yesterday waited in line for two hours to be told we have nothing nothing at all come back in a month, mind you I’ve no legs so perhaps that explains nobody wanting me.

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