Tory scum make lying, insulting and patronising response to workfare petition

(203 Posts)
ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 15:44:06

epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29356

It's just unbelievable. Who do they think they're talking to?

SilverOldie Tue 29-Jan-13 15:59:42

I thought the response was reasonable.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 16:47:44

I thought it was pretty reasonable as well. The alternative to mandatory work schemes is for long-term unemployed people to stay home doing nothing, their experience of the work-place getting further and further into the past. At least if they're doing something and still getting their JSA for a few weeks, they're potentially gaining something useful.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 16:58:53

I thought the response was reasonable.

You think the govt. lying to the public is reasonable?

BeanJuice Tue 29-Jan-13 17:02:36

What was wrong with the response?

DeepRedBetty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:05:08

Sorry I think it's reasonable too. I've currently got a volunteer who is trying to make herself more employable with voluntary work for her CV, having had to take a considerable amount of time out with mental health problems. It's taken a month to train her, but I have already told her she can have paid employment with me when she feels ready.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:06:52

I thought it was pretty reasonable as well.

It's reasonable for the govt. to straight-up lie in response to a petition because you agree with the govt. stance on mandatory unpaid work?

The alternative to mandatory work schemes is for long-term unemployed people to stay home doing nothing, their experience of the work-place getting further and further into the past. At least if they're doing something and still getting their JSA for a few weeks, they're potentially gaining something useful.

No, the alternative is for the unemployed to spend their time looking for work - which is a full-time job in itself.

Secondly, the Mandatory Work Activity scheme has been empirically proven to be ineffective at helping people find work. In fact, people who took part in MWA schemes were slightly less successful in finding work than those who didn't.

Thirdly, free unpaid labour has the effect of pushing down wages and reducing employment, since companies, always seeking to reduce costs, will naturally sooner take on free labour than hire someone and pay them a wage. So it is ultimately counter-productive.

Fourthly, JSA is a form of social security. It is something which people have fought for over centuries. The able and working people pay for the security of those ill, unable to work, or temporarily unemployed. It is not charity, it is a right, and the majority of those people claiming JSA have themselves paid in the past.

Finally, mandatory unpaid labour is another name for slavery. It is wrong in principle, and all right-thinking people should condemn it in the strongest terms possible.

RooneyMara Tue 29-Jan-13 17:08:20

'Workfare is an American term used to describe employment programmes which force all jobseekers to work at a certain point of their claim in order to continue to receive benefit.'

how exactly is that not what we have here?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 17:08:42

Still don't see where the lie is

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:09:12

Sorry I think it's reasonable too. I've currently got a volunteer who is trying to make herself more employable with voluntary work for her CV, having had to take a considerable amount of time out with mental health problems. It's taken a month to train her, but I have already told her she can have paid employment with me when she feels ready.

Oh my God. It seems a lot of people are uninformed about the nature of the Mandatory Work Activity programme.

It is NOT voluntary. Nobody has any issues with people, working or unemployed, volunteering to work for charity or any other organization pro bono and/or for work experience.

The Mandatory Work Activity scheme is MANDATORY. In other words, if you're on JSA, and the DWP asks you to partake in MWA and you refuse, you can and most probably will be sanctioned - this means you'll lose your vital income support for 6 weeks for the first offence.

BeanJuice Tue 29-Jan-13 17:10:46

Finally, mandatory unpaid labour is another name for slavery. It is wrong in principle, and all right-thinking people should condemn it in the strongest terms possible.

^ if you're talking in extreme terms like that then it's fair to say that all tax is theft, yes? It's mandatory and involves taking shares of our incomes, so our tax revenues going into JSA are being stolen from us.

I don't believe that myself but that's the kind of ridiculous statement you end up with when you start talking in such extreme terms

BeanJuice Tue 29-Jan-13 17:13:04

The Mandatory Work Activity scheme is MANDATORY. In other words, if you're on JSA, and the DWP asks you to partake in MWA and you refuse, you can and most probably will be sanctioned - this means you'll lose your vital income support for 6 weeks for the first offence.

Why would you refuse though? Surely you'd be doing all you could to try and get out there? confused

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:13:31

Community benefit? working for free in Tescos?

Ok then.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:15:09

Still don't see where the lie is

Are you really so blind? Let me spell it out for you, Cogito-

We do not have Work for Your Benefit or Workfare schemes in this country.

Yes you do. It's called the 'Mandatory Work Activity' scheme.

Workfare is an American term used to describe employment programmes which force all jobseekers to work at a certain point of their claim in order to continue to receive benefit.

The Mandatory Work Activity scheme means that some people can and are being forced to work for their benefits. There is nothing 'voluntary' about it at all. If you refuse to partake in MWA, you will lose your benefits.

We do offer claimants a range of initiatives at various stages of their unemployment to help them overcome the barriers they face in returning to the workplace,

They don't 'offer' claimants anything. They force them to work for their benefits and tell them that they will have their benefits removed if they refuse.

or indeed finding work for the first time, such as a short period of voluntary work experience for young people aged 18-24 who have little or no experience of work to help them gain vital work-related skills,

It is not voluntary work. It is forced work. It is not offered only to 18-24 year olds without experience, but older claimants as well. The work being 'offered' also sometimes has absolutely nothing to do with the experience a claimant needs or is looking for. There was the case of a woman with a law degree being forced to stack shelves at Tesco. Not only will this not help her find a job, it will actually harm her chances.

---

Do you understand now, Cogito? Do you see where they are lying, or do you need more help?

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:15:16

Get out there, work for free for 6 weeks, bye then. Then on to the next lot of free labour?

Yes that works.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 29-Jan-13 17:15:49

Why should someone refuse to do it though? It is perfectly possible - indeed easier - to find a job when you already have a job.

MWA is up to 30 hours, which leaves people with at least a full day a week clear to attend interviews or do some training.

RooneyMara Tue 29-Jan-13 17:16:00

Bean it isn't just if you refuse. It's if they don't tell you you have to be somewhere and thus you're not there - sanctioned. If you're ill and call to say you can't make it - sanctioned.

this isn't personal experience but a couple of the things I've read happen on MN, or from links on MN. I do personally know the work programme to be absolute shite.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 17:16:11

"Why would you refuse though? "

Because it would get in the way of the cash in hand job you're doing to supplement your JSA?..... <gets hosepipe ready for inevitable flaming grin >

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:17:12

It's not a job though.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:17:51

Why would you refuse though? Surely you'd be doing all you could to try and get out there?

First of all, why one would refuse is a different question to whether it is OK for the govt. to lie to the public in response to a petition.

In answer to your question, though, the MWA scheme is both ineffective (see my previous post above) and harmful to the economy as a whole. It is also likely to be a waste of time if you're sent off to do work stacking shelves when you're looking for work in IT or Law.

RooneyMara Tue 29-Jan-13 17:18:05

It isn't about why would you refuse. That's missing the point.

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:18:34

Heres an idea, why don't companies using MWA give people proper jobs in the first place?

eminemmerdale Tue 29-Jan-13 17:19:36

People who work - as in 'work' don't get a choice either - we do our job or don't get our salaries. I think maybe things could be rephrased - ok working in Tescos may not be 'aiding the community' in some ways, but surely anything is better than doing nothing? I run a volunteer centre and we are so busy with all sorts of people desperate to do something with their time - and it is only going to get worse <also prepared for flaming>

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:20:00

Heres an idea, why don't companies using MWA give people proper jobs in the first place?

Yes, why don't they? And why would they when they can get free labour instead?

DeepRedBetty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:20:41

<sits back with brew and some biscuitbiscuit while considering whether to add any more paraffin to conflagration>

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