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>

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:21:23

Well there's the answer. Why pay when you can get someone for free.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:21:34

emin-

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>

Looking for a job is a full-time job. If you're spending the day volunteering then you're spending less time looking for paid work. Secondly, as I pointed out, JSA isn't charity, it's social security. The majority of claimants have already paid in for their JSA in the form of income and other taxes.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 17:21:58

Costs money to take someone on for a few weeks. They need to be shown the ropes so they're not as efficient as regular staff, plus they take up some supervision time. I think any company offering places in spite of all the bile they get from people like the OP should be applauded.

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:22:35

They get paid to take them on.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:22:47

I'm glad this has opened a discussion about MWA, but I'm honestly surprised that some people - whatever their opinions on MWA - aren't quite getting the fact that the response contains outright lies.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:23:52

They get paid to take them on.

That's right. The govt. pays companies and charities to take on MWA placements. Charities get free labour. The govt. gets to massage it's unemployment figures.

Guess who loses? The public.

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:24:04

There's a lot of money to be made from unemployed people.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 17:24:07

Trouble is ttosca, the coalition could tell us it was Tuesday and you'd accuse them of being 'lying tory scum'.... so a few of us take your copy-paste diatribes with a chunk or two of salt. You're familiar with the 'boy who cried wolf'?

BeanJuice Tue 29-Jan-13 17:25:51

cogito grin

the amount of times I have heard conservatives described as 'scum' on here is hilarious

I have had labour sympathies in the past but reading some of the ridiculous things people write on mn actually makes me feel a bit more conservative

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:27:10

Trouble is ttosca, the coalition could tell us it was Tuesday and you'd accuse them of being 'lying tory scum'.... so a few of us take your copy-paste diatribes with a chunk or two of salt. You're familiar with the 'boy who cried wolf'?

That's not an argument.

Do you understand where they lied now? Or is it you who is unreasonable?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 17:29:05

I'm always utterly reasonable. And I think you're splitting hairs.... You'll want to wash that blood pressure medication down with plenty of water btw. Not good for you to get so worked up.

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:29:33

Are you happy that there were hardly any christmas temp jobs this year? because shops that traditionally employed xmas temps used MWA placements instead.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 29-Jan-13 17:31:19

It isn't an argument, but it is a reason why a lot of people won't take what you post seriously.

You should tone the hysteria down a notch or two.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:31:34

I'm splitting hairs because I call the 'Mandatory Work Activity' programme, in which claimaints have no choice but to partake or lose their benefits mandatory, as opposed to the govt., which calls a mandatory programme 'voluntary'?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 29-Jan-13 17:32:32

usual - who says that there were hardly any temp jobs? There were loads here, all the big supermarkets plus warehouses hired people to pack increased orders.

specialsubject Tue 29-Jan-13 17:34:22

OP, if you feel so strongly about it, start campaigning for more people to sign and then if enough agree with you, it will get debated in parliament. Top tip though; the word 'scum' does not give the impression of reasoned argument.

We live in a democracy and that is wonderful.

tabulahrasa Tue 29-Jan-13 17:34:47

The mandatory work activity scheme isn't the only workfare type scheme, there are at least 2 others that I know of, but the answer doesn't mention them.

It also doesn't mention that as well as JSA claimants, some ESA claimants are put on the mandatory work activity scheme - terminal cancer patients are one category of ESA claimants expected to be put on the scheme.

Aiding the community is a downright lie, pound land and tesco were two of the companies that were involved, Argos and b&q still are... Most of the companies involved are big retailers.

So no, it's not exactly a fantastic answer.

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 17:35:04

Well, I know for a fact, Poundland used MWA placements as did Tesco instead of employing Christmas temps.

RooneyMara Tue 29-Jan-13 17:35:28

Why are people so snide and personal on the politics threads? It puts normal people with no particular agenda off completely. It's like watching bloody PMQ <wanders away>

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 17:35:54

It's amazing that 'temperate' and 'moderate' language are more important than the issues involved here.

I make no apologies for calling the Tories 'scum', as anyone who purposely and visciously attacks the disabled, the poorest and even cancer patients absolute deserves to be called that.

Hundreds of disabled people have died after having their disability allowance taken away from them or undergoing repeated farcical Atos assessments.

It's all a bit abstract - like children dying in Africa - until you actually encounter a family or someone who's life has been devastated by the nasty Tory attacks on the most vulnerable.

Maybe some day you or some one you care about will be affected, and them maybe you'll start to take the issue seriously.

nailak Tue 29-Jan-13 17:44:13

i dont understand one thing, when my husband was on JSA i was allowed to study without it effecting our benefits, but if he wanted to do some sort of mcse course or something to keep his skills up to date they would stop his benefits, he also found himself a placement in company in the field he was looking to go in to and he wasnt allowed to do it as it meant that he wasnt free for work or something, but they can make you work in tescos and charity shops to increase your chances of employment?

PictureMeInThese Tue 29-Jan-13 18:00:38

Mmm nailak that does make them seem very disingenuous doesn't it?
The majority of reponses on this thread has demonstred how well the tory propaganda is working and how few people know what they are really doing.

lastSplash Tue 29-Jan-13 18:19:27

Totally agree with you ttosca. Will pass on the petition for others to sign. Appalling government response - unfortunately they feel they can get away with it because people are misinformed and taken in by benefit-bashing.

nailak Tue 29-Jan-13 18:22:10

luckily he knew his workfare advisor through a previous job he had, the man used to attend the place where he worked regularly, so he didnt actually do workfare, he used to go to the interviews and the guy used to just say i cant be bothered to waste your time, go home.

nailak Tue 29-Jan-13 18:22:26

it was a workplace advisor not workfare

TheSecondComing Tue 29-Jan-13 18:27:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bowlersarm Tue 29-Jan-13 18:28:34

Sorry ttosca but can't take a thread starting "Tory scum" seriously. Are you 15?

scottishmummy Tue 29-Jan-13 18:29:54

were you socialist worker type at uni. op?berating folks what they should be angry about?
look lose the youse is all needing to wake up and smell the coffee preachiness
I think you expected everyone unanimously agree with you

TheFallenNinja Tue 29-Jan-13 18:36:33

God how boring, make a statement then attack anyone who disagrees.

Yawn

TheFallenNinja Tue 29-Jan-13 18:39:30

Seems your fight is with the government. I don't think you'll start the revolution here, today.

ironman Tue 29-Jan-13 20:53:40

As soon as I saw the word 'tory scum' I knew the poster was ttosca.
Can't you think of anything original to call them? For instance, dirty rotten scoundrels! grin

If workfare is to be compulsory then it should be work that benefits the local community. Why the fuck should multi-national companies get free labour? Any political party that supports this deserves to be called scum.

Public sector services have been virtually destroyed so why not give the unemployed chance to take up some of the slack where appropriate, to do something really worthwhile instead of filling the coffers of supermarket chains?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 29-Jan-13 21:39:58

ttosca, your posts really are laughable.

You have said twice on this thread that looking for a job is a full time job. It isn't. It might be if you are particularly inefficient and unproductive, but if you really need five days a week working from 9am until 5pm to apply for jobs, then then that likely to be the reason you don't already have one. And isn't there supposed to be a lack of available jobs at the moment? Surely if there are that few jobs, you don't need full time working hours to apply for all the jobs you could do.

Plus, it is well known that it is easier to find a job while you are in employment, so how does that fit with your theory that looking for a job is a full time job. Simple answer - it doesn't.

You are also being ridiculous (and probably offensive to some people) when you try to compare mandatory work activity with slavery. The last time I looked, no one was forced by someone else to claim JSA. And if you don't claim JSA, you don't have to do MWA. The same cannot be said of people who were genuinely forced into slavery. There are plenty of unemployed people who aren't forced into MWA. If there were, SAHMs all over the country would have a big problem.

I can understand your disagreeing with this policy, but really, you don't do a very good job of convincing people to take your point seriously.

nailak Tue 29-Jan-13 21:42:26

with the sahms it is there partners who claim and do the workfare, like i said my dh only got away with it as he knew his workplace advisor. and the job centre wouldnt let him do relevant work placement or skills courses, but wanted him to work in tescos.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 22:02:11

Clouds-

You have said twice on this thread that looking for a job is a full time job. It isn't. It might be if you are particularly inefficient and unproductive, but if you really need five days a week working from 9am until 5pm to apply for jobs, then then that likely to be the reason you don't already have one.

Are we really going to debate how many hours per day it takes to apply for jobs to the best of your ability? Sometimes writing applications takes several hours. It is not feasible to work most of your day and then expect people to be efficient in finding jobs, in between eating, cleaning, showering, and other normal activities which people do after a day at work.

And isn't there supposed to be a lack of available jobs at the moment? Surely if there are that few jobs, you don't need full time working hours to apply for all the jobs you could do."

Yes, there is. However, you reasoning is flawed. There being fewer jobs doesn't mean you try less hard. It means you try harder.

Plus, it is well known that it is easier to find a job while you are in employment, so how does that fit with your theory that looking for a job is a full time job. Simple answer - it doesn't.

Very easily. When you're working full time, you already have job security, so you can apply for jobs in your spare time, and of course, you apply for fewer than if you were unemployed. You apply for fewer because a) you have less time b) you can be pickier.

Secondly, in many cases, these MWA placements are not helping the claimant get any experience, since most of the placements are very low level jobs like stacking shelves at Tesco. This won't help anyone with a degree or any previous work experience whatsoever.

Thirdly, the MWA has been shown to be useless in helping people find work. A freedom of information request has revealed (I can find the link for you if you wish - or you can do it yourself) that people who undergo MWA are not better off at finding a job 6 months down the line than people who do not.

The last time I looked, no one was forced by someone else to claim JSA. And if you don't claim JSA, you don't have to do MWA. The same cannot be said of people who were genuinely forced into slavery. There are plenty of unemployed people who aren't forced into MWA. If there were, SAHMs all over the country would have a big problem.

This is completely disingenuous. For those of us (most people) who aren't financially independent and have very little or no savings, it's either claim JSA or starve. It isn't a 'choice' to claim JSA. You either claim, or you don't eat.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 29-Jan-13 22:15:56

It is not feasible to work most of your day and then expect people to be efficient in finding jobs, in between eating, cleaning, showering, and other normal activities which people do after a day at work

Really? I'll let all the people I know who do a huge amount of voluntary work on top of their paid jobs that what they are doing isn't feasible then shall I? I'll also pass it on to anyone who works two jobs, or who has children to look after, or who has indeed looked for a job while working full time then right?

Very easily. When you're working full time, you already have job security, so you can apply for jobs in your spare time, and of course, you apply for fewer than if you were unemployed. You apply for fewer because a) you have less time b) you can be pickier.

How does that, or anything else you posted after it, lead you to believe that looking for a job is a full time job? confused

This is completely disingenuous. For those of us (most people) who aren't financially independent and have very little or no savings, it's either claim JSA or starve. It isn't a 'choice' to claim JSA. You either claim, or you don't eat.

Fair enough, but that still doesn't mean that MWA equals slavery.

If there are no jobs why arent the government encouraging companies to create jobs instead of paying them to create non paid placements? It just doesnt make sense.

If there is a job to be done, hire someone to do it and pay them the going rate. 30 hours per week on JSA is £2.36 per hour. Thats illegal.

I signed the petition.

stargirl1701 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:21:35

If the social contract including the contributory principle was still in force then you would be reasonable. It isn't though.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 22:58:34

Clouds-

It is not feasible to work most of your day and then expect people to be efficient in finding jobs, in between eating, cleaning, showering, and other normal activities which people do after a day at work

Really? I'll let all the people I know who do a huge amount of voluntary work on top of their paid jobs that what they are doing isn't feasible then shall I? I'll also pass it on to anyone who works two jobs, or who has children to look after, or who has indeed looked for a job while working full time then right?

Most people can't do it, and in fact, don't do it. There is a reason there aren't more people who volunteer while work full-time, it's because they're tired and don't have enough time.
I'm not saying it's impossible to work and volunteer at the same time, but JSA claimants are supposed to be spending all their time and energy on finding a job. They're already made to feel like lying cheating scum for daring to claim welfare.

Making them work - sorry compulsory 'volunteering' - in addition to trying to find a job is only going to reduce their chances of finding a good job. We already know the MWA scheme doesn't help find people find jobs. Why send the unemployed to work for companies for free, thereby suppressing wages and further reducing incentives for company to actually hire and pay people?

Very easily. When you're working full time, you already have job security, so you can apply for jobs in your spare time, and of course, you apply for fewer than if you were unemployed. You apply for fewer because a) you have less time b) you can be pickier.

How does that, or anything else you posted after it, lead you to believe that looking for a job is a full time job? confused

When you're already in employment, it doesn't have to be a full-time job, because you already have job security, and most likely you're looking for another job because you want something that is more suited or 'better paid'. When you're claiming JSA, you have the free time to apply for jobs full-time. You also don't want to be unemployed, since JSA is even enough to live on, and the govt. makes you out to be a lying, cheating scum for claiming.

This is completely disingenuous. For those of us (most people) who aren't financially independent and have very little or no savings, it's either claim JSA or starve. It isn't a 'choice' to claim JSA. You either claim, or you don't eat.

Fair enough, but that still doesn't mean that MWA equals slavery.

Call it 'unpaid forced labour' if you like. Fine, it doesn't involve whips and physical abuse, but this sort of thing belongs to the 18th Century, not the 21st.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 23:00:35

When you're already in employment, it doesn't have to be a full-time job, because you already have job security, and most likely you're looking for another job because you want something that is more suited or 'better paid'. When you're claiming JSA, you have the free time to apply for jobs full-time. You also don't want to be unemployed, since JSA is even enough to live on, and the govt. makes you out to be a lying, cheating scum for claiming.

Sorry, let me re-write that:

When you're already in employment, looking for another job doesn't have to be a full-time job, because you already have job security, and most likely you're looking for another job because you want something that is more suited or 'better paid'. When you're claiming JSA, you have the free time to apply for jobs full-time. You also don't want to be unemployed, since JSA is not even enough to live on, and the govt. makes you out to be a lying, cheating scum for claiming.

DeepRedBetty Tue 29-Jan-13 23:08:53

If any more threads like this appear I'm going to have to put Politics in the Hide from Active Convos list, like Baby Names and Style and Beauty.

OP, the 80's finished over thirty years ago, perhaps it's time you moved to join the rest of us. ATM you sound like that rather odd ranty girl that no-one wanted to be too close to in the Student Union.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 23:11:10

What does the 80s have to do with anything? Has politics ended?

Darkesteyes Tue 29-Jan-13 23:11:34

eminemmerdaleTue 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

You wont lose six weeks money if you call in sick for one day. So how you can even compare the two is beyond me.

usualsuspect Tue 29-Jan-13 23:13:52

I would have been ttsoca best mate back in the day.

Darkesteyes Tue 29-Jan-13 23:16:29
Darkesteyes Tue 29-Jan-13 23:17:32

From the same link.

A parliamentary answer from the ONS director general, Glen Watson, given in October last year, confirms that even if people were claiming jobseeker’s allowance, they could still be counted as employed.

He said: “Those participants [in government schemes] whose activity comprises any form of work, work experience, or work-related training, are classified as in employment. This is regardless of whether the individual is paid or not.”

Darkesteyes Tue 29-Jan-13 23:23:23

Lapsed Pacifist ive said this several times on MN but <sigh> it looks like i have to say it again.
Charities involvement with workfare is just as bad as businesses being involved.
E.g. the Sally Army can report someone for a sanction (which can happen if you phone in sick and its quite likely some are going to be ill as some of the ppl being forced on to workfare are on ESA) then you are sanctioned causing poverty and yet NOT MANY seem to see the fucking massive conflict of interest here.

ttosca Tue 29-Jan-13 23:24:07

Yes, that is one of the motives for putting people on MWA schemes. It makes it appear that unemployment figures are lower than they actually are.

The other motive is, of course, free labour for corporations and the effect is has on suppressing wages.

aufaniae Tue 29-Jan-13 23:28:47

Those who are arguing with the OP - why do you think this is a good idea then?

Seeing as the evidence says it won't actually help people get jobs, what's the point?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 29-Jan-13 23:54:15

Seeing as the evidence says it won't actually help people get jobs, what's the point?

See, now more discussion along those lines might convince me that work experience programmes are a bad idea.

I'd be interested to hear why it doesn't work, why are some people long term unemployed when some people find themselves out of a job but then find work again before these measures kick in.

What else should be done instead of this, especially to make those who are currently unemployable into people that employers want?

Is it really that much better to allow people to languish on JSA for months on end while doing nothing? Doesn't it at least help people who have been unemployed for 9 months or more to be in some kind of work environment?

Is anything else at all being done to ind out why some people don't get the jobs they apply for? Isn't it a good idea to have real life employers experience these people so they can tell them if or where they are going wrong and maybe offer guidance?

Why is it such a bad idea for young people who have been never been employed? Is having to work for the money you are given for four to six weeks really such a hardship, is it actually going to do any harm to that person?

How is it measured that these programmes don't lead to work? I mean, if someone does the work program and then finds employment with another company four weeks after their placement has finished, is it considered that the placement contributed to that individual getting a job, or does the program only count as working when employment is found with the same company that offered the placement?

There are lots of ways this discussion could go, but it never gets that far because ranting about slavery and such like just doesn't make for a constructive discussion.

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 00:02:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leithlurker Wed 30-Jan-13 00:02:49

I do love it when the tory party hq people are let out of their boxes to go on to the social media to try and defend the worst and most inefficient government nobody ever gave an outright mandate to.

"The economy stupid" does that ring a bel with any of those who think using unpaid labour to fill paid positions is a good thing. Osborne is a full 6 points of growth away from his target, guess that makes him some kind of fuckwit, more people under employed as only part time work available in many sectored directly because all these fantastic non paid work experience people are taking up the space and then not getting any of the bloody work.

End result people paying less tax either because they don't earn enough which then means they need subsidised by...yes the tax payers. Or as a result of the general economy falling off a cliff were paying much more in jsa in the first place, jeesus you people that want tyo pay less tax and not subsidise the feckless unemployed sure know how to fuck yourselves over. Oh well as comrade ttosca will agree with, come the revolution all your shiny things like cars and houses and fee paying schools wont help you, you will have no one to blame for fanning the fires of discontent but yourself.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 30-Jan-13 00:32:20

On the other hand, if someone has been looking for work and getting nowhere for long enough to justify being stuck on one of these workfare programmes, the chances of them missing a golden job opportunity are pretty slim. If Johnny Pole can jump on a plane and travel halfway across Europe, find a job and thrive in some of the most economically blighted communities in our country I think it's only reasonable that a kick up the arse is offered to the indigenous workshy on behalf of the British taxpayer.

Of course, I appreciate that the vast majority of those out of work aren't workshy but there is, inevitably, a hard core that choose a life on benefits and I believe that this should be firmly discouraged by whatever means possible.

Leithlurker Wed 30-Jan-13 00:51:11

Go and boil your heir as we say round these parts MrJp. Whilst we wait for the water to boil though would you care to tell us how many are these "Hard Core" 50 thousand, a hundred thousand< a million, more than that? Whilst your looking for the answer to that see if you can find me the amount in unclaimed benefits. I hear tell that is dwarfes the amount of fraud by something a magnitude of 50 to 1. Tens of billions unclaimed, that will be the lazy hard core element not getting off their backsides to fill in the forms then...waters boiling!

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 01:12:14

I think Mr Judgey Pants is guilty of a bit of inverted racism there.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 01:19:25
Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 01:22:09

From the linked article.

A large crowd in the Hope Centre are from Romania, and say they are waiting for food because collecting scrap metal and washing cars isn't enough to make ends meet. A bigger number is there because of benefit delays and cuts, or simply because they are no longer able to make their low wages stretch.

So you see Mr JudgeyPants. Life isnt a walk in the park for people who have come here from elsewhere.
I refuse to use the patronizing offensive derogatory term that you did!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 08:03:57

In a time of mass unemployment can someone tell me why they think it's a good idea for anyone to do a paid job ( for nothing) for a company?

I don't think anyone is suggesting this is a good idea. But this valid point works on the assumption that without work programmes there would be a paid job, and that the people who have been unemployed for long enough to be sent on work programs would get those jobs.

I'm not entirely sure that significantly more jobs would be available without MWA. I can see that there may be a few, but in a time when companies are making so many redundancies because of the financial climate, it's reasonable to think that all that might happen is that more pressure would be put on existing employees to get the work done.

I can see that there may have been less temp work available in retail over Christmas than there has been in the past, but that isn't just because of MWA. It's because companies are going into liquidation, because the high street is massively losing trade to the Internet, because a large number of people are spending less on Christmas because times are tight. It is not just because of MWA.

I have to say, I'm surprised Darkesteyes that as someone who clearly has strong views on this subject and who seems to want to convince others of your view, that you didn't even attempt to engage in any of the questions I posed earlier on the thread. You may think those subjects are bollocks, but unless some of those questions (and others) are answered to people that don't see the massive problem that you are seeing, opinions that disagree with yours aren't going to change.

ironman Wed 30-Jan-13 09:59:45

ttosca Please get a job, you are wasting your time ranting on here!smile

Leithlurker Wed 30-Jan-13 10:04:28

How do you know she does not have a job Ironman. People can post and work it is not mutually exclusive or should we all including you get off our arses and get a job.

Clytaemnestra Wed 30-Jan-13 10:10:03

Looking for work is not a full time job.

I got made redundant at Xmas. So am currently out of work and applying for new jobs. I'd say there are probably two suitable jobs in my salary bracket, roughly around where I live, per week. There are maybe two more "off chance" jobs to apply for just in case. I have a few different base CVs, depending on the sector, which I then modify to fit the exact job spec, plus a few cover letters which again I can tailor exactly. That takes up to 1 hour (at a real stretch, and less time the more I do as I know my cv backwards so can dredge up relevant experience for pretty much anything quickly) each. Quick touch base with recruiters once a week, another 5 minutes per recruiter. Snoop round local companies and speculative cvs sent out...maybe a couple of hours a week.

That's about a days work, all in, at a push. I'm not claiming jsa as I have other income streams and have picked up a bit of freelancing on top of that. But I cannot see how I could stretch job hunting to cover 5 days. So far this morning, I've dropped DC at nursery, checked the job boards, sent some more info over to a recruiter, watched Wanted Down Under, had coffee and breakfast and arsed about on Mumsnet. My plans for the day include cleaning the bathroom and going to the supermarket. It's not a tough working regime here and I don't see how I could stretch it to cover 5 days.

Leithlurker Wed 30-Jan-13 10:23:59

Since your not on JSA Cly then you are not forced to fill in a job hunting diary which should show to the satisfaction of the job centre staff that you are indeed spending lots of time, several hours per day looking for work, attending interviews, filling out applications, using the internet, door knocking, handing out cv's randomly. Mostly at your own expense as it is very hard to get travel costs to interviews or to hand out cv's in other parts of the town or county in which you live.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:13

Clytaemnestra imagine you are trying to do the same, except:

You don't have the internet at home so you must go to the library to use it (you cannot afford an internet cafe).

You are not terribly computer literate so you it's not an easy task for you (you also spend some time each week attending a computer skills course).

The kind of work you are applying for is low-skilled and often not advertised on the internet. It's often a case of printing out CVs (eating into your tiny food budget, incidentally) and talking them to employers. You are totally skint so you must do this on foot, rather than public transport or driving.

Your literacy levels aren't great - you have dyslexia which was not diagnosed at school (not uncommon for people in their 30s / 40s / 50s). You feel daunted by large application forms and know from experience that you don't do a good job of filling them out on your own, so you must seek help to fill them in. This takes time.

You also need to fit in other tasks such as food shopping. As you're on such a tight budget, this takes time as you need to shop around (e.g. local market, discount stickers in the supermarket) in order to be able to afford to eat properly. This takes time.

Now, how much time do you think you have for job applications? If you're working full time, how will you get on the internet, or get the help you need filling out forms?

EdgarAllanPond Wed 30-Jan-13 10:39:31

do you tlhink would have done different ttosca?

i think they planned the same thing - i vaguely remember arguinng against it on here..

this blog seems to confirm

i know there was a news story too...just can't find in fog of google

EdgarAllanPond Wed 30-Jan-13 10:39:58

i mean, do you think labour would have done different?

niceguy2 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:43:14

I suspect those who are screaming from the rooftops about how unfair it is to have to prove you are looking for work to claim JSA or do mandatory work activity are the same posters who think you should just get the benefit (which of course they will also feel is too low) without any conditions at all.

Just a self signed declaration that honest guv I'm looking for a job. Once upon a time that was the case but too many people took the piss. So over the last two decades the burden of proof has become higher & higher. It seems to me that this MWA has been brought in to try and tackle the huge numbers who simply do not have the discipline, skills or inclination to not only find a job but stick to it.

If you want someone to blame, blame the ones who are taking the mickey. Yes I agree they are in the small minority but they are adversely affecting the genuine claimants out there.

Viviennemary Wed 30-Jan-13 10:43:53

And it isn't mandatory unpaid work. People can refuse to do the work and lose their Job seekers allowance. People in work can't collect their salaries for doing nothing. And it does stop people doing cash in hand jobs whilst claiming JSA. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. But I'd rather not see private companies profiting from this. Community work or work for a charity or work for a non-profit organisation.

Giving people a choice between starving or doing a work placement is not a true choice.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 10:48:51

niceguy2 whereon earth do you get that from? Workfare is a badly thought out program, which isn't going to help people get jobs - in fact it may well harm the economy.

What job do you do? Let's say you're a computer programmer. You get made redundant. How on earth will shaking shelves at Tesco at night for 4 weeks help you at all?! All it does it take that job from someone who actually would get paid for it. It doesn't help your job prospects at all. It does however help Tesco!

"If you want someone to blame, blame the ones who are taking the mickey. Yes I agree they are in the small minority but they are adversely affecting the genuine claimants out there"

Oh we agree then? Because the way I see it, the ones taking the mickey are this government and yes, I do blame them.

tabulahrasa Wed 30-Jan-13 11:10:00

Just because it bears repeating...

It is not just JSA claimants, it's ESA claimants too. ESA is for people who are ill or disabled.

niceguy2 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:24:17

aufaniae I disagree. I think that in certain situations that Workfare can be very helpful. I don't think it's the magic solution nor do I think it's suitable for all.

So from what I read there are examples where I think the decision makers made a decision I personally would not have made. The example which sticks in my mind is the lady who was volunteering elsewhere but made to stack shelves in poundland. But that said we haven't got all the facts.

I do not agree that just because you have someone on workfare that it takes away the job from someone else. Using that logic we should have any trainees/apprentices or even bother with work experience.

And with regards to your computer programmer analogy, that is an extreme example which I suspect is hypothetical. The reality is that nowadays if you cannot get a new job as a computer programmer then you need to consider another profession. Gone are the days where the state would just give you money and leave you alone in the vain hope you will be employed at some point as a computer programmer again.

So if I was a computer programmer and I couldn't find a job doing anything else. Then after say a year (for example) then I should consider something else....anything else. And if stacking shelves for Tesco means I stand a better chance at getting a job at Tesco then bring it on.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 11:35:11

niceguy2 you obviously have no real experience of the job centre! The computer programmer example is far from extreme.

In RL, a friend of mine, a qualified teacher with two post-grad qualifications was advised to go on a literacy course by the job centre. She's qualified to teach a literacy course!

She really wanted to suggest that the Job Centre employee might like to go on a literacy course themselves as they were obviously having trouble reading her CV!

Luckily it was only a suggestion, but now idiots such as that one will be able to force her to stack shelves or starve. That's not going to help one bit.

niceguy2 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:38:38

OK....so let me ask this. If your teacher friend cannot find another job as a teacher or a related field.

How long do you feel the state should continue paying jobseekers for before expecting her to look at other unrelated jobs?

And just because she is a qualified teacher, does this mean now that she is too good to stack shelves and should never have to consider such a menial position?

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 11:39:29

"I do not agree that just because you have someone on workfare that it takes away the job from someone else. "

Of course it does. There was plenty of evidence this Christmas that stores that usually took on temps were using Work Fare instead.

" Using that logic we should have any trainees/apprentices or even bother with work experience."

Training schemes, apprentices and work experience are all designed to support people into getting work. (The word "training" might be a clue!)

Work Fare AFAIK is simply a number of weeks doing an unskilled job. It doesn't have to have any component which is designed to give the participants new skills or lead to permanent employment. It's simply forced labour.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 11:47:03

niceguy2 my teacher friend is a good and dedicated teacher. Yes she is considering alternatives, of course, but it would be a great shame if the profession loses people like her.

No, she's not "too good" to stack shelves, but it isn't a job appropriate to her skills. If I were Tesco I wouldn't want to employ her to stack shelves as I know she'll be off at the first opportunity of a job which uses her skills appropriately. She's massively overqualified.

There are 100s of applicants going for every job, even stacking shelves. It makes more sense for everyone if the person stacking shelves wants to be there and intends to stick at the job!

Do you really want teachers stacking shelves? What a waste of talent!

niceguy2 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:54:57

I'd rather a qualified teacher was stacking shelves than unemployed. That to me would be an even bigger waste of talents.

Tesco would be unlikely to employ a teacher.

People do get turned down for jobs for being overqualified.

Clytaemnestra Wed 30-Jan-13 12:22:29

Do you get a reference from your employer after you do the work programme? I would see that as a massive plus to it. In a previous role, I used to work with a warehouse manager who recruited pickers for the warehouses. Got a lot of job apps for each role. Once he'd discounted the people who clearly didn't even want the job but were applying because the job center told them to, he still had a stack, including a lot of long term unemployed, some of whom had heartbreaking cover letters. If you had someone who had been a picker previously or someone who had been unemployed for years, he would have taken the one with the experience as the long term unemployed candidate was an unknown quantity, old references and no guarantee they are actually ready for work. But if you had done work recently, had a reference from Tesco or wherever then it would have given you more of a chance. And while the administration of the scheme might have been awful, I agree with the principle of why the scheme can be a good thing.

I also am in total agreement that the job centre is a disaster, and frankly they would be better off investing in sorting that out, so it is a proper resource and help to getting people into work, with real cv help and personal service, not the disastrous box ticking jobsworth enterprise it is now. Your teacher friend shouldn't have been recommended a literary course, that is clearly ridiculous. Are there other courses she could have done that would have made her more employable though?

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 14:03:30

How about proper paid apprentiships Clouds.
Its all very well to say that i havent answered your questions but when you use phrases like "languish on jsa" its obvious to me that you have already made up your mind.
Oh and i was on workfare under New Labour. And it led to a job alright. In a sex chatline office.
After doing 3 months on workfare at my local council they wanted me to do three months at a soup factory for my JSA. So i took the chatline job that i saw in the paper.
So the husbands of lots of middle class Tory voters who think like you were ringing me for naughty chat.
Im soooo sure that they didnt mind their husbands phoning me and the other girls though.
After all it was keeping us off JSA!!!!!!!

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 14:04:44

Cly there are thousands of people on these work placements ALL WITH THE SAME REFERENCE.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 14:46:35

Apprenticeships are a brilliant thing, and there should be more of them available. I'm not sure that they are an alternative to MWA though, otherwise loads of school leavers wood choose to sit around on JSA waiting for their automatic turn at a paid apprenticeship to come up.

And an apprenticeship is training, I can't see why you think it should attract NMW. My DH took and apprenticeship when he left school, and it was the perfect kickstart to his adult life, but he spent a hell of a lot of time making tea and holding screwdrivers. He also got a lot of training, and most people have to actually pay for training. But because he made tea and was a general dogsbody, he got paid a pittance. Probably not more than todays equivalent of JSA, it certainly wasn't enough to live on. Do you think someone who has been unemployed for months should get for free, and actually be paid, for what others have to pay for themselves?

I'm afraid I don't see the problem with working for a sex chat line, but then I'm a volunteer for a charity that has a help line and sex calls are par for the course. Not that hard to deal with, and I wouldn't mind being paid for it if I didn't have another job. I'd have done it long before my unemployment had led me to the stage where I was going to be put on a work program.

Clytaemnestra Wed 30-Jan-13 15:40:48

I'm fascinated by the idea of a Tory voter sex chat line. I imagine it would involve a lot of spanking somehow. And the odd desperate lib Dem who had no other outlet for getting off so pretended as hard as he could.

Clytaemnestra Wed 30-Jan-13 15:48:43

And you've kind of proved a point that there was work that you could do out there, but you didn't want to do it. Until you had to do other work you didn't like, so you went out and got a paying job and came off JSA. Isn't that a good thing?

I did tarot phone lines at university for a while. If you can get them to forward through to your home phone rather than working out of an office I found it pretty cushy.

nailak Wed 30-Jan-13 16:14:27

*"It is not feasible to work most of your day and then expect people to be efficient in finding jobs, in between eating, cleaning, showering, and other normal activities which people do after a day at work

Really? I'll let all the people I know who do a huge amount of voluntary work on top of their paid jobs that what they are doing isn't feasible then shall I? I'll also pass it on to anyone who works two jobs, or who has children to look after, or who has indeed looked for a job while working full time then right?"*

People on JSA are supposed to be actively seeking work and available for work, therefore they cannot do volunteer work, study, or job placements in relevant fields. If they are working in tescos they are not available for work.

nailak Wed 30-Jan-13 16:23:01

are we no longer in the days where people looking for work are advised to go to the places, hand out cvs directly to managers, go to recruitment agencies etc? If I was doing workfare for Tescos and recruitment agency called me for that typing test or interview or something, then what would happen? normally they call on the same day ime, or the day before, so i would be at work unable to answer my phone and it would loose me the opportunity?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 16:50:34

Plenty of volunteer work can be done around a full time job. I know loads of people that manage it. It is very possible to be available for work while volunteering. There are countless volunteering opportunities, at all different times of the day and of the week.

It is complete bollocks to say that people on JSA are supposed to be actively seeking work and therefore cannot work or study. If people honestly believe that type of crap, then that is exactly why work experience programs are needed.

Clytaemnestra grin @ Tory voter sex chat line!

nailak Wed 30-Jan-13 17:00:17

it is not bollocks because it happened to my husband.

They said I can study, but he couldn't, as he wouldnt be available for employment, he had to do workplacement, so he went and found his own workplacement, and they said sorry you cannot do that workplacement, you have to do one of ours.

If it is bollocks then someone needs to tell the job centre staff that, as they dont seem to know.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 17:02:31

"It is very possible to be available for work while volunteering. There are countless volunteering opportunities, at all different times of the day and of the week."

Yes but you don't get to choose your own hours to suit you here.

You will be told, you are stacking shelves as Tesco on night shift (or whatever), these are your hours, get on with it.

Viviennemary Wed 30-Jan-13 17:09:53

Giving people a choice between starving or doing a work placement is not a true choice.

Perhaps. But I had a job I hated for years. Was it a true choice that I worked there. Not really. But I needed the money. So I stuck it. I don't think people should have the choice not to work if they are able to and still collect benefits.

nailak Wed 30-Jan-13 17:11:46

yeah so let them work and pay them wages innit?

Most benefit claimants dont choose not to work Vivienne. There are very few jobs that would actually pay the bills. People have to put their families first.

Making work pay should be about paying a living wage and creating jobs. Not cutting benefits or forcing people in to workfare.

And if there are jobs to be done the government should be encouraging employers to employ. Not paying them to take on free labour. Its undermining the NMW and its stopping job creation in its tracks.

Viviennemary Wed 30-Jan-13 17:22:27

That is all very well but the reality has to be faced. At the moment there are not enough jobs. I know people who haven't been able to get jobs. And young people out of university who have taken jobs in shops and so on. Labour didn't have the anwer.

And what exactly is job creation in any case. There is no such thing. I think there is nothing wrong with work experience or workfare call it what you will. And people in work look for new jobs while they are in work. Having a job doesn't stop you looking for a job. I agree times are tough. Very few jobs that will actually pay the bills. You are right there. Which is the reason why people can't buy houses, can't leave home and be independent. But the answer isn't more and more benefits.

No one is asking for more benefits hmm they are simply asking for the system they paid into to do what its supposed to until they find another job.

If there arent enough jobs, thats an issue for the government to address, not Joe Bloggs on the street. And not by forcing people to work for nothing. Joe Bloggs signs the JSA agreement and looks for a job, thats where it stops.

Believe me, no one enjoys a life on benefits. There is a very small number of people who might choose it, but why punish the masses for a few idiots? Most people want to get off it asap. Forcing them into workfare is just insulting.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 17:36:26

They said I can study, but he couldn't, as he wouldnt be available for employment, he had to do workplacement, so he went and found his own workplacement, and they said sorry you cannot do that workplacement, you have to do one of ours.

Open university courses can be done anytime. Like after you've done your days work of job hunting.

Yes but you don't get to choose your own hours to suit you here.

Thankfully, in many voluntary jobs, you do. I might have one available if anyone wants it. Do it at midnight or three in the afternoon if you want. It would look great on a CV.

Or you could pay someone a fair price Clouds.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 18:18:11

What, from a small charity that has no employees and only exists because of volunteers?

Yeah, ok then. hmm

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 18:49:10

CloudsAndTrees, and is that job offered through the WorkFare scheme? If not then how is it relevant to this discussion?

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 18:54:02

I think what some of the supporters fo WorkFare are possibly misunderstanding is that people criticising WorkFare aren't saying we're against the idea of work experience or training schemes for the unemployed.

Real work experience or training periods which are appropriate, well managed and increase the possibility of a real job are a great idea.

Workfare is none of these. It's badly thought out and implemented. It benefits big business but may harm the economy, and isn't delivering on the promise of lowering unemployment in real terms (although it does make the figures look better).

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 18:57:37

Here are some examples of what Work Fare's like.

“I worked in admin since leaving college. It’s all I’ve ever done and to be honest, it’s what I’m good at, it’s all I want to do. I lost my job at an estate agents in the recession and had to go on Jobseekers. I was asked what jobs I was looking for and I told them admin, secretarial and personal assistant work. What I’m qualified and experienced in. They sent me to work for a supermarket for four weeks. I had no choice or I’d lose my money. I finished it last week and was told there was no job at the end as I didn’t have enough “retail experience”. What was the fucking point of that? ”

*

"There was a lad who was a single dad. He had two beautiful kids both at school. He was desperate to work and had worked for the same supermarket company before his wife left him and the kids. He thought that the work experience would be a way to get back into work with the company now the kids were back at school…They put him on shifts outside of school hours and he didn’t have anyone to look after the kids. When he tried to talk to the shift manager about it, he was told he had to work the hours they said or they’d report him for non-compliance and he’d lose all his benefits and his house."

*

"“I was told that I was still expected to look for work during my full time placement. The placement gaffer wouldn’t let me go offsite during my lunch hour to look for work. He was a right hard bastard, task master type. When I complained about the placement he told me to shut up, that I was paid a reasonable wage and he tried to add up all the benefits I was getting to prove it. Thing is I don’t get Housing Benefit as I bought my house just before I my company went bust. He said this justified my £65 working a 30 hour week. I had repayment insurance but it ran out after a year, so now I’m living in hope of finding a job or a rich wife. Then the bru started to hammer me with all these interviews and threats. I apply for at least 10 jobs a week, including minimum wage jobs. I’m no proud. I paid tax all my life and I’m getting nothing but aggro in return and now I might lose my house too. These are very dark times”

*

“I was given a fancy title but all it meant was running around with a mop clearing up spilled jam, alcohol and urine. I was told by other regular staff, these jobs were for ‘retards’. My brother has Downs and I wouldn’t let him work with these people. They were rude, bullying, condescending and in the majority. Having a first class degree in Marketing I thought this would be a chance to get my foot in the door and I was excited at the prospect of working with such a large company. On day 1 I took my CV by day 3 it was still on the staff room table for anyone to look at. I was told I’d have to apply for vacancies online like everyone else and that I’d get no special treatment because of my placement.”

From this page

The response would be reasonable if the government were actually using workfare (or whatever they call it, it's just semantics) to get the able-bodied unemployed to contribute to their community for a few hours a week. But the government is sending the jobless to work in businesses for free, as slave labour. There is no way that a profit-earning company should be provided free labour by the government. What incentive have they to employ people when they can get free workers? There are countless stories of people being turned down for jobs in Tesco or ASDA, only to be sent there on workfare.

The idea is fine, the execution is badly flawed and the response to the petition is patronising BS that assumes we don't have any clue what kind of jobs people are being sent to do.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 19:03:37

Please tell me, who's benefitting most from the examples above - the worker or the employer?

Seems pretty clear cut to me.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 19:33:09

From your examples, there is potential for both to be benefiting.

In response to each of them

1) JSA isn't there to support you getting the type of job you would like the most. A job is a job, I don't think people can pick and choose in this climate.

2) Being able to work only in school hours isn't actually being available to work a full time job, which is a condition of JSA. I can appreciate it would be hard to find temporary childcare though.

3) You don't need a lunch hour to look for work. Apply for jobs online or put your cv into addressed envelopes when you get home at night.

4) what's wrong with having to apply for jobs the same way as everyone else just because you are given a work placement?! I really don't see the problem with this one. At least that person might have more chance of being given an interview if the employers already knew the worker.

And the voluntary job I referred to is relevant because it was a direct response to posters who are determined to remain convinced that you can't possibly do voluntary work on top of job hunting which they are being ridiculous enough to call a full time job. Which just isn't true.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:21:23

Clouds please show me where in my post i said i didnt like it at the sex chatline office. I made many friends there and had a weekend in York three years ago to watch one of my ex colleauges get married.

My chatline job involved working nights. During the day while i was sleeping at home (yes George Osborne somtimes curtains are closed during the day for a reason) those bastards from the workfare providers (Reed/Pelcombe) came to the office and made a nuisance of themselves trying to lose me the job. My boss saw through it and told them to fuck off.
Why? Because Reed and their ilk got paid for everyone they sent on workfare. They thought they had a long term mug in me. Which is why they didnt bother being too careful with my paperwork.
On the day i went to sighn off it took them TWO HOURS to complete the sign off. Conning bastards.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:24:13

ClytaemnestraWed 30-Jan-13 15:48:43

And you've kind of proved a point that there was work that you could do out there, but you didn't want to do it. Until you had to do other work you didn't like, so you went out and got a paying job and came off JSA. Isn't that a good thing?

The chatline job just happened to be in the paper at that time.
I WAS APPLYING FOR MANY OTHER JOBS BUT NO ONE ELSE WAS OFFERING ME PAID WORK.

SOME OF THOSE SAME PLACES WERE HAPPY TO OFFER ME THREE MONTHS OF UNPAID WORK THOUGH.

Sorry does the fact that they are being paid, getting benefits, negate the old 'working for free' argument?

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:28:24

CloudsAndTreesWed 30-Jan-13 16:50:34

Plenty of volunteer work can be done around a full time job. I know loads of people that manage it. It is very possible to be available for work while volunteering. There are countless volunteering opportunities, at all different times of the day and of the week.

It is complete bollocks to say that people on JSA are supposed to be actively seeking work and therefore cannot work or study. If people honestly believe that type of crap, then that is exactly why work experience programs are needed.

OMG no one can be this stupid surely. You know damn fucking well you are talking crap. Google Cait Reilly who was ALREADY volunteering at a museum while on JSA and told to stop it and "volunteer" at Poundland instead.
This case has been featured on the news which proves you are posting to be deliberately inflammatory.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:32:53

Tescos: “Why would we pay you when we can pick up the phone and get more unemployed people who have to work for free?”

The following account was posted in the comments section of the Guardian website:
I personally know a fifty-six year old man who worked at Tesco for 40 hrs a week for 6 weeks for no pay. He said he was given the worst job, constantly filling freezers in the hope he would be taken on. After the 6 weeks were up the manager asked him if he would like to stay on for some extra weeks, my friend asked “with pay”? The manager said why would he pay him when he can pick the phone up and get more unemployed people who have to work for nothing of face sanctions meaning loss of ALL benefits for up to three years!

My friend wasn’t alone, he was part of twelve extra staff taken on to cover the xmas rush, no one was given a job at the end of the xmas period.

He told me they had all worked really hard and were gutted they were abused in such a way. The worst was one day he had to throw out lots of food one day over the use by date. He asked the manager if he could take some home as he was having to eat more due to being active all day. The manager refused saying if he gave him free food he wouldn’t come through the front door and buy it!

I swear I will never shop at Tesco ever again.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:34:21

Boycott Workfare has consistently pointed out that if people are placed in mandated unpaid work on threat of losing even the tiny income of £53/week benefits, they are in a position where they can easily be exploited. This account from a young person in mandatory “work experience” at Asda shows that companies are quick to take advantage of this situation. Workfare workers were forced to work Christmas eve and New Year’s eve while paid workers were sent home:

I’m one of the DWP work experience lot at Asda. The store has been sending home paid workers early and using workfare workers. The store has somewhere between 10 and 15 people on DWP work experience. Not long after my group started work paid staff started mentioning people being sent home early while work experience people were kept in (and a second group of five or six work experience people was actually taken on a couple of weeks ago). At the same time everyone from the managers and team leaders down were talking about large overspends on stock. All of the work experience people that I know personally are working christmas eve and new year’s eve and while I’m not exactly in a position to know exactly what the rosters are for those days it seems pretty unlikely that they’re going to have normal levels of paid staff working on extra pay when they apparently can’t afford to pay them all normal wages in the course of a regular week.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 30-Jan-13 20:35:53

A company I work with took on a Workfare person.
We knew what we wanted. We knew they would leave us for a paid job.
The DROSS we got sent, let alone the fact that 7 out of 11 did not even turn up for the interview (with the DWP paying their travel) was shocking.
At the fourth round we got a really good girl who is now in paid employment through us.
Unfortunately NEVER again.

But I utterly disagree with companies like Tesco being allowed to get their Christmas extra staff for free.
Or workfare people being used as Marshalls at the Diamond Jubilee parade.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:36:36

The store has been sending home paid workers early and using workfare workers

And when the stores involved do this how the fuck are the workers working there on low wages and tax credits supposed to get the extra hours to cover the changes to tax credits that are coming!!!!!!!!!

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 20:39:40

CloudsAndTrees I'm afraid you've not answered my question.

I asked you who you thought was benefiting most from workfare in those examples.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 20:49:21

*OMG no one can be this stupid surely. You know damn fucking well you are talking crap. Google Cait Reilly who was ALREADY volunteering at a museum while on JSA and told to stop it and "volunteer" at Poundland instead.
This case has been featured on the news which proves you are posting to be deliberately inflammatory.*

Talking crap, stupid, and being deliberately inflammatory? Really?

Just because one voluntary position that was featured on the news wasn't suitable for doing in conjunction with with JSA, that means that there are no voluntary jobs that can be done in your chosen hours?

I think it's you that's talking crap. I'm wondering if you really are that stupid if you think that every voluntary job that exists can only be done in certain hours. Because whether you have the sense to see it or not, there are plenty of voluntary positions that can be done in hours that suit. I have two of them, I should know!

Aufaniae, in some cases, obviously the company will benefit most. In others, it will be the benefit claimant. Each case, and more to the point, each candidate, is different.

eminemmerdale Wed 30-Jan-13 20:55:00

I manage a volunteer centre and we are refusing to see people who phone up and say 'the job centre says I've got to volunteer' got to volunteer really doesn't make sense !
Oh but clouds is right, you can get voluntary work any time of the day, night, month, year, week. Whenever and pretty much whatever you want - that's our USP.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 21:06:07
CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 21:11:25

Read your link, don't see your point.

The job centre has nothing to do with volunteer work when volunteers actually want to volunteer. They can just go straight to the charities they are interested in.

eminemmerdale Wed 30-Jan-13 21:20:32

People who actually want to volunteer can come to volunteer centres where they are interviewed and directed to organisations who have registered with us who want volunteers. It's called brokerage. JCP people who send us 'volunteers' are simply trying it on. If they want us to help them get people into volunteering they need to do it properly and pay us for placing people (in return for us doing a ton of paperwork for them!) We refuse to co-operate with such schemes as it is against everything volunteering is about. I have had calls from such 'providers' in the past two years trying this on and getting quite nasty when i've refused. Volunteering England did a big paper about it all. I'll see if I can link to it.

eminemmerdale Wed 30-Jan-13 21:23:24
CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 21:30:32

Emimemmerdale (brilliant name!) I know nothing about volunteer centres. Going to have a google now but anything you can tell me about registering a charity would be much appreciated. Is it expensive for the charity?

eminemmerdale Wed 30-Jan-13 21:33:43

No it's free. Contact your local vc and get a registration form and there you go! The opps will go onto do it and interested vols will apply. Peasy.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 21:39:16

Thanks! I just found our local one, and it is indeed free! I will be getting in touch, thank you! smile

eminemmerdale Wed 30-Jan-13 21:41:02

Glad to be of service grin

So you are comfortable with reporting someone for non compliance and causing them to lose their money Clouds?

Hardly very charitable.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 21:51:18

CloudsAndTrees the point you are missing is that the way this scheme is set up, it will overall be of great benefit to employers, and none if any to the workforce.

It's a massive wasted opportunity (to make the job centre useful in supporting people who are looking for work!) and will cause a lot of unnecessary suffering (e.g. people not having enough money to eat, the bottom line).

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 22:14:05

So you are comfortable with reporting someone for non compliance and causing them to lose their money Clouds?

Huh? confused

aufaniae I can well believe that there are flaws to any scheme set up by government and that the way these things are implemented don't always make a lot of sense. But I do agree with the principle of it, and as the thread was started about the response to the petition, I had to say I didn't think it was bad.

If people genuinely don't have enough to eat because they are put on these schemes, then obviously I'm not going to agree with that, but the benefits won't be stopped if people do what is asked of them. I think it's right that there are conditions attached to receiving benefits, we can't just give out free money for nothing. And I agree that the job centre could do a much better job of supporting people, but I don't know anyone that has ever needed the job centre to get a job. They do it on their own, and the only unemployed people I know are unemployed through choice.

Long term unemployed (and I mean from before lack of jobs was a problem) often need more support than is offered.

There isnt a clean cut line between the capable and the disabled. There are people who do not qualify for ESA or extra support, but are still not capable of holding down a job or a placement.

Its this category that I assume are most often accused of being idle. Are they deserving of having their benefits cut?

It is a safety net. There are already conditions attached to benefits. Workfare is a step too far. And forcing someone to volunteer stops it from being voluntary. Personally, I would not wish to be associated with any charitable organisation which thought that was ok.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 22:25:56

Right, so what was your last comment about me being comfortable with reporting people and causing them to lose money all about? Still confused

Because if they dont show up and you report them they will be sanctioned. Zero money for two weeks or whatever. So how do they eat? Pay the bills?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 22:37:41

Err, no.

I responded to a poster who said she works for a volunteer centre that refuse to work with these types of schemes because it goes against what volunteering is all about. Which I agree with.

I have no desire to work with volunteers that don't want to be there, and I certainly wouldn't want people that don't want to be there coming into contact with service users that I have a responsibility for.

If you are going to have a dig at me, please at least try to follow my posts and those I was responding to properly. hmm

andubelievedthat Wed 30-Jan-13 22:51:26

And of course if you get your benefits stopped ,any housing benefit automatically stops too, and lordy me ,does that take months to get back on track,if at all !.the cuts that are coming this year are MASSIVE> so, lots of redundancy lots of replacement of said people with workfare, lots of benefits for redundant people,just so Diamond Dave can please? the easily pleased (squeezed) strivers.curtains drawn at 9a.m.?bring back means testing ,make em sell those curtains,that will teach them , expecting a handout !

ssd Wed 30-Jan-13 22:57:23

signed the petition and would urge you all to do the same

ssd Wed 30-Jan-13 22:59:57

one of the comments to the op earlier

"OP, the 80's finished over thirty years ago, perhaps it's time you moved to join the rest of us. ATM you sound like that rather odd ranty girl that no-one wanted to be too close to in the Student Union."

wow, patronising in the extreme....and many more like it hmm

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 23:23:45

Not to mention the maths is wrong. The 80s finished just over 23 years ago. 24 yrs ago we were in early 1989.

kimorama Fri 01-Feb-13 12:33:41

Very passionate debate, over a very important subject.

Darkesteyes Mon 04-Feb-13 17:39:29

Jobcentre pressures employers to turn paid vacancies into workfare.

www.montrosereview.co.uk/news/local-headlines/jobcentre-pressure-on-employers-1-2726630

Abitwobblynow Wed 06-Feb-13 05:41:44

It is time left wing Labour voters got their heads OUT of their arses. Who do you people really think you are? Nobody is entitled to sit and get paid for nothing, AND THEY NEVER WERE. It is a profound, human nature-distorting wrongness!

I have been unemployed, homeless and if it wasn't for the kindness of friends I would have been looking at Westminster Bridge.

Being unemployed feels horrible. You sit on your own, getting more isolated and depressed and feeling worthless. The inertia and lowering self confidence

It is MUCH BETTER to be doing something - anything, to get a sense of purpose. It is MUCH BETTER to be interacting with people, than watching Trisha on daytime TV (that dates me). Any day.

This is the right move. The universe rewards ACTION. Things comes out of other things. In the US despite the predictable screaming of lefties, workfare recipients report being much happier and fulfilled - and prefer jobs to welfare anytime.

You lefties can talk about ideology, about 'fairness' and 'what should' happen. I will talk about human nature.
And before you tell me what an evil human being I am (you couldn't get me on racism, ha ha ha!) let me tell you that I volunteer with troubled youth. And do you know what their two main problems are?

1. Lack of discipline
2. Lack of confidence

The two things that being in the workplace solves.

Abitwobblynow Wed 06-Feb-13 05:44:31

I have warned you about this before, and will repeat this inescapable reality again:

Western society CANNOT AFFORD welfare payments which carry 40% of the unproductive population. China, India, Africa, anyone? We are sclerotic.

It was always a stupid idea. Always.

Viviennemary Wed 06-Feb-13 11:15:39

I don't agree with places like Tesco's getting free labour. I expect there will be quite a row about this in future and maybe even compensation for the people involved. I don't think it is reasonable for a private company with shareholders to benefit from free labour. But I think it's fine for charities.

But I agree with the point that the country simply cannot sustain the welfare and benefits it is paying out.

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 11:43:39

"But I agree with the point that the country simply cannot sustain the welfare and benefits it is paying out."

Why aren't the government doing something about this then?

The policies they are bringing in will bring down benefits in the short term by simply by making people poorer. But hey will cost us more int he long-term as this will have knock on effects elsewhere. Thousands (including families and disabled people) will be made homeless when the effects of all the benefit cuts and sanctions take hold. This will cost more to society (directly through having to house homeless people in emergency accommodation, which is very expensive, and also indirectly such as through the well-documented health problems which are associated with living in insecure accommodation or being homeless).

One of the main reasons the housing benefit bill is so high is that private rents are so high. Something should be done about this (other than making people homeless!)

A program of building council housing for example would be a step in the right direction. It would drive down rents (not just for council housing, but in the private sector too - simple supply and demand). It would also create jobs, and, properly managed it would be an investment to the tax payer, not a cost at all! It would benefit everyone (except the landlords).

Creating jobs and getting the economy going would help lessen the welfare bill also. More people in jobs will of course lessen the bill, and raise tax. However the governments' policies aimed at "incentivising" people into work by threatening to make them destitute if they don't comply with Job Centre demands, simply isn;t going to work if there aren't the jobs to go into.

Are the government doing anything about job creation? No. In fact many of their plans (e.g. Mandatory Work Activity) will actually make jobs more scarce and work to drive down pay and conditions.

If they were serious about providing work experience which benefitted people then there would be some effort to provide work placements which had some kind of on-job training, or to match an individual's skills to jobs, or to not send people mopping floors when they're professionally qualified to nurse, or teach, or build houses or whatever. Or they would recognise voluntary work which people found for themselves. But none of these apply. Workfare is only meant to get people into the "habit" of getting to work. For those of us who have no problem with getting to work, the problem is finding a paid job, it's an absolute insult and waste of time.

Workfare is there to benefit big business while persecuting the poor (that is what this government is all about), make no mistake about it.

niceguy2 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:43:55

I think most rational people understand that we cannot sustain the current welfare bill. Only the usual lefty fools still think taxing the rich will solve everything like some magic wand.

But the reality is that the vast majority of our welfare bill is being spent on pensioners. So whilst it is still important to crack down on unnecessary spending and encourage people back to work. If we are serious about tackling our deficit then this can only be done by making changes to the way we care for our elderly.

And right now this government has done nothing. To be fair, all three main parties are scared shitless of the grey vote since they are very well organised, vocal and combined have the ability to make/break governments.

I nodded my head to a lot of what this article discusses: Young people have never had it so bad

Especially this sentence: If you think about the baby boom generation they lived through peace and unparalleled prosperity. You'd struggle to explain why that generation should be able to leave huge debts to the next generation.

It really saddens me that we (and our parents) have run up massive debts and leaving our kids to repay them. Whilst at the same time expecting them to care for us too. Especially when many baby boomers have final salary pensions which our kids will never ever see.

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 12:02:32

"It is MUCH BETTER to be doing something - anything, to get a sense of purpose. It is MUCH BETTER to be interacting with people, than watching Trisha on daytime TV (that dates me). Any day."

Abitwobbly now, what makes you think I was doing that last time I was unemployed? I didn't spend any time on my arse watching daytime telly, how fucking insulting. I spent my time searching for work and looking after DS. I didn't spend any time lazing about. How would stacking shelves at night on workfare have helped me? It wouldn't, it would have just got in the way of my job search.

Workfare isn't just going to apply to young, "undisciplined" kids with no work ethic. They are going to send all sorts of people on MWA, people who have professional qualifications / years of experience / a strong work ethic etc. It's not set up to be beneficial or provide training to the individual, it's beneficial to big business.

Why should experienced people like me be treated like this, especially when they have lost their jobs because we are in a recession ?!

The Tories were warned that their course of action would drive us further into recession. They didn't listen and here we are in a triple dip recession, the worst for decades. They are doing nothing about job creation as far as I can tell. Things are going to get a lot worse for everyone (except the very rich).

Viviennemary Wed 06-Feb-13 12:24:18

But labour had thirteen years to build council houses and sort out this problem. But they didn't. They gave ever increasing subsidies to private landlords and priced lots of people who wanted to rent out of the market in those areas.

I did vote Labour last time but won't be doing again. Labour did hardly anything for young unemployed people. Apprenticeships were nigh on impossible to get during their stay in power. So I don't agree with Labour doing a better job. They had their chance and left the country practically bankrupt with their ill-thought out policies.

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 12:41:24

Vivienne, I agree that Labour didn't take the chance to sort out housing when they could and should have.

However the Tories are systematically destroying the welfare state. We are in for very dark times if we don't vote them out next time IMO. sad

The country is in financial dire strait because of a global recession. The key is on the name (Gordon Brown did not cause a global recession!).

We could be on our way to recovery if we had people in charge who knew a thing or two about economics. However we're now in a triple dip recession you can't blame Labour for that!

"They gave ever increasing subsidies to private landlords and priced lots of people who wanted to rent out of the market in those areas."

Yes, and the Tories are going to follow that by driving thousands (including families and the disabled) into poverty and homelessness.

I'm not an ardent Labour supporter by any means. But they were much, much less damaging that this lot. At least they were trying to make things better for ordinary working people, even if they didn't get it all right. This lot could not give two stuffs about the living or working conditions of ordinary people (even children and the disabled).

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 13:53:09

> They had their chance and left the country practically bankrupt with their ill-thought out policies.

Um, no they didn't.

Abitwobblynow Wed 06-Feb-13 14:00:59

However the Tories are systematically destroying the welfare state.

This is the bit you are not getting. If Labour had got in, they would be doing the same - harder.

We cannot afford to have the welfare state. Do you get this? We CANNOT AFFORD IT.

And the way it should have been reformed - that opportunity (using oil revenues) was lost under Thatcher in the 80s. She was surprisingly soft.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 14:01:01

Abit-

You need to get a grip and put down that copy of the Daily Mail.

> It is time left wing Labour voters got their heads OUT of their arses. Who do you people really think you are? Nobody is entitled to sit and get paid for nothing, AND THEY NEVER WERE. It is a profound, human nature-distorting wrongness!

This has nothing to do with voting Labour. And what kind of a question is: "Who do you people think you are?"

> Nobody is entitled to sit and get paid for nothing,

It's called social security. Firstly, people contribute (pay in) when they are employed and then claim when they are unemployed. Sure, some people claim more than they have contributed, but that's what social security is about.

You might as well say we should abolish the NHS, because 'NOBODY IS ENTITLED TO GET HEALTHCARE FOR NOTHING!!!'.

There are not huge numbers of 'feckless' unemployed who live their lives on welfare benefits. If you think there are, please show the official numbers of people who are claiming long-term.

> Western society CANNOT AFFORD welfare payments which carry 40% of the unproductive population. China, India, Africa, anyone? We are sclerotic.

lol. Sorry, 40% 'unproductive' population? Could you elaborate on that figure, please?

Abitwobblynow Wed 06-Feb-13 14:02:36

40% 'unproductive' population?

The underclass, and state paper shufflers (excluding the judiciary police and army). Tax munching people who do not produce or create anything.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 14:04:38

Abit-

> However the Tories are systematically destroying the welfare state.

> This is the bit you are not getting. If Labour had got in, they would be doing the same - harder.

Unlikely, but irrelevant. It's wrong no matter who does it.

> We cannot afford to have the welfare state. Do you get this? We CANNOT AFFORD IT.

This isn't even a coherent statement. If you think having welfare is expensive, you should see what happens when you have no welfare. You won't have an environment conducive to business with riots in the streets, poor people robbing and stealing to survive, hundreds of thousands of homeless people, etc. etc.

> And the way it should have been reformed - that opportunity (using oil revenues) was lost under Thatcher in the 80s. She was surprisingly soft.

Ah yes, I see where you're coming from now. Thatcher was 'soft'. OK, Ms Trolly pants.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 14:05:34

Here's a little diagram showing the relative costs of Welfare vs. Tax evasion/avoidance:

tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2116ulg&s=6

Abitwobblynow Wed 06-Feb-13 14:08:19

'It's wrong no matter who does it.

No, it isn't'. That is your ideology talking, espousing a belief as an innate truth.

I personally believe the welfare state to be an instrument of great evil. It is the biggest subsidiser of child abuse, it rewards bad behaviour and it undermines communities.
Go back to Beveridge's original intentions for the welfare state. It has morphed out of all proportion and needs destroying.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 14:09:13

> The underclass, and state paper shufflers (excluding the judiciary police and army). Tax munching people who do not produce or create anything.

lol! I would like to see what would happen if this 40% underclass stopped working for a day.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 14:10:05

> 'It's wrong no matter who does it.

> No, it isn't'. That is your ideology talking, espousing a belief as an innate truth.

> I personally believe the welfare state to be an instrument of great evil.

Classic. smile

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 15:12:34

That's a great pic ttosca, thanks for that (have FBed!)

niceguy2 Wed 06-Feb-13 15:14:55

Tax avoidance is legal. Tax evasion is not. By lumping the two together you are distorting the truth.

If I put £5k into an ISA you could argue I am employing a tax avoidance vehicle. Does that make me an evil tax dodger or exercising prudent sensible family finances?

Darkesteyes Wed 06-Feb-13 16:55:23

Abitwobbly said....

This is the right move. The universe rewards ACTION. Things comes out of other things. In the US despite the predictable screaming of lefties, workfare recipients report being much happier and fulfilled - and prefer jobs to welfare anytime

Link please.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 06-Feb-13 17:08:05

That picture is ridiculous and completely misses the point. A link to a diagram with bright colours isn't automatically making a valid point.

For one thing, it has tax avoidance lumped in with tax evasion, and tax that is uncollected.

And it only talks about welfare overpayments and benefit fraud.

What about the generous benefits that are given out legally? How are they any different to tax that is avoided?

Answer - they aren't. They are both perfectly legitimate and legal under the policies we currently live by.

Tax evasion is illegal, as is benefit fraud. If you expect one to be dealt with harshly (as I do) then you should expect the same for the other. One is not morally superior to the other just because one is more likely to be committed by the rich and one isn't.

mumblechum1 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:31:12

I don't understand how looking for a job can possibly be a full time occupation. I decided to change jobs last summer and managed to fit in the form filling, interviews etc whilst working PT, running my own business and doing two afternoons a week volunteering.

I do understand why people are upset about companies like Tesco benefitting from free (to them) employees, but can also see the advantage of the long term unemployed having something on their CV rather than nothing.

So on the whole, I think it's a good thing so long as it does what it's supposed to do, ie give people some work experience for their CV, and ideally also some decent training.

mumblechum1 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:33:54

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, ttosca, but do you work?

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 17:36:06

"So on the whole, I think it's a good thing so long as it does what it's supposed to do, ie give people some work experience for their CV, and ideally also some decent training."

This might be true if there was any attempt at placing people in MWA jobs which were relevant to their career aspirations, or if training was part of the deal. But neither is true.

Decent training is not part of this scheme. It's about making people turn up to work, that's it. (people will be sent on workfare even id they have never had a problem turning up to work and have decades of experience)

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 17:44:01

"I don't understand how looking for a job can possibly be a full time occupation. I decided to change jobs last summer and managed to fit in the form filling, interviews etc whilst working PT, running my own business and doing two afternoons a week volunteering."

I don't think looking for a job is a full time occupation, but being forced to work full time for nothing will considerably undermine many people's ability to apply for work, without making them any more employable.

What if you're so skint you can't afford the Internet at home and have to go to the library to access job ads?
What if your line of work doesn't get advertised online much and you have to distribute your CV by hand (and you have to walk to do this don't have any money for bus fare because you spent your last pennies on printing CVs and making yourself look presentable)

Having a full time job would seriously get in the way!

mumblechum1 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:57:54

Fair enough, but they only have to work for a few weeks, and at the end of that, they have some experience so more of a chance of getting a proper job.

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 18:02:48

"at the end of that, they have some experience so more of a chance of getting a proper job."

But there is no requirement to make sure the placement will be something that adds to a person's CV.

Plenty of people with decent qualifications and/or years of experience will be sent on workfare where they are doing the most menial of jobs. For thousands, it will add nothing to their CVs, it will just Neva waste of their time. Many won't even add it to their CV as it'll make the CV look bad.

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 18:03:28

*be a, not Neva. Stupid phone!

aufaniae Wed 06-Feb-13 18:06:45

"but they only have to work for a few weeks"

Some workfare placements are 6 months.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 18:17:01

> Tax avoidance is legal. Tax evasion is not. By lumping the two together you are distorting the truth.

You're right. They should have been separated. It does, however, give you a rough idea of the scale of the amount of money which could potentially be collected if both tax evasion was cracked down on and legal tax loopholes were closed.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 18:23:39

Clouds-

> For one thing, it has tax avoidance lumped in with tax evasion, and tax that is uncollected.

Yes, this is true. They should have been separated. It's hard to know the true cost of tax evasion, some estimates put it in the tens of billions. The PCS puts it at £70 Billion:

www.pcs.org.uk/en/campaigns/campaign-resources/there-is-an-alternative-the-case-against-cuts-in-public-spending.cfm

> And it only talks about welfare overpayments and benefit fraud.

> What about the generous benefits that are given out legally? How are they any different to tax that is avoided?

Which 'generous' benefits? 'Generous' compared with what? Welfare in the UK isn't particularly high relative to our european neighbours.

> Tax evasion is illegal, as is benefit fraud. If you expect one to be dealt with harshly (as I do) then you should expect the same for the other. One is not morally superior to the other just because one is more likely to be committed by the rich and one isn't.

Well, if we want to tackle the deficit, purely for pragmatic reasons, tackling benefit fraud instead of tax evasion is a stupid idea, because the later dwarfs the former.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 18:26:38

> I do understand why people are upset about companies like Tesco benefitting from free (to them) employees, but can also see the advantage of the long term unemployed having something on their CV rather than nothing.

> So on the whole, I think it's a good thing so long as it does what it's supposed to do, ie give people some work experience for their CV, and ideally also some decent training.

As mentioned before, those partaking in the Mandatory Workfare Activity scheme are no more likely (in fact less) to have found work than those who haven't.

Secondly, sometimes the MWA is forced on people who have only been out of work for a short time.

Thirdly, allowing companies to have free unpaid labour suppresses wages and keeps other people out of work who might otherwise be employed.

So you'll end up with more people on the dole queue, being forced in to unpaid work...

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 18:27:18

> I hope you don't take this the wrong way, ttosca, but do you work?

Yes. Self employed.

ttosca Wed 06-Feb-13 18:32:17

YouGov research for the Trades Union Congress identifies the gulf between public understanding and reality:

Average public perception: 41% of Britain’s welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people. Reality: just 3% does.

Perception: 27% of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently. Reality (according to the Government): 0.7%.

Perception: an unemployed couple with two school-age children receive £147 a week in jobseeker’s allowance. Reality: £111.45p.

Perception: only 21% think this family would be better off if one of them got a 30-hour-a-week job on the minimum wage; and this 21% thinks, on average, the gain would be £59 a week. Reality: the family would be £138 a week better off.

There is plainly a link between the perceptions of scrounging, and the lack of public knowledge about the financial advantages of working, even for 30 hours a week on the minimum wage, compared with life on the dole.

yougov.co.uk/news/2013/01/07/welfare-reform-who-whom/

---

Outlines other public perceptions and support for Welfare reform; relevant to this discussion.

The Court of Appeal have ruled that work for benefits schemes are unlawful. [[ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9864568/Government-back-to-work-scheme-breaches-anti-slavery-laws-court-rules.html Telegraph]]
Guardian
No one can be forced to participate in Work Programme schemes until they have been redrafted to comply with the Court's ruling .Those who have received sanctions will be able to claim a rebate for monies taken away unlawfully (subject to appeal).

Wonder what IDS will come up with next?

Oops, Telegraph link.

Oh dear, it seems that it's more to do with people not being informed of the consequences of not participating. The law will be redrafted and the scheme will continue.

ttosca Tue 12-Feb-13 14:29:49

Mamma-

Yes, it's a narrow technical victory. Anti-workfare campaigning will continue, and the negative press which the MWA and other workfare schemes receive as a result of this ruling will help.

ttosca Mon 18-Feb-13 14:45:19

The people who are genuinely disgusted and outraged by this can help out by sending emails or tweets to the exploitative companies:

List Of Workfare Companies

anotherangryvoice.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/list-of-workfare-companies-mwa.html?m=1

You will also find an outline of some of the arguments against workfare as well as a template letter at the bottom.

Thanks guys!

dreamingofsun Mon 18-Feb-13 16:55:39

seems a reasonable response and concept to me too. its improving people's CV's and should improve their chances of getting jobs in future. If their skills are good enough to get paid work in a supermarket they obviously don't need to do it unpaid.

the only time i disagree with this is if a paid position is chopped as a result and i think that sometimes this might be difficult to spot.

ttosca Wed 20-Feb-13 15:09:59

Listen to serial liar and sociopath Ian Duncan Smith become increasingly agitated as he is called out on his lies and spin:

Iain Duncan-Smith was involved in an explosive bust-up with James O'Brien live on LBC 97.3.

www.lbc.co.uk/listen-obriens-explosive-row-with-duncan-smith-67738

ironman Thu 21-Feb-13 13:17:34

ttosca I note you are 'self employed' do you pay the right amount of tax? Most people I know who are 'self employed' pay only what is asked!
Just a thought.......grin

Darkesteyes Thu 21-Feb-13 22:11:25

Workfare with vulnerable adults.

twitpic.com/c5lswd

ttosca Fri 22-Feb-13 01:43:06

MPs blast government's flagship Work Programme

After more than a year the multibillion-pound scheme has helped just 3.6% of long-term unemployed find jobs

---

The government's flagship multibillion-pound programme for helping the long-term unemployed into work has been branded "extremely poor" in a damning assessment by MPs.

The public accounts committee (PAC) said that during the first 14 months of the Work Programme, to last July, only 3.6% of claimants on the scheme moved off benefits into sustained employment.

This was less than a third of the 11.9% the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) expected to achieve, and well below the official estimate of what would have happened if the programme had not been launched, said the MPs.

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee, said the programme was particularly failing young people and the hardest to help.

She said: "It is shocking that of the 9,500 former incapacity benefit claimants referred to providers, only 20 people have been placed in a job that has lasted three months, while the poorest-performing provider did not manage to place a single person in the under-25 category into a job lasting six months."

She also criticised the DWP for publishing unvalidated data from a trade body representing Work Programme providers, saying: "This is just not on."

The programme was introduced in June 2011, at an estimated cost of between £3bn and £5bn over five years, but PAC said the performance in the first year or so fell well short of expectations.

Not one of the 18 providers met its contractual targets and their performance varied "wildly", the report found.

The MPs warned that, given the poor performance, there was a high risk that one or more providers would fail and go out of business or have their contracts cancelled.

"Given the poor performance across providers, there is a high risk that one or more will fail – either they will go out of business or the department will cancel their contracts," the report says. "The Department will need to keep a close eye on which providers are most likely to fail and must manage all consequential risks."

The report also reveals that all 18 organisations involved in the Work Programme, which include companies such as A4e and Ingeus Deloitte, have been placed on "performance improvement plans" and that in seven cases, organisations had been sent formal letters warning of unacceptable standards.

The next set of performance data will be published in March, which PAC said should give the DWP a better idea about companies that may go out of business or have contracts terminated, and urged the department to prepare specific contingency plans should failure occur.

Hodge said, that although the Work Programme was crucial, its performance "was so poor that it was actually worse than the department's own expectations of the number of people who would have found work if the programme didn't exist."

"None of the providers managed to meet their minimum performance targets. The best performing provider only moved 5% of people off benefits and into work, while the worst managed just 2%."

The DWP said PAC was painting "a skewed picture" and that industry data also published in November showed that 200,000 people had been placed in work. The department believes that a large proportion of these will turn out to meet the payment criteria of jobs sustained for at least six months and this will show up in the next round of data.

A DWP spokesperson said: "The Work Programme gives support to claimants for two years and it hasn't even been running that long yet, so it's still early days. We know the performance of our providers is improving … Long-term unemployment fell by 15,000 in the latest quarter."

Previous schemes, the department said, had paid out "too much up front regardless of success. But by paying providers for delivering results, the Work Programme is actually offering the taxpayer real value for money."

Kirsty McHugh, chief executive of the back to work industry body, the Employment Related Services Association, said, "The public accounts committee should rightly focus on the Work Programme achieving value for money for the taxpayer, and data published by ERSA shows that the Work Programme is the most cost effective scheme relative to any comparable scheme so far.

"'These outcome statistics relate to the earliest days of the Work Programme and caution is needed before we can judge its overall effectiveness.

"However, robust data published by ERSA last November shows that the Work Programme is placing more people into work month on month and we can already see the programme having a demonstrable impact in reducing long-term unemployment as evidenced in this week's labour market statistics."

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/feb/22/mps-blast-work-programme

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