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So prisoners and people on benefits should pick fruits on farms now?

(102 Posts)
Valentine2 Mon 17-Oct-16 01:54:57

This is a link to The Sun. I am beyond angry. They suggest we use these two sections of our society to pick farms "to give back"!! WTAF! I am posting here deliberately and not anywhere else so get maximum traffic so maximum number of people could see where it's going.

Valentine2 Mon 17-Oct-16 01:55:15

Toolateagain Mon 17-Oct-16 02:31:33

It's a Sun editorial piece, not a proposed policy. If you get angry every time the Sun prints something stupid you'll give yourself an early coronary.

Anyway, to be pedantic, they are suggesting that prisoners pick fruit; they don't actually say that people on the "dole" should pick fruit. I'm not particularly adverse to prisoners doing something constructive with their time and its picking fruit, not breaking rocks. But, you know, its the Sun, best not to engage with it.

KoalaDownUnder Mon 17-Oct-16 02:41:14

YABU for giving a shit what's printed in The Sun. C'mon.

MidniteScribbler Mon 17-Oct-16 02:42:12

If someone is unemployed, why shouldn't they look at getting a job picking fruit?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 17-Oct-16 03:09:06

I agree with Midnite Scribbler What is so terrible about picking fruit and vegetables? Plenty of East European workers come here to do it and will be sorely missed.

user1476140278 Mon 17-Oct-16 03:46:20

I picked fruit as a summer job when I was 18. It's back breaking and only suited to the fittest of people. Pensioners couldn't make any money at it...they pay by what you pick.

bojorojo Mon 17-Oct-16 04:04:34

I thought one of the mantras of the Brexit brigade was British workers for British jobs! When the foreign workers are no longer welcome, the British workers will all be rushing to the farms - won't they?

AndNowItsSeven Mon 17-Oct-16 04:06:24

Midnite nothing wrong with fruit picking , it's the implication they are lesser and need to give something back.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 17-Oct-16 05:27:24

Well prisoners do need to make amends, don't they? I think doing something constructive that is less boring than 23 hour lock up is quite a good idea. Not compulsory work but for those who want to do it. And get paid for it.

If there are decent, properly paid, safe jobs on fruit farms, why shouldn't someone unemployed do it. Again, if properly paid.

Someone has to. We're making the people who normally do it awfully unwelcome.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 17-Oct-16 05:32:13

I don't see anything wrong with exploring this idea.

iPost Mon 17-Oct-16 06:03:44

As voluntary work for low risk prisoners, sure. If Orange is the New Black and every other prison thing I've watched has even a grain of truth to it, people would rather work than not. As an alternative to the mind crushing tedium of fuck all to do in very constricted environment.

I'm not in favour of conscripted chain gang sort of thing. But that would be a security nightmare and I doubt the farmer would be chuffed at the potential for squished fruit protests etc.

The British benefits system is not nimble enough to allow people to take on seasonal work. You need something like our voucher system. People on gov. assistance can earn up to 4000 € pa on top of their stipend via the voucher system. (An employer can pay a single worker up to €2000pa. It stops them replacing permenent positions with temp, precarious ones if there is a low limit a single individual can earn from one employer.)

Employer buys a voucher from the tabacconist for say €10 euros. The worker when she/he cashes it gets €7:50. The difference is contributions. It does not affect their benefits. It provides a source of additional income which motivates people to work when they can.

That would get your fruit picked AND provide unemployed people with the opportunity to take on non permanent work AND the opportunity create oneself a cushion of extra money that could relieve hardship, or go towards a much need deposit, other extraordinary pressing needs etc.

As it stands right now somebody on benefits would have to be masochist to take on seasonal fruit picking work, because the transition off and back on to benefits, bearing in mind the neglible increase in income, is too onerous to make it a reasonable option.

Pluto30 Mon 17-Oct-16 06:14:43

Prisoners working is one of the best schemes out there. Fortunately our local prison (minimum security, readying prisoners for release) acknowledges that and has a system in place.

Where I used to work, we had prisoners working in our gardens etc. I ran into one of the girls the other day and she's now married, has two children, is working as a teacher in a Catholic school (public still won't have her) and was looking to buy a house.

Fantastic system, and works to prepare prisoners for life back in the community. If people don't give these people a chance to do right, they will wind up in the continuous prison cycle.

user1476596036 Mon 17-Oct-16 06:18:37

It is a good idea to encourage prisoners to do some form of work whilst they are serving their sentences. It gets them mixing with society in a more constructive way and boosts their self-esteem.

The Sun should never be read under any circumstances and needs to be avoided at all costs!!

Bruce02 Mon 17-Oct-16 06:21:26

There is usually work available in prisons. Even Armley high security prisoner has offenders working in the family centre.

I don't see the issue with allowing them to do out door work.

I am not reading the link, as pp said, it's not policy proposal. It's something they have just plucked out of the air to write about.

Ifailed Mon 17-Oct-16 06:25:47

I see no reason why people claiming JSA shouldn't pick fruit & veg. Up until recently it was a sort-after job, especially during the school holidays. I was bought up in a rural area, and even as a feckless and lazy teenager could easily earn more in a week than the dole paid.

SemiNormal Mon 17-Oct-16 06:28:22

I guess for prisoners it would come under some kind of 'community service', but if they are not getting paid and expected to do this for long periods then surely it would consitute as slave labor, in which case I would completely object to it. The same said for people on benefits, I'm opposed to the workfare scheme which this sounds similar too?

Viviene Mon 17-Oct-16 06:28:43

People shouldn't be allowed to claim benefits forever because they think some jobs are 'beneath' them. If the jobs are good enough for immigrants, they are good enough for local people too (I'm talking in general, not only about the U.K.)

HardcoreLadyType Mon 17-Oct-16 06:30:12

Where is that system in place, iPost?

The trouble is, in this country, it would be taken as an excuse to cut benefits, as the person would then be expected to "top up" their benefits by the full amount, whether or not that was feasible for them, rather than it being seen as an additional income they could earn.

Believeitornot Mon 17-Oct-16 06:32:52

Immigrants are exploited as fruit pickers nowadays. They're seen as cheap labour, they're underpaid and given shit accommodation.

Why should people on benefits be forced in to that?

Viviene Mon 17-Oct-16 07:00:34

Believeitornot why should anybody be forced to do that? It's very convenient to say 'there are no jobs for me' whereas in fact there are jobs, people just don't want to do them.
What makes people on benefits better than immigrants? Should we not be more concerned with improving work conditions rather than funding people who can put up with them?

iPost Mon 17-Oct-16 07:04:09


Italy. Which admittedly does not have a comparable benefits system. It leans more towards a contribution based, time limited, fixed stipend sort of thing. So the vouchers do not risk incurring the wrath/ire of the electorate.

By the look of things benefits over in the U.K. are going to get cut either way. The degree to which attitudes have hardened, especially looking at the rising curve of disapproval since the early nineties, is ... stark

No conservative government is going to overlook that policies aimed at cutting benefits will enjoy a certain amount of popularity. There is unlikely to be anything other than a conservative gov for a while, what with labour pulling itself apart (I have 80s deja vu by the wheelbarrow load) .

Possibly something similar to the voucher system would be better than the kick in the teeth of pure cuts with no wriggle room to allow the flexibility of topping up via seasonal/temporary work as and when it is available.

I think the real sticking point would be the public. Attitudes are so hardened that there might be resentment of earnings being allowed on top of benefits and it could kick off a shit storm of disapproval.

Capricorn76 Mon 17-Oct-16 07:08:12

Prisoners shouldn't be given jobs that could be given to the fit and low skilled. It will remove paying jobs from the workforce. its a hard job but there will be law abiding people willing to do it such as students on a seasonsal basis.

I do not want the UK to turn into America where the prison system is a business supplying slave labour to industries. It encourages criminalising young men to provide free labour. It's big business over there.

Tanith Mon 17-Oct-16 07:13:36

Prisoners already work. They have jobs within the prison and the less secure ones allow prisoners to work outside the prison under supervision.

Who will replace them in the work they currently do?

Pluto30 Mon 17-Oct-16 07:15:10

Capricorn Where I live, the prisoners are not paid. They chose to work in gardening etc. for free as part of a rehabilitation program. So they aren't "taking" from anyone.

Also, the jobs are there for the taking currently, but people aren't taking them.

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