Friday, 24 February 2012

Forced Fed Charity?

Now I know I already blogged exactly on this subject a couple of days ago, but I had to append a quick postscript. I was listening to Radio 4 on the commute home today when an odd phrase pricked up my ears. Some totally neutral commentator on the Beeb was talking about the Government's work experience plan and why it was so mean when he said "it's because it's compulsory" that it had attracted such leftist vitriol.

Which I thought was odd. Because you see, it's not.

You don't have to 'claim' unemployment benefits. It isn't compulsory to claim them. You can be unemployed and not claim them. You'll be 60 odd quid a week the poorer but nobody is forcing you. And in that situation you can do whatever you see fit with your non-working week - further education, apprenticeships or create hilarious cat-based YouTube hits in a bid to become wealthy through…well through however one becomes wealthy from just putting things on the internet that people look at.

If you do sign up, however, to unemployment benefits, you sign up to a contract of sorts. From my memories of The Full Monty, I think roughly speaking it says you have to actively look for work and the Government will a) help you and b) give you a small amount of money to keep you alive. All the Government is now doing is adding another rule.

They've decided that you might also have to try some work-experience for the various reasons alluded to in my last post (break the unemployment cycle, gain skills, guaranteed job interview afterwards etc). That's now your side of the contract. They've decided to be given this free money that you may or may not have in part contributed to in previous tax payments, you have to do a little more because the current system is so obviously fucked.

Seems fair to me. If you don't like it, don't claim and save George Osborne another £3,000 a year. Simple as that. Every little helps...

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