Imagine I’m poor. I am without motivation to earn above the minimum wage, and frankly I don’t care. On the other hand I happen to live in a very rich country, which can easily afford to keep me at the level I’m accustomed to. The state knows that it cannot refuse to do so, because if it did I would be on the streets with my seven kids. So it agrees reluctantly to maintain me just above subsistence.
Then along comes David Cameron, and all of a sudden a privately run, though in practise massively subsidised, Back-To-Work centre lands in my estate. I’m told to make an effort and spend most of the week here. However, showing a level of ingenuity and enterprise that a Conservative would normally be proud of, I figure out the minimum effort required before my benefits are slashed.
After two years I am placed on a community service scheme. This is a joke, and I deal with it in the same way I dealt with the do-gooders at the Back-To-Work centre. And so what? Mr Cameron’s scheme runs out of ideas here, and carries on paying my benefits anyway.
In sum, the state not only pays for my benefits, but also funds a job centre which is the source of constant amusement and a community service scheme that no-one takes seriously. Then, after the first parliament, Chris Grayling MP, has to explain why the Conservative welfare programme has not saved three billion pounds, but has cost six billion. I don’t know who Chris Grayling is, but I reckon I could explain this better than he can.