Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith is to reveal this week the Government’s plans to force long-term unemployed to do manual labour or face losing their benefits. However, this decision has caused a bit of stir even before it has been properly announced. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has criticised the policies arguing that it will cause jobless people “into a downward spiral of uncertainty, even despair”. Sorry I forgot the Church dictated what Government policy is, I mean come on, will making people work really bring them despair? In my opinion, it’s about time!
Our Welfare system is in a dire state and something has definitely got to be done, for too long we have allowed people to live a life on benefits and this has to stop. Society helps them so it’s about time that they made a contribution to society. The plan would see jobless people working a 30 hour week (5 hours less than the average working week), failure to turn up will result in benefits being cut for at least three weeks.
This is certainly a fair way to tackle the problem of long-term unemployment, it will help jobless people get into the routine of regular work, reinforce their CV while make a contribution to the community which has been there for them in their hour of need. Another benefit of this policy is that it will help weed out those who are conducting undeclared side-jobs. William Hague rightly said that the Welfare Benefit was one of the “big political challenges”, the UK currently is experiencing a situation where 1.9 million children live in a jobless home. What kind of example are we setting for our children? It’s about time that we sent a message to future generations that even when there isn’t work, we will still contribute to society, a society which is keeping us out of poverty.
BUCF Vice-President External
W.Midlands CF Deputy Regional Chairman