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Do benefit reforms go far enough?

13:47 UK time, Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has set out plans to overhaul the benefit system to provide greater incentives for work and sanctions for those unwilling to do so. Will a universal benefit system work?

Central to the plan is a single universal credit which replaces work-related benefits. There will also be sanctions for those unwilling to take up the offer of employment with possible penalties of losing benefit for three years.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said simplifying the benefits system will help 300,000 families back to work. Labour has said although it would back making work pay, it was concerned about a lack of available jobs.

Will the new reforms simplify the benefits system? Will reforms mean an end to life on benefits? Are the sanctions for those refusing employment too harsh? Are you unemployed and "trapped" on benefits?

Read more of your comments here.

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    im sorry but if you refuse a job i dont see why you should be punished?
    maybe a graduate with 8 years lab experience doesnt want to be a tarmac layer or work at a desk and vice versa?
    yes you should take a job after a certain point no you shouldnt be made to take the 1st offer that comes your way. under penalty of punishment its all common sense stuff really, whatever happend to common sense anyhow?

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes I think they strike the right balance.

  • Comment number 3.

    Are you out of your minds?

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Comment number 4.

    The job market is bad at the moment. It's set to get worse. 18 people are applying for every post. Once the other cuts come in, the job market will be flooded even further. I am very happy with the theory of making work pay, and think it can help those long-term unenployed to get back a feeling of purpose and a work ethic.

    However, the government should be balancing this with an effort to a) make big business, esp. banks pay their taxes properly- e.g Vodaphone; the big banks and b)encouraging more businesses to start recruitment. They're not doing this at the moment.

  • Comment number 5.

    Whilst benefits are there for those that rightly need them there will always be those that think they can get them without contributing anything. My fear is that too few people will be taken on to check the genuine and allow the players of the system a free rein.

  • Comment number 6.

    Do benefit reforms go far enough? It's a start, but expect to see local council run "training courses" on how to fiddle, opps, I mean claim, benefits under the new system.

  • Comment number 7.

    Do these ministers have any experience in the real world or have they so wrapped up with the perks of westministr that they have totally lost it, or is this a new way of bringing in a legalising slave labour - I would hope that these do gooders like Clegg and IDS will have the guts to propose that MP's who retire or loose elections next time around will not get the fat pay checks but will be forced to carry out real community work

  • Comment number 8.

    I just hope that the coalition is clever enough to close up the loopholes by which benefit scroungers seem to have managed to remain on benefits long-term.

    I can foresee the possibility of people taking a job because they have to & then doing everything possible to make sure they get the sack so that they have to go on benefits again for a while and then repeat the whole process.

    I am more than happy with the coalition's idea in theory. Trouble is, with the calibre of people in the DSS & Local Authorities etc, it can't be guaranteed that they will be the least bit sensible when putting this legislation into practice.

  • Comment number 9.

    Where are all these jobs that people are going to be forced to take going to come from? .
    There are only so many shelf stacking jobs at supermarkets and DIY stores and some people who are fit to work in certain jobs may not be fit to do manual labour due to spinal problems or other problems etc.
    So I ask again, where are all these jobs going to come from, answers on a postcard please.

  • Comment number 10.

    They say there is 1 million jobs available today!
    Half of them are with agencies and they do NOT offer any security or promises of full time work.
    Employers will use aganecies to employ people for minimum contracts and minimum wages, this IS going to increase the gap between rich and poor.

    This is going to cause soo much poverty and depression within the unemployed community, the crime rates will rise and the prisons will fill up.

    When you stop peoples money what choice would they have but to turn to a life of crime.
    I am sure when some of the rich folke get robbed they will blaim the government then of causing this.

  • Comment number 11.

    scotty1694 asks: "really, whatever happend to common sense anyhow?"

    I have no idea. But we have in front of us a case study of what went wrong.

    "im sorry but if you refuse a job i dont see why you should be punished?"

    You're about to be flogged? No. You lose your benefits.

    "maybe a graduate with 8 years lab experience doesnt want to be a tarmac layer or work at a desk and vice versa?"

    Maybe he'd rather starve.

    "yes you should take a job after a certain point no you shouldnt be made to take the 1st offer that comes your way."

    Uh oh... Common sense is appearing...

    "under penalty of punishment its all common sense stuff"

    And then he lapses.

    Listen up, scotty, because it's really REALLY simple.

    Get a job and pay your own way. Or starve. Either is OK with me.

  • Comment number 12.

    I am all for this it is long overdue. This is despite myself currently not having work due to surgery.

    My only question is why do we only do welfare reforms when unemployment is high or rising. Surely it's best done when there are enough jobs out there.

    I have never had to claim before and worked for over twenty years. The one time in my life I need help and it looks like I will be in for a rough ride.

  • Comment number 13.

    Unless disabled, no-one should expect to live on benefits for years on end. Benefits are there to fall back on. That's all. People need to re-learn self-reliance and not expect the taxpayer to keep funding them. If you never pay in, you should never be able to take out.

  • Comment number 14.

    Do benefit reforms go far enough?

    No!

    Given the cuts to local authority budgets its unlikely that the unemployed alone will be able to provide a large enough free workforce to do work such as litter picking, building maintenence and road patching that used to be carried by local authorities.

    I advocate a new programme for schools called 'Community Studies' where the nations children can go out into the community and take up the slack, so that local authorities can still provide the same level of service as before the cuts.

  • Comment number 15.

    1. At 2:02pm on 11 Nov 2010, scotty1694 wrote:

    im sorry but if you refuse a job i dont see why you should be punished?
    maybe a graduate with 8 years lab experience doesnt want to be a tarmac layer or work at a desk and vice versa?
    yes you should take a job after a certain point no you shouldnt be made to take the 1st offer that comes your way. under penalty of punishment its all common sense stuff really, whatever happend to common sense anyhow?

    -----------------------

    You agree with people not working because they cant get the job they want and shouldnt have to do anything else? Thats daft.

    The people this affects are people who are getting money from working people and cant get a job doing what they want.

  • Comment number 16.

    This will only work if the jobs are there to put people in.
    Around here there are over 100 people applying for each available job, so at the moment it won't work with those statistics.

  • Comment number 17.

    No.

    The poor can still eat.

    Only when the rich can raise a glass of champaign over the bodies of all of our sick, disabled & needy will it have gone far enough.

    Only when the bankers & elite of the UK have all of the wealth & the working class are living in the gulag have our overlords gone far enough.

  • Comment number 18.

    O.K. I am in agreement that we should all strive to make the U.K. an better place for all and if this means doing work for the community then so be it if you are on benefits. But what I expect is that Employers will use this legislation to suppress wages and eventually we all will be working on the minimum wage, unless you are a banker or city dealer of course. As you who all voted for the ConDems ponder this don't hurt yourself when you hit the bottom on minimum wage.

  • Comment number 19.

    Clearly the reforms are rubbish - dreamt up by some civil servant to avoid doing anything.

    To make work pay it always has to be the case you are better off working.
    This means that what you earn needs to always be more than the benefits.
    There are two ways to achieve this...
    a) No benefits - in which case those on hard luck may die
    b) Give everyone (legally here) the same flat benefit to prevent them starving.

    If you choose (b) the paperwork becomes much simpler and a whole swathe of paper shufflers, paperwork and computers are not needed. You can also scrap the minimum wage, tax allowances and a swathe of other clutter. This improves things for everyone - strange as it may sound it is also much cheaper for everyone.

  • Comment number 20.

    Yes of course it will simplify the benefits system and at the same time help to drive down wages and increase house re-possessions. It's back to class war despite what Cameron said in the election campaign.

    We all know about the unskilled unemployed council house tenant who is getting more on the dole than in work because the media deliberately seek these out. How about the unemployed HMRC administrator who was earning £30,000 a year until he was made redundant and has been paying his mortgage out of savings for the last year while looking for a job that is suitable for his skills? He has more than likely refused jobs paying just above the minimum wage because he knows he cannot afford all his outgoings on that. Now he will lose everything he's worked for and will have to take a menial job. Meanwhile the likes of Ashcroft, Philip Green and Zac Goldsmith don't have the HMRC man on their back and can carrying on dodging their taxes.

    No mention yet from the millionaire cabinet on how they will increase revenue by sorting out tax collection including the avoiders and evaders.



  • Comment number 21.

    What about single mothers with children. Do they lose their benefits if they do not chose to work ? I hope so because we have been pandering to these women for over 40 years. Benefits are there as a temporary measure until the problem can be sorted out. It is not there for paying into a lifestyle. I am sick of my taxes going to such people and I hope this Goverment does something about it.

  • Comment number 22.

    I trust the government has in writing that these changes to benefits have been given the OK from the Europeean Human Rights Commision, the Europeean Court of Appeal, the OK from our judiciary system etc., etc.,

    Because if it hasn't you can bet that as soon as its implemented the cry "Human Rights" will ring out.

  • Comment number 23.

    Pretty hard - apparently, even for the Opposition - to disagree with the principle. Question is what's really going to happen to those who choose to call the state's bluff?

    Still, after many years of politicians ignoring or even actively exacerbating the problem, at least we have someone who's prepared to try

  • Comment number 24.

    I went through a period of unemployment in the last recession. Because I had a degree, and years of experience in a particular field, there were many jobs I was simply overqualified or incapable of doing, so the Job Centre didn't even bother offering them to me. Initially, I was grateful about this: why should I have to change career and do a job unrelated to my skills? It throws all my hard work in the bin, forcing me to start again. Plus, if I'm still looking for work in my own field, a job in a different field won't look good on my CV, and it makes me unavailable for job-seeking and interviews.

    However, as time goes by, and you still haven't found work, and the pitiful amount of benefits you get to live on (don't believe the Daily Mail, most people on benefits are struggling to survive!), you change your view: you get desperate enough to take any job, just so you've got some money coming in. But what happens? You STILL get rejected! The employer takes one look at your CV, and decides they don't want you...

    I had an interesting chat with one employer, that I did get an interview for: I had applied for a role in his company that, although it was in my qualified field, was a role far beneath what I was used to, with a corresponding salary. He was astounded I had applied for the role, he told me that I would be the best person in the company, and that I should have applied for HIS job. I told him, any job was better than none at all. While he understood my position, he wouldn't hire me, explaining that it wasn't worth his while, as he knew that as soon as I get a better offer from elsewhere, I'd be off. From his point of view, it wasn't worth all the extra work and hassle to employ someone who might disappear within a few weeks. And he was right: if I had got a better offer, of course I would have taken it.

    I am now working again, thankfully, but the government needs to realise that it is really difficult for people to just do any job, even if they want to: many employers will not consider taking someone with a different work history from the role they are offering.

  • Comment number 25.

    I am so tired of this government playing " slight of hand" already .. pandering to those comfortably off pensioners who form the core backbone of their vote. They are so obvious in their methods.. pedaling the myth that it is the work shy benefit seekers who have got us into this mess .. when it is obvious where the real blame lies. Bank bail outs £850 billion.. estimated benefit fraud £1 billion. Lets face it we are dealing with a bunch of opportunists not reformers.

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree with the idea of simpler system as the current one probably loses more in administrative mistakes than fraud. However the implementation of sanctions based on job offers appears flawed. First, there is unlikely to be any job offers in areas with no jobs. Secondly, for those who don't want to do a job, it is far too easy to screw up an interview so there will be no offer. Thirdly, those on long term unemployment may not have the necessary education, skills and abilities to receive a job offer. The only real effective solution will involve both job creation and improving skills.

  • Comment number 27.

    Nice sentence in The Economist, 2010-10-23: "Under the previous Labour government, the state became more of a comfort blanket than a safety net: it took on jobs and commitments that are not properly its business."

    Quite.

    And once we're back to that level (at least two parliaments out, at this rate), we can actually start to cut the size of the state.

  • Comment number 28.

    Benefit reform costs money, as does dealing with the complex problems of the long term unemployed and the long term sick. Long term benefits claimants are not simply lazy or work shy. Many people cannot get a job because there are no jobs to be had. Others, however, cannot hold on to job even if they were given one. The reasons for this are complex and IDS would do well to try and get at least a rudimentary understanding of the problems other people face. Even if work paid more than benefits, this would only remove a small portion of benefit claimants off welfare. Threatening to remove benefit is not the answer. Any good parent knows you should not make threats you cannot keep. How are people going to live if they cannot work and they cannot get benefit?

  • Comment number 29.

    Oh dear, it looks as if the scroungers and shirkers are at last going to have to take RESPONSIBILITY for their own lives just as the rest of we working taxpayers have to. I could not be more delighted but this announcement does have its disappointment. It does not go far enough. Norman Tebbit got it just right; "Get on your bike and look for work". I fully support the Liberals and Conservatives in rolling back these past damaging social nannying policies that made so many people lazy and state dependent. We are here to work for the state, not the other way round.

  • Comment number 30.

    considering unclaimed benefits amount to approx 16 billion pounds. the govt should leave well alone and consider itself lucky people dont claim even more.

  • Comment number 31.

    Currently in the UK a majority of large business's have been in a recruitment freeze.

    Without new jobs to replace all of those who have been made unemployed how do people expect the problem to go away?

    To those who suggest leaving people to starve.

    Ok..., what do you think will happen to the crime statistics if we do that?

    I put this to you.

    You have 50,000 "dole dossers", they get £60 a week.

    You take away the 50,000 "dole dossers" money saving £3,000,000 a week.

    Well done!

    Oh wait, those 50,000 all now have to cimmit crimes to survive.

    Well, lock them up!.

    Ok... it costs on average £600 a week to keep people in prison (based off the UK website of £31k per year).

    Well done, those 50,000 now cost the tax payer £30,000,000 a year.

    This brillant change has cost us an extra £27,000,000. (not taking into account the requirment to build more prisons, actual figure would be higher)

    Welcome to maths.

  • Comment number 32.



    Once again Mellor’s demonstrate that simple maths is beyond his comprehension


  • Comment number 33.

    anotherfakename writes: "There are two ways to achieve this...
    a) No benefits - in which case those on hard luck may die
    b) Give everyone (legally here) the same flat benefit to prevent them starving.

    If you choose (b) the paperwork becomes much simpler and a whole swathe of paper shufflers, paperwork and computers are not needed. You can also scrap the minimum wage, tax allowances and a swathe of other clutter. This improves things for everyone - strange as it may sound it is also much cheaper for everyone."

    I'm OK with either.

  • Comment number 34.



    I note that IDS has said that if you refuse to volunteer (and work for nothing) then you will have your benefits stopped.

    Mellor’s must be jumping up and down in orgasmic delight.

    Think of all that free labour you can exploit, you don’t even have to fire them when you no longer need them



  • Comment number 35.

    We`re looking at 5 million unemployed in the near future who only have half a million jobs to apply for, but if you don`t take a job we will stop you 3 years benefits. This must be some strange usage of the word "incentive" that i wasn`t previously aware of. I can just see it now, loads of more children up for adoption, many more squatters due to those being made homeless. I really don`t see how this benefits society plus i can see legal challenges to this. It`s not democratic to throw people into poverty just because they don`t take the job you tell them to take. Of course most of the unemployed want to work, but part time jobs do not feed a family or put a roof over their heads. But time will tell as there a LOT of jobs yet to be culled, and not just in the public sector either. Just keep looking over your shoulder because now it`s open season.

  • Comment number 36.

    How about we put interest rates up. Stop the tax incentives for BTL and owning a second home. Close the loopholes that many big business and rich people use for avoiding tax. Build loads more houses and cut the cost of living.

    MMM thought so, they don't really want to help people except their own!

  • Comment number 37.

    Can someone please tell me what and where all this work that's available is?

    I can only imagine IDS and all his clique who are fortunate to have inherited all their wealth would like the serfs to take up all the minimum payed jobs in the service industry. After all someone needs to keep their brandy glasses topped up and clean out their outhouses.

    I'd be more convinced if 4 or 5 of the cabinet resigned their posts to volunteer for JSA and life in a council estate for the next 5 years. That way they can show by example how great and effective their ideas are working. Or is the 'do as I say and not what I do' ethic still their way?

  • Comment number 38.

    1. I have seen people get jobs that didnt last because, despite their best intentions, they weren't suited for them. Not everyone is capable of doing the same thing.

    Anyway, you can simplify it one moment but what happens when the urge to meddle then comes in? Jobseekers allowance and employment and support allowance have been introduced because of drives to get people in the fields they cover into work, and they took them off other benefits to do so. Is there anything to guarantee that they won't meddle again because of political pressure?

  • Comment number 39.

    Of course we can all get annoyed thinking of people sitting at home on benifits doing nothing, but why don't we get equally annoyed at all the wealthy scroungers who dodge paying taxes and fix the rules so that they make huge financial profit from the average tax payer
    One problem is many jobs are hard and boring for very little pay. Our MP's would never themselves work at these jobs for such a small amount a week. They work the system as much as they can. More than any one on benefits. I have great respect for Dennis Skinner MP who turns up at every sitting of parliament and had very low claims. He said he never got paid when he worked down the pits if he didn't turn up and it shouldn't be different for MP's There are few like him
    It is a good idea to simplify the benefits system it has grown far too complicated . We could then raise taxes for the very rich, who are getting rapidly richer and at the same time increase the minimum wage. There would then be an incentive to work and the economy would improve because poor people spend immediately, they don't stash it away in an off shore tax haven like many in the Tory cabinet

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    30. At 2:36pm on 11 Nov 2010, philip sayers wrote:

    considering unclaimed benefits amount to approx 16 billion pounds. the govt should leave well alone and consider itself lucky people dont claim even more.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Indeed. Or better still invest that money into creating jobs and apprenticeships. Just once i would like to see something constructive from a government rather than punitive ideology.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    It's all very well 'forcing' benefits claimants to get a job when there is work available but when it is not all this will do is increase homelessness for their wifes and children who are blameless and increase petty crime and thievery so they can pay the bills.

  • Comment number 44.

    Graphis wrote a lot of good stuff, finishing with: "I am now working again, thankfully, but the government needs to realise that it is really difficult for people to just do any job, even if they want to: many employers will not consider taking someone with a different work history from the role they are offering."

    This is a real issue. First off, the likes of your non-employer needs to come to an understanding that he should have hired you for your skills, and moved the job market within his company to fit. This is the reverse of the all-too-common (in the UK) practice of refusing to hire/promote someone because of their age or class.

    Second, you're right, the government needs to take the situation you describe on board. What that means I'm not sure. But it is as real an issue as hoping private enterprise will find jobs for people by magic.

  • Comment number 45.

    #12 Luke:
    My only question is why do we only do welfare reforms when unemployment is high or rising. Surely it's best done when there are enough jobs out there.

    Because in the good times we can kid ourselves that it's ok to have large sections of the population doing nothing in order to indulge the social consciences of our politiciations.

    I do agree change would have been much easier if we (the electorate) had wised up before the national credit tap got turned off


  • Comment number 46.

    I saw an interview with some chap (set to a council housing background) on the news last night - asking him if he'd now be tempted to apply for jobs, or risk losing benefits - after a years of living off the state's feed-bag.

    His answer was 'no... there are only low paid jobs around'

    Having once been umemployed myself - I think this attitude is disgraceful.

    My way back into work, was through low paid agency work.. which turned into a full-time, better paid job - after my efforts to demonstrate my abilities / experience won through.

    It's very true in this case that you can 'lead a horse to water - but can't make it drink'.

    If people won't help themselves - you have to help them to help themselves - by withdrawing the feedbag.

    If a person was to be £1 better off, by taking on a job from unemployment benefit.. the difference for the economy overall is HUGE.

    I fully support employment for the less abled too - so long as it's appropriate.

    Bringing people into contact with others, developing social & professional skills in a safe and supportive environment - and helping to improve people's self belief, skills, etc are all excellent outcomes from work.

    ..and if that means re-training is necessary - so be it. None of us should be 1-trick ponies..

    'oh - I can't work any more as I can no longer climb ladders, since injuring my back' is not an excuse.

    There are nearly always other opportunities.

    Britain struggles from a lack of a CAN-DO attitude.

    We as a country need to change this - and this change in Government approach, is the right way to start off.

  • Comment number 47.

    Bootrap writes: "How about we put interest rates up. Stop the tax incentives for BTL and owning a second home. Close the loopholes that many big business and rich people use for avoiding tax. Build loads more houses and cut the cost of living.

    MMM thought so, they don't really want to help people except their own! "

    MMM thought so. You have no idea how to pay for it.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    I was made redundant 14 months ago, and it finally looks as though my luck is changing as I'm now waiting to hear back from a company after they do a reference check. I was in a fortunate position of being able to live off my savings so I did not need to claim any benefits. I tell you this so you know I know how disheartening it is out in the job market. It certainly doesn't help your self esteem when on the news and even politicians brand everyone out of work as 'work shy'.

    I would like to know where all these jobs are going to come from. One argument for this is it will lift people out of poverty. What a Joke. The only reason why the government or any government wants their population to work is for one reason and that is taxes. the more people working the more taxes you get. To dress it up as some sort of great moral and social charity is frankly insulting. To add insult to injury this is pontificated by politicians who live in their ivory towers far removed from the real world.

    We all pay taxes it is part of life but is the time not coming when we start to think that maybe its not really fair to only get so many pence from every pound YOU earn. Maybe just maybe its the fact that people on the minimum wage of £12,000 + can't afford to live. And its not just those on minimum wages that find it difficult its the majority of us. It all needs a radical shake up and frankly I don't think politicians should be allowed anywhere near an issue as important as this.

    I don't have any solutions to the problems I can't help but think that since the end of WWII we've been every government has been digging a hole for us and maybe just maybe its time for them just this once to put the shovel down.

    A disillusioned former conservative voter ' we had such high hopes"

  • Comment number 50.

    1. At 2:02pm on 11 Nov 2010, scotty1694 wrote:

    im sorry but if you refuse a job i dont see why you should be punished?
    maybe a graduate with 8 years lab experience doesnt want to be a tarmac layer or work at a desk and vice versa?

    Well I have an honours degree in Zoology but guess what? I work in an office. I soon discovered that jobs in my field were hard to come by and if I wanted to pay for food and a roof over my head I would have to just have to do a job I perhaps didn't particularly want to do. It's called being realistic.

  • Comment number 51.

    There is already enough incentive to work for many of us. There just aren't enough jobs or training opportunities to go around.

    I was asked by Job Centre Plus to apply for a job as a "library worker". Fair enough. It's money. My area of study is mathematics and science though. What's wrong with this picture?

  • Comment number 52.

    Andy_Townender wrote: "I saw an interview with some chap (set to a council housing background) on the news last night - asking him if he'd now be tempted to apply for jobs, or risk losing benefits - after a years of living off the state's feed-bag.

    His answer was 'no... there are only low paid jobs around'

    Having once been umemployed myself - I think this attitude is disgraceful."

    Indeed it is.

    And the answer is to reduce benefits until this loafer finds it more profitable to work.

  • Comment number 53.

    Yet another opportunity missed by another government who are clearly being led by rightwing radicals and not the interets of the Nation. Nothing here about training people or developing talents and skills, where are the job creation programmes, where are the new skills training centres..where are the jobs?

    Again Rightwing ideology is put before the interests of both contry and the recipients of benefits.

    What about the billions given to people claiming and recieving benefits who dont NEED them....that is dependancy too.

    The Tory media are part liars on this subject.

    Regeniration of entire areas is the only real way to bring unemployment down but government are led to ransom by the Tory media and finance barons whose outdated ideology is causing debt and imense national disaster for the future.

    This coaliton are ringfencing the Rich so the ordinary joe suffers. That is abundantly clear.

  • Comment number 54.

    I agree.

    Money is hard to come by, but there's a sucker born every minute.
    Money is finite - people are infinite.
    Money is desirable - people are detestable.
    Money gets you stuff - people want the stuff you could have.

    Find me the person that wants more people, and I'll join a morris dancing club.

    47
    MMM thought so, they don't really want to help people except their own
    MMM thought so. You have no idea how to pay for it

  • Comment number 55.

    Firstly, everyone seems to be complaining about why these reforms are going ahead now during a period of economic downturn. In fact, if you read the article properly, they will not be introduced for another 3 years when the job market should be back on the up.

    Secondly, claimants of JSA will not be forced to take the first job that is offered to them or else lose benefits. It will only be after a year and 3 turned down jobs that this will apply. This will only affect a small number of people, even in the current climate, as most people are on JSA for less than a year.

    Over 70% of people leave JSA within the first 6 months because they have the get up and go to get another job, and an awareness that they may have to manage their expectations somewhat if they want to provide for their families. As for the other 30%, they should realise beggars cannot be choosers.

  • Comment number 56.

    Get them off their lazy backsides and working with true disabled people (not the hundreds of thousands of phoney ones) and true poor pensioners or building schools and hospitals. Three job refusals and no dole, good one, it is a disgrace we have to bring in immigrants because some lazy British do not want to do jobs which they dont like. I hope the government remain strong and sort this lot out as it has been a festering sore on UK society for too long. Too long have the decent tax payers been support the feckless who have no intention of working or doing any good for society or even their immediate family. Before you middle class champagne socialists call me a 'Daily Mail reader'. I have lived with them for many years and know there is a REAL problem which La La Labour have made worse with their bribes (called benefits)

  • Comment number 57.

    In response to No. 11 - you did make me laugh and you are spot on.

    All benefits should be stopped unless fully justified and thoroughly invesigated before issuing any monies. All i heard this morning on the news before coming to work is the young being affected by ema being abolished. In my day you went to college and there was no such thing as EMA. Child Benefit is a luxery, don't have children if you can't afford them. Too many people especially today's youth expect too much and are unwilling to work for it or put any effort into anything except playing computer games and expect society to keep them - get rid of all benefits, everyone has the same opportunities in life when at school to succeed, if they chose not to then tough - don't expect handouts and don't expect the rich to pay for you either

  • Comment number 58.

    12. At 2:19pm on 11 Nov 2010, Luke wrote:
    ....

    My only question is why do we only do welfare reforms when unemployment is high or rising. Surely it's best done when there are enough jobs out there.
    .....

    ------

    EXACTLY.
    It is obvious, isn't it?
    These cuts (even more severe ones) should have been implemented 5-7 years ago. Then, it wouldn't be so painful, and indeed, we wouldn't find ourselves in so much debt.
    But, then, we had Labour the Pampering Shortsighted Idiot in power.

  • Comment number 59.

    43. At 2:49pm on 11 Nov 2010, Llynlad wrote:

    It's all very well 'forcing' benefits claimants to get a job when there is work available but when it is not all this will do is increase homelessness for their wifes and children who are blameless and increase petty crime and thievery so they can pay the bills.

    -------------------

    Surely the job exists if they turn it down. How is that different form thievery?

  • Comment number 60.

    51. At 2:55pm on 11 Nov 2010, Richard Smart wrote:

    There is already enough incentive to work for many of us. There just aren't enough jobs or training opportunities to go around.

    I was asked by Job Centre Plus to apply for a job as a "library worker". Fair enough. It's money. My area of study is mathematics and science though. What's wrong with this picture?

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    I think that job would/is going to be short lived anyway Richard as libraries are closing at a phenomenal rate across the country. I wonder if Cameron will take up such a job after losing the next election or will opt for the "voluntary" work option? Just a thought.

  • Comment number 61.

    47. At 2:51pm on 11 Nov 2010, MellorSJ wrote:

    Bootrap writes: "How about we put interest rates up. Stop the tax incentives for BTL and owning a second home. Close the loopholes that many big business and rich people use for avoiding tax. Build loads more houses and cut the cost of living.

    MMM thought so, they don't really want to help people except their own! "

    MMM thought so. You have no idea how to pay for it.#

    -----------------------------

    From big business and the rich who avoid it

  • Comment number 62.

    @ - MellorSJ

    47. At 2:51pm on 11 Nov 2010, MellorSJ wrote:
    Bootrap writes: "How about we put interest rates up. Stop the tax incentives for BTL and owning a second home. Close the loopholes that many big business and rich people use for avoiding tax. Build loads more houses and cut the cost of living.

    MMM thought so, they don't really want to help people except their own! "

    MMM thought so. You have no idea how to pay for it."

    MMM reading is over-rated it seems.

    "Close the loopholes that many big business and rich people use for avoiding tax"

    I could add to the list,

    Stop the pointless wars.

    Increase the tax band for those earning 5 timers higher than the national minimum wage (good incentive to raise the national minimum wage isn't it?).

    MellorSJ, I assume you want people to work yes?.

    Would it be fair to also request that those who work get a honest wage for a hard weeks work?.

    Do you think it's fair that people WORK 40+ hour's a week for £5.93 an hour?

    I could "almost" agree with this right wing attitude if work was fully rewarded, but currently for allot of people work is a mugs game.

    They sacrifice all of there time, only to keep eating & paying the bills.

    That isn't living.

    Then the government offers them a way out in the way of benefits.

    I agree, that's not good either.

    How about we try to make work more appealing as oppose to putting people on the street's.

    Which I'm certain you can agree will cost us more in the long term anyway (due to having to commit crimes to survive).

    £60 a week JSA
    £598 a week prison.

  • Comment number 63.

    51. At 2:55pm on 11 Nov 2010, Richard Smart wrote:

    There is already enough incentive to work for many of us. There just aren't enough jobs or training opportunities to go around.

    I was asked by Job Centre Plus to apply for a job as a "library worker". Fair enough. It's money. My area of study is mathematics and science though. What's wrong with this picture?


    I'm no expert but it looks like you chose to study in an area where there were poor prospects of employment.

  • Comment number 64.

    #51 Richard Smart
    There just aren't enough jobs or training opportunities to go around.

    I think there are quite a few Poles who might disagree with that


  • Comment number 65.

    The genie is well out of the bottle as far as benefits are concerned. The system is so easy to defraud, it's a joke; unless you're paying your full quota of tax and NI, that is.

  • Comment number 66.

    If you run an economy that provides work for everyone who needs it then the benefits problem sorts itself out. This is never going to happen when Government industrial policy is to cut spending, throw a million people on the dole and hope for the best.

  • Comment number 67.

    Oh how lovely the view must be from the ivory towers our current leaders seem to live in, Of course none of our great country's problems stem from the massive personal debts of our more well off citizens or indeed the untold billions our banks have cost us.

    No... Why is it not obvious that the woes currently being suffered by this country are the fault of the poor and sick. Who are we to question the motives of the people making the decisions that will throw millions more into poverty?

    As each day passes we will surely see that those people in this country least able to afford to pay off this national deficit will be required to pay more and those people unfortunate enough not to have the hard cash to do it will be required to pay for it with the sweat off their backs.

    To expect people to work for 30hrs per week for £65 per week doing jobs that we the taxpayers are paying hard earned cash to our councils to do already seems rather a strange concept to me. If these jobs really need doing then the people doing them should surely be paid at the same rate as any other job?

    It just seems to me that the rich in this country are more than happy to take take take, whilst the poor are expected to give give give.

    Eventually they will have nothing left to give and what then?

    Answers on a postcard please

    Regards

    Becarefulwhatyouwishfor

  • Comment number 68.

    20. At 2:28pm on 11 Nov 2010, Ted French wrote:
    Yes of course it will simplify the benefits system and at the same time help to drive down wages and increase house re-possessions. It's back to class war despite what Cameron said in the election campaign.

    We all know about the unskilled unemployed council house tenant who is getting more on the dole than in work because the media deliberately seek these out. How about the unemployed HMRC administrator who was earning £30,000 a year until he was made redundant and has been paying his mortgage out of savings for the last year while looking for a job that is suitable for his skills? He has more than likely refused jobs paying just above the minimum wage because he knows he cannot afford all his outgoings on that. Now he will lose everything he's worked for and will have to take a menial job. Meanwhile the likes of Ashcroft, Philip Green and Zac Goldsmith don't have the HMRC man on their back and can carrying on dodging their taxes.

    No mention yet from the millionaire cabinet on how they will increase revenue by sorting out tax collection including the avoiders and evaders.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It concerns me that someone who works/worked for HMRC would rather continue to pay all outgoings out of their own personal savings rather than take a job at just above minimum wage to help pay for some of their outgoings???

    Maybe its just easier on the dole???

  • Comment number 69.

    The reforms do not go far enough.

    Millions of scroungers will still take the benefits option rather than work as they'll still be better off on benefits.

    Benefits should only allow you to keep your head above water in times of need and not be an alternative to work and contributing to society.

    It makes me sick that some people on benefits are able to get a mortgage for a property by saving up their benefits and using the saved benefits as a deposit and then their future benefits to pay the mortgage with. That is just so wrong.

  • Comment number 70.

    8. At 2:17pm on 11 Nov 2010, Halfhybrid wrote:

    I just hope that the coalition is clever enough to close up the loopholes by which benefit scroungers seem to have managed to remain on benefits long-term.


    Compared to the £80 BILLION lost in tax avoidance/theft by the wealthy its peanuts, but lets not stop facts get in the way of pack mentality when there's someone worse off to attack and savage.
    I'm seen as a scrounger because I'm disabled with MS, Arthritis in every joint and a crumbling spine, after my bills are paid from my benefits I'm left with £19 per week MAXIMUM to buy food clothes toiletries etc, i don't drink booze I don't smoke, I'm allergic to most things pharmaceutical and the ONLY medicine that i can take and DOES work is about to be removed to save a few quid for the PCT. In the meantime your politician is claiming £25 per day food allowance and NEVER has to pay for their own transport costs phone calls etc etc, and I'M THE SCROUNGER.
    Not one member of governBENT has EVER done an HONEST days graft in their entire lives, Camoron/Clegg never need to work or claim any expenses they could easily afford to live without either, yet they sit in their political bubble and accuse me of being a SCROUNGER, if they had any courage at all they'd knock my door look me in the eye and tell me they're right.

  • Comment number 71.

    52. At 2:57pm on 11 Nov 2010, MellorSJ wrote:

    Andy_Townender wrote: "I saw an interview with some chap (set to a council housing background) on the news last night - asking him if he'd now be tempted to apply for jobs, or risk losing benefits - after a years of living off the state's feed-bag.

    His answer was 'no... there are only low paid jobs around'

    Having once been umemployed myself - I think this attitude is disgraceful."

    Indeed it is.

    And the answer is to reduce benefits until this loafer finds it more profitable to work.

    ------------------------------------

    And you think your gated community will protect you?

    People like you make me laugh. You want people working for the minimum wage, but talk about bringing the cost of living and house prices down, oohhh thats a no no. When are people like you going to wake up and see where the problem really is!

  • Comment number 72.

    Oooh we are nearly at a full swing return to the 80's.

    Return of the mullet, tracksuits, neon, horrendous amount o hairspray recession, depression, Tories in power, riots, etc.

    Fun times ahead people, fun times ahead :)


  • Comment number 73.

    This overhaul is essential. The main problem remains that whole swathes of the UK population live in a state of almost permanent dependency on the money generated by those in work without any real incentive to get off their backsides and this 'culture' is being passed down from generation to generation, fostered in part by Labour administrations who just cannot shrug off the habit of spending the nations wealth as if there was no tomorrow!

  • Comment number 74.

    The biggest benefits scam is the millions who claim disability benefits for being 'depressed' so that they get more money than when on JSA and nobody ever bothers them again. How on earth do you prove a mental illness? Most are faking it, I have no doubt. And if you're mentally fit enough to have a go at me on here then you're well enough to get a job.

    Anyone can claim to be cheesed off with life and everyone goes through periods in their life when things get on top of them, but we still work and wouldn't dream of sponging off the state.

    I get cheesed off having to go to work every morning to provide for spongers first and myself second. Am I entitled to disability benefit because i'm sick to death of paying taxes?

  • Comment number 75.

    I made the mistake once of going into town on benefits payment day. I couldn't find a parking spot for my old banger (had to park 500 yards away and I was on my lunchbreak from my place of work 5 miles away), I wondered what the event was that had brought all this traffic into town. Once I realised that all these near new cars were owned by the doley's I began to think, what the hell am I doing working, rushing about in my meal break to get vital business done, and the work shy are better off than me. To answer your question, the reforms will have only gone far enough when benefits are paid purely for a roof over your head and food on the table, nothing else.

  • Comment number 76.

    I wonder if you go back a number of generations and see how your own ancestors would disown you for your words. I am sure not all were of wealth disposition over 100 or more years ago. But, here you stand a class above everyone else.

    I find most comments here vile and wonder how sick of mind these people are here?


    Positive opportunity and development to allow someone to progress, by creating trade centres or allowing business to train for skills gaps or vacancies to assist in wealth and opportunity for all.

    No. Lets them do what I wouldn't do or even consider. Hypocrites are abound here for I am not that situation I despise my fellow citizen.

    Fellow citizen that I am truly ashamed to be called fellow citizen of you.

    I wonder how many of you would go down where these people are to publicly voice or give opinion of them? No.
    Your stomach does not have that hunger, only hatred, jealousy and prejudice for those that take the crust.

    Those that call themselves religious, charitable, or humanitarian take a better look for that is not you sir/madam.

    Vile, Vile, Vile!



  • Comment number 77.

    ...or so desperate, he'll allow another person to impose their will on him?

    Power - what a drug.

    I love the smell of a nose being rubbed in the gravel in the morning.

    52 And the answer is to reduce benefits until this loafer finds it more profitable to work

  • Comment number 78.

    The biggest problem is and will continus to be the lack of many Millions of NEW REAL Full-Time Jobs becoming available over the next 10 - 15 Years, for other than useless Soundbites being what seems like now to be forever being delivered by Government, none of the previous Words spokenby IDS or anyone else has delivered 1 Single New Real Full - Time Job into the Employment Market.

    Therefore, in truth Iain Duncan Smith can talk all he likes about getting People back into Employment, while here in the REAL World there are quite simply NO NEW REAL JOB'S of the many Millions needed [ between now 8.5 Million, rising to more than 12 Million in more additional places needed by 2015 ], while during the period leading up to 2015 we are expecting to be seeing at least another 1 Million People joining the UK's Unemployment Register.

    So, before we can even think about changing the Benefits System simply to reduce the total Cost of Welfare, we simply have to have the New Millions of Job's created for People to go into, otherwise this execise of changing the Benefit's System will become a complete waste of time and money.

    So once again Mr Iain Duncan Smith - WHERE ARE ALL THE MILLIONS OF NEW JOB'S COMING FROM IN THE FUTURE TO GET PEOPLE BACK INTO FULL - TIME EMPLOYMENT, since nothing else is going to Work to reduce Unemployment for the Long - Term???????????????????????????????????????

  • Comment number 79.

    Mark begins by quoting bootrap: "Close the loopholes that many big business and rich people use for avoiding tax"

    Sigh. And where do you think those business will set up next?

    Mark continues: "I could add to the list,

    Stop the pointless wars"

    Wholly on board with that.

    "Increase the tax band for those earning 5 timers higher than the national minimum wage (good incentive to raise the national minimum wage isn't it?)."

    Quick back of the envelope says £6 * 2000 * 5 = £60k pa. Are you kidding?

    "MellorSJ, I assume you want people to work yes?."

    I don't care. I don't want to pay for them (unless disabled etc)

    "Would it be fair to also request that those who work get a honest wage for a hard weeks work?."

    "Fair" has nothing to do with it. See thread on China. They're hungry!

    "Do you think it's fair that people WORK 40+ hour's a week for £5.93 an hour?"

    When will you people get a grip? Fair has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

    "I could "almost" agree with this right wing attitude if work was fully rewarded, but currently for allot of people work is a mugs game."

    Easy. Reduce benefits.

    "They sacrifice all of there time, only to keep eating & paying the bills.

    That isn't living."

    What's your point?

    "Then the government offers them a way out in the way of benefits.

    I agree, that's not good either.

    How about we try to make work more appealing as oppose to putting people on the street's."

    I'm fine with that. Retraining, whatever.

    "Which I'm certain you can agree will cost us more in the long term anyway (due to having to commit crimes to survive).

    £60 a week JSA
    £598 a week prison."

    But there are more choices, aren't there?

    Emigrate to Poland is one.

  • Comment number 80.

    70. At 3:15pm on 11 Nov 2010, No Victim No Crime wrote:

    Compared to the £80 BILLION lost in tax avoidance/theft by the wealthy its peanuts, but lets not stop facts get in the way of pack mentality when there's someone worse off to attack and savage.
    I'm seen as a scrounger because I'm disabled with MS, Arthritis in every joint and a crumbling spine, after my bills are paid from my benefits I'm left with £19 per week MAXIMUM to buy food clothes toiletries etc, i don't drink booze I don't smoke, I'm allergic to most things pharmaceutical and the ONLY medicine that i can take and DOES work is about to be removed to save a few quid for the PCT. In the meantime your politician is claiming £25 per day food allowance and NEVER has to pay for their own transport costs phone calls etc etc, and I'M THE SCROUNGER.
    Not one member of governBENT has EVER done an HONEST days graft in their entire lives, Camoron/Clegg never need to work or claim any expenses they could easily afford to live without either, yet they sit in their political bubble and accuse me of being a SCROUNGER, if they had any courage at all they'd knock my door look me in the eye and tell me they're right.

    --------------------------------

    Cameron/clegg get all that funding but they are running the country. They are working hence the benefits. Well done for £19 a week, I am supporting myself and my partner as she is at uni. Sounds to me like you aint doing too bad for money. I have to work 5 days a week + whatever my boss wants just so I can afford the roof and bills.

    I am sorry for your illnesses and I do sympathise but your getting free money in a country with none.

  • Comment number 81.

    19. At 2:28pm on 11 Nov 2010, anotherfakename wrote:
    Clearly the reforms are rubbish - dreamt up by some civil servant to avoid doing anything.

    To make work pay it always has to be the case you are better off working.
    This means that what you earn needs to always be more than the benefits.
    There are two ways to achieve this...
    a) No benefits - in which case those on hard luck may die
    b) Give everyone (legally here) the same flat benefit to prevent them starving.

    If you choose (b) the paperwork becomes much simpler and a whole swathe of paper shufflers, paperwork and computers are not needed. You can also scrap the minimum wage, tax allowances and a swathe of other clutter. This improves things for everyone - strange as it may sound it is also much cheaper for everyone.
    ======================================================================

    How about paying a living wage?

  • Comment number 82.

    Can no-one see what's going on here.

    We're back to the old tory way of dividing society.

    Just because some member of the public says on a news report that they know someone who has been on benefit for all their lives doesn't actually make it fact. Most people are gossipers and like to stir up bad air.

    Why should I feel like i'm public enemy no.1 if i lose my job and have to claim benefits. Will I have to explain to the world my entire life story so that I don't look like a scrounger. What's to stop someone saying that I have been on benefits all my life?

    The tories are preying on our already fragile state of society, while we're pointing the finger at each other and argueing amongst ourselves, the government can get away with anything it wants without us seeing a thing.

    As for making work seem attractive, what a joke.

    Employers in England don't want to pay a descent wage. The cost of living in this country is rediculously high and now employers will never have to pay more because we won't be able to claim benefits without being made out to be sponging off society. Since when did British citizens have to choose between the lesser of two evils.

    What were people thinking when they voted Tory!
    The Tories are bunch of spoilt, private school boys who have never wanted for anything! Most of them didn't even pay for their education, or their houses, or the car that drives them to westminster, or even the wine parties they celebrate at after a victory in the house of commons. Whilst the rest of us don't know what's going to happen next week!

    They're acting like a bunch of communist leaders!


  • Comment number 83.

    I like Wu Shu.

    Keep it up, mate.

    (As the actress said to the bishop.0

  • Comment number 84.

    If you want to know the ACTUAL REAL FIGURES on benifit fruad - please read the details below.

    Department of Work & Pensions estimates benefit fraud costs £1bn a year.

    The tax office calculations put fruadulent claims of child tax credit at apr £500m a year.

    This totals to £1.5b a year.

    The current estimate of £5.2 repeated by David Cameron includes tax ERRORS not fruad, which accounts for the remaining 3.7b.

    This means that benifit fruad accounts for 1.5b per year, IN TOTAL.

    Unclaimed benifits - £16 billion unclaimed

    Twenty-seven leading charities are today calling on the government to set ambitious targets to improve take-up of welfare benefits and tax credits, highlighting more than £16 billion in means-tested benefits and tax credits that currently goes unclaimed every year.

    As many as four out of five low paid workers without children (1.2million households) miss out on tax credits worth at least £38 per week - a total of £1.9 billion

    As many as half of all working households entitled to housing benefit (worth an average £37.60 per week) do not claim it – that’s up to half a million households.

    Other benefits showing signs of significant under-claiming include council tax benefit and pension credit. Up to three million households are missing out on an average £13 a week in council tax benefit, while as many as 1.7 million pensioners are missing out on an average of £31 a week in pension credit.

    "“The government has made a serious commitment to eradicate child and pensioner poverty, and to help the working poor, yet up to £10.5 billion of means tested benefits and £6.2 billion of tax credits remain unpaid each year. This adds up to millions of people in dire need missing out on the help they should be getting to make ends meet. This is bad news at any time, but it’s especially worrying when so many are still feeling the impact of the recent recession. It’s absolutely vital that the government sets ambitious take-up targets for means-tested benefits and tax credits as an importantstep towards tackling poverty and providing adequate incomes for all.”




  • Comment number 85.

    On the TV News last night there was the example of a young woman who had chosen to leave school with absolutely no qualifications. She complained that she had been unable to get a job because she had no experience and no qualifications and believed she would never be able to. She expected the government (ie us taxpayers) to fund her because of her self inflicted predicament.

    Why should those who have chosen not to take advantage of the education provided by the taxpayer expect to be funded by the taxpayer because of the consequences of that choice?

    Perhaps "SystemF" can explain in what way the above post represents someone from the "loony left wing"?

  • Comment number 86.

    I love this. So... how are we going to get these people into work when job applicants outnumber available jobs by about 10 to 1.


    On the other hand I'm sick and tired of subsidising housing benefits on the scale I and many others do. It comes off my Council Tax and I was horrified to find out what percentage subsidises housing associations, etc. It comes, per month, to more than I get in uncommitted spending money! More than any other single chunk of how my Council Tax is spent.

  • Comment number 87.

    I do of course support making work pay. However, I cannot support punishing people for not being able to find a job when there are not enough jobs available.

    Surely the priority must be job creation.

  • Comment number 88.

    74. At 3:19pm on 11 Nov 2010, Wu Shu wrote:

    The biggest benefits scam is the millions who claim disability benefits for being 'depressed' so that they get more money than when on JSA and nobody ever bothers them again. How on earth do you prove a mental illness? Most are faking it, I have no doubt. And if you're mentally fit enough to have a go at me on here then you're well enough to get a job.

    Anyone can claim to be cheesed off with life and everyone goes through periods in their life when things get on top of them, but we still work and wouldn't dream of sponging off the state.

    I get cheesed off having to go to work every morning to provide for spongers first and myself second. Am I entitled to disability benefit because i'm sick to death of paying taxes?

    You mean like my EX who attempted suicide 3 times when she was made to undergo an ESA assessment that seemed to think a 31yr plus illness can be ignored, she spent 5 years in institutions and lost her children because of her illness.
    Well i get cheesed off with uncaring ignorant people who only think of themselves, lets hope you don't find yourself in difficulty in the future and expect any consideration or care.
    Some people really are unreal.

  • Comment number 89.

    More decent jobs would get folk off the brew.

    Loads of jobs in the 1950s and no unemployment issues because all your buddies were making money in employment and then out on the town at the weekend.
    So you worked too, or you got left behind.

    Nowadays jobs are hard to get, and decent jobs are virtually non-existent.

    People will become self employed criminals, and drugs will become a major income stream for millions, just like in the USA.

  • Comment number 90.

    We now know that people have been placed into rented housing using housing benefit to pay the rent for the unemployed.Thats fine but when the unemployed person has not got the education or skills to get a job that a earned wage would replace the housing benefit,this has caused a benefit trap.A trap because we feel sorry for the unemployed who must be moved out into other accomodation to make the new benefit system work,while others will fight to keep them were they are.
    As a society we must decide wether we do more harm withn our good intentions trying to keep a unemployed family locked in benefits.A life on benefits,5 or 10 years without any ambition or work colleagues to banter with,spending hours in the pub.This can`t be allowed to continue.We know there have to be jobs for people but some people during the boom times when eastern europeans came to the uk ,chose a life on benefits.

  • Comment number 91.

    i hope all you clowns who voted this disgrace into power are happy.....there was a reason they got voted out years ago...some of you should have remembered that!

  • Comment number 92.

    Still too easy to live well off the backs of those who actually work for a living. Helping the poor , disabled and unemployed through no fault of their own is one thing, but keeping lazy parasites who have no intention of ever working is not on. Choosing how and what you do for a living nowadays is a luxury few workers have. If the workshy refuse to take a job because they think it's beneath them then the benefits should be out of reach also.

  • Comment number 93.

    63. At 3:08pm on 11 Nov 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    51. At 2:55pm on 11 Nov 2010, Richard Smart wrote:

    There is already enough incentive to work for many of us. There just aren't enough jobs or training opportunities to go around.

    I was asked by Job Centre Plus to apply for a job as a "library worker". Fair enough. It's money. My area of study is mathematics and science though. What's wrong with this picture?

    I'm no expert but it looks like you chose to study in an area where there were poor prospects of employment.


    Well, mathematics and science ought to lead to much increased and more lucrative prospects of employment. Maths and physics are 3rd and 4th on the list of highest paid careers. It may well be that Richard wasn't particularly good at his chosen area of study or insists on living in a part of the country where those skills are not in demand.

  • Comment number 94.

    The minimum wage will enslave the lower classes to the wealthy.

  • Comment number 95.

    LondonHarris starts off OK with: "The biggest problem is and will continus to be the lack of many Millions of NEW REAL Full-Time Jobs becoming available over the next 10 - 15 Years, for other than useless Soundbites being what seems like now to be forever being delivered by Government, none of the previous Words spokenby IDS or anyone else has delivered 1 Single New Real Full - Time Job into the Employment Market.

    Therefore, in truth Iain Duncan Smith can talk all he likes about getting People back into Employment, while here in the REAL World there are quite simply NO NEW REAL JOB'S of the many Millions needed [ between now 8.5 Million, rising to more than 12 Million in more additional places needed by 2015 ], while during the period leading up to 2015 we are expecting to be seeing at least another 1 Million People joining the UK's Unemployment Register."

    But his solution os to keep paying claimants.

    Instead of realizing that if there are no new jobs then we are all going to suffer.

    Who are the ones who should suffer most? Those without jobs!

    Why should those who have jobs (in a declining market) keep on paying while some people are turning down jobs? (Scottywhatever for example.)

  • Comment number 96.

    The usual half-baked ill-thought-out claptrap... yes, the benefit system does need sorting out, but properly.

    Start with a single payment for ALL people not earning, never mind why. Make that payment sufficient to feed, clothe and house them. The minimum wage looks like a reasonable yardstick. But that's all they get, no additional payments for flocks of children, etc.

    Then run job centres on a professional basis, with properly-trained advisors with expertise in helping those who want to and are able to work find an appropriate position.

    I have been unemployed for a year, and desperately want to work. The job centre 'advisors' are utterly useless. No help whatsoever.

    Now the suggestion is that the jobless should be kicked even harder if they turn down 3 job offers... these wasters haven't even been able to find a single job for me to apply to, let alone provide an offer of work for me to refuse!

    Oh, and why does it have to wait until 2013? More money is being wasted in administering the poorly-designed system every minute.

    Tell you what? Hire me and I'll knock up a workable, efficient, fair system for supporting people while they find jobs. It wouldn't just be me that was being helped back into employment :)

  • Comment number 97.

    This is interesting. On a sudden, there are several posts talking about job creation. Cool!

    Anyone tried to do that? Anywhere? In the UK?

    See what I mean?

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    88. At 3:31pm on 11 Nov 2010, No Victim No Crime wrote:
    74. At 3:19pm on 11 Nov 2010, Wu Shu wrote:

    The biggest benefits scam is the millions who claim disability benefits for being 'depressed' so that they get more money than when on JSA and nobody ever bothers them again. How on earth do you prove a mental illness? Most are faking it, I have no doubt. And if you're mentally fit enough to have a go at me on here then you're well enough to get a job.

    Anyone can claim to be cheesed off with life and everyone goes through periods in their life when things get on top of them, but we still work and wouldn't dream of sponging off the state.

    I get cheesed off having to go to work every morning to provide for spongers first and myself second. Am I entitled to disability benefit because i'm sick to death of paying taxes?

    You mean like my EX who attempted suicide 3 times when she was made to undergo an ESA assessment that seemed to think a 31yr plus illness can be ignored, she spent 5 years in institutions and lost her children because of her illness.
    Well i get cheesed off with uncaring ignorant people who only think of themselves, lets hope you don't find yourself in difficulty in the future and expect any consideration or care.
    Some people really are unreal.


    No, Wu Shu is probably referring to those like the husband of "Wife Swap" Lizzie Bardsley who was on incapacity benefit due to depression because his father died 5 years earlier. Most of us have to get on with life for a perfectly expected event. Depression after the death of a child or spouse/partner I can understand (though not for 5 years) but not for a parent.

    However, whilst I do have considerable sympathy for your ex, in life s*** happens and most of us just have to grin and bear it.

  • Comment number 100.

    Will a universal benefit system work?

    It's been dreamed up by the Government and implemented by the Civil Service, so I would imagine the answer to that would be "No."
    It's not called the Benefit System for nothing, you know: It's for the benefit of the people who work in the system. The Government could come up with a scheme to pay the poorest people in the country footballers' wages and they'd sill end up worse off!

 

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