Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html en-gb 30 Fri 28 Aug 2015 11:04:10 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html newSweetMonkey2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=97#comment37 I think the poster who cites why do so many people think their circumstances dictate the norm is correct.Of course there are people receiving benefits who can't work and need the money. But there are a huge amount of people who have made a career from the benefit system. One good case doesn't negate the 1000 that follow.It confuses me when there is a debate on radio regarding single mothers and always you will get the one exception who says they have brought up their children correctly - ignoring the vast amount of kids who are dragged up in a benefit household and are now in gangs and involved in the most ridiculous postcode warfare, where you can't venture to another part of the city. Send these kids to an African village where they haven't got any drinking water, disease is rife, people are being slaughtered and there isn't any food, and they may get a sense of prospective. Mon 15 Dec 2008 11:47:42 GMT+1 devonsongbird http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=94#comment36 Of course this debate homes in on the 'scroungers' who are determined to live off the state and resist any attempts to get them into work. I am sure there are a few but by far the bigger issue which requires a much more imaginative approach than we are likely to see from this govt is that many people who do not work would like to do so but need support to enable them to do so.1) There are many on incapacity/disability benefits (not sure of the terminology) who have fluctuating conditions which mean they could work some of the time. I personally know people with MS and bipolar disorder - both are sometimes fit for work but also have periods when they are not. What they need is a benefits system that kicks in immediately to cover the bad times. How about a system that basically registers them as sick but deducts half of what they earn in any one week up to a ceiling? I k now it would be administratively complex but it could save the country money and - more importantly - make some very marginalised people feel part of society again.2) Many of the people the govt is targeting can only expect low paid work. For single parents, or even couples bringing in 2 such wages, the cost of child care can be prohibitive. For these the system should make it easier to work part time (but more than the very few hours currently permissible) so that caring responsibilities can be covered without buying in too much expensive support. No-one should ever be worse off by working so more benefits e.g. free prescriptions, need to be protected when people enter low paid employment from the jobless pool. Maybe benefits should continue to be paid in full for at least the first month while people sort themselves out. 3) People who have been unemployed for a long time need support when they first start back in work - preparation for the workplace and perhaps some mentoring in the early weeks. 4) Training opportunities, especially apprenticeships need to be much improved. Govt pays lipservice but it falls a long way short of what is needed to provide real and lasting employment, especially for young people. Mon 15 Dec 2008 11:34:58 GMT+1 bankersareonbenefits http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=92#comment35 We are here again. I grew up in a single parent family. My parents divorced following my fathers redundancy during the eighties recession. We went from living in a five bedroom house in a nice middle class suburb to a damp and cramped flat on a sink council estate. We were reliant on benefits when my mother was unable to find enough work. She would hold down two part time jobs when she could get them and balance raising three children aged between 4 and 14. We were called benefit scroungers in the press regularly and alienated and isolated because of it. There is the presumption that life on benefit is an enviable one. It's not. Not knowing how to pay bills. Being scared of putting on the heating because you know you cannot afford it. Not having food in the cupboards on a regular basis. On top of that you know you are the 'scum of the earth' because that is all the media will tell you and it's all you ever hear.Is living on basic benefit so glamourous?Maybe it is of you work for one the banks the government has bailed out. There you get wear a suit and go to work and collect a wage far higher than any 'scrounging' benefit claimant. You also get to feel that you still belong to the rest of the human race.People on benefit pay tax on their benefits. So we are all paying for lots of people to sit in banks at lovely desks and behind counters. They are subsidised by the government and all our taxes but no one is criticising these people and calling them benefit claimants, which they are. They are the ideal. They are claiming billions of pounds of government money and working at the same time and I'm sure receiving plenty of training.So because someone wears a suit and has managed to hold on to a job (regardless of their ability) they are worth hundreds of billions of tax payers money to subsidise them and that is OK? They are not 'scrounging scum'? They are most certainly 'on benefits'.Yet again this country is far too eager to jump on the poor and ignore the real scroungers who are on more benefits than we could ever imagine. The vast majority of self employed people who earn far more than they tell the tax man. All of those who post about 'scrounging benefit claimants' please take your discussion to all the employees of most of our high street banks and leave those with little food or heating alone.peace. Mon 15 Dec 2008 08:53:29 GMT+1 CASSEROLEON http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=89#comment34 As I have written elsewhere, the present economic downturn- that has got the government borrowing money on World War levels- could/should be the perfect opportunity for engaging ALL reduntant factors of production in a struggle on the Home Front. Like that earlier "Dad's Army"/ "Housewife 49" effort it should be a struggle by the whole of Society- a struggle for the future of us all. Expecting the State and its offices and agencies to solve the problems is just another part of a "benefits culture". Mon 15 Dec 2008 00:06:23 GMT+1 U13716006 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=86#comment33 After bailing out the corrupt and greedy bankers with no strings attached, it is no coincidence that this labour government has decided to retrieve the cash from the poorest in society, why do governments always find it necessary to fund the foibles of the super rich with the bread and butter of those who can afford it least. Why don't they go after the billions of unpaid corporate tax, or shelve the iniquitous PFI abominations and the evil of the profits of the privatised utilities!Shame on them. Sun 14 Dec 2008 17:29:01 GMT+1 NutitanicPassenger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=84#comment32 Nothing has been helped by the fact that at one time even a labourer or farmhand was earning enough to support a wife and family. The lowest paid workers could get council housing and live a fairly reasonable life ...with the wife at home and the husband working.It's completely impossible now ......a low paid male worker simply cannot support a family....so now the state is picking up the tab. Sun 14 Dec 2008 17:22:47 GMT+1 MandieDevon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=81#comment31 xfloridax- That is a good point what you post!Think the problem is the Govt didn't make the laws to be on an equal balance. Both for married people who work with children against people on benefits with children both being intitled to the same benefits. (Am sure it was because of too many children where living in poverty??) Didn't they bring a law in years ago that stopped the idea of a 'stay at home mum' that was the attitude of the 50's? (mum stays at home looks after children dispite if they was incapable or not, dad goes out to earn the living) Then in the 80's when the benefits law changed many upon many with children realized they was working for nothing and struggling and so sat on benefits!, Example, My dad worked in the forces, he did his time, came out, got a job (when jobs where easily got back then) via the trade he was taught in the Army. i was a kid back in the 80's (i am 31 now), BUT has a teenager, my dad realized that whilst he was struggling to keep house over our heads. food on the table, many was living the dream life sat at home doing nothing, how? like many here he couldn't work it out!, It caused rows when he got in from work, rows we has children was hearing, he lost his job eventually, couldn't pay mortgage, lost the house!Where did he end up? claiming benefits for 4 children and a wife, and being 'given' due to entitlement (being made unintentionaly homeless) a 3bed house and subsequently sat on benefits until his children was grown up and he couldn't claim benefits for children anymore only has a married couple! (which is peanuts!!)BUT i have no crimminal record, i was not to be found on a street corner, or out late at night and GOD HELP ME if i was to come home pregnant has a teenager! - Looking back i am glad my dad sat on benefits, and was there to drill into me those morals and give me the firm grounding! So yes you have a good point when you say ''subsidise married mother's so they can stay home with their children too''!!Today, my dad is divorced, now in employment again, why? because he realized that a single person gets nuts on benefits so even has a single working person his wages are not enough to come inline with what the Govt says a single person has to have to live on, so he still has his wages topped up via benefits, a top up via benefits on his rent and council tax, is entitled to working tax credit, got the 'back to work bonuses' BUT he still lives in that 3bed council home, we his children have all grown up, my bro who lives with him can live in his own flat and so free that home up,! We on benefits now get 80% of childcare paid for us due to these 'new' reforms. do you who already work get that? The Govt see it has (i think but with many not the case) that a working couple get more in wages and the added Family Tax credits is for childcare, and so can then pay the qualified carer who looks after their children before school and after to not let them roam streets and get criminal records whilst you work.For those on benefits (which when worked out is lower than the national wage) it is solely down to them and the way THEY and me bring our children up...a case of you pay and give responsibility to someone else to look after your children for you whilst you work, 08:30-1830 approx because the law says you have to! We on benefits are solely that responsibility (like my dad was with me) You get a break away from your children via working after school hrs (agree many don't want to but have no choice due to laws ect), we on benefits do not get that break, have someone to have our children for us, so am guessing that is why many say it is harder for a parent on benefits??.Am sure when i was a kid my parents got a marriage allowance?(is that what it was called back in the 80's) What happened to that?. Don't working people get working family's tax credit on top of their wages and has such THAT is what is supposed to pay, or go towards cost of child care and you top rest up if needed via your wages?From my point of view it is interesting to read the views from a tax payer with children ,...is it worth for many out there with children to make the REAL effort under these 'new' reforms to actually get a job and come off benefits? Sun 14 Dec 2008 14:29:07 GMT+1 NutitanicPassenger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=78#comment30 I am unemployed .. and it isn't as if the jobcentre 'offers' me a job and I turn it down or refuse it....if I am very lucky they might have 'one' suitable vacancy a week for me to 'apply' for....but there is always at least a hundred other people applying for the same job and I am very lucky if I even get as far as an interview.I just don't understand why so many people make it seem like the unemployed are refusing to work.....I simply can't find a job, .....I would gladly be 'forced' to work. The obvious only stipulation is that it isn't slave labour and is paid at the minimum hourly wage. Sun 14 Dec 2008 13:56:25 GMT+1 Bloofs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=76#comment29 The elephant in the room is about the nature of some of these jobs. Some jobs are horrendous and low paid, it's not rocket science that some people want to avoid doing them. Life is short, no-one asks to be born, and no-one asks to be born into this society. What's the point in getting up every morning to do an unfulfilling, tedious, repetitive job? Forget it.It could also be argued that encouraging migrants to do the jobs British people won't do, not only takes the option away from Brits who *are* willing, but devalues the job in the eyes of natives, if a migrant is willing to do it. So, if you want more Brits to work, you may have to restrict immigration numbers in order to force people into these jobs that migrants currently have. But that won't happen because EU membership demands free exchange of workforce. Sun 14 Dec 2008 13:43:50 GMT+1 xfloridax http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=73#comment28 I really don't understand the comment about the children of single parents losing their children for most of the day. The children of married parents who both have to work go through this all the time, yet no one subsidises our childcare pay. At least there are some benefits available for this.I am definitely not against people who need help today getting all the help that they need and for as long as they need it. But I wish everyone would stop acting like a single parent works harder than any other normal mother. We all have the same job to do.If we're worried about children being away from their parents all day, fine let's go with that...so how about now starting to subsidise married mother's so they can stay home with their children too....or don't those children suffer? Sun 14 Dec 2008 02:54:05 GMT+1 MandieDevon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=71#comment27 'So here are two questions:a) Why do the worthy mess such threads up with their proof of need.'A-: Because not EVERYONE out there is physically capable of working, they may look it I.E- can use arms, legs and answer a phone, so they should be working in many peoples eyes right? But my point was what if the pressure of doing that, and told 'Your physically capable get back to work' from Incapacity benefit was too much, and then left that person incapable of ever looking or finding a job again due to a mental breakdown ect,(in my case a Grand mal seizure) Spo ok, i do what the Govt's new reforms say!- IF i at 0900 turn up for work, 'physicaly able' and at 1030 i had a fit banging my head on the edge of a table has i fell to the ground having a fit leaving me brain damaged, I would then be incapable of EVER working again and INCAPABLE of being a mum to my 3 children which would put them into full foster care, why should i take that risk?? ...just because someone posts about there personal situation and it doesn't tally with your view or way of thinking do not be so quick to JUDGE on those that look capable but actually in reality are not and are not under these 'new' reforms!!'Why do a lot of couples break up after making babies, rather than before making them?'Me personally? I walked away from the father and into a hostel for mums when i realized that i was seen has just a 'baby machine' to fund the fathers drinking and gambling habit, leaving me at home to me mum to the children for 90% of the day, and the other 10% cleaning up after him! Which when i met him and moved in with him he didn't have this problem because we couldn't afford on wages to fund it. His sister had a baby and the reality of how much she recieved on benefits against the wages we recieved and struggled on (unbeknown to me at the time was the main reason why he wanted children in the first place and so close together), once i had the second child, he lost his job/walked out and we went onto claim benefits,Benefits that whilst i was at home 'playing mum' and pregnant with the next he was drinking/gambling away! In the end, i had no choice but to protect my children before Social services placed them into a place of saftey from an abusive drunk and gambler and i became a single mum. ...we single mums ALL have our individual reasons!'Why do people who created their own misery expect help from society? Isn't there a reponsibility issue?'-Did i? I got knocked over has a child, i am since that day left with a lifetime of epelepsy, is that my fault?, well YES i blame myself because i walked in the road didn't i, and YES i regret doing that every day because i wreaked my OWN LIFE doing it!! Has for the baby side of responsibility, had i known back then that the father of my children had an underlying alchol/gambling problem (which him working stopped him doing) I would NOT be a single mum of 3 today! Sat 13 Dec 2008 21:24:17 GMT+1 The_judge_of_it http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=68#comment26 Not strictly on topic, but after reading some of the posts I can't help but asking, with all due respect:Why do a lot of couples break up after making babies, rather than before making them?Why do couples who financially are only barely surviving decide to make babies? Don't they realise that they create misery for themselves and their children?Why do people who created their own misery expect help from society? Isn't there a reponsibility issue? Sat 13 Dec 2008 17:31:10 GMT+1 stalisman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=65#comment25 Why do debates always end up revolving atout an exception trying to prove the rule wrong?It is beyond deniable doubt that there are worthy people on benefits worthy of being there and deserviong of our respect and help.So here are two questions:a) Why do the worthy mess such threads up with their proof of need.b) why do fokls get so distracted by the deserving cases that unknowingly destroy debate to feel better at heart?I would add a third but I figure you all know that to generalise is as wrong as an individuals beratement. Sat 13 Dec 2008 14:02:58 GMT+1 MandieDevon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=63#comment24 ''To achieve this, it needs to get a million people off the current Incapacity Benefit and 300,000 lone mothers back to work.''- My personal circumstances are:- Single mum of 3, and has we are referred to by many as 'a scrounger', Went to a 'work focus interview' at start of the week to be told' you continue has a student you are intiled to your benifits, and within the guidlines has you are contributing'.The loss of any benefit does not effect me untill 2010 when the 'new' law comes out of 'Single mums with child of seven get no IS for that child, (Note) this does not say that child benefit will stop or family tax credit will stop, which we get automatic via claiming IS. So in 2010 i lose my IS for my 3children, i then would move from IS to JSA, BUT STILL be able to claim Child benefit and family tax credit has JSA is STILL Income support just different letters!....'Activly seeking work'= turn up at job center every 2 weeks press a few buttons on a machine and say hello to a person who works at the jobcenter has your walking out of the door, 'your activly seeking work' 'Proliberty, #5, like the idea about putting the physically able to sorting recycling and the physically unable to the administration of it.'- I have Epelepsy and whilst physically able to the best i possibly can of looking after my 3 children has a single mum,(Am only incapable when i have had a bad fit and then my children end up in temp foster care) I cannot get insurance, cannot drive! If i was to do what the above you posted says, (the same has being told by incapacity benefit'you are physically capable of working') and i was to have a fit, putting myself in danger/harming myself and leaving me INCAPABLE of being the mum i am today to my 3 children and so putting them into FULL foster care, I WOULD SUE THE GOVT and their 'new' reforms for leaving my children without a mum who was once capable of looking after them!!!. There are no jobs out there for people in my situation who once had a aim and a goal in life to become an Architect, i had that shattered via some career path women who told me, just has i was applying for uni at Sheffield, 'you cannot do that job you will not be insured' what that women doesn't realize is that one sentence effected my life, my self esteem, my ambition, my aims, my goal all went 5mins after she said that and leaves me on benifits, why? because she was right i cannot get insured!!! Sat 13 Dec 2008 00:47:43 GMT+1 tacrepus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=60#comment23 Why doesn't the government itself create the required jobs. This could easily be funded by transferring the administration costs currently burdening the taxpayer in both the welfare system and the job centres. The jobs that are created need not even be profitable, all they need to do is to provide a service & break even financially - the net effect would be no different from today and there would, at least, be some kind of end result .Besides which, for all those who say there are no jobs available, then I wouild have to ask why there are so many people coming from overseas to work in the UK. Surely if there are no job vacancies then we don't need people from outside of the UK applying for work permits (or not applying, as the case may be). If it's skilled workers that are needed then perhaps the government should think about redistributing the welfare budget into compulsary training centres. Fri 12 Dec 2008 21:03:18 GMT+1 john http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=57#comment22 I shall reiterate what I have said before on other blogs - 'What work ? what jobs ?' Saying you must all get a job is positively futile if the jobs don't exist . How many times must it be said - it doesn't matter what schemes the powers that be come up with - no jobs = unemployment . If you want to get people off the dole then jobs must be created , either by the government directly or by putting in place a system whereby industry ( not of the service kind ) creates these jobs - until then all this is a waste of time... Fri 12 Dec 2008 20:15:35 GMT+1 veggiesnotflowers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=55#comment21 As what is commonly called a "scrounger" or "parasite" I work 24/7 as a carer for my severely disabled husband, carer for my epileptic daughter and mother to my 3 other children. Plus I am also disabled. Despite this, should I claim income support, I too would have to attend "work focused" interviews and would probably end up in JSA as it is only "some" carers that will be exempt. As informed by one job centre employee.."In case your disabled family members drop dead" (nice!)£55 a week for being a carer to two (plus child tax credits plus HB/CTB andchild benefitwill not clain IS again). Even that got suspended on Monday yet they have no idea why and I have to wait 4 weeks for them to sort it.Merry Christmas! Fri 12 Dec 2008 16:37:51 GMT+1 mikeraphone123 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=52#comment20 A number of good comments have been made. In addition:- 1. Those who have been on a Government training scheme will know that the vast majority are box ticking wastes of time and money.2. Those running small businesses know how expensive and fraught with risk taking on anyone these days. When a firm has to cough up £35,000 for retiring a man 24 hours too early, have to now pay every penny of sick pay, or can't fire a shirker for fear of a tribunal - why should they take the risk?3. The bureaucratic burden is expensive, wasteful and exhausting. Give real jobs to responsible people and benefit only to those who truly do what they can and deserve it.Mike Fri 12 Dec 2008 13:59:45 GMT+1 lettucego http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=50#comment19 Various groups have been stigmatised in recent years, but those receiving benefits are still the most popular. But doesn't it strike anyone as odd that this latest comes at a time when unemployment is set to rise to horrible levels?In the 80s when unemployment rose to unprecedented levels and tens of thousands of businesses failed, the rest of us realized that "there but for the Grace of God go I". It was obvious, despite what the Tory politicians were saying, that these people were unemployed through no fault of their own. Actually, it's only those who feel secure in their jobs and financial situations that call the unemployed scroungers (and other things). Once we fully realize the fragility of our own circumstances, we might be a little more tolerant.In my view, the 80s produced the 'benefits culture', but this was amongst young people. It was those leaving full time education who couldn't find employment, who went into various training schemes to ensure that they received some kind of allowance. This was where the 'benefits culture' began - with the youngsters (and, I seem to remember, the huge rise in kids living on the streets who couldn't obtain benefits).Don't let the tabloids do your thinking for you - it is very difficult to get benefits.Successive governments *of all colours* have tried to cut the numbers down by fair means or foul, and yet here we are again. What is left of our Welfare State should be cherished not demolished.Generally, people who have been in work, do not want to be out of it. Generally, people who have been on benefits, do not want to stay there - it really is no easy life. Agreed there are those, and will always be, who play the system, but those are the minority. Various schemes over the years have insisted that the claimant be actively seeking work, so what's new now?Perhaps all these resources should be invested into keeping people in work in the first place. When I say "people" I mean those other than the bureaucrats who are trying to look busy by generating more work for themselves. Fri 12 Dec 2008 09:16:18 GMT+1 REME-REMF http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=47#comment18 Regarding ProLiberty's post:You have slightly overlooked the fact that recycling companies and councils are having serious problems selling their wares and in many cases are having to stockpile what they have collected. That would leave your scheme unworkable straight away. You could also add in claims against the employer for the many accidents that would happen and the costs of safety training. There are plenty of other reasons why this scheme of yours wouldn't work. Fri 12 Dec 2008 08:08:10 GMT+1 arnie_99 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=44#comment17 My personal experience with job centres, like ProLiberty's, was not great.I had just finished university (having worked every summer to keep my debts down) and was trying to find a job. I had a number of interviews, and was waiting to hear back from them. As I had no money, I needed to sign on. On showing up, I was told I wouldn't get any benefits as I hadn't paid enough in NI contributions. I queried this, asking if there were people on these benefits who had never worked (as opposed to my 12 months worth of work) and all I got were blank looks. I was told that there were jobs available, that I could start the coming monday, albeit minimum wage jobs. I explained that I had already had many interviews, and was waiting on these to get back to me within a week or so, which were offering a job I was suited for (as a chemistry graduate) rather than the admin position they wanted me to fill. I was confused as to why they could set me up for this, but none of the other people who had been before me were offered this job.Maybe it's just that recently-graduated people are an easy target, with no experience of the system? All I wanted was some income support for a couple of weeks to see if I got one of the jobs I had interviewed for, and yet they wanted to force me into a position (which would require a months notice to leave) which apparantly they hadn't offered to anyone else! Maybe they should take such a hard line with people who are constantly on the dole? Fri 12 Dec 2008 01:17:03 GMT+1 shellseeker56 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=42#comment16 What I really hate about all this is the judgmental and negative attitudes surrounding the whole issue of encouraging and supporting individuals to get into some kind of useful activity. Everyone on benefits is not a "SCROUNGER". Many people who use the benefits system as an emergency income following a job loss very quickly find that they are humiliated at every turn, de-moralised and depressed with rapid loss of confidence and self esteem. They are also caught in a poverty trap which is incredibly hard to get out of,It is good for people to feel they are contributing to society in some way, whether in paid employment or in the voluntary/community sector. It is important for people to feel valued. So why present this new initiative as if it is some kind of punishment? Why humiliate those in community service by making them wear orange vests? instead of appreciating their contribution? We don't want labour camps and chain gangs, do we? These only create more suffering and resentment.Why not a "YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU" message to begin to affirm the existence of those on welfare and welcome them into the world beyond benefits. Why would any one want to have anything to do with those who label them "scroungers" The person you speak of might simply be de-moralised, depressed and unmotivated. They may feel rejected . worthless and despised. If the rest of the world showed some sign of welcoming them they might be more willing to step into it.Insulting people does not improve their self respect and those who consider themselves superior because they have a pay check and regular work need to examine their own issues, They can, after all, afford to adopt a more generous , supportive and positive attitude towards those who have less both financially and in terms of overall quality of life at all levels.Giving is not just about financial support. Other gifts like acceptance, affirmation and empowerment are worth a whole lot more. Fri 12 Dec 2008 00:58:20 GMT+1 freindleonewhocares http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=39#comment15 These proposals are 10 years too late,as now there are no jobs.To claim that there are training places for all these people is also a myth,this I know from personal experience.The government is just trying to cover up it's own failures by putting the onus on those least able to defend themselves,typical politicians. Thu 11 Dec 2008 22:32:08 GMT+1 The_judge_of_it http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=36#comment14 I agree with #5 about recycling work, or any other non-skilled work that no one wants to do. How about helping to build the prisons that the UK needs.You can't give money and houses for nothing or else you create an incentive not to work. Then you get more idle people as well as a decreasing pool of working people who can pay for the others.Politicians of all parties should make it clear that the welfare state is self-defeating, instead of promoting the mentality of entitlement.Like #13 said, these things are obvious now, and they were also obvious 11 years ago. No excuses. Thu 11 Dec 2008 14:28:15 GMT+1 Wurz68 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=34#comment13 Bring back the victorian Workhouse. A roof over your head and you do whatever task is required that day to cover your (and your family's if you have one) food costs. No milking a welfare state, there wasn't one, but no-one had to starve or sleep on the street, and you worked for your keep. Oh, and we didn't have to pay income tax to pay for this. The workers kept their hard-earned and there weren't any shirkers! Thu 11 Dec 2008 13:55:24 GMT+1 wplr1978 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=31#comment12 Had Labour not created a Nanny state over the last 11 years where it is easier not to work than get out there and get a job, we wouldn't be in this situation.Unbelievable they are addressing it now that they have sentenced us to a long and deep recession. Hardly the ideal conditions to get people back to work. Thu 11 Dec 2008 11:15:07 GMT+1 alexandercurzon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=28#comment11 Its a PITY that so few People have posted on this blog.I GUESS the poorest people in our selfishsociety will NOT get a fair hearing.Which will allow politicians of all coloursto use them as the SCAPEGOAT.THERE MUST BE CHANGE TO MAKE EVERY PERSON INCLUDED.PUNISHMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER!!!! Thu 11 Dec 2008 04:27:03 GMT+1 akhibby http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=26#comment10 There's a flip side to single parents working, especially in lower paid jobs. It's not uncommon in the states for mothers to be paying out almost their entire paycheck for childcare. The state ends up paying them just as much as they did before and the child loses their only parent for most of the day, especially when the parent works more than one job.Just something to think about. Thu 11 Dec 2008 03:15:37 GMT+1 niccin13 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=23#comment9 I was a hard working s/e roofing carpenter, I loved the job, but I got a heart problem which in turn left me a bone problem, I broke my arm in bed ! Now I'm left with very limited movement in my arm , so carpentry is out. I was on Incapacity Benefit, and was trying to get training for another job. I did get started on a IT course, great I thought, until I was stopped doing this by being told to sign-on. I am still trying to get some training for a job. I want to work, I hate doing nothing, all I want is some help, but do I get it, no ! Will this change make any difference? I hope so . I WANT TO WORK ! Wed 10 Dec 2008 23:38:26 GMT+1 Brianonthecam http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=21#comment8 At 5:32pm on 10 Dec 2008, ProLiberty wrote: "... regarding local vacancies." It doesn't work like this anymore - the job centres tell you to look much futher afield. Instead of a (past)Tory minister telling you to "get on your bike" it's now given over to Job Centre clerks to save Labour Party criticism and embarrassment. But of course the biggest embarrassment is the huge numbers of the newly-graduated. The field is now level once more with prospective employers cherry-picking as they always did. The forecast of a further 3 million unemployed as the recession deepens will make both job-seeking and benefit-paying a real conundrum. Wed 10 Dec 2008 22:56:28 GMT+1 Tim_Warwick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=18#comment7 If people don't want to work they shouldn't be made to, and if people who do choose to work don't want to pay them then they shouldn't be made to either. "One day you will be out of work and then you will think differently" I can already hear the replies to this post. Well, I have been out of work plenty of times, zero money, no home, people saying "there's no jobs", and I didn't think differently then. I went and got a job. Yes, even in recessions.I'd love to think the writing is on the wall for the scroungers but, don't forget, while we were out earning their living for them they had all the time in the world to get rather good at milking us. Can we ever beat such expert parasites? I have bought loads of plasma TVs but I've never owned one. What is fair about that?(I have seen them, and the nice carpets, big sofas and playstations, so don't tell me that's a myth)Benefits should be linked to NI payments only. No contribution, no benefits. Natural selection is....... natural. Wed 10 Dec 2008 19:16:56 GMT+1 ThoughtCrime http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=15#comment6 Proliberty, #5, like the idea about putting the physically able to sorting recycling and the physically unable to the administration of it.We could probably put more people to work for longer, given we'd end up saving EU landfill charges if we can pull out a load of recyclables. Wed 10 Dec 2008 19:14:27 GMT+1 cping500 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=13#comment5 Among all the talk some figures are useful. In the second quarter of the year three quarters of people of working age (16-65 or 60 for women) had jobs....nearly 30 million in all. As David Freud's report points out Labour's record on getting people into work is pretty good. However the Governments target is to get four fifths of people of working into jobs, that is 32 million. (actually if we exclude students the four fifth target by my reckoning, had already been reached) There are were seven million or so people not working of which 1.5 millions were 'unemployed... seeking work, and l another larger group who said they would like work. Half of disabled people are working but around two and a half million are not working and on incapacity benefit. Three in five single parents are in work but there are around 750000 long term unemployed. These are the two groups are welfare recipients under pressure. but only account for half of the 7.5 inactive people. Some of those are of course retired and some are married. partnered people where one of the partners supported by the other (partnered women with kids under three for example)Since the Government wants to reduce the bill for welfare it will clearly concentrate meeting its employment goal (four in five working) by getting single parents on welfare and the sick back to work, (which has in fact been happening.) However they will be competing for jobs with no only the unemployed but with the not employed (and students) who fancy a job.But people are always moving from group to group. The unemployed get a job, the employed become unemployed or sick, married couples divorce l and a partner left with children claims welfare,. The are about nine million job changes a year (P45s) of which four million result in a period of unemployment (not necessarily supported by benefits) It follows that there are nine million job vacancies of which about three million are know to the statisticians . Note .. some people become unemployed more than once in a year.I'm not sure that David Freud really understood the total picture or even that the Department of Work and Pensions knows what it's doing. Wed 10 Dec 2008 17:58:15 GMT+1 ProLiberty http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=10#comment4 I must agree with both #1 and #2, but I also wish to add that the jobcentre system simply does not work. It relies on people applying to vacancies of their own volition, and the advisors are overworked - they don't have the time (or training) to provide ample advice to jobseekers. A personal anecdote, 3 years ago when I was unemployed after university (several thousand pounds in unavoidable debt, homeless in the sense that I had to sleep on a sofa, and absolutely broke), I went to the jobcentre to claim dole and to look for jobs. When I asked for advice, regarding local vacancies, I was advised, from across a public desk to become a substitute teacher. That requires a rather expensive course. And of course, there was no money for it. I ended up taking the first job that came along - a call centre job. Unfortunately I'm still there. This area is rubbish for jobs anyway.There were at least 30 people waiting for attention, while the staff generally gossipped amongst themselves. This was, need I remind you, during the boom while employment was "high". 30 people waiting to sign on, during one 20 minute slot. 5 staff. I'd give up trying to help too.I've said it before on another blog, but it didn't help at all that the vacancies that were being advertised were by seemingly opportunist employers - asking for expensive qualifications for low-paying entry level jobs. In the 8 years I've worked (part-time at college and uni), I've only ever seen a very very small number of vacancies advertising "training given" or "no experience necessary". I would suggest that this is because employers have cut their training budgets so far they can't take on people who can't immediately do the job, because there's noone left to train them. That's a very sad state of affairs.The solution I've seen given is a good one, to only award state contracts to companies with an excellent record for taking on apprentices. On the other hand, a local garage has advertised for apprentices numerous times recently, and has had severe difficulty finding suitable applicants. They only asked for 3 GCSEs.I'd like to propose a solution to the benefits issue, of trying to get claimants into non-existant jobs. The Tory one has a few merits but is sadly misdirected. There are several jobs that are currently not being done, and really ought to be. Since we're already paying (say) £45 a week to a claimant, perhaps we should have them do £45 worth of work that is not currently being carried out by a private company. This allays the fears of capitalists, that public works would crowd out private investment.I propose that benefit claimants are bussed from jobcentres to landfill sites in order to go through the rubbish and pick out recyclable materials, they could also go through normal household waste. These would then be recycled, saving the councils money on landfill, improving recycling figures, it would incentivise claimants to take any job at all to avoid having to work there, it would allay the fears of socialists that the workers would have more work extracted from them than their benefits are worth, and it would carry out an essential job which is not currently being done.I also believe it would help foster a work ethic amongst the long term unemployed. This is not the only thing though, hours could be set on a scale according to the amount of benefits being claimed, those who are only dependant on JSA do say 8 hours, while those who claim housing benefit etc work longer. There will also be a need for beaurocracy, which could be handily filled by people on disability who are still capable of office work. Since this system could make an actual profit, the money made in recycled material sales could be used to improve training and apprenticeships. Most importantly, the system would not tie up too much of a jobseeker's time so they can still look for jobs. And they will really really want to.Long post, I know - sorry for making you read so much :-) Wed 10 Dec 2008 17:32:59 GMT+1 alexandercurzon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=7#comment3 If New Labour had ever any REAL intentionof helping the poor they could have done it11 years ago.The bottom end has been trashed just as the economy,the least able in our societyhave been driven into the ground.This latest WHEEZE fills me with angerdisgust and shame for the society weall live in. Wed 10 Dec 2008 17:22:31 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=5#comment2 Will be interesting to see how this works out in Wirral with a job rate of 61 jobs to 100 people. The council are addressing this but that will take up to 2025 to achieve the 27,000 new jobs, even then they will still fall far short of 101 jobs for 100 people.Now on to working itself or getting people into work will have different effects on different people especially those like myself that suffer from mental health problems were by state law for benefits you can only claim once and once only for a mental health issue. Ive given up so to speak on getting a full time job because of this. "bum and scrounger" you might say, maybe I am but I have also dedicated my time to building better communities because I know that if i do return to work then everything will be good for a while and one day I will just fall apart each time it happens recovery is harder the medication stronger and the illness lasts longer. So these plans scare the hell out of me, but I can also see that there are a lot of people in the community that could work and don't which on the whole really gets me seeing red because I would love to go back to work being poor ain't nice having £350 for fuel and food and toiletries every month isn't much.Yet the work we do in the community's save £1000's every month in resources for the police and council departments, so I feel I more than earn the pittance my family is on. Wed 10 Dec 2008 17:13:33 GMT+1 langtounbairn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=2#comment1 This is an extension of what has been happening since 1997 with the introduction of the New Deal. However what is missing is employer engagement. Having more staff in the Jobcentres advising customers is great but without employers suppling suitable vacancies and also buying the fact that they will have to support new employees far more than in the past (incrased recruitment/training costs), it will fail to hit is targets. Wed 10 Dec 2008 16:54:50 GMT+1 Eddie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/the_benefits_of_tough_love.html?page=0#comment0 Don't you get the feeling that Labour are starting to blow the dog whistles they always claim the tories use in an election campaign?Tough on welfare scroungers.Tough on future immigrants.dd to that the suggestions that the troops will be coming home from Iraq starting in March.The visit from the US President at around the same time.It all seems to me that Gordon Brown is gearing up for a May election, before his policies are shown not to have saved the UK from a long and deep recession. Wed 10 Dec 2008 16:51:50 GMT+1