Questions over Labour jobs plan
- 10 March 2014
- From the section UK Politics
Labour's jobs guarantee is the kind of policy that gets party strategists weak at the knees.
Not only is it designed to tackle long term unemployment but it also hopes to cut welfare spending too.
And if that were not enough, oh joy of joys, it also involves soaking the rich.
What's not to like for an honest Labourite hewing policy from the Westminster coal face?
Where else can a hard-working special adviser find a commitment with so many dividing lines and juicy narratives?
The risk is that the policy looks too good to be true.
Can compulsory state-subsidised jobs really fix long-term unemployment in a way that sustained economic growth does not?
Can the tax on bankers' bonuses really provide enough start-up cash when the aforementioned financiers are so practised avoiding such levies?
Can businesses really find enough work to keep 200,000 young people busy for six months and then keep them in those jobs for the long term?
Do businesses really want to take on free labour that is forced on them by the state, rather than work-hungry youngsters who have striven for job on merit?
Could the much-squeezed public sector take up any slack and provide most of the temporary jobs as it did before with a similar make-work scheme?
And where on earth will Labour find the cash to build all those houses that the bankers' bonus tax was supposed to fund?
So on the one hand, Labour is slowly but surely filling in some gaps in the infamous blank sheet of paper that Ed Miliband spoke about a few years ago.
But on the other, with manifesto commitments come questions and they are not all answered yet.