July 21, 2008 at 11:09 am | Posted in British Politics | 1 Comment

I might try and post something more substantive about the Purnell welfare plans this evening, but this headline really stuck out:

Jobless to be made to pick up litter under welfare plans

There happens to be a slight problem with this proposal: there are already people who’re paid to sweep streets & pick up litter. My uncle’s one of ’em. Like the long-term unemployed, he’s an unskilled manual labourer who doesn’t have a great standard of literacy and has been doing jobs like this for his entire life. Had he not been lucky enough to find employment with Barnsley council, he’d struggle to find work. This should highlight the fact that having a job – any job – won’t by itself solve the problem of long-term unemployment; they need to develop their skills and knowledge, too, and that’s difficult to achieve when you’re picking up litter for 8 hours a day. Also, whilst I’m not necessarily opposed to forcing the unemployed to earn their benefits as a way of helping them to enter the jobs market, can we at least afford them the dignity of having them do jobs that actually need doing?


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  1. […] I wrote earlier, my Uncle Paul has been in low-paid, unskilled manual jobs for his entire working life and […]

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