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Should the unemployed be made to work for their benefits?

Listening to the radio this morning an interesting question arose “Should the unemployed be made to work for their benefits?”

I find this both an interesting question and was equally interested by some of the responses on the radio from people phoning in.

When raising a question like this on a public forum, there are going to be a certain groups of people who will ring in.

The Sick

Someone who is long term legitimately sick will call in and raise the case that they just can’t work, either because long term illness, treatments or being incapacitated in some way due to sickness. The story will be put across in a heartfelt way leaving me the listener in no doubt that individual has a case for state aid.

The people looking but not finding work

Again, there are thousands of people out there in this situation right now, the example on the radio had a lady who had variants of her resume and would use them all to apply for similar jobs as sometimes she was over or under qualified. I can only imagine just how terrible it must be in many sectors of the employment industry such as manufacturing and retail, but not limited to those how finding work is almost impossible yes these people are willing to do anything to get work.

The person who knows their rights

Generally speaking a person will ring in who can quote every legitimately valid reason why this concept is against their human rights, against the law, against animal cruelty against everything. This should never be done. We rarely find out the true reasons for this however

The person blaming it all on the foreign workforce.

And eventually the person will call in explaining often eloquently, usually not that this is a problem caused by jonny foreigner coming over here and stealing out jobs. much like the person who knows their rights they can cite every example in the book why this is true and how we could save money with a better immigration policy.

Are they right?

I’m not trying to undermine any of the above people, they all have the right to freedom of speech, expression and potentially every one of them is correct, there are legitimately ill people who need the states help,  There are people out there brought up to know rightly or wrongly believe that you don’t take hand outs you get a job before you lose your pride, there may be legal reasons why this idea can’t be carried through and i’m pretty sure there are examples where employers have exploited foreign workforces for cheaper labour and removed the local workforce from jobs to save money.

The problem is in the scale which is millions of unemployed we do have more people who just don’t have the motivation for whatever reason to get a job, no qualifications, continual knock backs, lack of experience, lack of gumption call it what you will it doesn’t matter we have too many longterm unemployed who are costing the country a lot of money being aware how to work around the welfare state systems and rules to obtain the greatest amount of cash possible.

I’m married to someone on the other side of the the welfare states desk, and she is a foreigner, and she does work hard and she comes from a country where there is no NHS, is no Social Services, if you don’t work, you don’t eat, the government is no obliged to hand a penny (or baht) over to you so people do get work.. She see’s the majority laziness out there and often asks why? Why in a country where you are taught how to read and write, have good comparative health, have two arms, two legs does she deal with 2 or 3 geneartions of the same family who have never had a job, yet can have a house bigger than ours, sky TV, cars and when she see’s them in the local sainsburys while we are not scrimping for cash, these unemployed are buying the best of everything, Wine, Beer, steak etc..

I can’t answer that question

Back to the question

Should the unemployed be made to work for their benefits?

I believe the answer to this question is yes, before we do it however we have to get across that this isn’t free money being handed over every month, people who do have jobs go and work and pay taxes to that those who don’t can be catered and cared for. This is how our society has decided to run, we are not in Africa or Asia and we have chosen to provide for all. This isn’t changing just how this assistance is provided is going to change. No longer will or should the welfare state be defined as a right, it should be defined as a privilege.

A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to one person or group of people.

Why would we do this?

Well firstly why would we redefined as a privilege not a right? Well a privilege can be removed, it’s a lot harder to remove a right.

However specifically for the question at hand the definition of work needs to be defined, I’m not talking about stacking shelves at the local supermarket I don’t think this should be used to benefit any large companies bottom line. Work should be community based, cleaning canals, helping schools whatever can be used to assist and make the local areas we live in better places.

What are the other options?

There are other options, we have a workforce changing now many short to medium employed have spent years in the systems which employed them and have a wealth of knowledge and experience and even more importantly they have ideas. Sat there looking at what is going wrong at the companies who laid them off spawning ideas which we need to tap.

If the government was to assist in getting small businesses off the ground, we know a percentage will fail, however a percentage will also go on to better things and that is how the government profits, taking yearly share options and profiting later with the company. Considering how much the great british public has invested in some UK banks, which we part own, this seems like a valid idea..


It’s time to change, we can’t afford to keep going the way we are, we are broke and something needs to change. There are legitimate cases where this scheme or ones just like it won’t work. They are honestly sick, unable to work or otherwise have issues for the rest of us its time to earn that welfare money and get back on the work horse.



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This entry was posted on May 27, 2012 by in comment and tagged , , , .
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