Our welfare system today is politically toxic and the public debate about it has become untethered from evidence or a semblance of rational discussion.
Beneath the hyperbole, the government’s welfare reform agenda offers no solution to this deep crisis of legitimacy. For three decades, successive governments have pursued broadly similar strategies that have had mixed success with some negative economic side effects. Since 2010, the challenge of deficit reduction has spurred the coalition to intensify the usual policy prescriptions. But this approach is fast running out of road. It offers no vision for a welfare system that might once again command popular support. And critically, the agenda is damaging the country’s productivity and prosperity. If the Prime Minister wants to equip the UK for the “global race”, he needs to know the truth about welfare.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
A scheme to help the unemployed find work appears to be failing the most disadvantaged jobseekers, according to MPs on the Work and Pensions Committee. Their report said support for the mainstream jobless in the government’s Work Programme, launched in June 2011, was getting better after a poor start. But it said there was growing … Continue reading »
Private companies running a flagship government employment scheme have put only 3.5 percent of clients into sustainable jobs, statistics published on Tuesday showed. The British coalition government’s Work Programme, launched in June 2011 to help the long-term unemployed find work, divides the country into regions, with each comprising a range of private, public and voluntary … Continue reading »
The government’s controversial welfare to work initiative has suffered another blow after it emerged that a social enterprise firm hired to get the long-term jobless into employment has gone into liquidation, claiming banks refused to lend it money to stay afloat because they considered the work programme to be too financially risky. Eco Actif, a … Continue reading »
AS ANY middle-class parent knows, unpaid work experience can give youngsters a valuable introduction to a secure job. The coalition government has recognised it too, scrapping rules in 2011 that had formerly stopped 16- to 24-year-olds from doing unpaid work while claiming unemployment benefit. But moving from that to forcing them to work gratis in … Continue reading »
Boots says it is withdrawing from the government’s scheme to help the long-term unemployed find work. It comes on the same day that ministers had to drop sanctions from a separate scheme that offers work experience to younger jobseekers. Boots said that it would no longer be offering any new placements on the work programme, … Continue reading »