by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
People in the UK who are receiving benefit whilst being unemployed will be forced to do full-time unpaid work according to recent leaks to the media.
Under proposals especially people who have been out of work for a long time will be expected to earn their benefits by working for firms unpaid or in the community.
While it has been suggested adopting a new US-style ‘work for the dole’ scheme will help to reduce Britain’s large benefits bill this appears to be more “Arbeitsbeschaffungsmassnamen” as in Germany before World War Two for the unemployed which were repeated in Germany after the German Democratic Republic had been annexed in the last decade of the last century.
It is expected that those who fail to find jobs through the Government’s main back to work scheme – the Work Program – will have to work for their payments, sources have said.
Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, is reported to have said: “It’s not acceptable for people to expect to live a life on benefits if they’re able to work.” But people in the Department for Work and Pensions described the reports as "pure speculation". However, they did not deny that the plans are being considered by ministers.
Mr Duncan Smith added: “The welfare state rightly provides a safety net for those out of work. But in return, jobseekers must do everything they can to get into work, that’s only fair.”
A report published by Policy Exchange, a think tank, suggests the Government should pilot the scheme for specific jobseekers, particularly those who fail to find a job through the Work Program after two years of support.
Policy Exchange also suggested older jobseekers, who have not had a job for six months should be included, as should those under 25 with little or no work experience.
The Government has already carried out pilot schemes which suggest some claimants would choose losing their benefits over doing unpaid work.
This workfare scheme, as operated in the USA, could be very serious also for those that are in work as companies and especially hard-pressed local authorities could use this to do away with permanent staff, replacing them with free workers from the lines of the unemployed.
The problem is, the way I see it, as to what work they are going to do? Either we are going to end up with people losing jobs so that the unpaid workers (slaves) can be used or they have to invent work for them. The unemployed will also not get any minimum wage; they will only receive the benefits that they have been getting until now. I can see this being used to undermine workers' rights and wages. In addition to this it will be much like what was done in Germany under Hitler to get the unemployed into work, building roads and digging ditches by hand.
The Tories have always had, at least ever since Thatcher, wanted to get Britain back to “Victorian values”. Thatcher did not complete succeed in this venture so Cameron & Co. are trying to make sure it happens. In fact, the aim seems to be to go back further than the Victorian era even. Almost to the Middle Ages seem to be their target with debtors' prisons and workhouses.