Monday, June 28, 2010

Duncan Smith considers incentives to relocate jobless.

Somebody please tell me that there is a limit to what the Liberal Democrats will put up with in order to preserve this bloody coalition.

Iain Duncan Smith now appears to be repeating Norman Tebbit's eighties call for the unemployed to "get on their bikes" and move to find employment.

Unemployed people living in council homes could be offered incentives to move to areas where there are jobs, the work and pensions secretary has said. Iain Duncan Smith said millions were trapped in "ghettos of poverty" unable to move for fear of losing their homes.
People will move homes if offered a better job and better prospects, but Duncan Smith is talking about the long termed unemployed, people who perhaps are without qualifications and are probably not going to be offered a job at much above the minimum wage.

In order to work for this paltry sum Iain Duncan Smith is now proposing that they should sever ties with their families and the area with which they are familiar and almost be grateful that they are being offered any work at all.

Labour has warned that people could lose their rights to housing benefit unless they were willing to travel to find work and there were no commitments to rehouse workers should they decide to do so.

But Mr Duncan Smith said his plans were about assisting people, not forcing them to uproot.

"It is not threatening people; far from it," he told Sky News.

"Most people I talk to on housing estates desperately want work but they are trapped. It is about trying to help them to find a way out."

Asked about the idea, Chancellor George Osborne - who is attending the G20 summit in Canada - said anything that encouraged social mobility should be looked at.

"We want to give people freedom of choice and we want to give that freedom of choice to people in social housing just as people in private rented housing or who own their own home have," he said.

"It is about giving people on lower incomes in our society the kind of opportunities and aspirations that other people in our society take for granted."

It is, of course, nothing of the sort. Especially as Osborne has made it perfectly clear that lowering the bill for housing benefit is one of his prime concerns. Just as the government can now offer you a job in garbage collection and stop your unemployment benefit if you refuse, it strikes me that Duncan Smith is laying the groundwork to now be able to offer to relocate you miles from where you live so you can enjoy the luxury of the minimum wage and that he will give himself the right to stop your housing benefit should you refuse.

"It goes further than on your bike," he told Sky News.

"It is on your bike and lose your home. That seems to be profoundly unfair and the wrong way to deal with the unemployment problem."

"It is back to the 1980s," he added. "The idea somehow that the only solution to unemployment is to cut benefits and say to people, 'go and do it yourself'. We know that does not work."

Instead, he said ministers should be focused on bringing more investment into unemployment blackspots to create jobs.

This is typical Tory thinking. The unemployed, as far as they are concerned, are lazy and simply need their benefits removed in order to force them to find employment.

Now they will threaten to remove their housing benefit of they don't fancy moving thirty miles away to work in a bloody McDonald's.

Please tell me that the Liberals will be as outraged as I am by this? If they are not, then the Liberal Democrats no longer exist as a political entity.

Click here for full article.


Anonymous said...

My father moved to the UK, found the work that wasn't available where he had been, and prospered.

You, I think, have made a similar move, and your prosperous UK masthead suggests you've prospered too.

None of this for the downtrodden workers though - they must stay in jobless, sink estates in the North-East, Detroit and Cleveland. Heaven forefend that they do as you did. Better by far that they stay where they (paying the price for your political beliefs) whilst their world collapses around them.

You are outraged by the Liberals? Your prissy, self-satisfied dogma outrages this reader.

Kel said...

I have nothing against people moving to where there is work.

My outrage here is with the implied threat being made here by Duncan Smith that housing benefit might be removed if people refuse to move to accept jobs.

Your father moved, I take it, through choice. From what I am reading between the lines, Duncan Smith might very well make moving obligatory. It is that which I am objecting to, not the fact that some people move to find work.