Thursday, November 11, 2010

So, government welfare reforms are released.

I'm not entirely against them. I think it would be a good idea to simplify the system and reduce the number of different types of payments. I also agree with the attempt to eliminate the "poverty trap", so that getting a job doesn't immediately result in a large drop in benefits.

However, we'll see whether these good things are any more than a cover for the main workfare agenda of forcing people into underpaid (below minimum wage) and exploitative (no security, no rights) labour by threatening to remove benefits.

If the first two of these things are good (and I agree they are) we could have them without the workfare part. If the workfare is a genuine (though I'd still say, misguided) belief that free-riders are a problem let's see some real guarantees that the innocent won't get caught up by the punishment (eg. that benefits won't be withdrawn from the "workshy" if there are fewer than a certain number of decent vacancies in the home-town etc.)

1 comment:

John Powers said...

Edgar Cahn who came up with Time Dollars wrote a book "No More Throwaway People." I like that framing. There is much that can be done and it matters very much what we do.