Jobs and welfare

The Government believes that we need to encourage responsibility and fairness in the welfare system. That means providing help for those who cannot work, training and targeted support for those looking for work, but sanctions for those who turn down reasonable offers of work or training.

  • We will end all existing welfare to work programmes and create a single welfare to work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work.
  • We will ensure that Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants facing the most significant barriers to work are referred to the new welfare to work programme immediately, not after 12 months as is currently the case. We will ensure that Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants aged under 25 are referred to the programme after a maximum of six months.
  • We will realign contracts with welfare to work service providers to reflect more closely the results they achieve in getting people back into work.
  • We will reform the funding mechanism used by government to finance welfare to work programmes to reflect the fact that initial investment delivers later savings through lower benefit expenditure, including creating an integrated work programme with outcome funding based upon the DEL/AME switch.
  • We will ensure that receipt of benefits for those able to work is conditional on their willingness to work.
  • We support the National Minimum Wage because of the protection it gives low-income workers and the incentives to work it provides.
  • We will re-assess all current claimants of Incapacity Benefit for their readiness to work. Those assessed as fully capable for work will be moved onto Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • We will support would-be entrepreneurs through a new programme – Work for Yourself – which will give the unemployed access to business mentors and start-up loans.
  • We will draw on a range of Service Academies to offer pre-employment training and work placements for unemployed people.
  • We will develop local Work Clubs – places where unemployed people can gather to exchange skills, find opportunities, make contacts and provide mutual support.
  • We will investigate how to simplify the benefit system in order to improve incentives to work.

Your comments (59)

  1. Anthony Chambers says:

    Milton Friedman’s negative income tax would be perfect for reforming benefits. Replace all benefits (including housing benefit) with one flat universal benefit that protects everyone from abject poverty (purely as an example £6,000 per year). Then the normative tax rate would become the top rate tax (say 40%), again only for example, it is not a proposal). So:

    A person earning zero, would get benefits of £5,000 from the state.
    A person earning £5,000, would get £5,000 – £2,000 (40%) + £6,000 = £9,000 (-80% tax)
    A person earning £10,000, would get £10,000 – £4,000 (40%) + £6,000 = £12,000 (-20% tax)
    A person earning £20,000, would get £20,000 – £8,000 (40%) + £6,000 = £18,000 (10% tax)
    A person earning £30,000, would get £30,000 – £12,000 (40%) + £6,000 = £24,000 (20% tax)
    A person earning £50,000, would get £50,000 – £20,000 (40%) + £6,000 = £36,000 (28% tax)
    A person earning £100,000, would get £100,000 – £40,000 (40%) + £6,000 = £66,000 (34% tax)
    A person earning £500,000, would get £500,000 – £200,000 (40%) + £6,000 = £306,000 (38.8% tax)

    This is extremely similar to the result you get if you apply the current systems of benefits + tax credits + taxes. Except it is also extremely simple to administer. Thus you can save money on administration.

  2. Anthony Chambers says:

    Just to add to my previous post. I would find it very illuminating to find out what the following percentage equates to:

    Government Inefficiency in benefits = (total welfare budget – average payout to wellfare claimant * number of claimants) / total welfare budget. If you just did some extremely simple maths and said that we are paying out an average of £6,000 per person on benefits you get the following:

    Government inefficiency in benefits = (£80 billion – £6,000 * 10 million) / £80 billion. That is 25% of every pound that is spent on benefits is related to the difference between the money going into the department for work and pensions and the money going out. So with a Milton Friedman negative tax/benefits system, almost all of that inefficiency would be removed. Meaning without changing anything (i.e. no one gets richer or poorer, apart from the efficiency savings, a.k.a. the civil service, in government) you would save £20 billion.

  3. Tom says:

    I am very concerned, all parties make promises and insist that they will get people off the dole, however, until someone recognises that one scheme does not fit all, we will never move forward. Some of my good friends are unemployed in the recession they work hard and look every week online, in the press and anywhere and are competiting for jobs on a weekly basis and many are taking jobs below what they are capable of and salaries . What would work programmme do for them?

    Also you talk about the people who do not go acheive sustaniable employment, have a look on your own website and see the jobs that are advertised for 2 week durations and the agencies who recruit lots of young people to work on an as and when basis at a moments notice to satisfy the employer. Talk to those that have been called to work and sent home after two hours because the job has ben done and ask tem how motivated they feel

    Speak to the long term unemployed and ask one who has been on a voluntary course 3 times digging on a conservation project what it has done for him and his ambitions to work in retail and warehousing.. Don’t get me wrong I am sure you will also find someone that it has worked for, however, the morle of the story is that we are all indiviudals and we need a selection of things to assist people into work.
    Ask the young who have left school early as they had issues what is it they have against going into a classroom for further training that they cannot and do not want to do, whilst they still have the same issues that prevented them from attending school in the first place

    Ask the drug or alchol dependent jobseekers who cannot even pay attention for ten minutes what a course would do for them

    Also bear in mind that whilst an idea might seem good at a national level, what can actually be delivered at a local level may be quite different and will probably be very different to what the private sector have promised when presenting at a national level.

    Please remember that some of these people are very vunerable and they are not all playing the system.

  4. Alan Hughes says:

    I would like to say anything that would help me back into work would be great but as i only claim job seekers allowance which is only 130.00 pounds per fortnight which equates to 260.00 per month i have to cut my cloth accordingly.
    I would be interrested in talking to Mr Iain Duncan Smith as the Works and Pensions Secretary about his proposals and would contribute valid experience of a system that is disproportionate and allows people to feel worthless and undervalued.

  5. Richard Henderson says:

    When i was unemployed several years ago. I found that training providers were only interested in filling their quotas and would try to get you into any training or work experience so that their paperwork was complete.
    I was put on work experience and because they could not find a suitable off job training i was put with a youth training scheme group (i was 40 at the time) and the way they treated them was abysmal. Making them stay (at short notice) after training for meetings (they had forgoten to schedule) so that they could complete their paperwork and when when the youths complained they were told that the paperwork needed to be done and that they would bring cream cakes next time

  6. Anne-Marie Asgari says:

    I welcome the support for young entrepeneurs through a new programme of support, specially having a mentor could make all the difference. My daughter is disabled and is studying at the moment for an MA with the hope of setting herself up in business. This would give her and so many others the right opportunity to provide for herself rather then the state.

  7. mika says:

    I would like an answer to a question that i have. I recently finished the old New Deal in january 2010. the completed my 13 wk follow through. I have now been informed that because I am still on jsa with no breaks i have togo to back on to new deal again surely this cannot be right.

  8. Hannah says:

    It is imperitive that welfare – whilst a necessity for those genuinely incapacitated, struggling to raise children etc – does not remain an aspiration only for the generation of youngsters coming through that have not had any positive role models in their lives and have the attitude of “why work when I can sit at home”.

    We need to make it a far less attractive option to claim benefits for those who are capable of working in some capacity.

    I used to work as an officer in the local jobcentre and some people had been on the dole for 25 years, no matter what course you referred them to or help you provided, still they came in every fortnight with absolutely no intention of finding work. In these instances, people should be made to put back in to the community or face a sanction ontheir claim, ie litter picking, cleaning graffitti, local authority work.

  9. Shirley Atkins says:

    As a result of continuing and gradually worsening health problems, I was advised to go on to ESA. A medical examination by a HCP working for ATOS resulted in a score of zero and I appealed. My appeal was rejected. On rejection, I immediately lost entitlement to ESA (together with the payment of my mortgage interest and Council Tax Benefit). I have been told by the DWP that I have two options: either apply again for ESA (claiming that my condition has worsened), or sign on for JSA. The former course would compel me to lie about my condition; the latter course would compel me to lie about my availability for work, since I have a medical certificate from my GP telling me to refrain from work. The current system makes no provision for people who are in a similar Catch 22 scenario. I would love to work, but cannot. ATOS and the DWP say that I can, basing their findings on a 15 minute, sketchy examination. I am concerned that there is clearly a problem where an administrative decision based on flimsy evidence can override the opinion of a GP who has treated me for 15 years and the opinions of two consultants who have indicated that there is nothing (other than palliative treatment) that can be done for me.
    The issue is compounded by the repeated failure of both the DWP and the Tribunal to accept that my dyslexia is a disability that affects my mental health; in particular, by failing to provide me with communications in a format that I can understand. The usual response is “get someone to read it to you”, or an injunction to “take it to the CAB”. This might be appropriate in an urban situation, but I live in a remote area with two buses a day, a fifty-mile round trip to the CAB office, and two disabilities that make any form of public transport both difficult and painful. Needless to say, I cannot drive. I have taken this matter to my local MP, Roger Williams. I believe that there may be many other people who are suffering similar problems, and that these issues should be addressed without delay.

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