Emma Does Politics

There is such a thing as society. It's called politics.


I was recently asked my views on workfare, the idea that the unemployed should work for their social security money.

Workfare is definitely wrong. While people should be encouraged into work, this shouldn’t be done in a manner that prevents them from continuing existing courses they are taking to get into work, or to stop them doing voluntary work for a registered charity. The worst part about workfare is that it disrupts the economy in the low-paid work sector. By creating a supply of effectively free labour for corporations, the supply of low-paid jobs shrinks, causing low-skilled people to become unemployed. In some cases, these people have found themselves sent back to their previous employers, but as workfare workers instead of as staff with real (albeit low) pay.

Any organised back-to-work schemes should be part-time (to enable the person time to look for work outside of the scheme, and to enable them to integrate good practices into their normal routine), and should definitely not be allowed to become cheap labour for profit-making corporations.


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