A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, December 04, 2009

This should be in the manifesto

Great idea from James Purnell and Graeme Cook in the FT today - you can read it here - "The government should guarantee everyone a job, to end long-term unemployment... the government is already doing this for young people aged under 25... The lesson from the last year is that investing to prevent long-term unemployment is not just socially just, it reduces the deficit. So as the recovery starts, this approach should be extended, not unwound.
Rather than offering this guarantee for young people only, it should be extended to all jobseekers, of all ages at risk of long-term unemployment. Where the market does not provide work, government must step in... This is the final piece of the puzzle of welfare reform. It makes the welfare state more supportive and more demanding. On the one hand, it is real protection – instead of offering people a life on benefits, it offers them what they really want: a job, and a chance to get their career back on track.
On the other hand a jobs guarantee also becomes a backstop. Claimants have to take a job when it is offered. That exposes those who are working on the side and claiming fraudulently... Initially, the guarantee would come into effect for older jobseekers after the Flexible New Deal (once they had been looking for work for two years).
This could be funded from the money allocated at the Budget to help people back to work, which is now being underspent because of lower-than-expected unemployment.
Over time, the system should be reshaped so that jobseekers spend the first year looking for work with the support of Job Centre Plus and private and voluntary providers, with the jobs guarantee kicking in at 12 months. This could be funded by a combination of some of the money currently spent on the Flexible New Deal and switching resources from the skills budget."

Let's hope that even if this doesn't get picked up in the Budget it is considered for the General Election Manifesto.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's taken 12 years for the idea to get out of Purnell's brain and just coincidentally five months before an election.

Cut to the quick.

Offer punters a tenner to turn up to vote Labour ... no difference, you'd still get blown out.

We're 2 trillion in debt and the comrades think they can pull another wheeze and mug us for another five years. Only in Hackney.

4:25 pm, December 04, 2009

Blogger kris said...

"instead of offering people a life on benefits, it offers them what they really want: a job, and a chance to get their career back on track".

funny, most people round here want to sit on their arse, collect their dole "entitlements" and play gangstas.

They don't share our aspirations, Luke. They have no incentive to get off the sofa.

More of what isn't working isn't going to cahnge anything.

4:28 pm, December 04, 2009

Anonymous tim f said...

Making the state the employer of last resort would be great. But we'd need to make sure people were offered a choice of jobs, and there was a way of ensuring people were offered jobs appropriate for them. The worst of all worlds would be if we contracted a private company to marry people up with jobs, they insisted people take jobs which they were not able to do, then we stopped their benefits when the jobs weren't taken up.

So great in principle, but very much depends on the detail, and Purnell doesn't have good form on this issue...

4:41 pm, December 04, 2009

Blogger Unknown said...

@ Tim F's point - thanks for making the point re making sure people have a choice of jobs... that's exactly what's happening in the Future Jobs Fund which makes all this possible. Jobs on offer include jobs in the arts, sports, childcare. The scheme is run by charities, councils and social enterprises. I do think that the private sector has a role in welfare, but I'm not dogmatic abou it; they shoudl be used when they are the best placed to deliver.

6:49 pm, December 04, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The state should become one great big Unionised employment agency, with living wage pensions and housing for life.

12:17 am, December 05, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet this state character has a vast vagina and a great set of tits as well as a godallmighty todger.

Whatever one's tastes we're all going to be just fine and dandy nestling in a manger of taxpayers' cash.

1:37 am, December 05, 2009

Anonymous Mrs Trellis, North Wales said...

Excellent idea and, for those experiencing difficulty housing themselves or complying with the work programmes, we could set up housing/working facilities too.

And at the entrance to these new facilities there could be a big sign.

Errr, back to the drawing board Luke!

4:31 am, December 05, 2009

Blogger Geist Bites said...

I've been able to vote for 3 years, but I still have absolutely no incentive to.


2:28 pm, December 05, 2009

Blogger Steve Horgan said...

How about just making a life on benefits an economically poor choice by:

- Not taxing the poor and withdrawing benefits at a 98% marginal rate.

- Having an education system that allows our young people to fulfil their potential, instead of attacking public schools and the better universities.

- Not wrecking the economy to give us the highest rate of youth unemployment, ever.

These simple measures would work rather better than yet another centrally-managed, monolithic, 'legally-binding', 10-year timeframe plan.

6:38 pm, December 06, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Horgan. What are you on? Common sense.

The comrades are taking care of business. Leave it to us. You haven't seen anything yet.

We've screwed the economy and by promising everything under the sun we've left you a £2 trillion debt problem.

We've thought of every daft social intervention you could possibly think of and then some more.

Oh and we've got involved in two bloody wars on your behalf.

8:21 pm, December 06, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A JOB FOR EVERYONE SHOULD BE A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT. Why should people keep on being put out of work due to no fault of their own, as the Capitalist economy can't function any more without massive subsidies from us tax payers. As capitalism is costing so much to support isn't it time for a Socialist economy?

8:40 pm, December 06, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:41 pm, December 06, 2009

Anonymous Where's Arnold Gone? said...

Luke - Are you fu*%ing serious?

Get back to Dungeons & Dragons man.

10:39 pm, December 06, 2009

Blogger Slowdobber said...

Cupcakes and crumbly candy bars for all!

9:42 am, December 07, 2009

Blogger kris said...

RT @PottyMouthCon

Hey, Barry and associated fuckos: Here's how you create jobs. Innovation. http://is.gd/5fcQt Now get the bureaucracy out of the fucking way.

8:14 pm, December 07, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those people who want to be on benefits is ok, as there are more people than jobs out there. So the ones who want jobs should not be obstructed from getting one, as the Job Centre may have forced some one who does not want one to take it and therefore blocking some body who actually wants a job. why can't we accept that not every one could work even if every one wanted to because there ain't enough bloody jobs anyway?

9:46 pm, December 07, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Its time the working week was reduced to 30 hours per week with no loss of pay, then that could cut down unemployment, as there would be more work to share around.

today we are working the longest hours in Europe and have Technology introduced to save Labour-Is it not time to review the working hours of the UK?

9:52 pm, December 07, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Still News - A cup of fucking coffee costs £2.99 in a motorway services - how can we afford to live with your stupid proposal?

Grow up twat face :-(

11:01 am, December 08, 2009


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