In an article for Politics Home calling for a One Nation approach to welfare reform shadow chancellor Ed Balls says that, under the jobs guarantee, government will ensure there is a job for every adult who is long-term unemployed and people out of work will be obliged to take up those jobs or face losing benefits.
Initially the guarantee would be for adults who are out of work for 24 months or more, but we would seek to reduce this to 18 or 12 months over time.
There are currently 129,400 adults over the age of 25 who have been out of work for 24 months or more – a rise of 88 percent since the same month last year and a rise of 146 per cent in the last two years.
The £1 billion costs can be funded by reversing the government’s decision to stop tax relief
Today we are urging the government to go even further, because we won't get the costs of welfare down if adults who can work are languishing on the dole for years and years on end. So Ed Miliband, Liam Byrne and I are today calling for a compulsory Jobs Guarantee for the long-term unemployed.
This is the One Nation jobs contract Labour would introduce right now: the government will ensure there is a job for every adult who is long-term unemployed, and people out of work will be obliged to take up those jobs or face losing benefits.
Our Jobs Guarantee for adults will build on the model of the Future Jobs Fund with government working with the private and voluntary sectors to ensure there is a job paying the minimum wage for every long-term unemployed person.
While getting people back to work will save the taxpayer money in the long-term, the upfront costs of Labour’s jobs contract can be funded by reversing the government’s decision to stop tax relief on pension contributions for people earning over £150,000 being limited to 20 per cent
Sounds reasonable but can you really create 129,400 jobs for those out of work even for six months without employers, exploiting this as a form of cheap Labour.
129,400 short jobs paying the minimum wage could replace 129,400 jobs on higher wages .
There's no indication of what time of jobs these are but it could easily be exploited by firms getting someone to carry out menial tasks for six months and then discarding them for another one and the poor so returning to the dole.
What Labour are doing is suggesting that the long term unemployed. are are not really seeking work and they need to be forced into work.
What encouragement to an unemployed person is it to give them six months work in a menial job only for them to return to the despair of the dole.
The worst scenario however would be not that they were exploited but they enjoyed and valued the work experience only to be told that although" they were an excellent worker" their time was up and they would be returning to the dole.
What we need is not for the major political parties to give the impression that people are on the dole through choice but look to creating full time jobs.
Already those seeking employment are taking part time jobs whilst in reality they would like to work full time and this may well be the reason for the recent fall in unemployment.
Of course there's no votes backing the unemployed and its easier to portray them are skivers .
Some may b,e but the majority are constantly using the modern version of Norman Tebibits " I grew up in the '30s with an unemployed father. He didn't riot. He got on his bike and looked for work ",and searching the web for hours a day and applying regularly for jobs only to find they don't even get an acknowledgement of their application let alone an interview.
It doesn't help those seeing work if they are constantly accused of not wanting to work . What we need is to encourage employers to put aside their prejudice against the long term unemployed but in reality we need o create jobs and look to a "New Deal programme that will create not only jobs but rebuild our broken infrastructure.