The one where everyone was was the same · Feb 24, 08:06 AM
Dear BBC, if you’re going to host Question Time debates, can you please make sure that a range of views expressed, lest nonsense goes unchallenged.
Apparently it’s voluntary. And it is, in the sense that you can choose not to do it and lose your benefits. Which sounds a lot like a compulsion to me. It’s that special sort of duplicitous use of nice sounding words like ‘voluntary’ that only Tories could come up with. And the guy from UKIP. And the woman from the Daily Telegraph.
Rule of thumb: use words that are a close match for what you’re describing. Don’t torture unrelated words to fit. Workfare is a mandatory programme.
Apparently there’s a 50% success rate too. Awesome! Except that figure isn’t what you think it is. 50% of JSA claimants who attend Workfare stop claiming within 1 year of signing on. Compared to the norm of, wait for it, 60%.
Apparently the Department for Work and Pensions studied Workfare in the US and found it to be a great success and so brought it here. Really? Here’s what DWP’s report actually says.
“There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work. It can even reduce employment chances by limiting the time available for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by employers.”
“Workfare is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high.”
“Welfare recipients with multiple barriers often find it difficult to meet obligations to take part in unpaid work. This can lead to sanctions and, in the most extreme cases, the complete withdrawal of benefits that leaves some individuals with no work and no income.”
— Jay Pettitt
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