Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Behind the spin on welfare reform

In January, one of the key new policies announced by the Conservative Party to reduce worklessness was extra penalties for those who refuse reasonable job offers, including removing Job Seekers' Allowance for up to three years for a third refusal.

Removing all Job Seekers Allowance sounds pretty tough. So how many feckless layabouts sitting about watching daytime TV would this affect? 10,000? 50,000? 100,000?


310 people were sanctioned for refusing three reasonable job offers in 2006/7, 110 the year before, and 250 in 2004/5.

Indeed, the number who were sanctioned for refusing just one job offer fell by more than half during these three years, from 15,080 to 6,460.

If the Tories had revealed when their report was published that this flagship policy would affect just over 300 people, then they would have sounded ridiculous. It's never a good sign when a policy gets spun as if it would sort out a problem which turns out not to exist.

But then, I guess that the policy is really aimed at people like ex-Cllr John Ward.


At 12:09 am , Anonymous tim f said...

Thank you.

In other news, surprised you haven't commented on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWe7wTVbLUU

You know all those responses to political attacks that the Democrats should've used in The Political Brain?

This is better. The good stuff kicks in around 13 minutes and goes on for another twenty minutes.


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