4 million unemployed if the Tories win power
The Sunday Times reported that one consequence of the Tory welfare plans is that if they win power, unemployment will rise to over 4 million.
Peter Hoskin at the Spectator welcomes this, because it will be achieved (at vast expense to the taxpayer) by moving people from sickness benefits to unemployment benefits which pay them less, and therefore requiring claimants to look for work.
He says, quite rightly, that this is "an ambitious plan, and far outstrips what has so far been achieved with ESA (which has seen IB claimant numbers drop by roughly 150,000 in about 10 months). Whether they'll be able to achieve it is a different matter, of course."
Hoskins concludes, "But, when it comes to Tory welfare policy, two words give me some hope: David Freud."
Lord David Freud is a City banker who wrote a report about reforming welfare, which turned out to have some very basic mistakes in it ('even a student using google to conduct some easy searches on the topic would have been hard pressed to make the factual errors that Freud made', as ukbix put it). Its recommendations were tried, and didn't work. And it seems that he is having some difficulty in keeping up with his party's policies, if this vastly entertaining report of a recent event is anything to go by.
But when it comes to Tory welfare policy, it is his name which gives them hope.
A 'senior Tory aide' is quoted in the Sunday Times as saying, “It might look as if we are losing control of the economy, so we will begin a campaign in September so that people understand better what is happening.”
I'll look forward to that campaign. The more people that understand that the Tory plans for welfare are to increase unemployment to 4 million by 2011 and put a city banker who 'knew nothing about welfare' in charge of sorting it out, the better.