The announcement that the government will force people who have been unemployed for three years to do six months of work for free is further proof that they want the poorest to pay for the recession (Guardian, 30 July).
To make workers trapped in long-term unemployment work for their benefits is an attempt to blame them for their own plight. However, that 1 million people could be unemployed for three years is an indictment of George Osborne’s failed economic policies.
For the Tories to introduce this draconian regime while many of their super-rich friends are blatantly evading tax is utter hypocrisy. This latest workfare scheme will not only punish unemployed workers, but threatens to replace waged jobs with unwaged jobs as employers seize the opportunity to gain workers for free. This would further deepen unemployment.
The Department of Work and Pension’s own figures on the impact of the mandatory work programme showed it had zero effect on getting people into work. By pressing ahead despite the evidence, Iain Duncan Smith seems more concerned with giving lucrative contracts to Tory donors than in getting 2.8 million people into real jobs with a living wage.
Workfare doesn’t belong in a civilised society.
Mark Dunk - Right to Work,
John McDonnell MP,
Bob Crow - General secretary RMT,
Billy Hayes – General secretary CWU,
Ian Hodson - National president Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union,
Ellen Clifford – Disabled People Against Cuts