Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why is jobseekers allowance free?

This probably won't be a popular idea but it's bugging me for a while. There are two types of dole right, you have "contribution-based" and "income-based". The former last for six months and is based on whether you've paid NI and are up to date over the past two years, the second is based on savings, income etc and is what kicks in after six months for those on contribution-based dole.. Both pay out the same amount, which is between £50 and £60(ish) a week depending on age.

So, where people are on income-based dole, they're getting, approximately, the equivalent of about 10 hours worth of money at £6 per hour. So why do we not find things for them to do for 10 hours a week whilst they're looking for work and if they don't do it they don't get the cheque? I've heard that other countries do this although am not sure which ones.

It seems to me that there are lots of little things local authorities would love to be able top do but, at a time of financial constraint, do not have the resources for or have de-scoped as not a priority. I'm thinking here of tackling things along the lines of the "broken window strategy", so litter picking, cleaning up the way and area looks etc.

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