The UK has one of the highest rates of workless households in Europe. 1.9 million children are living in homes where no-one has a job. 5 million people are on out of work benefits.
This week the UK Government will announce its plan to tackle the challenge of long-term benefits dependence. Something has to be done, not only from a financial perspective but from a societal one. Nearly 2 million children are growing up with no role model when it comes to doing a decent days work. How on earth have we gotten to a point where many are better off, financially, out of work than in work? What possible long-term benefit does that offer anyone? What incentive is there to go out to work?
The suggestion is that those long-term unemployed will be “forced” to work for their benefits. This can only be a good thing. Getting up in the morning with a purpose can only be healthy. For those genuine long-term unemployed this won’t be a problem. From my experience, those in such a situation are desperately keen to do something, to contribute, to have a sense of purpose, challenge, direction. I have no issue with those genuinely deserving of state support. It is only those who are screwing the system, that are idle, simply unwilling to contribute who will be running scared, appalled that the state is finally extolling the virtues of personal accountability and responsibility. Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg, make it happen.