Labour have brought out a shiny new plan to get people back in to work.
It applies to people who have been unemployed for 2 years or more (though this period will get shorter).
130,000 will qualify.
It will be compulsory - if you refuse, you lose your benefit.
It will cost £1bn (a year?- not clear), this cost to be met by stopping tax relief on pensions for people earning £150,000+.
Anyone who cares about people can give Labour's little scheme a qualified welcome - the qualifying objection being its compulsory nature.
But Ed Balls' notion is clearly not as good as the Green Wage Subsidy which is up for consideration by Green Party Conference next month, because GWS
- applies to all, not just the long term unemployed
- can meet the needs of up to 2,000,000, not just 130,000
- costs next to nothing
-is 100% voluntary
- and in addition can continue indefinitely, leading on to full Citizens (Basic) Income
- and will lead to the greening of the whole economy.
In short, the Green Wage Subsidy idea is much better than Ed Balls idea, which is in turn better than the Coalition's idea. Because the Coalition has no idea how to get people back into work.
If you are a Green Party member and are going to Conference, please read up on the Green Wage Subsidy, and prepare to speak for it and vote for it. Thanks.