Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sanctions and workfare

Ghost Whistler asks :

If elected what will you do to combat the toxic regime of sanctions and workfare at the DWP? For example, will you meet with local staff and call for changes (assuming they are among those punishing people in this way)?
My reply:

I hate sanctions and workfare. The punitive approach to out of work benefits taken by the Tories and LDs is irrational and deeply unpleasant, given that the basic problem is a market failure - namely, the inability of the system to provide jobs.

It is deeply worrying that these politicians want to punish people for having no jobs when the system they support is failing to supply work at a time when there is so much work, good work that would help people and planet, left undone.

That is why I came up with the Green Wage Subsidy idea. This is a positive, fully voluntary scheme that will create good constructive and useful jobs for people. If elected I will do all that I can to get the DWP to allow a GWS pilot run in North Somerset.

Sadly, the reality of the situation is that the result in Weston constituency is a foregone conclusion: Con hold. Ukip will somewhat reduce the total size of the John Penrose's vote, but the fact is that none of the non-Tory candidates stand a chance of replacing him. The LibDems were the challengers in past elections, but they are now a shadow of their former selves, thanks to their flirtation with the Conservatives. The vote in Weston is a glorified opinion poll, and all non-Tory votes are wasted in the sense that they have no representation in Parliament. This is the ugly truth of First Past the Post. Of course, all the other candidates will contradict me, the three also-rans will assert that against all reality, they are able to win, and John Penrose will deny that he is a dead cert so as not to look complacent, but the electoral reality is as I have written.

If I come second, pundits will ask "what happened there?" And I will be able to say that the people of Weston voted Green because the Green candidate put forward a positive solution to the problem of unemployment, and also spoke out against corruption.


Ghost Whistler said...

Thank you for addressing my questions. What do you see as the key differences between workfare as it stands and th GWS? For example, what will happen to a claimant who, for whatever reason, refuses a GWS position that is offered to him as that is currently a sanctionable offence?

Richard Lawson said...

The GWS is purely voluntary. There is no need for the punitive approach. People like being in good, purposeful work work, it makes them happier, healthier and wealthier.