Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Guardian letter on solving unemployment with Green Wage Subsidy

I am happy to find that the Guardian has published a letter (online version is here). My letter was in response to yesterday's front page article on the "Millenials (Generation Y)" .

This is the letter:

Many factors lie behind the difficulties faced by our young people, but one powerful lever to get them out of the pit would be to transform the benefit system. At present, jobseeker’s allowance is given grudgingly on condition that the recipients do no meaningful work and spend all their time applying for nonexistent jobs. We have a dysfunctional economic system that leaves 14% of our 16- to 24-year-olds unemployed, more than double the rate of the general working population. Unemployment causes poverty, exclusion, purposelessness, physical and mental illness, and unemployment in formative years blights the whole of subsequent life. Communities with high unemployment slip into decay. Unemployment is nothing but an unacceptable market failure, because a vast amount of good work that needs to be done is left undone.

This can be rectified by one simple tweak to the benefit system: we should allow JSA claimants who find work in the social and green sector of the economy to take their JSA into work with them. This would stimulate the sector of the economy that produces energy conservation, renewables, homebuilding, flood protection, other environmental work and above all work helping the sick, vulnerable and elderly. This green wage subsidy would have a negligible cost but bring massive benefits, not just by improving our social and physical environment, but also by helping our millennials to find a meaningful place in society.
Dr Richard Lawson​

Here is the background on Green Wage Subsidy
and here is the Facebook page

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