Saturday, 10 May 2014

UK's lowest-paid employees to be classed as 'not working enough'

One million people could be pushed to earn more – or have their benefits cut, says Department for Work and Pensions

Says the headline in the Guardian.

One million of Britain's lowest paid employees will be classed as "not working enough" and could find themselves pushed with the threat of sanctions to find more income under radical changes to benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions has said.

DWP internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal that people earning between £330 and around £950 a month – just under the rate of the national minimum wage for a 35-hour week – could be mandated to attend jobcentre meetings where their working habits will be examined as part of the universal credit programme.

Well, duh! Of course the alternative to having fewer people working more hours and thus more people unemployed, the situation that the New Speenhamland System, sorry, Working Families Tax Credits was designed to address, is having more people working fewer hours. I suppose the DWP is just going through the motions: everyone knows what the result of this new policy will be, but it is politically inexpedient to mention it. In fact, later in the article they go a way towards confirming this with a revealing quote,

The DWP said: "There isn't any real clear, definite plan as to how this [part] would work."


DBC Reed said...

Speehhamland#1 was n't that bad.It made the big enclosing landowners pay rates to support the people they'd dispossessed.It was a bit like Mark's LVT+ Citizen's Income.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, I can't wait.

After we've introduced LVT + CI, some of the semi-retired Homeys in expensive areas will be saying "But we can't afford the LVT!"

To which I will reply, "No, the problem is you are not earning enough. Earning more money is easy, when your lot was in charge they kept saying so and you cheered them to the rafters.

"So why not 'get on your bike and look for work' and then you'll be able to afford the LVT."

Bayard said...

DBCR, it does seem that the system had the problem that it encouraged all employers to drop the wages of their employees as otherwise the ones that didn't would be subsidising the ones that did. Thus many more people would have been forced into accepting charity, which was hated as much by the recipients as by the contributors, than before.