Whilst he’s famous for destroying the educational chances of a generation, it is less well known that snivelling Nick Clegg is also behind a mass workfare scheme that condemns thousands of young people to unpaid work.
The Youth Contract, announced to much fanfare by Clegg in April, aims to bully a quarter of a million young people into working for free at places like Poundland.
Another part of the Youth Contract hands out so much in subsidies to employers and welfare to work companies that it would be just as cheap to employ the young people directly.
Under the ‘Wage Incentive’ part of the Youth Contract employers are handed £2,275 for every young person they employ on minimum wage for 6 months. Astonishingly a further £1,200 is handed out to the Work Programme providers who arrange the job. This is on top of the £400 attachment fee already paid to providers simply for signing up young people to the Work Programme.
To employ a young person on the minimum wage full time for six months costs £3,884 in wages. The amount handed out to both the employer and the Work Programme contractors in total under the Youth Contract is £3,875.
This toff Government, which has done so much to deride some of the poorest people in the country as scroungers, is quite happy to hand out huge wage subsidies to some of the richest corporations in the world.
Yet in a searing indictment of the current economic shambles, even doling out these huge sums to employers and welfare to work sharks has had no impact on youth unemployment which is still rising.
Meanwhile the mass workfare scheme is also on the brink of collapse. High Street names like Holland & Barrett have been quick to distance themselves from unpaid so-called Work Experience schemes after storms of protests from their customers.
Much like the Work Programme for long term unemployed people, Nick Clegg’s Youth Contract is costing hundreds of millions of pounds whilst failing to even make a dent on soaring youth unemployment.
The treachery of Clegg is perhaps best illustrated in his attitude towards young people. In just over two years he’s gone from pledging free access to university to fobbing the young off to work in supermarkets for no pay.
No amount of attention-seeking apologies will be enough to rescue Nick Clegg and his party’s reputation. The yellow stain in British politics is now little more than the worst kind of happy-clappy cult, happily cheering from the sidelines as the real leaders destroy the lives of millions.
Clegg’s pathetic apology means nothing and has been greeted with the contempt it deserves. But every Liberal Democrat MP, Councillor, activist or member has blood on their hands now. Every suicide due to the brutal Atos testing regime for sick and disabled people was voted for by Lib Dem MPs. Children made homeless due to the savage housing benefit cuts were put out on the streets by the same scum. Every young person forced to work for free, every closed hospital, every trashed exam result is down to Liberal Democrat party members too spineless to stop this onslaught or at the very least walk away and play no part in it.
The legacy of the Liberal Democrat party will be the destruction of just about every decent institution this country has, and there aren’t many to start with. When brutal poverty stalks the land, when healthcare is in the hands of private sector sharks and living standards are reduced to near third world levels for many, rank and file Liberal Democrats will exist as mere footnotes in history. They will be the cowards who barely raised a word in protest as their leaders voted the country into a callous money-grabbing capitalist hell.
Ruin the Lib Dem’s Conference Weekend: Shut Down Workfare in Brighton