According to today’s Evening Standard, bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling is planning to send unemployed teenagers to work in care homes for no pay across the capital.
The Government is planning to force young people to carry out full time unpaid work for three months before they become eligible for the scant support offered by Job Seekers Allowance. Young people will not be given any time to find a job under their own steam, as many do, but will instead be dispatched to care homes and charities to carry out unpaid work.
The scheme will be launched in areas affected by last year’s riots, seemingly as a form of Collective Punishment. The sentence for being young and unemployed is to be set at 390 hours unpaid labour, 90 hours more than the maximum Community Payback sentence for serious criminal offences of 300 hours.
With stiffer sentences now facing the unemployed than those handed out for burglary, concerns have been raised whether this move will push more young people into crime rather than forced labour for meagre benefits of £56-a-week.
Chris Grayling has said that sentences will be community work only, but astonishingly this could include working for private companies such as care homes. The care sector, already reeling from a string of abuse scandals, is now to benefit from an influx of unpaid, untrained, and no doubt very pissed off teenagers and young people.
6000 young people are to be bullied onto the scheme despite insiders from welfare to work companies claiming they are finding it increasingly hard to secure workfare placements. Chris Grayling, and the clown Mayor Boris, who claims unpaid labour is fun, are relying on the charitable and third sectors to prop up this Government’s ever expanding workfare schemes.
Charities such as Oxfam and Shelter have already made it clear they will not accept ‘volunteers’ who have been coerced to work by the Government under threat of poverty and destitution. Those opposed to workfare are also now turning their attention to charities involved in forced labour such as Scope and the British Heart Foundation.
Already major companies such as Tesco and Holland & Barrett have been forced to change their workfare plans due to massive public pressure. Workfare isn’t working and we can break it for good. Keep up the pressure and organise now for the next National Day of Action Against Workfare which will highlight the connivance of so called charities in the Government’s forced labour schemes.
In the meantime join the week of action against disability denying poverty pimps and paralympic sponsors Atos.