Skiving Employment Minister Mark Hoban resorted to begging the corporate sector for new ideas to harass benefit claimants in his speech to the Policy Exchange this week.
In a rare appearance, Hoban tried to do butch and turned his attention to self employed and part time workers. When Universal Credit is launched these workers will be forced to continually look for ‘more or better paid’ work as a condition of receiving in work benefits. Over a million people are set to be affected by the change, which could mean part time workers forced to leave jobs to take up temporary positions, or self employed people forced to turn down work to attend workfare.
Single parents, sick and disabled people are also to be forced into endless job searching meaning already over-stretched Jobcentre staff could see workloads almost tripled. With no large scale recruitment at the DWP on the cards, many have asked whether this kind of mass state intrusion is even possible.
Universal Jobmatch was one answer, the online job seeking site recently set up at the cost of millions. Unfortunately Monster Jobs – who designed the site – pulled a fast one on bungling Iain Duncan Smith and it’s rubbish and probably illegal.
With computers proving too complicated for DWP Ministers, Hoban’s latest crazy scheme is to police the ‘toughest ever’ benefit conditionality regime by the medium of text.
Plans have been announced to taunt part time workers with texts, informing them of the astounding fact that if they got a full time job they’d have more money. For the millions already desperate to increase hours this senseless provocation will be accompanied by a monthly letter, telling them the same thing. There will even be an online calculator, just like there is now, so claimants can work out that if they earn more money then they will have more money.
Lord Fraud is even going round bull-shitting that these magical texts will somehow create 300,000 new jobs!
With Universal Credit descending into a shambles, the DWP are looking desperate for ideas. So much so that Hoban and Lord Fraud have launched a consultation begging for help from charities and the welfare to work sector.
Hoban obviously isn’t interested in doing any actual work himself. If this week’s speech is the best he can come up with, then it’s probably best for the entire country that he goes back to his bed and draws the curtains.
Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid