Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves has probably never done a real day’s work in her pampered fucking life. After graduating from Oxford and then the LSE she was handed a non-job at the British Embassy in Washington before returning to the UK to work in the banking sector. She is every bit as clueless and out of touch as the chinless toffs in government she claims to oppose.
This week Reeves and her creepy underling Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms have been boasting about Labour’s plans to bully and impoverish unemployed people with their Compulsory Jobs Guarantee. And just like Iain Duncan Smith she is quite happy to bend the truth to further her benefit sanctioning agenda.
According to Reeves, long term unemployment has soared recently with “a staggering 224% increase in the number of people (25 and over) who have been unemployed for over two years and claiming benefits.”
If this were true then readers of this blog would have heard all about it. But it’s not, it’s a lie and Reeves knows it. All government’s cook the books when it comes to unemployment and the last Labour administration were no exception. Back then and just like now those on workfare were considered employed for the purposes of the unemployment figures. According to the Office For National Statistics there were more people recorded on “government training & employment programmes”, otherwise known as workfare, in April 2010 than in January 2015.
Since when someone started workfare they were no longer classed as unemployed, then Labour decided they were no longer long-term unemployed. That’s why Reeves can make the ludicrous claim there were only 41,100 people who had been out of work for two years in 2010. What she means is there were only 41,100 people who were lucky enough not to have been sent on one of Labour’s shit training or workfare schemes for two years.
In an effort to make Labour look bad when Iain Duncan Smith took over he decided that in future people who have attended workfare should still be considered long-term unemployed, even if they are temporarily removed from the current unemployment figures. This is the reason long term unemployment looks to have risen so steeply. That this actually ended up making Iain Duncan Smith look bad just shows what a dick he is.
This is not the only lie that Reeves has been parroting this week. Labour will not force anyone’s who’s been out of work over two years to take up a job as the Daily Mail declared this week. They can’t. There aren’t enough jobs. What they will do is force claimants to attend their workfare plus a sandwich scheme for six months or face benefit sanctions. What this will mean is people required to work for 25 hours a week on the minimum wage plus another ten hours for free. Which of course means they won’t be working for the minimum wage, but substantially less.
Reeves claims that this extra ten hours a week won’t be work at all, it will be ‘training and development’ provided by the employer. An employer like Poundland. She must think we’re fucking idiots. She also declares that this will not have an impact on existing jobs, or at least that’s what she might mean when she says “Employers won’t be not be able to replace existing jobs or vacancies”. For all her elite education she can barely string a sentence together.
Labour’s Jobs Guarantee is workfare. It may be slightly different to Tory workfare, but the impact on jobs and working conditions for everybody will be the same. As will the impact of benefit sanctions for those who refuse or are unable to do this forced work. Perhaps most disturbingly it is a direct attack on the minimum wage, with participants only to be paid for two thirds of the hours they are actually working. And it will be the tax payer funding those paltry wages, not employers who will no doubt be dump people back on the dole once the six month wage subsidy is over, as recently happened on the now abandoned Wage Incentive scheme introduced by Nick Clegg.
Make no mistake the current Tory Government are vermin. But just like Iain Duncan Smith, Rachel Reeves is a lying bastard. A lying bastard who is currently trying to cosy up to claimants by pretending Labour will tinker with the savage sickness benefits regime whilst her leader Ed Miliband hints that they might save the Independent Living Fund. They have no fucking intention of doing either and they have no intention of ending workfare. The so-called choice at this year’s general election is between a bunch of privileged toffs who are open in their intentions, or snivelling fake Oxbridge twats in the Labour Party who will happily use our poverty to further their careers and then stab us in the back just as hard. Fuck the lot of them. Vote for Class War, with a brick or a ballot paper.
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