One thing that dedicated readers will know about me is that I do not like the Job Centre. Sure, I like the idea of a system to financially support those who are unemployed, the problem is that the system is not very helpful and they’re only too keen to sanction people for the most trivial of reasons. A vote for the Conservatives would make this already awful system even worse. Their plan is to enforce thirty hours of mandatory community service on any young person who makes a claim for financial support while looking for work. Also, this support will not be provided for more than six months. This is presented as a good thing.
Firstly, is it really very moral to make people work so many hours for less than minimum wage? The answer is no. But the problem is that this is presented as a good thing because it will supposedly give people some useful experience which will make it easier to find employment. But, why would that make finding employment easier? It will be something that all young people have on their CV and will only be as helpful as the mandatory work experience they do at school (by which I mean, not very helpful at all). Nobody will be any better than anybody else, because everybody will have the same minimal experience. All it will do is wear down unemployed people, making them less enthusiastic about looking for more work and then just leading them to poverty once they’re cut off after six months.
So, if you are considering voting for the Conservatives, please keep in mind these things. They have other policies which I also do not agree with, but it is the Job Centre which I have the most first-hand experience of and feel most confident writing about.
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