LISTEN: Iain Duncan-Smith’s Explosive Row With James O’Brien


Iain Duncan-Smith was involved in an explosive bust-up with James O’Brien live on LBC 97.3.

The Work and Pensions Secretary has welcomed a fall in unemployment, which now stands at 362,000 in the capital and 2.5million across the UK.


36 thoughts on “LISTEN: Iain Duncan-Smith’s Explosive Row With James O’Brien

    1. Jo Yelland says:

      Here you go:

      LISTEN: Iain Duncan-Smith’s Explosive Row With James O’Brien

      IDS: Iain Duncan Smith

      JB: James O’Brien

      JB: This is LBC 97.3. Unemployment down by 14000 between October and December to some 2 and a half million, best estimates generally put the number of vacancies at any one time at around half a million and we also learnt today of 8 jobs at a branch of Costa Coffe in Nottingham attracting more than 1700 applications. There appears to be something of a disconnect between these two states of affairs if anyone can join the dots, it’s Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, who joins me on the line now. It’s a mark of politics curious nature that unemployment of 2 and a half million is for you this morning a cause for mild celebration.

      IDS: (breathes out)Well, I’m not celebrating, erm, what I’m simply saying is that this is better news and, err, in difficult times if you were standing in France, Italy, Spain or Greece or any of the other countries in Europe, seeing their unemployment levels rising and youth unemployment at staggering levels, you’d actually say, err, this is considerably more positive than their position, you know, which is what it is. Difficult times, but ah our unemployment figures are in uh reasonable shame and the most important thing is there are more people in work now than ever before. So, and the other figure which is really important, which is long-term unemployment for the second figure running is now falling which has been the stubbornly high figure previously, that’s really beginning to have an effect and economic inactivity, which is the other one, the longer term one for people who have never been in the work force are now eh, um, at the lowest levels they’ve been, arguably, since the records began. So these are positive longer term figures but obviously we want the economy growing more, people, so that more and more people can be sucked back into work and people can have better incomes.

      JB: The evidence, it’s anecdotal but is probably more reliable than the average politicians evidence, that we’re getting here is that a lot of these jobs will be part-time and below what is termed as the living wage. Is there any way of counting that?

      IDS: Yeah, well, if you look at the figures, they’re not politicians figures by the way, these are independently verified figures from the ONF and what they show is that for example in these set of figures all the jobs taken are full time work. And you know, when we look at this part-time work, it’s like everyone is “oh everyone’s in part-time work” first of all there’s nothing wrong with part-time work for many, many people the vast majority who take part-time work because they have caring responsibilities and can’t take on full-

      JB: (cutting in)Well, I’d, I’d, I’d…

      IDS: (talks over JB): well and the second point is..

      JB: (cutting in) Hang on that’s simply not true. If the only job you can find is part-time then you’re going to take it.

      IDS: (cutting in) Well, hold on a second, why don’t we live on the figures then, not my anecdotes or yours?

      JB: Well, we are.

      IDS: The figures published today show that 83% of those who seek full-time work are in full-time work. It’s only 17%, even that is too high for me, but 17% of those who are looking for full-time work can’t find full-time work are taking part-time work. So the vast, vast majority, not my figures

      JB: (cutting in) No, no Mr. Duncan-Smith these could be 2 and a half million people looking for full-time work, you’re confining yourself to people who’ve found it.

      IDS: No, no, I’m talking about those who are looking for work that have found work

      JB: Yes, those who’ve found it there could be two and a half million people looking for work

      IDS: (speaking over JB) Yes, but my point is – listen – these are hard economic times

      JB: (cutting in) I am listening, very closely. There are 2 and a half million out of work…

      IDS: These are not anecdotes, these are not anecdotes. These are reality, the reality is that those who seek full-time work are finding full-time work-

      JB: (cutting in) And 2 and a half million people aren’t.

      IDS: Yeah, but those are the people seeking work that’s what I’m saying. You’re not, those who have found work are finding the full-time work that they’re after, others people..

      JB: No, the people who are finding jobs are finding full-time work, there’s still millions of people not finding jobs.

      IDS: These figures run for both sides of the equation, those who are seeking work part-time and –

      JB: Yes! But what those who don’t have any work but would like some?

      IDS: What? Have you got an incite into the people seeking work, that you know the predominant numbers of them are all seeking work?

      JB: No, I leave that to you because you think that shelf-stacking, you think they think that shelf-stacking is beneath them. That’s an incite isn’t it? Into the –

      IDS: No, it isn’t, that’s a ridiculous point to make, if you don’t mind me saying so, because I didn’t say that, what I said was –

      JB: I’ve got the transcript in front of me.

      IDS: (slightly agitated) Yes, okay, people who are doing work experience, which is us allowing people to continue to earn their job seekers allowance but also to take experience in companies that allow them to do that. They will learn all sorts of different skills but the reality I said is, look, going into a business and involving yourself in a supermarket stacking shelves is as vital as any other job you might have to do and particularly, as all of us go to shop at supermarkets, the point that I was making, which is more important in life if your shelves have not got food on them? Doesn’t the shelf-stacker have some particularly strong position in society?

      JB: Yes, but you were talking about a woman who had no problem with stacking shelves, she’d merely wanted to be paid for it, and –

      IDS: (cutting in, angry) She was paid for it, the tax payer was paying her for God’s sake! Job Seekers Allowance? That is what we are paying her to do!

      JB: I’m so glad that you said that because –

      IDS: (cutting in, angry) So what would you rather the tax payer allows her to sit-

      JB: Well, if you’ll let me answer I’ll tell you.

      IDS: (cutting back in, angry) – on unemployment, not getting work experience –

      JB: If you let me answer, I’ll tell you.

      IDS: – these young people who asked us for work experience and over half of those, 50%, are going into work as a result of that work experience.

      JB: Let me read you the official Department of Work and Pensions response to a petition to abolish Workfare, and I quote from your own department: “We do not have ‘work for your benefit’ or ‘workfare’ schemes in this country.” A further response, from a Freedom of Information request, your own department stated –

      IDS: (cutting in, incredulous) We don’t have Workfare programs!

      JB: “Benefit is not paid to the claimant as remuneration for the activity”, so explain to me how she could earn her Jobseekers Allowance in a country where benefit is not paid as remuneration.

      IDS: Because the work experience program is one that you volunteer to do, but once you’ve volunteered to do, it’s made quite clear to you that –

      JB: The court of appeal has just found that-

      IDS: (cutting in, angry) You asked me a question, why don’t you let me answer it, okay?

      JB: I am letting you answer it but you’re not answering the question I asked which was –

      IDS: Let me finish okay? If you want to make a mess of this that’s fine but lets just get the facts right.

      JB: That’s your prerogative Mr. Duncan-Smith, not ours.

      IDS: We do not have a Workfare program. What I found, when I arrived, is that young people were not allowed to go and do work experience and be paid Job Seekers Allowance for more than two weeks. Because we were asked by large numbers of them who said we can’t get employment because when we sit down with an employer the first thing they ask is “what work experience have you got?” and their answer is “we don’t have work experience but we can’t get it until someone allows us to do it and we can’t do it otherwise we lose our benefit”. What we changed was the rules around that so that young people could go and do work experience for upto 2 months still receve their benefit they can put that on their Cvs and in many cases the businesses, once they’ve seen them for two months, say to them, “actually, we think we’re going to create a job around you because we think you’re worthwhile”. That is a positive –

      JB: (cutting in, talked over by IDS) How does, how does this work – the court of appeal has found that they are

      IDS: (cutting in, angry)You don’t understand what the court of appeal found!

      JB: I’m afraid I, I’m afraid that I do.

      IDS: (cutting in, angry) You don’t, with respect.

      JB: Well, why don’t you explain then?

      IDS: Thank you, what the court of appeal found was that it was not against their human rights to do it, which was the main issue in the court.

      JB: I haven’t mentioned Human Rights.

      IDS: That’s what they did, they brought that case on the basis that it was against their human rights.

      JB: I haven’t mentioned human rights.

      IDS: The second point was the court found the regulations around this should have been more specific to each individual scheme. We had deliberately set them general around all work schemes and they’ve asked us to set them more specifically, we have done that.

      JB: Let us be specific –

      IDS: (cutting in, speaking more forcefully) It’s a voluntary program, young people want it, the vast, vast majority of it want it and they get something out of it and they get to work for it.

      JB: I need to clarify this point. You used the word ‘earned’ to describe the payment of Job Seekers Allowance. Somebody working for a highly profitable company like Poundland. That is your phrase, you used it on this program and you used it on the Andrew –

      IDS: (cutting in)Yes, yes but –

      JB: (forcefully) You don’t like being interrupted yourself, Mr. Duncan-Smith.

      IDS: (intake of breath) Okay, fire away.

      JB: And then we learnt from your own department that benefit is not paid to the claimant as remuneration for the activity. Those two positions are completely irreconcilable.

      IDS: No they’re not. Listen. They’ve volunteered to do this, we have allowed them to continue to receive Job Seekers Allowance at the time they’re doing their work experience. What she was saying is “we’re not paid, we don’t receive any money”. My answer is you do, the tax payer is paying you Job Seekers Allowance. We have allowed you to do work experience and not lose your Job Seekers Allowance –

      JB: So it’s remuneration for working.

      IDS: In the past she would have lost her Job Seekers Allowance had she gone on to do more than two weeks.

      JB: So the benefit is payment for the work.

      IDS: (cutting in) I don’t quite get what your getting concerned about the reality is –

      JB If you concentrated on what I’m saying instead of butting in all the time you would. She is getting paid for doing the work at Poundland with her Job Seekers Allowance.

      IDS: (exasperated) It’s work experience.

      JB: It is a pay packet.

      IDS: It’s work experience, she is benefiting from the work experience, that she’ll then go on and be more likely that to be employed in the future. I think that’s a positive, I think it’s ludicrous to assume that this is some kind of a negative. They were not able to get work experience before we changed the rules.

      JB: You know this woman had actually experienced voluntary work and you also know that to describe her as somehow sneering or looking down on shelf-stacking is absurd.

      IDS: (cutting in, angry) But she volunteered to go on the work experience program.

      JB: Because she’d been lied to about what it would involve, as the court of appeal found last week.

      IDS: (nasty) They did not find that she

      JB: (cutting in) Well, I’m sorry but you just said that they needed to clarify what the regulations meant.

      IDS: No, no, the regulations were around the withdrawal of benefit if she failed to comply with what she’d agreed to do.

      JB: Which only works if the benefit is a reward for doing the work experience.

      IDS: If you would read what the judgement was…

      JB: I’ve read every word of the judgement, Mr. Duncan-Smith.

      IDS: Then you don’t understand the reality of it, with respect, the reality is –

      JB: (cutting in) Well with respect to you Mr. Duncan-Smith I do. Insulting me doesn’t advance the argument.

      IDS: (cutting in) I’m not insulting you.

      JB: That won’t forward the debate in any way.

      IDS: (cutting in) This debate is going nowhere because you’ve made you’re mind up before you did this interview. This interview, debate, just isn’t positive.

      JB: Au contraire, this debate is incredibly illuminating.

      IDS: Well, are you saying to me that these kids shouldn’t be doing work experience and if they then…

      JB: I’m saying that if they’re working they should get paid. It’s quite straight forward. You are, why shouldn’t they be?

      IDS: They are on Job Seekers Allowance. The tax payer is paying them, they’re getting work experience and over half –

      JB: So what is the minimum wage legislation for?

      IDS: They’re training for jobs, that’s what they’re doing.

      JB: What’s minimum wage legislation for?

      IDS: This is work experience. They are doing up to two months work experience. I don’t quite understand why you think they shouldn’t be doing that, that they should be paid full wage, because the companies aren’t committing to take them on, many of them then do. This is a network of –

      JB: (cutting in, agitated) Well, hang on! Remind us of the companies that have pulled out of the scheme.

      IDS: There are more companies joining the scheme than have even pulled out.

      JB: I don’t think that’s an answer to my question.

      IDS: The huge, the vast numbers of companies joining the scheme and are very happy with the scheme and they are not pulling out. This is a reality, that they think this scheme is very good. It gives them a chance to look at young kids coming in, it gives those young kids a chance to get some experience about the world of work which they wouldn’t otherwise do and it makes it very, very important to them because then they’re able to take those jobs, often in the companies themselves, and sometimes when they come out it’s in their CV they then get a job later on because they’ve got work experience. This is a net positive, this is using tax payers money to do the right thing, to get kids into work. That is a number one priority.

      JB: I don’t, I mean, it doesn’t matter how many times you say it, it doesn’t sound any more plausible or convincing, that the bottom line is you’re using benefits to provide a incredibly cheap workforce to subsidise incredibly profitable companies and passing it off as an assault on a fictional feckless generation.

      IDS: (muttering) I don’t agree with you.

      JB: Well of course you don’t. 1700 people in Nottingham, 1700 people in Nottingham applying for 8 jobs.

      IDS: Look, there are more people in work today than at any time in records. There are more people –

      JB: (cutting in, exasperated) There are more people alive today, than since records began! What a strange observation!

      IDS: I think this is turning into a bit of a diatribe ion your part, I think.

      JB: 1700, well you’re perfectly entitled –

      IDS: I’ve come on here, quite rightly, to talk about the fact that even in difficult times the British labour market is doing better than we would have expected, that long-term unemployment is falling, the reality is that employment is improving and that unemployment is falling as well and I believe that the programs that we’ve set around this, now we’re not going to agree about this, but I absolutely believe that work experience is critical to that to help young people to get experience of the world of work and to get into work. We simply won’t agree about that but that is my position and that is what I’m doing.

      JB: I’m terribly sorry but I agree with you entirely, people need a lot of help to get into work as been proved by the fact that 1700 people have applied for 8 jobs in a coffee shop in Nottingham today. What would you say to the 1692 who failed?

      IDS: The reality is that even in that area there are 15000 vacancies and the reality is that the claimant count in that area is still falling.

      JB: That’s really what you’d say to them? The reality is –

      IDS: Let me finish.

      JB: By all means.

      IDS: What I was going to say is categorically this, you have to keep looking for jobs, there are jobs there, I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying there’s a magic wand to wave but the reality of people looking for those jobs is a positive point to make for young peoples determination to find work. But while jobs, to make sure that we make circumstances right, round those companies so they can actually create more work –

      JB: (cutting in) Sorry you’ve lost me.

      IDS: (continuing regardless) -which is what they are doing.

      JB: (cutting in) You’ve lost me.

      IDS: (continuing regardless) – come back to the figures, overall

      JB: (cutting in) I did, 1692

      IDS: (continuing regardless) More jobs being created and there are 15000 vacancies in the same area.

      JB: (cutting in) Yeah, so it’s a positive.

      IDS: I don’t know what your point is here.

      JB: I’m not surprised, you’re not listening to a word I’m saying. The 1692 people who failed to get one of these jobs in a coffee shop, you say that’s a positive.

      IDS: (mutters) I didn’t say that at all

      JB: I think you might have done

      IDS: I don’t like people trying to indicate what I say, when I said quite clearly, look – all of them will be deeply disappointed but the reality is there are jobs and there is work out there and people have to keep on looking for it. These are not easy times. You know, if you were living in France or Italy or Spain –

      JB: (cutting in) Yeah, but we’re not, Mr. Duncan-Smith.

      IDS: You will find these positions much more positive.

      JB: So that’s, yes, yeah yes (trying to stop IDS from continuing), I understand now. So you say to them, be grateful you don’t live in France.

      IDS: No I’m not saying that. I said that the positive figures today are a good indication that the private sector are creating jobs, there are more people in work, there are more vacancies, claimant count is falling. These are positives. I’m not saying they’re brilliant but they’re positives. They are showing that the economy is moving in the right direction and the employment levels, as I said, long-term unemployment shows that it is falling, unemployment rate shows it is falling, claimant count is falling and employment is rising. The vacancy level has been rising, there are half a million vacancies on a daily basis in the UK. These are the facts.

      JB: For two and a half million jobseekers?

      IDS: (long pause) These are the facts.

      JB: Yes, two and a half million job seekers for half a million vacancies.

      IDS: Well I didn’t at any stage say here’s the magic wand now it’s easy. I said this is a positive position ’cause these, ’cause these figures show that this is an improving situation, more people are entering the workforce, more people are being employed and long-term unemployed people are being found work. Now the programs that we’re putting around them including work experience, which you don’t seem to think much of –

      JB: (cutting in) No I just think they should be paid.

      IDS: (carrying on) has a positive effect, okay? They are being paid, the tax payer is paying for them –

      JB: (cutting in) Yes, yes, that’s the astonishing element of this whole exchange. That you think that a benefit is a payment, for work done.

      IDS: No what I think, work experience gives people a chance to see the world of work, it gives a chance for the company to see them, I think the tax payer is making an investment in that because for two months that gives them now a much better chance of getting into work. I don’t agree with you at all, I think the work experience program is a huge success over half of those who enter it –

      JB: (cutting in) Apart from the lady who won in the court of appeal last week.

      IDS: (continuing on) and off benefits. That is the reality. It is a strong and good program and I am very proud of it.

      JB: What happens if, finally, your challenge to the court of appeal findings last week failed?

      IDS: Look we’ve already said that we’ve changed the regulations going forward, so those regulations –

      JB: Okay, so the thing you’re proud of has now been changed?

      IDS: No, the programs are still exactly the same.

      JB: But the regulations have changed?

      IDS: No the regulations as they are are the same.

      JB: But the program is the same and the regulations had to change they said?

      IDS: No, the regulations had to be tightened up and we’ve tightened them up.

      JB: Iain Duncan-Smith, thank you for your time.

      1. Jo Yelland says:

        Added in some emotive points so it makes better sense and got as much in that made sense – should be everything! Sorry it took so long!

    1. Yvonne says:

      I think IBS is slightly less nauseating.! this man is on the defense – I really like James O’Brien’s expertise in debating. He is honest and doesnt care whether or not he irritates this slug

  1. Humanity2012 says:

    We Need a Secretary of State For Charity and Poor Relief who Cares about
    the Poor and Vulnerable

  2. Hazel Winning says:

    People on Job Seekers allowance are told they have to accept work experience jobs if they wish to keep getting their benefit. They do not have a say in this.

  3. Steven says:

    Even by Tory standards, Iain Dumbo-Smith is an utterly vile, totally repellent, totally unfeeling piece of shit. That ‘man’ is pure evil and frankly someone need to kill him as he can’t be reasoned with.

  4. Lexyp67 says:

    James, well done for standing your ground and not giving the slimy toad an ounce of wriggle room. You are my new hero!

  5. Earl says:

    If shelf-stacking is as valid as any other role in society, then he should PAY them what he gets paid… and if I remember correctly the issue with the lady who took them to court was that she had a ‘work experience’ position with a museum that was more relevant to her chosen career & they insisted she go work for pound land. Saying that they signed up to it is a lie too. They were coerced into signing under threat of losing benefits. That is the definition of forced labour… the threat of some ‘sanction’.

  6. alan says:

    sanctions are making claimants disappear, thats not jobs. homeless growing, thats not jobs. surrendering to the whim of an advicer, thats not jobs. what camp are you in, and age is no escape, 61 what jobs, poundland for me, thats not a job

  7. keith bowen says:

    Just like to say hi, and hope the chair of the select committee, dame ann beeg, has an effect at the commons in april, when she submits her evidence on atos working practices!

  8. Boadacia! says:

    If they fill up all these companies with free labour it not only helps their investments in them, but manipulates the unemployment figures too, and as we know there’s enough knob-ends out there reading media shyte to believe them.

  9. ian wolton says:

    Jo, thank you so very much! You are an absolute angel! You have done a excellent job of transcribing!
    once again my grateful thanks!

  10. chindit says:

    i.d.s keeps mentioning these youngsters getting work experience but there are cases of 50 and 60 year olds being sent on work experience.

  11. Jo Yelland says:

    The more I listen/read this, the funnier it gets. I wish there was a picture from the studio…

    1. "Scrounger" says:

      I totally agree!
      Listening to IDS flounder under intelligent scrutiny is wonderful and has certainly made my week!!
      James O’Brien did a cracking job of letting IDS make an arse of himself and expose himself as an egotistical manipulator who wouldn’t recognise the truth if it bit him!

      (and a small aside, FAB job on transcribing!!)

  12. Boadacia! says:

    Don’t be surprised all, that when fascist extremist elite eventually do arrest power from a weak government, that they will attempt to eradicate all that stand in their way to ultimate unquestioned tyranny, and will not consider their subordinates in any other terms than dispensable slaves to their system.

    Oh, was I in the past again? Sorry!

  13. Justin Thyme says:

    So let’s get this right ….
    we’ve had a debate in parliament and nothing has happened
    the judges have made a statement about illegal activity and still nothing has happened
    in what way is the war against the poor and disabed about ‘cutting the defecit’??
    this is ethnic cleansing and it is continuing despite an increase in those who are critical of what is happening
    this is ideological warfare and the labour party is nowhere to be seen
    we, the disabled and the poor and council tenants, are being deliberately targetted because the elites want to
    Idiot Duncan Shit can rot in hell

  14. Pink Parrot says:

    I don’t think rotting would be allowed anyway…sounds too much like festering, which is only for those on benefits, along with, strangely, sitting.
    Can’t have people sitting on benefits, no, they should be standing to attention by their front doors, coats on, mops in hand, ready to enjoy the kindness of the workfare providers who generously allow them to work for nothing.
    Brilliant interview!! If only all interviewers were so good at pointing out b*llock-speak. (BBC, this is how it’s done)
    The ONS that IDS referred to – is actually part of the DWP –
    (there’s even a section ‘create your own statistics’ lol!)

  15. Justin Thyme says:

    Okay guys, take the point
    What about burning him alive in the middle of Trafalgar Square once he’s had his nuts clamped to 50000 volts current and his arms and legs sawn off with a junior hacksaw without anaesthetic? Just for starters mind……

  16. Andrew Healey says:

    Seems to me that the Idiotic Demented Sociopath has no knowledge of the English language, and like all his ilk are of the opinion that if you are a compulsive liar, you can convince anyone and everyone that they are as idiotic as he is. He is an embarrassment to the nation, just like the moron Bush was to the U.S.A. Unfortunately we have a full government of Bushes. I am amazed that the law makers and enforcers of this country allow these morons to get away with the crimes they commit. Do they not realize that they are being viewed in the same light just as corrupt. They are all responsible for the mess we are in now, after 40 years of utter corruption and self aggrandizing by people who should not have been allowed anywhere near shelf stacking let alone running a country. I would say that he has the thinking power of an amoeba but I don’t want to insult amoebas.
    Parliament needs to be shut down now and all contracts with the likes of AtoS, A4e, etc etc torn up on the grounds of corruption, all the new legislation on the N.H.S. reversed everything these morons have changed put back as it was. All the fraudulent financiers arrested and imprisoned and their assets seized at home and in the Caymans or wherever. All the corrupt, lying thieving politicians who have profited from this mess they helped to create to join them in prison We need to invest in our nation before we have tens of millions working for £50.00 a week and living out of food banks. This is our country we built it the workers, we built the palaces, the power stations, the hospitals we dug the clay, made the bricks, we made the wealth they have stolen. The laws are there they just need to be enforced. We need a Claus Von Stauffenburg

  17. steve davies says:

    Hes a Tory shit and has always been so……nothing will change until these scumbags are deselected

  18. A Lewis says:

    Yes thanks Jo. Great Job. Think IDS is baffled by those whose sympathise with those he sees as scumbags. He’s missed the point that the welfare state was set up to protect people from the vageries of capitalism and market forces. Capitalism creates winners and losers. Or winners for now. It protects everyone to have a safety net.

    The recession is driving people to suicide and our government is completely unconcerned. Who is gonna miss an waster? People are becoming depressed and losing hope. (while mental health services are being massively cut.) Going on benefit is a soul destroying experience and the policy is to make people feel worse. Applying for jobs takes energy and confidence and it’s being destroyed. You are no longer an individual with talents and skills, you are a claimant that is the same as everyone else, and if Poundland is good enough for one it’s good enough for all! It scares me that policies are being driven by assumption, predjudice, and bigotry.

    The whole benefits issue is nut’s. It’s sadly about bullying and shaming people into feeling like scumbags. Hang the ultimate cost. My friends partner is off for ten weeks basic literacy training (curtesy DWP) to improve her prospects of getting a job. If she refuses she loses her benefit, so hey ho off she’ll go. Perhaps she will get a certificate. On the face of it ten weeks free training is generous, I don’t know what it cost’s to provide a place but I doubt it’s free. ( Unless it’s being run by ‘volunteer’ claimants perhaps.) She’s told them she’s got a degree but no it’s fine it never hurt’s to brush up on your skills! Do you think the jolly old hard working taxpayer minds putting his hand in his pocket again to fund her place? I’m wondering what her next employer will think when she lists her various qualifications and ends with’ I’m currently studying basic literacy.’ I’m concerned that most employers will be saying but what relevant training or experience are you involved in to keep your skills up to date? I’m also concerned that people needing basic literacy training might find it intimidating to sit in a class with degree level students.

    People have different talents; academic, practical, creative and so on. Job’s shouldn’t beneath or above someone but they can be a waste of talent or a bad fit. For this scheme to be fair, we need all employers from all sectors to get on board to offer real quantifiable experience and training and for those claimants taking part, to have choice and be paid at least a minimum wage for what they do. It’s not fair to target low paid jobs and have people work them for free. Imagine if things were turned upside down and a cashier was sent to teach in a university or or work in an operating theatre? It could change someones life if they wanted it. But it should be a choice.

    1. Justin Thyme says:

      some good points here but what is really needed is REAL JOBS
      This government has no idea how to be creative except in government statistics, which again aren’;t real!!! It is acting as if protectionism is the only way – protecting it’s own interests – everything else is unimportant. The attack (war) on welfare is purely ideological – it’s class war at it’s most basic – and the labour party has assited the process by being so capitalist – the right wing of the labour party is still intact and dominant – there is no opposition to what’s happening because they are all in it together.

      A while ago labour asked people visa their website to give personal profiles of the problems they had claiming benefits or being disabled – they wanted live info – and absolutely nothing has come of it – it’s as if they wanted to ‘catch up’ so they had some ammunition – then Miliband comes out with his living wage nonsense – the labour party is dead. we are on our own here.

      1. A Lewis says:

        Sorry thought it goes without saying we need more jobs. And quite right it needs to be said over and over. Jobs are essential. And as further job cuts are being announced in mental health this time, I wish there was someone who could get the message over that work is important not only so we can survive and pay our bills but have pride in doing something useful in the world.

        Was replying to assertion that you can’t get a job without experience and you can get experience without a job, (it’s an old chestnut) hence job trials are needed in every line of work to help people trapped like this. Such trials have to be relevent, properly supervised and provide real evidence of experience. They should also give a taste of working life and part of that is when you are working you have extra money in your pocket for coffee, and a sandwich with your colleagues and even to cover socialising with your new colleagues too. Surely networking is still an effective way into any company?

        Govts don’t want to know about the real cost of surviving/living because minimum wage is so low. They assert that fairness says that people on benefits should never have more than those working but neither the minumum wage nor benefits are properly researched as to whether they are adequate to meet peoples basic needs.

        It looks like there are now huge moral questions to be asked about what levels of poverty/suffering are acceptable in a country which is still the 7th richest in the world. If I’m on benefits what must I give up? My daily shower? flushing the toilet after a wee? Heating my house? hot water every day, servicing the boiler? having a spare bedroom? 3 meals a day? A proper cooked meal every day instead of another portion of cheapest cereal?What about a home phone? broadband? a newspaper? A car? And can I get a job without them? All the jobs I’ve tried ask for a car. If I keep it, does it deserve a service? an MOT, a tax disc? safety checks? What shall I give up to pay for them? Shall I sit in the dark? get rid of the telly? Change my clothes and bedding less often to save on laundry costs? Will any of those measures be enough? Goes without saying I don’t have money to socialise/network to improve my chances of getting a job. But then neither can I be accused of having fun while the jolly old hardworking taxpayer goes off to work a double shift. Perhaps we need a referendum on, what living standards are judged to be just too low? It’s not about the money, it’s what that money can buy.

  19. alan says:

    20 jobs created by this government and its only cost 5,ooo,000,000 pounds thats value, outsourcing i guess , if that 5bill was shared unemployed/and incapacity what would that be

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