The following was someone’s comment to a blog about benefit scroungers. I won’t mention his name unless he comes back to me with permission.
It first came to my attention when my wife left university with her degree and we went to the JobCentre Plus purely for some advice on how she should go about applying for jobs, compiling her CV, that sort of thing.
When we spoke to one of the advisers (hah!) all they asked was “What benefits do you wish to claim for?”. We told them that my wife didn’t want any benefits as I earned enough to keep us both – she just wanted advice. They replied that before she could speak to anyone she had to make a claim for benefits so that she was entered on the system. That was when I dawned on me that it was a benefits centre, not a Job Centre.
The second thing I noticed, was that there were people coming into the centre declaring that there were “no jobs” – and it was the way they said it. They were HAPPY that here were no jobs (in fact there were hundreds on offer) – a great excuse to carry on being unemployed and claiming benefits.
In the end my wife took matters into her own hands and looked on the internet for jobs and how to write a CV.
Then she got dressed-up in her smart clothes and went round many shops and companies in person with a copy of her CV and presented it to the manager. She got lots of invites for interviews and, from that, a number of job offers.
Now she is manager of a large ladies fashion store and doing well – all because she made the effort to go out and seek work.
My point is, you can find work if you want it because there are jobs out there. During a walk around Nottingham earlier this week, I noticed at least ten jobs advertised in windows of shops… there is work there!
People imagine if Ian Duncan Smith manages to get his changes through things will change. However, I do sincerely doubt this. It is going to take a generation before you will be able to persuade all these people who work is an option to the pub.
Personally I think there should be a freeze on all benefits increasing, during the life of this government’s term. And afterwards, only going up through raises in costs of living for the previous twelve months only.
In addition to this, I would like to see the standard benefit payment cut by 1% per month for thirty months. I wouldn’t include specialist payments for the truly needy, just the standard payment.
Perhaps we could rename “benefits” to what they are; we should call them tax-payers handouts and have this printed on all the forms.
This way, people could see their money slowly depreciating. It might take a year for it to dawn on the hardiest of them that they should look for work, but this is faster than if you did nothing.
Admittedly, because of the way of life, due to the way that successive governments have looked after them, burglaries and muggings might increase, but you can’t have everything, and by then, the bureaucracy of the police force may have subsided and the police might actually be on the street.
I am not advocating ceasing benefits altogether but I will leave you with a thought. How many immigrants, illegal and otherwise, flooding into this country would stop over-night if we cancelled all benefits?
I would like to repeat something that someone once said to me decades ago. I can’t remember who it was, but I remember what was said: “I believe everyone should make their own way in life. I believe in a helping hand for those who fall by the wayside, but not a sinecure for life.”