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Send the jobless litter-picking?

Just the ticket or just plain wrong? Vote.

Published on November 13th 2010.

Send the jobless litter-picking?

LIVERPOOL is destined to have the cleanest streets in the kingdom thanks to a “ginger rodent” and a one-time Dingle lorry driver.

'The message will go across: play ball or it's going to be difficult'

This week will see the proclamation that job seekers will have to do litter picking and fence-painting chores for their meagre dole cheques. It will benefit the city no end.

There are not enough jobs to go around, which means there’ll be a lot of prolonged litter picking by the jobless having to do their community chore to qualify for their state hand-out.

On paper, it seems like a good idea to penalise, sorry, encourage job seekers who, if their worklessness extends beyond 12 months, be given a helping fist courtesy of the Coalition Government.

They will lose their payments , not as a punishment or sanction, you understand, but because the caring decision makers believe it will be good for them. Getting up at the crack of dawn every morning to head out to do those community chores is just the tonic.

The Coalition has given the thumbs up to the Mersey Gateway. How about gathering the unemployed and marching them along the Ford Road towards Widnes, happily whistling Colonel Bogey as they go. Bridge Over The River Mersey.

Wage earners will, at least the Government hopes, fully support a scheme for people living off the state having to do 30-hours a week of community work or risk losing their £65-a-week benefit.

I wonder whether the people who currently clean the streets, and do a pretty good job of it, will have a say at the prospect of a cut-price army “chasing” their work.

Perhaps the (paid) street cleaners will no longer be needed and will become unemployed, only to be assigned street cleaning duties (at a fraction of their pay) to go litter picking. The fear is such a scheme will push many people over the edge and possibly into criminality.

Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who gained his HGV licence driving around Toxteth, said his plans were

designed to reduce welfare dependency and make work pay.

He said: "One thing we can do is pull people in to do one or two weeks' manual work - turn up at 9am and leave at 5pm, to give people a sense of work, but also when we think they're doing other work.

"The message will go across: play ball or it's going to be difficult."

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, or the Ginger Rodent, as Harriet Harman described him, said the idea was not to “punish or humiliate” but to get people back into the habit of working.

The work-for-your-dough rule comes hard on the heels of a report showing Liverpool has the highest number of homes in the country without a breadwinner.

Over 32pc of city homes have nobody in work, according to official figures from the Government’s own Office for National Statistics.

It’s already predicted Liverpool will lose 16,000 public sector jobs as a result of Chancellor George Osborne’s Spending Review.

Across Merseyside there are around 46,000 people receiving unemployment benefits. Add the number of people on disability and other benefits and it rockets to over 100,000.

It’s easy to imagine there’ll be many tears shed over the squeaky clean streets of Liverpool in the coming few years.

What do you think? Should the jobless be made to clean the streets to give them a sense of work ethic? Or is this an erosion of liberties than even Margaret Thatcher wouldn't have dared try?

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 8th 2010.

Really? Just £65 a week to cover their food bills, rent, electricity, gas, water, council tax, school uniform and dinner expenses? How on Earth do they manage?

Broken BritainNovember 8th 2010.

We are too busy as a society watching the X factor to care any more about our civil liberties being eroded. The French as a nation rise up against their rights to retire being taken away. We rise up over Wagner. Say it all really

DescartesNovember 8th 2010.

Will these job seekers be working along side criminals doing court appointed community service?

Hang on, is there any difference between this and court appointed community service!? Is this in fact a cunning plan from the council to keep the jobless away from crime by saying "look here, this is what you get if you commit a crime; so don't commit any"

And isn't it basically slavery?

Ain't seen nothing yetNovember 8th 2010.

People aren't going to know what has hit them.

On Yer BikeNovember 8th 2010.

The peasants are revolting, or are they. I know loads of people in their 50s and they don't stand a cat in hells chance of getting a new job. If there were loads of jobs around here that would be different, but its so bad. It's no good even getting on our bikes to find work - its more or less the same everywhere. How much will the working, or non-working class take before they revolt?
As for pretending this is a nice little scheme to jolly along the unemployed. Bollocks. It's a punishment for being thrown onto the scrapheap. How come they also pick very menial tasks, such as litter picking. Why not order the unemployed to work as supervisors or boardroom executives. They are simply picking on people who would not vote Tory anyway, nor will they vote Lib Dem if they have any sense.

DigNovember 8th 2010.

Rather than painting fences and picking up rubbish why don't they send the unemployed to work in a preferred field. If the individual has particular experience or skills that could be utilised by a particular company send them there. I'm sure most companies would welcome a free pair of hands in the current economic climate. To ensure they put the effort and don't go AWOL stop their benefits if the company report such behaviour. You would probably find a lot of people getting permanent contracts from such a scheme.

saladdazeNovember 8th 2010.

IDS is so poetic. He calls the poor "people out there" but one quote above seems to have been lifted from Roy Hodgson: "The message will go across: play ball or it's going to be difficult."

Lifelong TaxpayerNovember 9th 2010.

Many people in their 40s and 50s are being thrown out of work, having paid into the system for years. Many will have left school and been making NI and tax contributions since they left school. Doesn't it seem obnoxious that such people will be punished if they fail to find a new job, given there are hardly any jobs around. It is so, so unfair.

London RoadNovember 9th 2010.

That's the Tory government for you. An entire generation of voters who grew up on the Blair years and had absolutely no idea of what the alternative would be and listened to the negative spin from Eton boy Cameron. These greedy bastards will do what they like and chuck up the defence of "It's the mess Labour got us in" over and over, while using the collapse of the world market to line theirs and the bankers pockets - and the Murdoch press will diligently report same as fact.

OldfryupNovember 9th 2010.

This is Boys from the Black Stuff all over again. The is not a positive program for anyone.

Sean BradyNovember 9th 2010.

I agree with all the comments already posted here and would like to point out that £65 ISN'T the money that the 'great unwashed' will be paid. As far as I understand, JSA is going down, isn't it? I read yesterday that it's UNDER the minimum wage that you'll be 'earning'. I find it embarrassing enough being unemployed, without being humilated even more. As Descartes has said: it's slavery. I would like to point out that I'm not workshy but I would like a grain of hope, instead of sweeping it from the streets.

Devout 'Beatles fan from BasingstokeNovember 9th 2010.

DIG makes a very valid point there that it would certainly be preferable to help the jobless in their preferred field of work, and not be pushed into to menial tasks. After it was Labour's new deal job subsidies (that worked well for me years ago but only for a fixed term contract) acquiring work in a preferred area of work rather than being pushed/dictated to.

Pol E. GlotNovember 10th 2010.

This is like Pol Pot's 'Year Zero' atrocities!

Broken BritainNovember 10th 2010.

They used to have a thing called the Community Programme in my day which did exactly as Dig says, but it was for things like arts organisations, aports centres and youth clubs and you got the going rate for 12 months. Thatcher was working class, Heseltine had something of a heart. The Bullingdon Boys have grown up having their arses thrashed at Eton and now it's your turn.

Mr WorkerNovember 10th 2010.

Come on, let's be honest, we all know malingerers and bone idle people who take the mickey out of the system. They've had it good for years, now the money has run out so they will finally have to earn an honest crust. It will be hard but I am sure once they get used to getting up in the morning like the rest of us they'll wonder why they didn't take the plunge years ago. No jobs? So why is the Echo also plugging its jobs pages saying there are hundreds of vacancies. Get eberyone working and the world will soon recover. At least let them join (or rejoin) the working classes with a bit of dignity. Just quietly let them get on with it.

AnonymousNovember 10th 2010.

Flying Dutchman, if they'll be getting less than 65 pounds a week then there really is no hope. Most people's rent is much more than that - add in Council Tax and other necessary expenses and 65 pounds won't even get near. O, what's this I'm hearing? If you don't work you get all your living expenses paid for you and the 65 pounds is just "spends"? And you really don't have to do anything at all for it? I'm surprised there aren't people out there taking advantage of this and doing fkall all day, all expenses paid.

AnonymousNovember 30th 2010.

Liverpool is one of the most littered cities in Europe and recycling rates are worse than in the 3rd world...lets clean up our city and make it the prid place it should be...arent scousers famous for their pride in their city? well show it if you dont want to work then you have to contribute to society if you want benefits, cant beleive anyone would disagree with what ios clear common sense and fair

Joey JonesFebruary 27th 2014.

if the muppets in downing street stop shutting firms down there would be plenty of jobs. ive applied for lots of vacancies, and their replys were we will keep you on are system for future vacancies,,, what they mean is Fu@k off

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 27th 2014.

Did you do applications in the same elegant and well composed style you've used here?

Joey JonesFebruary 27th 2014.

watch next time you see the government in parliament on telly, some are asleep and some are pissed

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