David Cameron has pinned down a major source of Britain’s plight – worklessness. Building on his vision of Britain looking towards creating a Big Society, not running into the arms of the State, he sets out a bold plan of action. It will be a culture that is based on responsibility to one another, not simply rights. He said:
The old way of big government has failed. It’s time to tackle welfare dependency a new way – the Big Society way…This is our new welfare contract: do the right thing and we will back you all the way. But fail to take responsibility – and the free ride is over.
- make sure you get help as soon as you need it – straight away for those really struggling to find work, and after six months if you’re less than 25 years old;
- help you start your own business by giving you access to a business mentor and start-up loans;
- create a range of business-led training places to get you started on the road to employment, with 50,000 places in the hospitality and leisure industry to begin with;
- give you somewhere to go during the day – Work Clubs – so you can learn skills, find opportunities, make useful contacts and provide other people with support;
- if you’re under the age of 25, provide a huge range of extra training opportunities – 400,000 apprenticeship, training and college places over two years;
- and, pay back-to-work providers in full only if they get you into work for a year or more.
Mr. Cameron goes on to say:
But you must keep to your side of the bargain. We will make sure that you are claiming the right benefits and, within six months of taking office, we will introduce new sanctions for anyone who refuses to look for work
This will mean:
- cutting the benefits of anyone on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) who refuses to join the Work Programme;
- cutting the benefits of anyone who refuses to take up reasonable job offers: the first time for one month; the second time for three months; and, the third time for up to three years;
- cutting benefits for up to three years for anyone caught repeatedly committing benefit fraud.
We feel society is only successful when people work together side by side and a culture of worklessness undermines the dynamic and entrepreneurial Britain we want to see. People can not sit on the sidelines during a recession – we believe firmly that everyone has a talent and that everyone can contribute. A Conservative Government will help every person achieve that.