I must have a touch of the grumpy old woman in me because this boot camp for the young and unemployed sounds bloody marvellous. Off the bat I should highlight the second to last paragraph where it points out that those genuinely unable to work will not be affected, i.e. those with a recognised disability, and this way there will be more money and less overstretched services to available to them. It has frustrated me since childhood that there were entire families better off than us because they knew how to ‘fiddle the system’ and we struggled when my dad was out working 45 hours a week.
I would be interested to see if this does have an impact on crime and anti-social behaviour. I was shocked to discover, albeit through anecdotal evidence, that even somewhere as extortionate as London there are entire housing schemes (somewhere between council homes and housing associations) that are cheap enough for people to live on the Jobseekers/Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit combo. I’ve been out of work, but I’ve always survived off my own money, I would only claim benefits if I found myself genuinely unable to work. I think all these people getting signed off with spurious medical claims are a slap in the face to the many unlucky people who would happily go out and get a job if only they were able to.
It may be hard to enforce, I’d need to see a more detailed plan to be confident in it, but anything that involves giving some of these malevolent little sods a kick up the backside is long overdue. Were it not for Iraq and Afghanistan, I’d be advocating the return of National Service instead. It’s one thing to take kids in for training, but we can’t go back to conscription with ill-advised foreign wars still raging.