Gransnet forums

News & politics

Who agrees with this idea?

(11 Posts)
thatbags Thu 21-Apr-16 07:20:44

"[We] ought to abhor the ‘feed-and-forget compassion’ [approach], and judge welfare by the extent to which it saves lives, not just money. [We] should build ‘a welfare system that encourages rather than replaces work and the family’."

Grannyknot Thu 21-Apr-16 07:26:17


NfkDumpling Thu 21-Apr-16 07:32:36

I completely agree with the idea. But, how to change to it after so many years of the 'feed and forget' system, when the recipients have got used to it? As far as they're concerned it'll seem a bit like docking someone's pay just for hell of it or to give the shareholders more. Those on welfare have got used to certain standards of 'pay' and learned to live on it. They know the system. For many it'll be a very difficult adjustment in thinking and attitude to life.

daphnedill Thu 21-Apr-16 07:41:55

I believe that's a quote from Iain Duncan Smith. Unfortunately, after six years at the helm with that kind of approach, he has to be judged a failure by his own criteria.

Gracesgran Thu 21-Apr-16 08:08:38

An interesting quote thatbags. Unfortunately we now seem to have system that starves people supposedly into work and continues to do so whether work is available or possible or not.

As a concept one of my strong beliefs - that the adult in single adult and child/ren households should be in full-time work as early as possible - would fit but this is only possible if comprehensive free child care is available. As this means investing now for the future - and for future savings - governments, with their five-year plans are unlikely to do this and will carry on shaming and starving in an. attempt to make it work ... and of course it will fail.

Grannyknot Thu 21-Apr-16 08:13:27

As a "standalone" idea(l), it makes perfect sense...

How to implement it, a massive challenge.

Anya Thu 21-Apr-16 08:16:04

That's fair comment Nfk and you've touched on the point of 'readjustment' which perhaps needs to be addressed.....but how?

That's quite a negative thought Daphedill even if it is true. Most people would agree that a 'feed-and-forget' approach does nothing for the people being 'forgotten' and there must be a better way.

daphnedill Thu 21-Apr-16 08:25:06

I agree, Gracesgran. In principle, it sounds great, but in practice it hasn't worked and it won't work without 100% commitment and investment in such things as childcare and upskilling.

I guess we might one day find out what's been going on between IDS and Osborne over the last six years. What has happened in reality is that the 'encouraging people into work' mantra has been used as an excuse to stigmatise people. We now have a situation where more people in work are claiming tax credits than the unemployed. It can only work if there are enough reasonably paid jobs. There have been too many sticks and not enough carrots.

Anya Thu 21-Apr-16 08:38:10

I don't think we are able to grow enough carrots.

whitewave Thu 21-Apr-16 08:46:24

We are anya they are all off shore

daphnedill Thu 21-Apr-16 08:46:26

Anya, I don't agree at all with a 'feed and forget' approach, but that's what we've got. Unfortunately, I have had first hand experience of unemployment - once before 2010 and once after the current regime kicked in.

Before 2010, there were real incentives to take up low paid work. There were grants to set up small businesses and help with childcare. There were also grants for courses to change career. There was even money to pay for travel costs to work for the first month and a small amount available for work clothes.

After 2010 the above were all scrapped. Despite the government's claims, it became more difficult to make the transition from unemployment to work. Meanwhile, the unemployed were subject to an increasingly ridiculous regime. People had to travel miles to more frequent meetings with so-called job advisors (costs couldn't be reclaimed) and had to make a totally unrealistic number of job applications. It didn't matter that the jobs were unsuitable. I actually feel sorry for employers who have to sift through hundreds of unsuitable applicants. To make up my minimum number of applications I once applied for a job as a temporary Christmas elf - I'm not joking!

The only people who have benefited from the Work Programme are the private WP providers themselves, who have been paid billions. Their courses aren't individualised, so I was once stuck in a room for six hours learning how to do an internet search and had to sit through another session on writing a CV. Doh! This wasn't support - it was punishment!

I met many other people looking for work and the vast majority were trying very hard. Many of them were single parents with young children. Just about the only work they could find was for zero hours contracts with variable hours doing care work or other very low paid work. Care work often required having a car, which most people didn't have. They also needed to have somebody to look after their children at a moment's notice. There were some free courses available for them to do functional English and Maths, but even they were scrapped. I wanted to do a conversion course, which would have cost just over £1,000. At the time I would have been eligible for a student loan, but I couldn't afford to do the course, because my Jobseekers' Allowance and tax credits would have been stopped.

Sorry to have gone on, but people who haven't been through this regime often don't understand what it's like. I'm afraid I take what IDS says with a large pinch of salt.