It is expected that Kwasi Kwarteng is to announce new measures to stop people from working part-time and having their 'wages' made up from benefits.
Apparently this is to encourage the over-50s, who make up a significant part of the part-time workforce, back to work; but will be applied to people of all ages.
I'm not sure what I think. Part of me feels that at a certain age people should perhaps be able to draw a half pension and work part-time to top it up if they wish. A lot of older people find physical work difficult, and there are those who would love to help out by looking after grandchildren, but can't afford to give up work. I'm sure that there are younger people who would also relish the thought of working part-time, but can't afford to take the cut in wages.
On the other hand, I don't see why wages should be made up by benefits, so that some can choose to work part-time whilst others have to work full-time in order to subsidise them. My friend's daughter, for instance, works part-time, and says that it's not worth working extra hours when offered them, as her benefits would be affected. I think that it sounds very entitled, and see no reason why she should get paid for hours she isn't working. She is in her 30's, able bodied and has a degree. If people can only get part-time work as there is no f/t jobs available, or are only able to work part-time because of health conditions, it's different, of course.
Also, the current situation allows employers the opportunity to use benefit top-ups to keep people on p/t hours. This means that they don't have to pay their NI contributions, with all the associated problems for the employee that that brings in later life, and that can't be right either. Maybe if people didn't get the top-ups they would refuse part-time roles and take up ones that let them pay a 'stamp' that entitles them to pensions and sick pay.
I can't decide what I think - do you think that this is a good idea?
Link to The Guardian story - other papers are available
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