Saturday, 12 July 2008

Dole, safety net or safety blanket?

Being on the dole for many people is a degrading and humiliating experience. I know people in my family who have signed on to the dole, after working for years, because they were made redundant or whatever.

I have been very lucky so far, in that I have always managed to find employment. The fact I would be willing to do almost any job, before I going begging others for help may have something to do with that, but I accept that some people are more employable than others. When I get older for instance it may become harder.

I don't have much of a problem with a fact a portion of the money stolen from me, via taxation is used to stop people from starving, through no fault of their own. Now though, I don't accept that number of people should be anywhere near as high as it is now though and now that the politicians have allowed open door, unlimited immigration from the rest of the EU, this system is seriously broken.

The idea that that "they do the jobs that British people won't" suggests to me that the dole is a problem. A big problem, as it is allowing the lazy, workshy bastards to take advantage of the system and give the genuine claimants a very bad name. Those genuine claimants are probably also suffering, as rather than employ a 60 year old who was just made redundant, I bet companies will choose a young Pole, who will work for minimum wage and be grateful.

So we have a broken system, that is actually creating an underclass that are happy to bludge of the state. Now the state may be (intentionally in my mind) making it VERY easy for people to take this decision, because you can earn more or at least as much for doing nothing, rather than have to work. I can hardly blame someone if they feel they can give their kids more and have more time for themselves, by taking the handout option. Of course, you will then have those that take advantage further, by doing some cash in hand jobs while claiming the dole.

The system is not fit for purpose anymore and probably wasn't ever a fair system to the tax payer. I would rather we had a Libertarian society, where the government didn't take a penny from people in income tax. There would be more jobs available and there would be very little excuse for not working. There would be no such thing as "jobs Brits won't do", because if you don't do it, then you don't eat. Unless of course you can con some charity to pay out to you.

However, maybe there is a halfway house here. Maybe a dole system could be in place, but instead of just being handed money for doing nothing, 3/4 of the time would be dedicated to doing work. All tax payers would be entitled to the service of the people on the dole in their town. They could wash cars, cut the grass, help paint a room, go cleaning up the rubbish, you name it. Don't do the work and you don't get your dole. It would not be an easy cop out, but at the same time would stop people from starving and the tax payer would see a return on their money.

Of course I would rather that the state not play any part in this. I'd rather private companies were set up, totally tax free and allowed to pay whatever the market rate was for low end jobs. I doubt there would be any shortage of work at all in that instance and the only people who couldn't work, were those that truly had a good excuse. There would be no more humiliation of "scrounging" because you would be earning your living. Of course, most people would try to improve their jobs over time.

As things stand though, billions of pounds are spent on paying people to do nothing, while those billions + admin + corruption are stolen from the people who do work and we get NOTHING in return, other than the feeling that if we lose our jobs, then it would be better to go sponging from the dole, rather than get a job flipping burgers or whatever. Thanks, but no thanks.

Sometimes I get ex young offenders come around my house, looking to sell various over priced stuff in a box. I actually like this a bit, as at least has them trying and shows they are putting their dodgy past behind them. Why don't have have people offering to clean my car and cut my garden though? I tell you, if I was made redundant tomorrow, that is the first thing I would be doing. Walking around neighbourhoods, offering my services for cash in hand. There is plenty of work out there for people who are willing to get out there and do it. Not one person has ever come around my house to do this though. Not one person has though stuff the dole, I'm going to get myself back on track. Why?

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