We need to reduce the tax burden on hard working families, and give the unemployed every opportunity to find work.
We spend billions every year on benefit for long time unemployed people, and we certainly should look after these people.
But there are two problems:
– we get no benefit from this expenditure, other than "doing the right thing"
– the recipient doesn't get the satisfaction of contributing, and the benefit of building up a CV.
After an initial opportunity to find work, we should offer all jobseekers part time work at the minimum wage up to the number of hours per week required to make their benefit. They get a stronger work history, we get the benefit of their effort and skills, and nobody needs to be judgemental about skiving again. It also creates IDS's "incentive to work" because any other job offered will pay at least the same, and if more hours will pay more. There would be no step change in the effort required to take on a part time job.