People who are in receipt of benefits, and who cannot produce a doctors note, should undertake a form of work. There are a massive range of tasks that need doing in modern Britain. These tasks could be coordinated by a number of agencies or organisations. For instance local authorities could facilitate a whole range of jobs both in the external environment and in buildings. In association with their other members in their local strategic partnerships, activity in the NHS, local PCT, police, fire, ambulance, etc. The Volunteer Centres of the nation could be funded to help facilitate a volunteering programme with their volunteer user bodies that could help both unemployed and the community and voluntary sector.  This is not an idea meant to get those physically, mentally or emotionally unable to work off benefits.

Why is this idea important?

We have to reduce the national debt by hitting public service provision, so perhaps we can kill a number of birds with one stone by offering public service providers a whole range of staff. The voluntary and community sector organisations, charities and social enterprises will face immense cuts in funding or in contracts, could we help by placing people with them and by funding them – as opposed to JCP – to carry out much needed activities? The streets are dirty, there are not enough PCSOs, the parks need wardens, canals and tow paths need clearing, the homeless need help day and night, community centres need painting, OAPs gardens need to be dug, our urban areas could use night watches, cemeteries and churchyards need weeding, our environment and conservation needs attention, and it can't ALL be done by Community Payback. I was in receipt of Incapacity Benefit for three years and volunteered in that time, it got me off my backside, retrained me, served a range of valuable purposes, displaced my guilt, and eventually led to full time paid work in the sector. If it worked for me…

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