Osborne promising full employment – is this an April Fool?

Bottom of the class: If you believe George Osborne's talk about jobs and benefits, you must have been educated at one of Michael Gove's 'free schools'. [Image: Gaianeconomics]

Bottom of the class: If you believe George Osborne’s talk about jobs and benefits, you must have been educated at one of Michael Gove’s ‘free schools’. [Image: Gaianeconomics]

The answer has to be in the affirmative. Conservatives can’t promise full employment because it simply isn’t part of their philosophy.

As this blog has stated many times, Tories need a discontented underclass fermenting away beneath the lowest-paid members of the working class, in order to create the level of fear necessary to keep wages down.

The argument is that a person will not ask for a pay rise if they know their boss will turn around and say, “There are hundreds out there who will work for less than you – pick up your cards on the way out!”

For a more easy-access disproval of Osborne’s claim, we only have to look a little further into his speech – from the part where he said: “For it’s no good creating jobs – if we’re also paying people to stay on welfare.”

Hang on! When did our great Social Security system change from being a safety net to help get people back into work to “paying people to stay on welfare”?

Oh yes, that’s right – when we had an unelected Conservative government foisted on us. Tories pay people to stay on welfare because they need that fermenting underclass. The aim is always not to pay enough (as you will see).

The next few lines contain unfounded claims and opinions. See for yourself:

“We inherited a welfare system that didn’t work.” According to whom?

“There was not enough help for those looking for a job – people were just parked on benefits.” But there isn’t enough help now. Come to that, there aren’t enough jobs. Where are all the jobs, George?

“Frankly, there was not enough pressure to get a job – some people could just sign on and get almost as much money staying at home as going out to work.” How many people, George? Five? Six? You make it seem as though more than a million jobseekers were sitting at home and drawing as much money in social security as at work. That would be a lie, George.

“That’s not fair to them – because they get trapped in poverty and their aspirations are squashed.” Whereas Conservative policy means what? Oh yes – they get trapped in poverty and their aspirations are squashed.

“It’s certainly not fair to taxpayers like you, who get up, go out to work, pay your taxes and pay for those benefits.” Tory divide-and-rule. You are different to them, because you have a job. If you are low-paid, it is because they are sucking down your tax money to pay for their extravagant lifestyles (I think we’ve all quite thoroughly killed that particular myth, haven’t we? It doesn’t exist outside the Tory political mind).

“Next Monday is when we do more to encourage people without jobs to find them… Benefits will only go up by 1 per cent – so they don’t go up faster than most people’s pay rises, as used to be the case.” This means people on benefits will start to become much worse-off than they are already. Jobseekers’ allowance used to be pegged at around one-sixth of average pay but will now drop to a far lower proportion, because the Tories lied to you when they said benefit rises were far greater than pay rises. One per cent of Jobseekers’ Allowance at a weekly rate of £71 is 70p; one per cent of the average weekly wage in April 2013, which was £517 per week, is £5.17. You see the difference? Oh, and one more thing: Where are all the jobs, George?

“When I took this job, some people were getting huge payouts – receiving £50,000, £60,000 even up to £100,000 in benefits. More than most people could get by working.” How many people, George? Five? Six? One, perhaps?

“So we’ve capped benefits, so that a family out of work can’t get more in benefits than the average working family.” I’m not actually opposed to ensuring that people on benefits can’t take home more than people in work. However, while accurate, this line is disingenuous. George has ensured that a family out of work takes home at least £5,000 less, per year, than an average working family because of the way he and his Tory friends rigged the system. He’s lying to you.

“And we are bringing in a new Universal Credit to make sure work always pays.” He means “pays more than benefits”. He doesn’t mean “pays a living wage”. Spot the difference?

Now here comes some more oppression, based on a really big lie.

“From this month we’re also making big changes to how people go about claiming benefits. We all understand that some people need more help than others to find work.” What work? Where are all the jobs, George?

“So starting this month we’ll make half of all people on unemployment benefits sign on every week – and people who stay on benefits for a long time will have to go to the job centre every day so they can get constant help and encouragement.” Help and encouragement, is it, George? Have you witnessed the kind of “help and encouragement” they get at the job centre? DWP employees should face harassment charges for the disgraceful way they treat their fellow citizens.

“We’re going to require people to look for work for a week first before they get their unemployment benefit. From now on the deal is this: look for work first; then claim the dole. Not the other way around.” Why? In order to drive people into grinding poverty as early as possible? Forcing people to wait until they claim means they could be without money for food, accommodation and utilities for up to a month, while the system processes them. This is not fair. It is cruel and demeaning – especially when Tory George knows there’s no work to be had.

“When people turn up at the job centre they’ll be expected to have a CV ready and to have started looking on our new jobs website.” This is the Universal Jobmatch website that is habitually used by criminals for identity theft, or to offer jobs in the sex industry. It’s so bad that the government itself is planning to ditch it when the contract with its provider runs out in two years’ time. Why would anybody in their right mind use that?

And now here’s the clincher:

“We will ask many of the long term unemployed to do community work in return for their benefits – whether it is making meals for the elderly, clearing up litter, or working for a local charity.”

In other words, they will ensure that fewer jobs are available by making jobseekers do the work for nothing. Brilliant idea, George – you are wrecking our economy.

“All of this is bringing back the principles that our welfare state was originally based on – something for something, not something for nothing.” A lie, couched in truth. The Welfare State is based on the principle that people on hard times were able to take advantage of benefits because, when in work, they paid into the system via taxes and National Insurance. That’s the “something for something”. It is not based on the idea that jobseekers have to take jobs off the market by doing them for free. That’s just plain silly.

In fact, George, you are just plain silly.

So, returning to the question in our headline, it’s clear to see the answer.

If anyone here is an April Fool, it’s George Osborne.

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  1. Jackie Bryan April 1, 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

    he says that jobseekers would be required to attend the jokeshop… ooops, Jobcentres, every week/day for help to find work?? erm.. is that the same jobcentres that told me, in no uncertain terms, when i asked for help to find a job in my local area, that it was NOT the job of the Jobcentre to help me to find a job, but they were only there to ensure i fulfilled my jobseekers requirements!!!!! forcing people to attend the jobcentre every day or week will do nothing but demoralise the already depressed, it will definately not help them into work as he declared!!

  2. sdbast April 1, 2014 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  3. Mark Angliss April 1, 2014 at 10:56 am - Reply

    1% of £517 is £5.17, not £51.70. Apart from that, great stuff.

    • Mike Sivier April 1, 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

      I knew something looked wrong!
      Cheers, I’ll put it right now.

      • Mark Angliss April 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm - Reply

        You’re welcome.

        In support of your argument, it’s worth pointing out that, if JSA had kept pace with wages since 1997, it would now be worth £130 – £150 per week, roughly double what it actually is (sources differ; sorry, can’t find the reference.). So, if JSA was rising faster than wages, it’s a recent, post-recession, phenomenon and an argument for increasing wages, not for cutting benefits.

  4. stewilko April 1, 2014 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog.

  5. HomerJS April 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Too many people haven’t a clue about what being unemployed is like. For instance they think it is terrible that people only go to the jobcentre once every two weeks – because they think that they go there to look for jobs, and that this is the only time they look for work! The vast majority only go there to sign on, and tend to look for work every day.

  6. jaypot2012 April 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Well put Mike. As for the gidiot – I wish he would answer where all the jobs are – real full time, full paid, jobs.
    From next Monday people will be losing their jobs so that slave labour have some jobs to do and the companies, firms etc get paid for the privilege of taking on the slave labour. Those who lose their jobs due to this new and idiotic scheme will find that they can be taken on by the firm that got rid of them, put in the same position and just not be paid – its a win/win for those companies/firms taking part in this slave trade.

  7. jaypot2012 April 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    New slave trade next week…

  8. beastrabban April 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Mike here gives a point by point refutation of George Osborne’s speech, in which he promised ‘full employment’. In fact, what Osborne has promised is most definitely not full employment. It is even further punitive cuts to the benefits system, and increased workfare and harassment of people seeking work. As for the promise that there will be full employment, this is actually meaningless. Alittleecon’s article, which Mike has also reblogged, shows that there are three definitions of full employment, only one of which is the common sense one, which says that full employment means everyone having a job. One of the other definitions is the maximum of employment, before it leads to inflation. This is about 6 or seven per cent. As six per cent is the level of unemployment recommended by von Hayek, Friedman and the rest of the Chicago school to keep wages low, my guess is that this is the definition of ‘full employment’ that Osborne really means. In other words, more unemployment, just that it’s made to look like full employment through Tory ideology.

  9. AKA John Galt April 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on U.S. Constitutional Free Press.

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