Polly Toynbee: “Workfare Really Works”

In February 1997 the “Commentator of the Year” was musing in the Indy:

Latest figures for Project Work, the Government’s pilot workfare scheme, suggest colossal fraud or deliberate idleness on a scale no one predicted.

Nearly a decade and half later and you have to pinch yourself while reading back Polly Toynbee’s article “The Tories were right: workfare really works”:

Since April, 6,800 people unemployed for over two years have been through schemes in Hull and the Medway. First they have 13 weeks’ intensive Job Search with a dedicated worker chivvying and harrying them to apply for jobs as never before. (One of many embarrassing questions for the Government is, why never before? Answer: cheese-paring on staff, the unemployed never even had to sign on in person.) Next they face 13 weeks of compulsory work for “voluntary” organisations for an extra pounds 10 a week. Either the carrot (help to find a job) or the stick (the threat of compulsory work) has led to an astonishing number signing off and no longer drawing benefit – nearly half of them.

After looking at some individual case studies, Toynbee concludes that it “made a difference.” We may disagree on the minor details, but Guido is very happy that Polly backs the principles behind the scheme…



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GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Andrew Neil on the dying Dead Tree Press

“I read more bloggers now than mainstream columnists, because they’ve got more interesting things to say. Too many columnists today make you think, ‘Yeah, I think you’ve said that 10 times before and I’ve just noticed your column has not go a single fact in it’”.

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