Given that only 200 people ever actually had their benefits removed out of over 300,000 who went through the government’s work experience scheme, is today’s heralded u-turn really much of a u-turn? The 220 who had their benefits removed included shop-lifters and people who committed acts of gross misconduct.
Chris Grayling has successfully pushed the scheme forward and insists “Despite the persistent campaign of the last two weeks we have had contact with over 200 small or medium enterprises also wanting to get involved. The work experience scheme remains and is totally voluntary. The sanction regime remains in place. Employers continue to have the protection with the use of sanctions for gross misconduct. We have used the meeting to explain how the regime applies. It has never been an issue with the programme as only 220 people have been sanctioned since it started.”
You have to laugh at the earnest collection of unwashed trots who are claiming victory today. Given the SWP front group called themselves “Right to Work”, there is a certain irony in their efforts to keep young people on sofas. As Andrew Neil pointed out yesterday, even Lenin would have backed the scheme:
With 200 more companies joing the scheme, meaning that thousands more jobseekers will be working for their benefits, Guido wouldn’t be crowing this much…