The Tories have released the first details of what Work for the Dole will entail. Claimants will have their benefits stripped if they fail to turn up to intensive “support and supervision” sessions for 35 hours a week over 6 months. Special centres will be set up where two pilots will be held, one for the long-term unemployed and one for people yet to go through the Work Programme. IDS sums up the policy as “No attendance. No benefit. That is only fair.”
In the small print, the pilot will be funded by £30 million from the EU. To be fair, if we are going to steal this money from the European taxpayers, we might as well spend it righteously.
Such a policy should have been in place for years, though at least this seems to be the beginning of welfare reform for the long-term unemployed. Worth noting the glowing praise Osborne had for IDS in his speech yesterday following Matthew d’Ancona’s revelations about their relationship. IDS’ face was a picture.
Guido understands that post-d’Ancona revelations, efforts have been made to stress it is all water under the bridge for IDS and the Chancellor. Yet when they came face to face late last night by accident in a restaurant, according to the chatter at the Telegraph party, the roof still needs some attention and the sun is still behind the clouds…