Worst-paid Brits risk losing benefits for "not working enough"

One million of the worst-paid people in Britain will have to attend welfare caseworker assessments, and if they are deemed to be "not working enough," they face having their benefits cut -- even if no additional shifts are available to them. Of course, once their benefits are cut, they'll be homeless and then (shortly) jobless, and they can get back on the rolls. So it's not completely daft.

DWP internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal that people earning between £330 and around £950 a month – just under the rate of the national minimum wage for a 35-hour week – could be mandated to attend jobcentre meetings where their working habits will be examined as part of the universal credit programme.

...However the department did confirm that docking social security payments for those who are categorised as "not working enough" formed part of their plans.

UK's lowest-paid employees to be classed as 'not working enough'

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  1. My fantasy of charming Olde England keeps taking hit after hit as Great Britain seems to be determined to turn itself into some kind of horrific Dickensian / Orwellian mash up.

  2. That's so American of them! Start from the assumption the poor are unworthy, and work from there.

  3. Will the government use the money saved to give tax cuts to the wealthy? That's how we do it in the good ol' US of A. The powers that be think that it's only a matter of motivation: the poor will be motivated to work harder if we threaten to take money away from them, and the rich will be motivated to work harder if we offer to give them even more.

  4. At the risk of introducing a little sanity here:

    This is just an early draft proposal, not something that's currently being implemented or has even been finished yet. It's also becoming more outlandish with every retelling. The original proposal just says that they'll look at people who aren't working full-time and try to find out why, with the possibility of docking benefits for those who don't have any particular reason not to work more.

    The bit about "even if no additional shifts are available to them" is Cory's own invention as far as I can tell - nobody else seems to have claimed that first. Also created here is the suggestion that all the people in this income bracket will be required to attend assessments; in fact, they intend to skip the vast majority of those people who have other time commitments (caring, children, etc).

  5. Meh. It's been proven time and time again that even toothless efforts to cut down on "loafers" or whatever other mythical undesirables we're targeting cost a lot of money. Always more money spent than saved. Though occasionally it has proven to be useful in determining how low the rates are of mythical undesirable behaviours.

    For instance, when they drug tested people to cut them off food stamps, we found that something below 5% of food stamp users were also drug users. No one ever did explain why it was ok for junkies and their kids to starve but such is the price of getting egg on our faces so we can live to forget again tomorrow.

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