Loomio
Mon 12 May 2014 6:01PM

WELFARE, SOCIAL AFFAIRS & INCLUSION

M Matilda Public Seen by 6

In this area we’ll be discussing what policies you believe in for welfare, social affairs and inclusion in the UK. You can propose any policy you see fit and people can discuss it here.

M

Matilda Mon 12 May 2014 6:53PM

SM

Sian Martin Tue 13 May 2014 5:43PM

I'm thinking there's a way to connect this with job seekers benefits, so that claimants don't lose benefits (below the threshold) should they find part time and self employment, and also not get embroiled in tax changes. To me, it simplifies the whole system and benefits business, who can take risks on employees for short periods, while workers can be more adventurous in their working lives, acquire broader skills.

MF

Marianne Farrar-Hockley Tue 13 May 2014 5:43PM

Welfare state should be combined with training and reorientation to allow people to pick up alternative threads if their former profession falls to structural change, as per mining-> manufacture -> etc etc. Jobs to be encouraged to move to regions where they're needed by business grants to start-ups. Locals retrained so as to offer employers the staff they need.

I am ambivalent about how long the welfare state should pick up the tab for people who refuse to retrain or try other professions....

I suspect this might be a difficult part of the manifesto to write.... anyway, what I want to say is that I expect people to be willing to retrain and try other jobs as much as possible, and I don't expect people to WANT to stay on the dole. We must jigger the socio-economic incentives there so they WANT to find work or start their own business.

I also have respect for artists, but that's a place where the state and private business could club together to provide artists' grants instead of the dole, contingent on producing. Grants to be awarded based on portfolio of earlier work. You'd have to pick some good evaluators.

MF

Marianne Farrar-Hockley Tue 13 May 2014 5:48PM

The vast majority of the welfare budget goes on the elderly, and although this is a demographic blip it's going to be a long long one. So we do have to think hard about it.

I'm sure the elderly would be happier if, instead of being parked in front of tellies, they were still involved in interacting with people. And they are going to get fitter (the retirement age will go up, of course, too) so perhaps we can encourage more elderly to volunteer to pass on their skills and mentor the young. Others might want to teach the young life skills like budgeting or plug rewiring depending on their abilities. We need to dig them back out of retirement inasmuch as they are able and give them back a sense of being useful.

PS

Pete Smith Tue 13 May 2014 10:13PM

Whether people want to work or not, automation is replacing them. We need to face this, and provide for everyone to live reasonably in a time when there simply aren't jobs for them to get. I believe a living wage can do that. What would complement it in helping people to find fulfilling uses for their time (as opposed to jobs)?

PS

Pete Smith Wed 14 May 2014 9:04AM

This would make a great single-issue platform imo

MF

Marianne Farrar-Hockley Wed 14 May 2014 6:45PM

Structural change has happened before and will happen again. Jobs will become available in the new industries, which will almost certainly require higher skills and educational levels. If we break people out of the traditional life pattern and provide a stipend for retraining at any point in life, then perhaps those structural changes would be weathered better and the UK would have a more prepared workforce.

M

Matilda Wed 14 May 2014 7:34PM

I think we have to hope that advances in technology allows us more free time than in previous times, at the moment ordinary workers don't see the benefit because they still have to work full time to earn enough to live. All the savings go to businesses who can strip away workforce and continue to produce at the same level. So, people either work the fewer jobs and some remain unemployed or we have to change the way we work and share our jobs at a higher level than before. I'm not blaming businesses, it's a sensible financial decision but it means as a society there's really not much benefit to us.

M

Matilda Wed 14 May 2014 7:37PM

I believe that this has many benefits for a capitalist system. If individuals are able to choose jobs based on the merits and their aptitude/love of it, you introduce a true market system of employment. Secondly, we can see by looking at work hours versus productivity across Europe that people with shorter working hours are more productive, it's a win-win.

M

Matilda Wed 14 May 2014 7:38PM

Also, much of the increased tax revenue (which will not be as considerable as first expected thanks to the complete reduction of the current welfare state) will be saved by businesses in the amount they need to pay employers. You could, possibly remove the minimum wage.

M

Matilda Wed 14 May 2014 7:39PM

I'd also argue that this gives all citizens a genuine opportunity to become business owners and job-creators in their own right. Currently there is too much risk for many people in giving up their employment to pursue their ideas/inventions/enterprises.

PS

Pete Smith Tue 27 May 2014 8:06AM

I don't know whether this is the right place for housing-related discussions, but: a return to 'general needs' home building by local authorities. We desperately need houses, and the private sector has failed.

So, I propose to restore councils' right to invest taxes in housing, and their right to re-invest the proceeds of Right-To-Buy sales in housing programmes.