Thursday, 11 March 2010
Working for nothing after 13 years of New Labour
The Manchester region is set to be the testing and trying out ground for a government initiative that will see unemployed people put into mandatory work placements for up to six months just to hold on to their Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Yes this has been introduced by this Labour Government to force the unemployed and others dependent on benefits to take low played employment, that’s of course if there is any, what with unemployment set to rocket and hit the moon and stars after the general election, who ever wins!
Below minimum wage
From October Jobseekers who have failed to find a job at the end of the Flexible New Deal programme will be required to undertake full time employment for between £50 and £65 a week, the equivalent of as little as £1.27 an hour. Concerns have already been raised that, with the numbers of unemployed rising, people who genuinely cannot find a job will be forced to work for next to nothing in an unsuitable role. The programme (renamed Flexible New Deal from October 2009) of active labour market policies was introduced in the United Kingdom by the Labour government in 1998, initially funded by a one off £5bn windfall tax on privatised utility companies. The stated purpose is to reduce unemployment by providing training, subsidised employment and voluntary work to the unemployed.
The New Deal introduced the ability to withdraw benefits from those who refused "reasonable employment". A complementary project was introduced in 1999, the Working Families Tax Credit. This is a tax credit scheme for low income workers which provide an incentive to work, and to continue in work, and please notice introduced by Nu Labour to subsidize Labour costs and focally help not the workers but the capitalists, the owners of the means of production, so at least during the last 13 years someone has benefited – The Boss!
Workers wages could fall by 12 per cent
So it will be Greater Manchester Job Seekers who will be first in line to suffer a mandatory 6 months of 40 hours per week work in return of their benefits. This Work for Your Benefits (WfYB) pilot scheme will begin when Flexible New Deal Phase 2 begins in parts of the country which isn’t already doing Flexible New Deal (phase 1). This means unemployed persons will be working for below the National Minimum Wage. Using the 22 year old (and over) rate of £5.80 and £51.85 per week JSA rate (lower; less than 25 – takes into account the increase in April) works out at £1.30 per hour for a 40 hour week, which is roughly 22% of the National Minimum Wage.
Some suggest that the scheme will affect the working population as well as those claiming benefits. “This flood of unwaged labour into the market will have a big effect on low waged jobs. When a similar scheme was introduced in the US there was a 12 per cent decline in pay for low-income jobs’.
Businesses will be paid for each person they get into a work placement. This has raised fears companies might ignore difficult cases or put people into unsuitable positions just to receive the commission.
Labour MP John McDonnell placed a parliamentary question in December regarding the employment rights that participants in the scheme will be entitled to. He is concerned that, since they will not be technically employed, those taking part may be put in danger as they may not be covered by health and safety legislation.
Do we live to work or do we work to live?
A wage slave is a wage slave. That is capitalisms hold over the working class, and we have all heard of Slave rebellions that have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery, and are amongst the most feared events for slaveholders.
Famous historic slave rebellions have been led by Denmark Vesey; the Roman slave Spartacus; the thrall Tunni who rebelled against the Swedish king Ongentheow, a rebellion that needed Danish assistance to be quelled; the poet-prophet Ali bin Muhammad, who led imported east African slaves in Iraq during the Zanj Rebellion against the Abbasid Caliphate in the ninth century; the Haitian Revolution, the only country founded by a slave revolt; Madison Washington during the Creole case in 19th century America; and Granny Nanny of the Maroons who rebelled against the British in Jamaica.
But never has there been any group of slaves demanding the right to be held in slavery has there? So why are we the workers of the world allowing this situation to continue, it’s time to get of our knees and fight back?
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- Working for nothing after 13 years of New Labour
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