NOTE DAILY MAIL: Jobs are plentiful, so why are there 7 million unemployed?
With over a million job openings in this country, it is nothing short of a scandal that 7 million people of working age are economically inactive – 5.9 million of whom have universal credit.
The total has risen by 300,000 since the pandemic, and while some may not be able to keep a job due to poor health, others should certainly be able to find work. With so many technical tools available for working from home, is it really possible that 2.5 million people who are classified as long-term sick or disabled are completely unable to do paid work?
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt thinks not and tells the Mail today about a new carrot-and-stick approach to getting the unemployed into work.
Benefits for the disabled and the long-term sick would be protected if they went to work for a probationary period.
Meanwhile, those with universal credit risk losing money if they refuse to accept work or fail to show up for interviews. Even if they work less than 18 hours a week (was 12), they will be forced to look for more.
With so many technical tools available for working from home, is it really possible that 2.5 million people who are classified as long-term sick or disabled are completely unable to do paid work?
Getting people on benefits back to work is good for the country and good for those involved. It saves public money and reduces the pressure to attract migrants to fill the 1.1 million vacancies that are vacant.
More importantly, work generally makes people healthier, while earning one’s own money instead of relying on the state should instill pride and confidence.
It is not the first time that ministers have tried to tackle benefit dependency. Sir Iain Duncan Smith had great success during the coalition years in transforming the benefits system to make work pay.
But that determination has since faded and inertia has set in. We welcome Mr Hunt’s campaign and hope it will spur the unemployed into action. Poor productivity has held Britain back for far too long. This initiative can help turn the tide.
Passport to misery
Anyone who has waited three months or more for their passport to be renewed can be forgiven for thinking that passport office staff are already on strike.
Amazingly, that was the sub par service when they were operating normally. So God knows how long those delays will be now that they are planning a five week strike.
The decision to punish the long-suffering public with this hateful action is particularly unpleasant, at a time when almost every other union sees sense and is calling off their strikes.
Anyone who has waited three months or more for their passport to be renewed can be forgiven for thinking that passport office staff are already on strike
The public and commercial services union plans to cause as much disruption as possible by calling a strike for the peak period in April, which sees an estimated 250,000 applications a week.
The strike will cause widespread stress as people anxiously wait to see if passports arrive in time for their summer holidays and could end up ruining family holidays altogether. So much for public service.
Emotion trumps logic
Unfortunately, Parliament’s decision to ban the importation of hunting trophies into the UK was a victory for emotion and sentimentality over common sense.
Despite representatives from five African countries saying that regulated big game hunting was an essential and lucrative part of their conservation strategy, MPs let hearts rule.
Like deer in London’s royal parks, animals will need to be culled anyway to maintain the health of the herds and to ensure they don’t become too numerous. Only now it costs money instead of delivering it.
Supporters of this bill are no doubt proud of their virtuous stance against the odious hobby hunters. But according to local conservationists, they have caused more damage than they know.