Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/710/14177
The Socialist 21 March 2012 |
Join the Socialist
No to workfare - fight for a genuine alternative
Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser
Cait Reilly, one of the young people forced to work for free under the existing schemes is in the process of a judicial review of the government's workfare policies. Young people are also fighting back through continued Youth Fight for Jobs protests. But help from on high is not at hand.
Last week a Labour Party youth conference took place. At the top of the agenda was discussion around the Con-Dem workfare scheme. But in a depressingly predictable turn of events the talk wasn't about posing a real alternative that can offer real jobs on good conditions. Instead the key note speaker, party leader Ed Miliband unveiled Labour's workfare-lite scheme.
This scheme bears an uncanny resemblance to the present ones being touted by the government. As with all the others it would entail a subsidy going to big businesses - though this time for taking on young people on minimum wage for six months.
Young people will be 'offered' this after six months unemployed but will lose their benefits if they refuse. So basically nobody will be paid Jobseekers Allowance for more than six months at the end of which you have to accept a job of their choosing.
And of course there is no guarantee of a permanent job at the end of the six months. Labour are so wedded to the ideas of capitalism that they cannot come up with genuine solutions to the problem of unemployment.
Youth Fight for Jobs and Education have called for a day of action to take place on Wednesday 21 March to coincide with yet another cuts budget being announced by the Con-Demolition. We are putting forward a budget for the '99%'.
We demand that the government invests in the public sector and rolls out a programme of public works to provide socially useful jobs that pay decent wages and give decent conditions.