New Labour has spent the last 12yrs developing a 'benefits culture' within Britain, much to the joy of council estate Chavs and illegal immigrants. With unemployment figures of 2.5million being announced yesterday and 1.61m of those being on Job Seekers Allowance it looks as though it's only going to get worse. For example:
Here in Cornwall wages are shit. The average weekly income (after tax) is £230 (UK average = £360). With the recession in full swing, wages are not likely to improve for a few years (earning rose by 1.7% in the last 3 months, the slowest growth since records began in 2001). Also, around 31% of jobs are only part-time/seasonal (UK average = 25%).
If I was to lose my job and go onto benefits I could get at least £190 a week. As long as I write in a stupid little book that I've been trying to get work (I don't even have to give proper evidence!) I can keep getting my benefits. Even if I get a job, as long as I work less than 16 hours,I can keep my benefits!. But what if I want to work more than that? Well this is where it gets interesting!
(If we use the national minimum wage as a bench mark, which is probably a good average for Cornwall) then, if I was to work 25hrs a week I would lose some of my benefits and would be £14 a week better off. Is £14 extra a week an incentive to work versus not working at all?!.
Then, if I worked 30hrs a week I would lose all my benefits and would be £30 better off.
Is £30 a week extra an incentive to not working at all?!
If you have kids and/or can claim for a disability, then the incentives to go back to work are even less.
So you see, once you're on benefits the incentives to get off are not 'very good'
(figures and stats from ONS, ASHE, 2008)