Posted by: iangilbert | August 29, 2012

A red line

So the march of workfare continues. Boris Johnson will force young people to do 13 weeks unpaid work if they don’t want to starve.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/28/boris-johnson-unpaid-work-young-people

Contrary to the stereotype of the left, I have no time for people who genuinely have the chance to do proper work and do not take it. We cannot build a society on that basis.

However, to be worth the name ‘work’, it should be paid the minimum wage at least. This is an absolute red line issue for me.

Nothing makes me angrier than seeing companies who turn in massive profits, who’s board are paid obscene amounts, taking advantage of free (effectively taxpayer-subsidised) labour. The idea of making people work for free is very dangerous. It creates a section of society who actually have a vested interest in high unemployment. If we get used to a society where people can be expected to work for free we are on a very slippery slope.

We need to draw a thick line between volunteering which should be, as the name suggests, voluntary; and work which pays a wage.

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