British Prime Minister David Cameron has today said that the long-term unemployed in Britain should be made to contribute to the country by cleaning war memorials in exchange for their unemployment benefits.
Cameron, who only yesterday said that he would not be moving any further to the political right to please his parliamentary backbenchers offered the idea as part of the government’s Help to Work scheme, which aims to get 200,000 long-term unemployed people back into work.
The Telegraph reports that if jobseekers are judged by bureaucrats not to have had enough work experience, they will be “allocated volunteering roles with charities and other providers”.
The work could include cleaning Britain’s war memorials, historic monuments, and even tending to animals in city farms. Long-term unemployed people could also be asked to earn their unemployment benefits by “cleaning and restoring river and canal banks, and even sorting through second hand clothes in charity warehouses.”
Cameron said “A key part of our long-term economic plan is to move to full employment, making sure that everyone who can work is in work. We are seeing record levels of employment in Britain, as more and more people find a job, but we need to look at those who are persistently stuck on benefits.
“This scheme will provide more help than ever before, getting people into work and on the road to a more secure future.”
Some have argued that the scheme doesn’t go far enough.
David Green, a director of Civitas, a right-wing think-tank, said the Government should remove the three year qualifying period for the scheme.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “From the minute someone is out of a job they should be given something positive to do – not leave it for three years.”