The Workfare case

Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson objected to their placements on the Coalition’s flagship workfare schemes

“I haaaaaaate you, that is sooooooooo unfair”

A fair bit has been said about today’s appeals court decision that the government’s Workfare scheme is illegal. Much of it has been rather wide of the mark.

First, the plaintiff, Cait Reilly, does not have a problem with performing unpaid work. She was, after all, volunteering unpaid in a museum. The problem was that Ms Reilly liked working in the museum. She didn’t like working in Poundland.

Well, welcome to the real world Ms Reilly. Most of us do not spend our days doing what we would enjoy if we had the choice, that is why the world is not full of Premiership footballers and ballerinas.

The fact is that in the future the sorts of jobs Britain is likely to generate will be in Poundlands. Our economy discourages the capital investment and our education system wrecks the human capital which enable people to work more productively and it is that, not minimum wage legislation, which dictates whether wages will rise.

Secondly, Workfare worked in Ms Reilly’s case. She says “I now work part time in a supermarket” Ask yourself; when Tesco’s were interviewing her which experience do you think impressed them most? The museum or Poundland? In this case Workfare worked.

2 thoughts on “The Workfare case

  1. Is the British workfare similar to the US workfare/ticket-to-work program?

    Here, they gave the “welfare queens” free/supported childchare, transportation vouchers, training if needed. I think that’s mostly been dismantled now because the Obama administration believes in a permanent dependent class, but it really worked well.

    All of the gals I worked with complained about it initially. They HATED having to work. Most of them got used to it eventually and came to see it as a positive.

  2. Pingback: The False Logic of Workfare «

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