Whenever the Torybastards claw their way back into power, it is worth while organising a pool for how many days it will take them to start talking about their new plan to screw the PENSIONERS.
Last time, the plan was to means-test them – this time, they want to raise the retirement age. Last time, they were thwarted by the courts. This time – ?
Of course, any DECENT government would be trying to find a way to LOWER the age of retirement. Thanks to “out-sourcing” and automation, any concept of Full Employment in the UK went the way of the Dodo, some forty years ago.
But what are the REAL figures for unemployment? Well, by definition, they would have to include ALL people who are NOT working – but given half a chance, would LIKE to.
The current unemployment figure is 8%. The worst for three decades. But the current EMPLOYMENT rate is 72%. And of course, 72 plus 8 is 100.
HANG ON!!! No it is not – it’s EIGHTY! What happened to the other 20%? Well, that is what I meant by the TRUE figures.
You see, the 8% are those who REGISTER as unemployed, to get the paltry sum called “Job-seeker’s Allowance” – love that spin – not Unemployment Benefit, but JOB-SEEKER’S ALLOWANCE.
But let us not dwell on semantics. The point is, there are another TWENTY percent of the employable population who are NOT registering. Why?
Well, there are a number of reasons. Let us examine THOSE…
First come the “fringe” people. Those who do “fringe” jobs. Often for Third-World wages. In a First-World country.
Then come those over fifty who, knowing they do not have a rat’s chance in HELL of gaining employment – and knowing they cannot EXIST on “Job-seeker’s Allowance” – have managed to convince their GP they have a long-term disability, in order to qualify for SICKNESS Allowance.
Indeed, there are many GPs (particularly ELDERLY ones) who HELP these people – knowing that by doing so they are, in a way, fulfilling their duty under the Hippocratic Oath (like, their patients would soon become GENUINELY sick if they had to put up with the horrors visited on Britain’s unemployed by HMG).
Which is why the government employs other, DODGY doctors to “test” people on long-term disability, to try to force them OFF the system.
Next come women whose children have now reached the age where they can be trusted not to burn down the house.
Some are blessed with husbands earning a decent wage – and are thus content to continue being “homemakers”. Having no marketable skills, they are happy to cook, clean and garden – ensuring their husband will have a home-cooked meal when he returns to his nice, clean house, with its tidy, manicured garden.
And their husbands are fine with this, realizing that if their wife worked, THEY would have to share 50% of the cooking, cleaning and gardening duties – not a happy prospect.
But what of those women whose husbands do NOT earn a decent wage? Rather than waging a constant battle with an inadequate income, many would be more than happy to return to work – and SCREW the house and garden.
However, when they take into account the expense of a second car, meals out and never-ending takeaways for their kids – not to mention their house and garden will soon look like sh*t – and the fact that employers prefer YOUNG women (they work for less, look more attractive and are still EAGER) – plus their work-skills are fifteen years out of DATE…
Nevertheless, a fair proportion of those women would STILL take a job if it were available, rather than endure perpetual POVERTY – so those women should be added to the list as well. But since their husbands work – which means they would not qualify for benefit – they do not REGISTER.
There have been a number of “Family Tax/Credit” schemes designed to help working families on low wages – but they have never received enough finance to make them attractive.
Thus most of these women struggle on, doing home piece-work – if they can get it – again, for Third-World wages. But either way, as far as HMG is concerned, they are NOT unemployed.
And finally there are those at the BOTTOM of society. Those with no home, no income and no hope. They are the down-and-outs you pass quickly, as they stick their hands out for alms.
In La Belle France, begging is legally classed as a VOCATION, provided it is non-aggressive. I even heard of an English guy who lives, modestly, on the RIVIERA, thanks to this law and the Single European Act of 1993, which allows Europeans to work anywhere in Europe. Hah!
But in England, beggars are despised – and treated accordingly. And without an address, getting government benefit is DIFFICULT. Which is why, every year, untold numbers of them die of hypothermia.
So there are most of your invisible twenty percent of the unemployed: “fringe” people, “sick” people, women who would work if they COULD – and bums.
Therefore, the TRUE unemployment figure for the UK is TWENTY-EIGHT PERCENT – not EIGHT.
Nearly a THIRD of Britain’s workers – AREN’T. Which means that in every group of three people, two are BEAVERING away to support themselves – and said THIRD. Which is MADNESS, when most of those thirds WANT to work.
What is the solution? Well, it is not easy.
An obvious answer is to cut WORKING HOURS for the first two people – and EMPLOY the third. Except that because of the INSANE cost of company cars (which are often not actually NEEDED for a person’s job – but rather, are used by employers to “hold” their employees) and the similarly insane cost of employee INSURANCE, the only way a company can remain competitive is to employ as FEW people as possible – while encouraging them to work for as LONG as possible.
And the cost of living being what it is – those employees will TOLERATE the long hours, for the extra PAY.
So do not look to employers for an answer. They are trapped by the SYSTEM.
No, the only way to relieve unemployment is for GOVERNMENT to LOWER the age of retirement – which would require the RAISING of taxes to support it, so don’t look for THAT solution coming anytime soon from the TORYBASTARDS!
Cleggy – now’s your chance! GROW A PAIR!!!
Footnote: for another take on this issue, from my evil twin Damien, click on – http://damienatloppers.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/damien-on-how-to-solve-unemployment/