Following the appeal lodged by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), the Supreme Court has ruled that the Government’s Back to Work Schemes are legally flawed. This followed a high profile case where a University graduate, Cait Reilly, was forced to work at Poundland for free or she would have lost her benefits. This ruling by the Supreme Court renders Ian Duncan Smith’s policy a shambles.
There is much national anger at benefit cheats, and a lot of support for Work for Dole programmes – the Tax Payers Alliance has been campaigning for this for months. But this ruling makes clear that the courts will not accept this. The DWP will, presumably, go back to the drawing board, take better legal advice and relaunch this scheme under a different name and with a few tweaks. What the DWP will not be able to do, though, is solve the problem.
To solve the problem, the Government should massively pare back taxes and regulations that are preventing real, long term jobs growth. The punishing costs to business from rates, health and safety regulation and EU legislation such as the European Working Time Directive (WTD) are acting as a huge financial impediment to business to invest, expand and employ. It is here that the Government should be focussing its attention. Andrew Perloff of Panther Securities, a commercial property investment fund, estimates that a suspension of Business Rates could lead to 150,000 new jobs in the UK, and Open Europe put the cost to business of the WTD at £.7 billion annually and of total EU regulation at £28 billion.
As for getting people off the dole as a ‘career’ UKIP propose the first £13,500 being tax free. And for those still not convinced, I would recommend that we look at food vouchers instead of cash payments for the unemployed.