Originally Posted by Einhard
I'm not labeling them all. Indeed, not even the majority. But, as you stated, there were 30k people on the dole at a time of full employment, when employers were screaming out for people. I know some people who are long term unemployed, and for some of them it's a lifestyle choice.
I just don't see what's wrong with targeting those who are gaming the system. If someone is legitimately collecting SW, they have absolutely nothing to hide.
During the "boom", I took part in a voluntary programme to help the longterm unemployed. Most of the people I met would have loved to be working but a lot of them had very poor literacy skills. A lot of them had low self-esteem issues as well and would not have fared well in a job-interview situation. Considering we had a huge workforce at the time, to have 30,000 long-term unemployed is a very low number in relative terms.
A few months ago, Joan Burton made a very sweeping statement about the dole being a lifestyle choice, which I found to be nonsensical and very offensive. The fact that there were only 30,000 longterm unemployed (many of whom had legitimate reasons for finding themselves in such an unfortunate situation) during the boom is proof that the dole is not a lifestyle choice for the vast majority of people who currently find themselves unemployed. Sure, you'll always find one or two people who are workshy but that's the case in practically every country and is in no way representative of the overwhelming majority. It seems to me that Labour are taking the 'divide and conquer' route when it comes to social welfare. Far better to have neighbour pitted against neighbour, instead of us being concerned about how the bankers, developers and politicians of this country brought us to our knees in the first place.
And yes, of course, if somebody is gaming the system they deserve to be targeted, but those people who are legitimately collecting social welfare should not be made to feel that they are scamming the system or that they have made a "lifestyle choice" for themselves.