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Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Elephant in the Room with Iain Duncan Smith

It's commonly alleged that Iain Duncan Smith is evil - you can even find a website pointing out that he looks like Fritz Sauckel who organised slave labour for Nazi Germany but I've worked out why he does what he does. No, it's not particularly that he's a member of the Conservative Party or that he's stupid or out of touch. The truth is that he has an "elephant in the room".

As I've pointed out before, there are around 2.5 million unemployed but only 0.5 million vacancies. He must know that so why does he continue to "support" the unemployed with a plethora of schemes?

I got the answer listening to Graham Hoyle who used to be Chief Executive of the  Association of Employment & Learning Providers (Video). He picks up on the economy and the jobs market mismatch and how not everyone can have a job.

Very crudely, there could to a be a policy that says who gets the 0.5 million  jobs and leaves 2.0 million on the dole. To refine it a little, it would need to be a decision about which groups to support. E.G.: you might decide to support those with disabilities into jobs, or those who'd been out of work for a long time, or under 25s.  That's the elephant in the room that no one talks about because it implies leaving other groups to "languish on benefits"

So Iain has to be seen to be trying to help all 2.5 million into work even though for 2 million of them it will largely be a waste of time. That's why they'll be on useless courses, workfare or 35 hours a week supervised pointless jobsearch. To admit the real problem would lead indirectly to policies  that would attract even harsher criticism.

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