According to the Office of National Statistics, we have 1.47million people on Jobseeker’s Allowance, 2.6million claiming Incapacity Benefit and 467,000 vacancies.
Does anyone notice the disparity?
That’s 3,603,000 people unable to find a job. Now, this number obviously doesn’t take into account the people that don’t claim either of those benefits and instead manage to live off some other form of funds, and it doesn’t take into account those that will be unable to work in their entire lives (as some on IB will be able to go back to work). So it could change a little.
But when Mr. Osborne talks about “if someone believes that living on benefits is a lifestyle choice, then we need to make them think again” he really is not doing the math. When Cameron mentions people who are “sitting on their sofas waiting for their benefits to arrive” I want to ask him ‘who the hell are you talking about?’
There are more than 3 and a half million people out there who are unable to get a job because there isn’t a job for them. This is not about skills. This is not about education. This is about the cold hard fact that there are simply not enough jobs to go around.
So of course people will need benefits. And the number will only increase with more redundancies heading our way. I am hoping that perhaps Osborne et al will use the benefit cuts to help grow the economy, but I somehow doubt that. Instead, it appears to be cuts all round – people in the public sector losing jobs, then private sector companies losing contracts and laying people off, then people giving less to charity and so the ‘Big Society’ falling on its face.
(Not that that won’t happen anyway. What a joke of a policy. I don’t want to run my own school or fire brigade. I want to do my job and eat food and look after my cats and contribute to the economy through culture and shopping. If I wanted to run a damn school I would have become a teacher. And what about the people who have kids to look after? Like they want to go to a bloody neighbourhood watch meeting after spending an hour putting two kids to bed. Tory idiots. Anyway.)
The only way out of this mess seems to be trying to grow the private sector. Hard to do when banks won’t lend money to entrepreneurs, contracts are being cancelled and firms and companies are downsizing right, left and centre. Nothing the Tories have said have seemed to tackle this problem practically, which worries the hell out of me.
The only other solution is an epidemic that wipes out a few million people. Hardly ideal. But at the end of the day, someone needs to wake up and realise we have more people than jobs, and since we can’t cull people (though I believe they are trying, what with the cuts to benefits and probable rise in homelessness), then we need to create jobs.