/ labour's job guarantee

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balmybaldwin - on 10 Mar 2014
Its been a while for me with Labour, but this sounds like a really good positive step.

Its also tough on people who dont want to work which I think is necessary. Giving young job seekers a guaranteed paid placement will massively improve the job seekers prospects.

My only concern is how does this get paid for (bankers tax can only go so far before it really does damage our competitiveness that sector) and where will the jobs cone from?

Will we have gangs of apprentices out fixing the potholes in the roads/painting council houses/doing park maintenance etc on top of existing maintenance staff or will this eat into available jobs?

Story here on the bbc:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26506522
Ben Sharp - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I was surprised to hear this announced as I'm sure I remember him saying more or less the same thing a couple of years ago, is it just the same policy or have they got the calculator out this time?

It's better than the Tories plan as least, which seems to be just stopping as many benefits as they can and hoping people find jobs or at least quietly go to the food banks if they can't. Although they are honest about it, from the Tory website "Our welfare reforms are changing lives". They are indeed.
stroppygob - on 10 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I agree with the principle, the funding sounds very dodgy though.
Mike00010 - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Communist or capitalist policy? Which do you prefer?
stroppygob - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Mike00010:

What a silly question. Why limit it to those? The OP offers not a Commie solution, so why include that?
Al Evans on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

An old friend of mine, now dead and one of the Kinder Mass Trespassers, once told me that there was so many discarded millstones beneath the various grit edges, because the government had got the dole seekers to work for their money, if they didn't get jobs on road building they were sent to Stanage and Lawrencefield to chip out millstones, couldn't have any idle hands raking in the money while other people worked. I have no reason to believe this was untrue.
Cú Chullain - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

> I agree with the principle, the funding sounds very dodgy though.

Indeed, Labour have spent their proposed bankers bonus tax several times over on various other schemes and pledges though.
Mike00010 - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

Analyse what they're proposing and think about where it can end up leading to.
stroppygob - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Al Evans:

Traditionally the stones were quarried by individual stone masons, each making about 16 pairs per year up on the hillside near to where the stone was quarried. They would then be transported down the hill and taken away by road or river. Peak District Millstones found their way all over the UK.

It is thought that the market for Peak District millstones disappeared very suddenly mid-18th century when white bread became fashionable. The gritstone of which they were made turned flour a grey colour, whereas it was found that French millstones were capable of producing white flour.

Dozens of millstones in production in the Peak District couldn’t be sold and still lie today exactly where they were produced – up on the hills below the gritstone edges.


http://www.jimennisphotography.co.uk/abandoned-millstones-on-stanage-edge
MG - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Al Evans:

I have no reason to believe this was untrue.

How about because in the 18th/19th centuries the government didn't get involved in employment and there was no "dole"?
ByEek - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

> I agree with the principle, the funding sounds very dodgy though.

Agreed. It is currently funded by rhetoric. That said, the realities of implementing such a scheme will be very much like any "back to work" scheme. I predict that if labour get back in, this will be one of their flagship policies. And it will appear to be very successful because the recovering economy will push unemployment down regardless of what the government are doing but they will claim victory.

Reminds me of New Labour's New Deal policy.
crayefish - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Lovely idea but I suspect totally unworkable in reality. If the idea is so good, how come no government in Europe has it enacted? (As far as I know).

One way to solve the youth unemployment crisis and the current gang culture (kids having little respect or anything to do) etc; national service! :)
ByEek - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> One way to solve the youth unemployment crisis and the current gang culture (kids having little respect or anything to do) etc; national service! :)

I think there are two issues here.

1. The gang culture and lack of respect you elude refers to an absolutely minuscule minority of young folks. Giving our youngsters the respect they deserve would go a long way to stopping them from being prevented into work simply because they are young and therefore ignorant, lacking in respect and probably a member of a gang.

2. Putting kids into national service simply sweeps the problem under the carpet. When they come out of national service, they will be just as unemployable as before. In an information economy, there isn't much room for someone who is good at running up a hill and back down again carrying a large pack and a gun without question. I certainly wouldn't want my kids to have anything to do with the services.
Father Noel Furlong on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> One way to solve the youth unemployment crisis and the current gang culture (kids having little respect or anything to do) etc; national service! :)

That would have been a good troll......if you hadn't added the smiley.....
crayefish - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to ByEek:

I think national service is not about running up hills with backpacks, but instilling a work ethic, discipline, organisation skills (lord knows I need them!), adhering to a command hierarchy and all that other stuff.

Obviously the gang statement was tongue in cheek, but it is actually a fairly big problem in some London boroughs. But even in the country, a lot of my local friends in Wiltshire could certainly have done with a year's nation service or two.
ByEek - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Fair points about the tongue-in-cheek but I think there is a genuine issue here. There was a survey of younger folks and it made for pretty grim reading. They felt very hard done by by the press, felt that most adults had a negative view of them (as you put your self - tongue-in-cheek of course!) as well as being prevented from opportunities simply because they are young.

As for the services. I don't want to hire a herd of coconuts who adhere to a command hierarchy. I want people who think for themselves, challenge my decisions and suggest better ones. Sadly the army would cease to exist if they were not able to train people to become coconuts.
crayefish - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to ByEek:
> Fair points about the tongue-in-cheek but I think there is a genuine issue here. There was a survey of younger folks and it made for pretty grim reading. They felt very hard done by by the press, felt that most adults had a negative view of them (as you put your self - tongue-in-cheek of course!) as well as being prevented from opportunities simply because they are young.

Yeah that is true. But I think it is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the whole darn bunch. And it's hard not to have that affect one's views... for example I have taught a lot of engineering students in the past 4 years and probably around 10-20% (depending on the year) literally could not give a crap. Either no reports submitted, the whole thing copied or just a pile of lazy shit full of text speak etc. And unfortunately that does then tarnish the view of the year as a whole - myself and my colleagues are always joking about how shit the students are. One must remember, it's the negative things (or in this case students) that stick in one's mind far more easily than the positive ones!

> As for the services. I don't want to hire a herd of coconuts who adhere to a command hierarchy. I want people who think for themselves, challenge my decisions and suggest better ones. Sadly the army would cease to exist if they were not able to train people to become coconuts.

I don't think a year or two will turn them all into coconuts (Korma anyone?) - most kids by that age are not that impressionable and quite strong minded. After all, the late teens/early 20's is the 'I know it all better' age :) But it might just instill some discipline.

I am not really advocating nation service here (I simply don't have enough facts to say one way or the other) but I think its certainly not an idea that should just be dismissed without thought.
Post edited at 11:23
ByEek - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Some fair points. I think the problem is that when you say 10 - 20% of students are lazy, I would say "So nothing new there then." Yet perceptions have changed markedly and there is almost aggression towards all young people by the older generation. Given it is they who will be paying our pensions and wiping our arses in old age, I can't help thinking it is not a good step in the right direction.
crayefish - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to ByEek:

> Some fair points. I think the problem is that when you say 10 - 20% of students are lazy, I would say "So nothing new there then." Yet perceptions have changed markedly and there is almost aggression towards all young people by the older generation. Given it is they who will be paying our pensions and wiping our arses in old age, I can't help thinking it is not a good step in the right direction.

Obviously a 'useless' statistic given the small sample size, but I do find it surprisingly high given these are supposed to be driven students studying a hard subject in higher education. And those were not the 'slightly lazy' ones but the literally 'I don't give a shit' ones.

Anyone taught kids 50 years ago who can compare? :)

Well perhaps we can take solace in the fact that in 50 years there will probably be robots to wipe our arses! And do doubt robots built by robots that have taken over humanity. Unless of course the union leaders prevent that. lol
balmybaldwin - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Seem to have moved away from topic a nudge, but with regards to the youth of today and attitude, whilst there are clearly a large number of talented and hard working school leavers out there, I think there are also a significant number who emerge from education with a predefined idea of what they want to do, and what jobs they consider beneath them.

The problem is I think there is so much pressure in society today to own things (that are mainly unnecessary) that moving form being supported by someone else to being self supported seems like a massive step down in their ability to afford "stuff" as a result, a lot of students leaving university or college wont consider the jobs that were considered good starter jobs 20 years ago and still are today.
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Al Evans on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to MG:

> I have no reason to believe this was untrue.

> How about because in the 18th/19th centuries the government didn't get involved in employment and there was no "dole"?

No, that was the irony if it's true, it happened post war.
Al Evans on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

> Traditionally the stones were quarried by individual stone masons, each making about 16 pairs per year up on the hillside near to where the stone was quarried. They would then be transported down the hill and taken away by road or river. Peak District Millstones found their way all over the UK.

> It is thought that the market for Peak District millstones disappeared very suddenly mid-18th century when white bread became fashionable. The gritstone of which they were made turned flour a grey colour, whereas it was found that French millstones were capable of producing white flour.

> Dozens of millstones in production in the Peak District couldn’t be sold and still lie today exactly where they were produced – up on the hills below the gritstone edges.


I'd like to know the truth of this, it seems more likely to me that some of the thousands of millstones were produced by dole workers than skilled stonemasons who would surely have had a better living to make rather than producing redundant millstone left to lie where they were finished, some yes, but not them all.
ByEek - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to crayefish:

> Anyone taught kids 50 years ago who can compare? :)

No - but I was one of those students 20 years ago. Alas I was lost. Surrounded by wonderful people and studying was just one of those chores that had to be done. A failed my second year and scraped through the resit. What I needed at the time was a mentor.
crayefish - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to ByEek:

> What I needed at the time was a mentor.

I think a lot of kids need that (and a role model) just as much today as they don't have one. But for many, they don't have such a thing at home (for various reasons); in particular role models. People often cite this for reasons to turning to gangs etc... you know, those ex-gang turned Christian guys who you see in the press occasionally. I hear that a lot from them. Maybe a figure in the army (their sergeant etc) could do that if conscription was in place for a year? Perhaps the said sergeants etc could be in contact with them after service as some kind of community go-to-guy as well? A kind of army/community worker mix program perhaps.

Just throwing a spanner in the conversation :)

neilh - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:
It will not work and is " pie in the sky".Labour say that they want small businesses to take on these placements. That's fine if (a)small businesses have the jobs available and ( b) in the process the small business does not just dump one paid employee for somebody who is paid for by the state.

Its unfortunately an ill thought out scheme.
Post edited at 13:22
Chambers - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Mike00010:

> Communist or capitalist policy? Which do you prefer?

They're both capitalist policies and they've both been shown to be futile. Capitalism can't be controlled. The cycle of boom and slump is not so much a problem of capitalism but rather an inherent part of its nature. It can, however, be abolished.

neilh - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chambers:

I am impressed. For hundred's of years mankind has been trying to overcome this cycle. What's the secret?
GrahamD - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chambers:

kerching ! I now pronounce capitalism abolished. What happens next ?
Chambers - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to GrahamD:

Doesn't look abolished to me. But waving magic wands is more the business of those who claim to be able to run capitalism. There are a few prerequisites to the abolition of capitalism.
Chambers - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to neilh:

There isn't a secret. As I said, boom and slump is an inherent part of the anarchy of production within capitalism.
Mr Lopez - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Isn't this just a re-packaged version of "stack shelves at Poundland for your dole money", "free unskilled labour for businesses paid for by the tax payer" type scheme so popular a few years ago?
Sam_in_Leeds - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Don't think so because they said they'd pay them the minimum wage.

It's interesting to note they also plan to remove "tax=relief" on pension contributions at 40% for higher rate tax-payers to pay for it as well as spending the "bankers bonus tax" several times over.

Don't forget you pay tax on the income on the way out so it's not really tax-relief at all, more tax-deferral.

If they do push that ridiculous policy through the Labour Party will be hammering the final nail in to the coffin of pensions following Gordon Clown's stripping of the 10% tax credit on dividends.



Mr Lopez - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:
> (In reply to Mr Lopez)
>
> Don't think so because they said they'd pay them the minimum wage.

Minimum wage X 25hours/week = Dole + housing (at the rates of <35yo)
Chambers - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:

Bear in mind that politicians will say anything to get votes. Election promises are seldom fulfilled. But this is just rehashed Keynesian economics from another political party that is bankrupt of ideas for reforming the system. It's all a bit like trying to organise the abbatoir so that it meets the needs of the cattle.
Sam_in_Leeds - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chambers:

It's obviously a good soundbite (I wouldn't go as far as to call it a good idea) but like all Socialist ideas it's great until you run out of other peoples money to spend.

I wonder how you define a "bankers bonus" though? I work for an investment management firm owned by a bank and receive a twice-yearly bonus of about 10% of my roughly the UK average salary. Will I be affected?

Perhaps we could argue for a tax on public sector pension schemes? They're just as much a "bonus" as a private sector bonus payment (It's just deferred for how ever many years)

neilh - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chambers:

And every other system which has tried.
Chambers - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:

A banker's bonus is nothing more than an allocation of surplus value produced by other workers.

But you're wrong about socialist ideas being ways of spending other people's money. That's just another way of trying to run capitalism. Socialism will abolish money.
Chambers - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to neilh:

> And every other system which has tried.

What? Feudalism? Classical antiquity? Yep, you're right. All systems of society based on private property and class ownership work only in the interests of a minority. But what about systems of society that haven't been tried?
Sam_in_Leeds - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Chambers:

What a load of bollox.

It's a form of deferred salary. It's a way of saying "you work harder and you'll be rewarded" rather than just increasing my salary.

Don't forget, I pay 20% tax/12% NI/9% Student loan/3% pension contribution on it so that's 41% going straight to HMRC before I piss it all away paying 20% VAT on something frivolous...

Also, are you about 18 years of age or working in the public sector?
Chambers - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:
Gosh. Someone's got a fairly short fuse, haven't they? That can't be good for your blood pressure.

Well, it seems as though you aren't talking about banker's bonuses like the kind of inflated gifts that represent an amount of wealth that no one person could ever produce, but rather just a small part of your salary that represents how good you've been at realising a profit for your masters.

Do you understand what I mean when I refer to 'surplus value'? If not then it's a bit arrogant to dismiss my statement as 'bollox' [sic] when you don't know what I'm talking about.

I am neither 18 nor a public sector employee. I'm half a century old and I've spent a great deal of it studying politics and economics. Just so we're clear about that. Can we also be clear that ad hominem attacks demean their author and not the person they're attacking? :)
Post edited at 19:32
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Rob Exile Ward on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

It's a stupid idea, and cannot possibly work. Might as well introduce conscription.
RomTheBear - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> Its been a while for me with Labour, but this sounds like a really good positive step.

> Its also tough on people who dont want to work which I think is necessary. Giving young job seekers a guaranteed paid placement will massively improve the job seekers prospects.

> My only concern is how does this get paid for (bankers tax can only go so far before it really does damage our competitiveness that sector) and where will the jobs cone from?

> Will we have gangs of apprentices out fixing the potholes in the roads/painting council houses/doing park maintenance etc on top of existing maintenance staff or will this eat into available jobs?

I think it could be a good thing but the devil will be in the details of how it is implemented. But clearly it seems to me that even if you spend a bit more money to employ someone "artificially" it is probably a good investment if they can find "legit" work and start contributing instead of spending years out of the labour market and with an increased dependence on benefits.

The biggest problem IMHO is that we might end up in a situation where these subsidised jobs just end up simply eating away at non subsidised jobs that the market would have created anyways. Maybe someone has a workaround ?
Post edited at 17:27
Rob Exile Ward on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

'it is probably a good investment if they can find "legit" work and start contributing instead of spending years out of the labour market and with an increased dependence on benefits.'

That is evidently the case. Unfortunately life isn't like that. Even 'free' workers cost companies money to employ - to recruit, train, supervise, necessarily by someone who is experienced and therefore could be used elsewhere. The quality of training is going to be highly dubious - people aren't stupid, they know about job creation schemes.

So you are going to have a bunch of demotivated former NEETs being shuffled around for 6 months in the sure and certain knowledge that very few of them will have a permanent job at the end of it - after all, there's only so many shelf stackers and burger flippers that Tesco and Macdonalds can accommodate.

Like I said, it might as well be conscription.
Mike00010 - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

It probably almost will be conscription. How long do you think it'll be till these positions pop up in lots of the lower level public service jobs (double saving for the government that way)?
Chambers - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

Very good workaround. Capitalism is like a car that's been up on blocks for years with politicians and pundits walking around it saying 'Gosh! That looks bad! It's going to cost you!'

Time for a new car, then.

Abolish the wages system.
RomTheBear - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> 'it is probably a good investment if they can find "legit" work and start contributing instead of spending years out of the labour market and with an increased dependence on benefits.'

> That is evidently the case. Unfortunately life isn't like that. Even 'free' workers cost companies money to employ - to recruit, train, supervise, necessarily by someone who is experienced and therefore could be used elsewhere. The quality of training is going to be highly dubious - people aren't stupid, they know about job creation schemes.

> So you are going to have a bunch of demotivated former NEETs being shuffled around for 6 months in the sure and certain knowledge that very few of them will have a permanent job at the end of it - after all, there's only so many shelf stackers and burger flippers that Tesco and Macdonalds can accommodate.

> Like I said, it might as well be conscription.

Well the hope is that we should make sure that all these people are not offered only low skills jobs.
As I said I agree with you it would be more expensive than the current system, but with potentially higher returns. And anyway, contrary to what people think the current job seeker allowance system doesn't cost very much at all, it's 0.17% of the total UK budget, but IMHO these 0.17% are basically lost in the current system, all it does is providing people with mean of survival but does not make them able to ever return to the job market, we would be better off spending a bit more than the minimum and try to get them to contribute to society ?

I think the best case we can make for it is to look at what the Princes Trust has done. I don't usually praise charities but what these guys are doing is absolutely amazing, and it works, it terms of result they are extremely successful, well more than any government agency.

But as I said the biggest issues is, how do you make sure they jobs are added to the economy and not simply replacing other ones and adding extra pressure on those already employed ?
Post edited at 09:38
Rob Exile Ward on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

I've been involved with things like this in the past. In the mid-90s the govt of the day basically spotted that offering 'training' was a good way of lowering unemployment stats; so they incentivised training providers to start training courses as soon as someone turned up, rather than having a properly structured course with curriculum, thresholds, achievement targets and all the rest, that began on a particular day and ran for specified length of time.

Result? Unemployment went 'down'; students didn't receive any meaningful training; and trainers just turned up and spent their days drinking coffee and moaning (when they weren't of sick with stress.)

RomTheBear - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> I've been involved with things like this in the past. In the mid-90s the govt of the day basically spotted that offering 'training' was a good way of lowering unemployment stats; so they incentivised training providers to start training courses as soon as someone turned up, rather than having a properly structured course with curriculum, thresholds, achievement targets and all the rest, that began on a particular day and ran for specified length of time.

> Result? Unemployment went 'down'; students didn't receive any meaningful training; and trainers just turned up and spent their days drinking coffee and moaning (when they weren't of sick with stress.)

And that's why training doesn't work. It's been proven again and again by every study. Actually even job training for those already in employment doesn't work, it's been proven to have an insignificant impact on future career prospects. Only thing it does is throwing money at dubious training companies.

But we are not talking about training here, it's about giving a real job, and that's proven to make a real difference. (again, this is more or less what the Princes trust has been doing for years, and it is highly successful). Somehow when you put people in a situation where they have the pressure to perform and are judged by their colleagues, and feel useful, most of them tend to do really well.
Post edited at 10:06

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