Further evidence of how ineffective our welfare system is at galvanising people into finding jobs can be seen on Channel 4 over the coming weeks. The programme 'Benefit Busters' (Episode 1 from Thursday can be seen here) follows the work of A4E as they attempt to return those on benefits to the workforce. The first episode focused on lone mothers as they undertook a 6 week course titled 'Elevate'. The company receives £100 per week per participant and a bonus should they find a job.
The programme shone a light on the unintended consequences of welfare. One participant openly stated that as benefit recipients, "they got too much for doing nothing" and that benefits, "did not give people the initiative" to act over their own lives. Even though they successfully placed the course's participants one lone mother had to go back on benefits due to the difference between a low wage job and a life on benefits. A politician view the latter problem and promptly recommend that the minimum wage be increased, there would be relatively few of them who would grasp the fact that taxes considerably eat into the earnings of the poor. Those in minimum wage jobs who can be rewarded with more money on benefits need to have their allowance levels raised so they are removed from paying tax.
We are paying for attitudes to work to be repaired following the damage that welfare has imparted upon its recipients. This is why we should be looking at reforming the welfare system (as we have suggested here in Working Welfare). The Channel 4 series continues next week looking at the long-term unemployed and examining their approach to life. From this series it is plain to see that government welfare destroys lives.