James Purnell likes a bit of Photoshopping and we thought he might like the poster below. The Welfare Secretary’s welfare ideas were meant to be launched on Monday but they’ve already been leaked to Sky. We should probably welcome the new bipartisanship on welfare (as Coffee House has done) but we have a sneaking feeling that Labour just won’t implement the ideas properly.
CCHQ sent out this a little earlier, detailing the ways in which Labour has lifted ideas already announced by Chris Grayling:
"Conservatives lead the agenda on Welfare Reform
1. Announcement: ‘Work for the dole’ “In piloting a new ‘work for dole programme for long term unemployed people, the government wants to learn from international best practice. We plan to run pilots in a number of Jobcentre Plus districts from 2010 requiring participation by those who finish their period with a flexible New Deal provider without finding or having had recent experience of work.” (DWP, Welfare reform Green Paper, July 2008, p33)
Already announced by the Conservatives: “people who claim for more than two years out of three will be required to work for the dole on community work programmes.” (Conservatives, Work for Welfare, January 2008 p 8)
“The design of the community work scheme will build on successful international schemes like the Australian “Work for the Dole” programme. Participants will be required to spend most of their time in supervised productive work in their communities while still retaining access to back to work activities as designed by their welfare-to-work provider.” Conservatives, Work for Welfare, January 2008 p34
“The long-term unemployed will have to join community work programmes to get them back into the work habit.” Conservatives, Work for Welfare, January 2008 p 12
2. Announcement: Reassessment of all incapacity benefit claimants “Between 2010 and 2014 we will also re-assess all existing Incapacity Benefit claimants using the WCA to ensure people are receiving the right benefit” (DWP, Welfare reform Green Paper, July 2008, p52)
Already announced by the Conservatives: “Assessments for those claiming out of work benefits – rapid assessments for every recipient, including all new and existing claimants, to assess suitability for work.” Conservatives, Work for Welfare, January 2008 p11
“We will require all current recipients of Incapacity Benefit to go through a thorough Work Capability Assessment as soon as is practicable.” Conservatives, Work for Welfare, January 2008 P34
3. Announcement: Welfare to work programmes for existing Incapacity Benefit claimants “Until now we have not been able to extend the successful Pathways model to large numbers of existing customers. This has left around two million people already on IB without the support they need to prepare for a return to work and to get a job … As people are transferred from IB to ESA, we will ensure all those placed in the Work Related Activity Group are given a personalised programme of back to work support.”
Already announced by the Conservatives: “Those who Recipients of Incapacity Benefit who are found to be partially incapacitated but capable of preparation for work will be referred to welfare-to-work providers, but with additional support to reflect their conditions.” (Conservative Party, Work for Welfare, January 2008, p33).
4. Announcement: Private and voluntary sector providers and payments by results. “We will use private and voluntary sector providers to deliver this back to work support. They will be able to borrow to invest more upfront, and then be rewarded from the benefit expenditure they save … we will test this approach in five cities and sub regions, to learn what works.” (DWP, Welfare reform Green Paper, July 2008, p52)
Already announced by Conservatives: “Welfare-to-work services to be provided by the private and voluntary sector on a payment by results basis, according to their success in returning people to sustainable employment.” Conservatives, Work for Welfare, January 2008 p 8
The job of delivering our programmes will be contracted to third party providers from the private and voluntary sectors, including local authorities with relevant expertise. (Conservatives, Work for Welfare, January 2008 p12)"