Pay wages not benfits in return for useful work

Further to my letter “Providing jobs has to be the priority” (Your say August 22) I would like, once again, to point out my suggestion that JSA and Job Centre Plus should be abolished in favour of unemployed people be given work at Works Depots and proper union rate wages be paid for that work.

There is a lot of work which needs to be done, but neither local authorities or private enterprise are doing it.

An unemployed friend has said that in order to access unemployment benefit an unemployed person in Australia has to carry out various environmental work.

This system seems much superior to our own in that benefits given there can be seen as investment rather than money down the drain as our system is.

Our system, leaving long-term unemployed people is a lose-lose situation where the unfeeling and ignorant can, with imagined justification, consider unemployed people as ‘scroungers’. Untrue, I suggest, for the majority of unemployed people.

The superior Australian system is, however, not as good as it could be in that the ‘benefits’ should be changed to ‘wages’. This simple change would be a win-win situation where necessary work would be carried out, people would be given a reason to live and old crafts could be kept alive.

I suggest the reason our dim-witted politicians don’t want this change is because they want a group of people to scapegoat and blame for their own failed policies.

Government is the only part of society who have the power to implement such a scheme, that why I keep digging at politicians in this matter.

Graham Rigby

Jubilee Road, Siddal