måndag 28 januari 2008

Getting the unemployed and disabled back to work

The government is proposing yet another initiative to get the long-term unemployed and disabled back to work, with skills audits, training schemes and the like. It is all very worthy, but the problem is that, while the benefits do not exactly permit people to live a life of luxury, the shape of the tax and benefits system makes it costly to employ them whilst leaving them any better off. This is a consequence of targeting benefits. People move into the target area and stay there. Who can blame them? And this is why these schemes have had a marginal effect over the years.

With recession on the way, and no policies which would help to get the economy on the way to recovery when it comes, where are the jobs for these people newly equipped with skills?

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Dreadful music at Mass last night

I have pretty much given up on my local Catholic parish (there are alternatives) because the music is irredeemably dreadful. It is not that ...