Dole-bludgers told to get job, haircut

Xbox sales have crashed after the Government announced the first stage of its welfare reforms on Monday February 27. Solo parents on the DPB will be expected to look for part-time work once their oldest child hits five, and full-time work once their oldest child hits 14. Having another kid while on the benefit will no longer reset the timer to zero; the new parent will receive one year off and then faces the choice of having another kid to delay the inevitable, or looking for a job.

For 16- to 17-year-old beneficaries, and 18-year-old beneficiary parents, a managed system of payments will be set up. Beneficiaries will receive an allowance and a payment card for living costs, with some costs including rent and power being paid directly. Teens in this category will be expected to be in education or training. Four other incentive packages are planned to encourage teens to complete their education.

One in seven working-age adults is currently on a benefit, and 220,000 children are growing up in welfare-dependent homes. The Government predicts the reforms will result in 46,000 fewer people on benefits over time. Labour says there are no jobs for the beneficiaries to apply for.

Bumper-sticker rhetoric is flying back and forth, beginning with “welfare should be a hand up, not a handout,” which was countered with accusations of “beneficiary-bashing”. The situation was escalated with “the benefit needs to be a safety net, not a hammock,” which in turn provoked lamentations about the demise of the “cradle-to-the-grave welfare state”.

Part two of the reforms will be announced in July. Documents leaked to Critic indicate that long-term beneficiaries will be divided into teams of two and placed in Death Race scenarios. Beneficiary advocates plan to protest the changes, but “haven’t gotten around to it yet.”
This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2012.
Posted 4:53pm Sunday 4th March 2012 by Callum Fredric.