A social timebomb is set to explode in Britain

#1
A fitting end to 12 years of Liebour misrule…


A social timebomb is set to explode in Britain
The true jobless total is already over five million – and the young are hardest hit, says Edmund Conway.


By Edmund Conway
Published: 6:34AM GMT 29 Oct 2009
Comments 10 | Comment on this article

One of my favourite moments from the television series The Wire comes towards the end of the first season. Two of the police officers who have been monitoring drug dealers arrive one morning to find that the area is deserted: no one is selling drugs, no one lounging on the street corners. "Maybe we won," suggests one cop.
The reality, of course, is that this is only an interlude: the dealers have been lured away to an inter-gang basketball game. But I was reminded of that sense of false optimism this week, at a Royal Society of Arts discussion on youth unemployment. Someone asked Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, why, when her organisation tried to provide a job centre with opportunities for young people, those working there insisted they didn't have enough applicants of the appropriate age. "Maybe," said Mr Timms, "you have to see that as a good sign."

It was little wonder that his comment provoked gasps of disbelief. When it comes to youth unemployment, there is precious little good news. The number of people aged under 25 and out of work is now just below a million – around one in five. This is up by 184,000 in the past year, and still climbing. As everyone apart from the minister could see, the absence of youngsters from a job centre reflects not a let-up in the problem, but shortcomings in the bureaucracy intended to combat it. According to Professor David Blanchflower, a labour market expert and former Bank of England policy-maker, it is highly likely that overall unemployment – currently just under 2.5 million, or 7.9 per cent of the working population – will climb to 3.4 million within a couple of years.

That would be higher than in the early 1980s, when the unemployment crisis was seen as just that – a social challenge of paramount importance, a cause for protests and riots. Yet so far, there has been far less handwringing, let alone any bold policies to deal with the issue.

This perplexing state of affairs owes something to three factors. First, unemployment lags behind the rest of the economy, so we are not aware of how bad the picture will get, convincing ourselves that the flexibility of the labour market – the ability of firms to cut hours and pay – will save us. Second, most of those losing their jobs are not those who find it easy to get their voices across – they are the young, the lower-paid, in the Midlands or the North. Third, economic policy before the 1980s had been explicitly aimed at fostering near-full employment; today's focus on inflation means unemployment is regarded as less of an issue.

Yet this is an issue of paramount importance. The labour market is facing two crises: an immediate spike in unemployment, and a longer-term sclerosis after the slump is over. The first is primarily an economic issue, the second a social one, but both are due to government failure.

First things first: we must brace ourselves for further deterioration in the labour market. The most recent figures suggest that the picture is improving: by some measures, unemployment has actually stopped rising. But don't be fooled. For a start, many "discouraged workers" who would previously have been categorised as unemployed have been labelled "economically inactive". Include them, plus those forced to shift to part-time work, and the true jobless total is 5.6 million, or just under 15 per cent of the working population: not far below the 17 per cent level in the US.

But there could be worse to come. The best way to work out what will happen to unemployment in a recession is to look at productivity – economic output per worker. Given there are fewer people in work, you'd expect that productivity would have risen, as those still in work took up the slack for absent colleagues. But in fact, productivity has fallen by almost 5 per cent, implying that firms have kept workers on despite there being less for them to do.

Andrew Lilico of the think-tank Policy Exchange estimates that if employment shrinks to match the real level of demand in the economy, another two million will be on the dole. That would be a nasty enough prospect even if things had been hunky-dory before the crisis. But youth unemployment had been rising over the course of a decade: whether due to age discrimination laws, or the failings of the education system, employers have been luring old workers out of retirement rather than taking on youngsters. This problem – massively exacerbated by the recession – will burn a hole in the core of our economy and society if unchecked. Study after study has shown that youngsters who cannot find work are far more likely to enter permanent joblessness than someone who has already been in the labour market.

The Government must find ways of encouraging companies to take on youngsters rather than grandparents. It must also – as Prof Blanchflower has suggested on these pages – find the money to keep more children in school, perhaps by immediately raising the leaving age to 18, or to create a system of national community or civic service. Extreme ideas, yes. But we still haven't yet absorbed how extreme this unemployment crisis will be.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/...al-timebomb-is-set-to-explode-in-Britain.html
 
#2
That was the good news, the bad news is that all these people who have no work are expected to pay the unbelievebly huge bills that HMG has piled up. But as the young have no work, they also have no money and neither will HMG. There will be large numbers of unhappy people when the social security system runs out of beer chits. Then there are the pensioners and all Govt employees. Shades of 3rd world economies. :(
 
#3
That report doesn't mention the people on "sickness" benefit. Although not counted in the jobless total a good half off them are fit to work. Unfortunately the only thing they have worked is the system.
 
#4
wet_blobby said:
That report doesn't mention the people on "sickness" benefit. Although not counted in the jobless total a good half off them are fit to work. Unfortunately the only thing they have worked is the system.

That's another 2.9 Million IIRC.
 
#5
Now most mass manufacturing has shifted from West to East, there will never again be the large numbers of jobs required by the unskilled and poorly educated masses. We just have to accept that millions (unemployed and "on the sick") will have nothing to do and unless they can be drugged in some Brave New World fashion and made docile social unrest will be inevitable.
 
#6
The young unemployed in the eighties had no daytime tv and playstations to occupy their time with. Odds are that if they lived with their parents (who probably did work or always had done) then life would have not been too comfortable dossing around either as they would have been pressured into finding something.

Compare that to those young unemployed people today and it's easy to see how many have little incentive to do anything.
 
#7
My son left school many years ago and started a YTS (spits). It was virtually slave labour but it started him in a good trade as a vehicle mechanic ( eventually REME). Shouldn't a similar system be introduced to help youngsters learn a trade and build up our manufacturing base? We could call them apprenticeships!
 
#8
Do what people have done for years and move to where the work is. Simple.
 
#9
PoisonDwarf said:
Do what people have done for years and move to where the work is. Simple.
Where is the work? In the East? Then how come so much cheap immigrant labour is coming into into our country. Economic and social madness.

If you move to a new area, how do you get housing as you'll be back of the social housing queue as the councils will have allocated them to you know who.

Private housing? Try getting a mortgage.

Schools, GP's dentists? Just try it and see what happens.

The country is f*cked and it will all end in tears.

Thank you Labour :roll:
 
#11
A British person has to declare themselves homeless, live in a hostel with their kids if they have them, and then take the first offer which is ususally in a no-go area. Immigrants?? Walk in and seems to get the best picks??

Also this working tax credit (?) people on a low wage recieve from the government? They have a job, why do they need benefits? Why can't they higher the minimum wage so the employer takes the hit?
 
#12
InVinoVeritas said:
PoisonDwarf said:
Do what people have done for years and move to where the work is. Simple.
Where is the work? In the East? Then how come so much cheap immigrant labour is coming into into our country. Economic and social madness.

If you move to a new area, how do you get housing as you'll be back of the social housing queue as the councils will have allocated them to you know who.


Private housing? Try getting a mortgage.

Schools, GP's dentists? Just try it and see what happens.

The country is f*cked and it will all end in tears.

Thank you Labour :roll:

<ashie/sven/whet/paperpuke Mode ON>


That's racialist!


<ashie/sven/whet/paperpuke Mode OFF>
 
#13
Toxicseagull said:
how will a jobless afford a flight to china?
Plenty of space on the container ships going back to the far east. :)
 
#14
PoisonDwarf said:
Do what people have done for years and move to where the work is. Simple.
On first glance, a good idea. However, some simple facts...workers at the Honda plant in Swindon, and the Honda plant in Ohio, USA earn approx 20 GBP per hour, according to Honda's own figures.

At the new Honda manufacturing facility in China, the rate is 20 GBP per week.

How can the west compete against that?

With the on-going world-wide recession (depression in the UK) only a self-destructive government would allow in migrant workers.

Sound vaguely familiar?
 
#15
GoodIdeaAtTheTime said:
Toxicseagull said:
how will a jobless afford a flight to china?
Plenty of space on the container ships going back to the far east. :)
Reminds me of Auf Weidersehen Pet...can't find work in the UK...head abroad. Today, the solution is live off benefit for life.

That solution provides a comfortable lifestyle. Many on benefit enjoy an active social life, holiday abroad, wear the latest fashion, and keep the pubs full.

All at my expense.
 
#16
redleg6 said:
GoodIdeaAtTheTime said:
Toxicseagull said:
how will a jobless afford a flight to china?
Plenty of space on the container ships going back to the far east. :)
Reminds me of Auf Weidersehen Pet...can't find work in the UK...head abroad. Today, the solution is live off benefit for life.

That solution provides a comfortable lifestyle. Many on benefit enjoy an active social life, holiday abroad, wear the latest fashion, and keep the pubs full.

All at my expense.
Not for much longer.

The last report from the Office for National Statistics reckoned that one in three households get 'most or all' of their income from benefits. That's why the UK spends as much on welfare as on the NHS, education and defence combined!

No country can afford that. Broon's cunning plan to 'lift people out of poverty' by using the tax and benefits system for wealth redistribution has backfired spectacularly. As the blessed Maggie once said, 'The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.'

The incoming Tory government is going to have to slash and burn the welfare system. It will start with the removal of tax credits and child benefit for those in work.

There will be unrest when people are forced into jobs that they don't want. When the remainder have their benefits reduced to subsistence levels there will be riots.

Inevitably, there will be more riots if a more aggressive deportation regime is introduced for failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. They're already burning down asylum detention centres. God knows what it'll be like when the £4,000 'relocation grants' start drying up.

In short, it's going to be like the early 1980s for a while, but without Maggie. Is Dave man enough to step into Maggie's stilettos? I hope so.
 
#17
[/quote] The incoming Tory government is going to have to slash and burn the welfare system. It will start with the removal of tax credits and child benefit for those in work.
There will be unrest when people are forced into jobs that they don't want. When the remainder have their benefits reduced to subsistence levels there will be riots.
quote]

I know, and agree, that the benefits system has to be reviewed. It sounds great to stop paying scroungers to idle about. What would happen if their money dried up? Would "we" let people starve, go unclothed and homeless? The less savoury people would turn to crime to finance their lives. As ever it would be the honest who would suffer.
 
#18
The incoming Tory government is going to have to slash and burn the welfare system. It will start with the removal of tax credits and child benefit for those in work.
There will be unrest when people are forced into jobs that they don't want. When the remainder have their benefits reduced to subsistence levels there will be riots.
quote]

I know, and agree, that the benefits system has to be reviewed. It sounds great to stop paying scroungers to idle about. What would happen if their money dried up? Would "we" let people starve, go unclothed and homeless? The less savoury people would turn to crime to finance their lives. As ever it would be the honest who would suffer.[/quote]

It needs a severe review, many see it as a natural progression when they leave school, a handout for nothing.

There are quite a few jobs near me, taken by Poles because our native workforce do not want them.

National min wage, so they would rather sit around and watch TV or smoke their spliffs.

Why would they want to do an honest 40 hours and be about £40 better off per week ? Trouble is, those who have had previous generations unemployed know nothing else and having no skills, can only expect the nat min wage.

That is not likely to increase and the benefits are unlikely to decrease. The answer is to make those recieving benefits do something for it. Plenty of graffiti to be cleaned off buildings and litter to be picked up etc.
 
#19
carlbcfc said:
Why can't they higher the minimum wage so the employer takes the hit?
I suspect because this would have a 'knock-on' effect on the employment market. Higher wages, means higher costs for businesses. Unfortunately, an 'efficient' way of cutting costs usually involves cutting labour. Many businesses ought to be doing more, recruiting more staff, opening new premises where possible, offering discounts on products and services. Which seems to be happening but I'm not sure if every business is 'following suit'. Businesses are there to make profit, not to act as a charity. Despite the moral imperative placed upon them to act.
 
#20
A lot of the problem for young job seekers isn't that there isn't the work available, nor that it's the wrong type, much of the problem is down to how Labour have encouraged a Job Share environment so as to be able to massage the figures.

In particular this affects the retail sector more than others. So where before one person could have worked 38-40 hours a week in places like M&S, these days those same hours will be divided between 2 or 3 people. So although it has created more jobs, the reduction in available hours is where problems lay as people with a low skill base struggle to find gainful employment that gives them enough hours.
 

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