Things are getting quite exciting…. we really don’t know who is going to win the Rayleigh seats
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Nothing to do with local politics and didn’t know where to post this message but…
I found this on the main LibDem website today:
“Liberal Democrats launch radical plans to combat poverty and inequality
Replacing Job Centre Plus with a new ‘First Steps’ agency to be a single one-stop-shop for all benefit and tax credit claims, while outsourcing properly funded employment support to the private and voluntary sector.
I just wondered what other people thought about outsourcing employment support to the private and voluntary sector and thereby divorcing it from benefit claims? Personally I don’t like the sound of it.
Spero nos familiares mansuros
This is part of a BIG policy document form the Lib Dems today – I’ll do a post on this over the weekend. It covers lots of stuff, including housing – with the concept of community land auctions (which might interest Mike Nobes!)
From what I can see reading quickly . the policy document essentially separates the ’employment agency ‘ part of a jobcentre from the ‘benefits’ part – just as it was about 27 years ago when I used to visit the jobcentre in Rayleigh High St and the benefits office up London Hill.
Once separated, the idea seems to be to privatise the employment agency part. Now, I’ve no ideological objection to that (I don’t put jobcentres into the same categories as NHS hospitals, schools and air traffic control). However i don’t have any recent experience of jobcentres to base an opinion on practical issues. I don’t know what anybody else thinks…
I was looking for a job recently and can commend the current arrangements with the Job Centre Plus.
They got me a temporary local job earning £21.50/hr on 12hr day 6 days a week however the bus service ( the one that does not take you to Basildon and does not cater for travel start times to a serious job or get you back again in the evening) made this impossible and I had to resort to cycling 9 miles morning and 9 miles in the evening which was not sustainable.
I was also using a number of internet agencies where I eventually got a full time job. But the Job Centre plus will not be improved by going private. It is doing well and there is adequate competition out there already as an alternative.
The Benefits Agency is a different matter. I did not qualify for benefits except job seekers allowance and then only for a few weeks however in this period they appear to have lost two letters and sent out some incomprehensible documents. After a letter to advise my claim had finished they sent a letter of four pages stating that I could continue until christmas. It is as well I did not need to depend on them. I was certainly left with a feeling of unease that the tax I pay was being squandered.
I believe there is a serious case to privatise the Benefits side but fear the biggest problem is with Central Government at a higher level so Please can we also Privatise and Them.
do you seriously believe that privatisation of the administration of the benefits system will improve it? Whilst it is right and proper for any government to do all that is necessary to iron out needless bureaucracy, how can a system charged with the handling of benefits to the most needy in society be handed over to a profit-driven enterprise?
As for privatising central government, one only has to look at the worst excesses of the Republican Party to see what that can lead to.
Competition between the two systems is to be encouraged. It can improve both, then choose the best.
I’ve linked this thread to http://essexmoonlight.blogspot.com. We may get some other Lib Dem visitors who can explain the Lib Dem strategy better than I can!