Government should keep "back-to-work" scheme

Mark Littlewood speaks to BBC R4's PM

Following the Court of Appeal ruling that back-to-work schemes breach forced labour laws, the Government has brought in new rules to allow the schemes to continue. Mark Littlewood appeared on Radio 4 to discuss the issue.

"It does seem that the government has drafted its regulations in a way that there are loopholes in them and they need to tighten those up," argued Mr Littlewood, leaning in favour of the schemes.

He went on to state that there should be two main principles behind the welfare state:

  1. If you are able-bodied and can give somthing back to the community, you should;
  2. Schemes should be in place to encourage people to develop skills and a sense of work and discipline.

Mark Littlewood argued that there should be safeguards in place to ensure that properly paid shelf-stackers, for example, aren't sacked in favour of jobseekers.

"The job that needs doing might not be worth minimum wage," Mr Littlewood also argued.

Corporations pay large amounts of tax towards the welfare state so should therefore be able to provide these schemes which can help the unemployed get into full-paid employment.

In principle the government should stick to its course.

Listen to the full programme here. Segment begins at 47.45.

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