Welfare-to-work programme 'worse than doing nothing'

Mark Littlewood speaks to The World Tonight

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight, Mark Littlewood argued that the government’s welfare-to-work programme has been, more or less, a waste of money.

Responding to disappointing employment figures, Mark Littlewood said that whilst this was a well intentioned programme, it was too bureaucratic, overly micro-managed and ignored the real, underlying problems.

The fundamental problem with motivating people to find work is that the welfare system disincentivises employment. It is possible that by working and paying tax, you would be worse off than receiving government benefits, Mark Littlewood said.

Only by changing the incentives to work will there be a significant increase in welfare-to-work success. Rather than the welfare-to-work programme, the government should look at community workfare programmes, Littlewood suggested, that find work in the community for able-bodied people on welfare. A programme like this worked very well in Wisconsin, with many people finding employment in the private sector.

Listen to the full interview here. Segment starts at 10.08.