IDS is being interviewed on World at One, so we'll see if he adds an clarification.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
"Offer" or "available"
There has been an interesting discussion on the Daily Politics programme about the proposed welfare reforms. It began with a brief clip of Iain Duncan Smith saying that the unemployed should take what work is available or face sanctions. Those of us with an interest in these matters recognise that this is a significant change. It could force people to, for instance, sign up with agencies for casual work simply because the agencies are prepared to take them on. Andrew Neil, whose knowledge is inferior to his pretensions, confused this with refusing a job "offer". The main participants in the discussion were Maria Miller MP, the new minister, and Yvette Cooper MP who, since Jim Knight lost his seat, is having to speak for Labour. Neil, typically belligerent, asked why Labour had left 6 million people of working age on benefits. Cooper pointed out that they were on benefit for different reasons. Miller was asked what was different about the coalition's proposals, and then Neil wilfully misunderstood her point about simplifying the benefit system. He then pushed the fact that IDS in opposition had said that the reforms would cost £3b. Two viewers' emails were read out; one asked where the jobs were going to come from; the other said that the minimum wage was not enough to live on.