We can see clearly the confusion in the government's thinking over the unemployed, particularly over Mandatory Work Activity. On the one hand, it is supposed to help people back into the discipline of work and give them experience useful in securing a job. On the other hand, it is ensuring that people don't get benefits without having to work for them. Is this work experience or community service?
The piece also highlights the inevitability of employer exploitation. With a pool of free labour to draw on, some employers who want only unskilled labour will happily cut their wage bill even further.