Tuesday, 30 March 2010

What a good idea!

It's always nice when influential people agree with you. Today we learn that "the Local Democracy think tank LGiU has proposed a radical devolution of responsibility for back-to-work services from central government to local councils." See the egovmonitor site. Their report says that local councils are much better placed to understand the needs of their areas, and cites the Dutch model which rewards councils for cutting the benefits bill by getting people into work. The article ends: "The report argues that a large financial incentive would help mobilise all local authority services around the goal of helping people get jobs and keep them there. The money would be re-invested in local communities in ways that would further support opportunities for work, rather than at present under the Flexible New Deal, where it is absorbed by private profit. It is a self-financing scheme for local investment, aimed at both tackling the human tragedy of long-term worklessness and restoring public finances."
It's common sense, really. I wonder why no one in government or opposition is listening.


  1. never thought i would see common sense and government in the same sentence

  2. A good idea in principle. How about utilising local colleges and universities to provide PROPER training.

    The problem however, is that firstly, there are too many vested interests. I guess private W2W providers would fight tooth and nail to keep this industry alive. Just look at the way some of them esp *** try to silence critics. Govt is far too close to these providers also.

    Secondly, for the past 30 years local councils have been offloading many of their services onto the private sector. Thatcher's Tories forced them to put various services out to tender. New Labour has simply continued this trend. As would Camerons's Tories if given the chance. So I can't see local councils actually taking over something what is already in the private domain as long as New Labour and the Tories are so ideologically wedded to wholesale privatisation.

  3. But, imatt, the local authorities have been taking on a lot of functions in regard to job-finding and training provision, together with local employers and voluntary organisations. It tends to be in the early months of unemployment, with the private sector dealing with the longer-term jobless. This report suggests that it makes sense to leave it with the local councils and give them the funding to do it.

  4. I can't believe the government didn't try this first. Seems obvious to anyone with a modicum of common sense especially where taxpayers money is concerned.


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