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According to the employment minister Chris Grayling many benefit claimants were working in black economy and were opting to forfeit their benefits.

Date: (13 June 2012)    |    

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The official figures show that half of the jobless people who were told to do unpaid work were ready to forfeit their benefits than forego their undeclared earnings.
The minister told the Mail that he sat through an interview with a young man in a job centre who was working for a few hours a week below the benefit threshold. He was working in a night club and had missed the previous weeks signing on interview and when told that he was going to lose weeks benefits he just shrugged.
Somebody with no other means of income would not just shrug on losing a weeks money unless he had other means to support him. But proving it was easier said than done.
That was one important reason why the month long full-time activity was introduced in the community for jobseekers who were clearly not pulling their weight, or working in the black market.
Official figures show that 29 per cent had let goes on jobseeker’s allowance rather than turn up for unpaid work. A further 17 per cent failed to start their placement and lose their benefits in consequence.
The analysis covered 3,190 people in May, June and July last year
and it was a known fact that there were people out there who were working on the quiet while on benefits added Mr Grayling.
In 2010/11, people who were working while pretending to be unemployed in order to claim benefits cost the taxpayer an estimated £243million, including £94million in jobseeker’s allowance.’
Ministers have announced a major expansion of the scheme, dubbed slave labour by Opposition MPs that will mean as many as 70,000 people a year can be referred to a mandatory work activity.
The system of sanctions is also being tightened to make sure people cannot simply sign off benefits and sign on again a few weeks later in order to avoid their placement.
Mr Grayling said that he had met people who freely admitted to having been weak and lazy, but who have found a working environment to be enjoyable and rewarding, and have started to take the whole job search process seriously as a result.
The less people do while they are unemployed, the more remote they become from the workplace. Sometimes it is because they are lazy and don’t care.

 

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