by Jonathan Rothwell

The trouble with Workfare

Here’s a list of companies taking part in Workfare, but I feel that directing vitriol towards Tesco in particular (or any of these companies in particular) is misguided. This has been going on for a while: [remember Cait Reilly, the woman who was told to work for Poundland, effectively for free, or lose her benefits?]( “Why the government was wrong to make me work in Poundland for free Cait Reilly Comment is free The Guardian”)

Arguably, yes, these people are being paid for their work in the form of their benefits (if we’re to entertain the Daily Mail reader argument.) However, they’re being paid by the Government. Not by the company that’s benefiting from the employment–they’re being paid by the taxpayer. We are, effectively, subsidising companies.

If the Job Centre is going to force people to work full time, then they should be being paid as an employee by the employer, not by the taxpayer. It galls me, as a taxypayer, that my money is being used to provide companies with state-subsidised labour.