Does workfare work?
George Osborne announced a ‘work for benefits’ scheme. ‘Workfare’ schemes have been attacked by the left. Do they work?
Wisconsin Works The introduction of the scheme, which obliges benefits claimants to accept community work placements, was followed by an 80 per cent reduction in welfare caseloads between 1990 and 2000.
Washington state’s WorkFirst programme, which obliged claimants to accept unpaid work placements, increased employment among participants by 13%. A similar scheme which offered paid work increased employment by 33%.
Ontario Works 56% of participants leaving the scheme found employment, two-thirds of them earning above the threshold which defines the ‘working poor’.
Australia’s Work off the Dole scheme coincided with a 68% rise in long-term unemployed between 1999 and 2004
Project Work This Conservative pilot scheme in the 1990s in Hull and Medway saw 3,100 out of 6,800 claimants decide to stop claiming out-of-work benefits.
Oh when the saints…
Popes John XXIII and John Paul I are to be canonised. Has the sainthood fallen victim to inflation? Canonisations by decade:
|2010s (to date)||20|
A deficit of surpluses
George Osborne promised to be running a budget surplus by 2020.
|Number of years since 1966 in which Treasury has run a surplus||7|
|Years with deficit over 2%||33|
|Years with deficit over 4%||17|
|Years with deficit over 6%||9|
This year the Treasury estimates that the deficit will fall from 8% to around 5%.
Using his loaves
David Cameron said he didn’t know the cost of a loaf of bread because he used a breadmaker. Is he saving any money?
|Cost of basic white loaf at Tesco||47p|
Cost of making basic white loaf in breadmaker:
|Milk, sugar, butter, salt||5p|
Cameron would have to make approximately 1,420 loaves before he recouped the cost of a £100 breadmaker.
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