A letter a day to number 10. No 1,092
Thursday 21 May 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
You can call compulsory community work for 30 hours a week for £1.91 per hour many things but what you cannot call it is employment.
Among the many things it can be called are, exploitation, forced labour, slavery, taking the mickey, undermining the minimum wage, breaking the law, sneering at youth and treating them with contempt. I assume by compulsory you mean under the threat of a sanction and the loss of all support.
The law states that: “Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding. The worker is still entitled to the minimum wage”, which includes trainees and workers on probation. I don’t know contract law but I assume that signing on is a contractual agreement of some kind especially if a ‘Claimant Commitment agreement’ has been signed which all claimants are now obliged to do.
Forcing young people into compulsory community work for a “Youth Allowance” is not under any circumstances a way to “effectively abolish long-term youth unemployment”.
There is no job creation and they aren’t doing a job, they are just being exploited and oppressed for a mere pittance by a government that doesn’t even stay within the constraints of the law.
No youth under such a regime can learn to value their own labour, or learn self respect, or aspire to anything other than an end to their miserable exploitation by a government that treats them with disdain and contempt.
An hours sacrifice of their labour wouldn’t even buy them a McDonalds Happy Meal to drown their sorrows in.
Welcome to the Victorian Tory Britain of 2015 and still the worst government in UK history.