Breaking the ‘culture of dependency’?

November 11, 2010, 12:56 AM GMT+0

Government plans to make the long term unemployed take part in compulsory work placements have received a high level of support from the British public, with a significant majority also thinking that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is wrong to condemn the proposals.

Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke out against this move to express worry that it will put the wrong kind of pressure on people, driving them ‘further into a downwards spiral of uncertainty, even despair’.

Williams told the BBC that this reform to the law appeared to be punishing people unfairly, saying, ‘People are often in this starting place not because they are wicked or stupid or lazy, but because circumstances have been against them. To drive that spiral deeper does seem a great problem.’

Planned placements

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will be outlining his vision for the future of Brits on Jobseeker’s Allowance later this week. His idea is for those who have been out of work for a certain amount of time to undertake four week placements (during which they have to work 30 hours a week) to get them used to having a full-time job. Duncan Smith believes that this will break what he sees as the ‘culture of dependency’ rife in Britain.

The work placements will probably take place with charities, councils and private companies, and those who refuse to undertake them will have their Jobseeker’s Allowance stopped for three months or longer.

There have been critics of this plan, including the Archbishop of Canterbury (left), but as our survey has revealed a sizeable majority of the nation will be standing behind the Government on this issue.

See the survey details and full results