En ny rapport viser at 6 millioner innbyggere i Storbritannia lever i hjem hvor ingen har arbeid og hvor velferdsytelser er blitt en livsstil. De offentlige kostnadene beløper seg årlig til nesten 13 millarder pund.

Hæren av familier som lever av overførsler fra det offentlige – som utgjør nesten en sjettedel av samtlige britiske husstander – er uberørte av Labour-regjeringens forsøk gjennom 10 år på å få dem i jobb. I 4 av 5 av de aktuelle husstandene er det ikke en gang noen som ser etter arbeid.

Richard Bacon, a Tory MP on the committee, which acts as a watchdog over public spending, said: «The Department for Work and Pensions does not know how many people are out of work by choice, rather than by chance.

«Properly targeted help must be put in place for those who want to work. Only then will the Government be able to flush out the shirkers who are sticking up two fingers at hard-working families and treating the benefit system like a cash machine.»

The committee’s report pointed out that the burden of worklessness is being borne by the country at a time when an expanding economy has produced record levels of employment. The proportion of working age people with jobs has reached a historic high of just under 75 per cent.

Samtidig viser offisielle statistikker over arbeidsledighet at det bare er cirka 800 000 arbeidsføre mennesker som står uten jobb. Imidlertid hoper bevisene seg opp for at millioner av britiske innbyggere er fornøyde med å tilbringe hele livet på velferdsytelser, mens 4 av 5 nye arbeidsplasser blir besatt av innvandrere.

Yesterday’s report said there are three million homes where no one works, nearly one in six of all households. They include 4.3million adults, excluding pensioners, and nearly 1.8million children.

They cost £12.7billion a year in benefits. Six out of ten workless families are concentrated in just 40 deprived districts of the country, it added.

Gordon Brown has hailed Labour’s New Deal schemes, and other welfare-to-work programmes, as a success – finding jobs for 1.8million people.

But the committee said that after ten years of such programmes, the Government still cannot say how many benefit claimants are jobless because they cannot work, and how many because they will not work.

Edward Leigh, Tory chairman of the committee, said: «If the Government is to achieve its aim of an employment rate of 80 per cent, then it has to help some 1.6million people who have been out of work for a long time find jobs.

«Many will be from households where no one works and benefits are a way of life.»

Forrige uke kom det også frem at 2 av 3 blant Storbritannias 2,64 millioner mottakere av uføretrygd i virkeligheten er arbeidsdyktige mennesker som bare ikke ønsker å jobbe. Uføretrygd foretrekkes imidlertid av mange fordi satsene er høyere enn regulær arbeidsledighetstrygd, og ikke innebærer noe press for å skaffe seg arbeid.

6 av 10 blant uføretrygdede har levd på trygd i mer enn 5 år.

Regjeringens programmer for å få folk i arbeid og derved minske de offentlige velferdskostnadene har ikke vært spesielt vellykkede:

It also found that only two New Deal schemes are producing more for the Treasury in saved benefits and taxes from people working than they cost to run. The New Deal for Lone Parents cost taxpayers £40 for everyone it found a job for in 2006, the MPs said.

The New Deal 25 Plus cost £360 per job and the New Deal for Young People cost £390 a job.

The most spectacular failure was the New Deal for Partners, aimed at finding jobs for the domestic partners of long-term benefits claimants.

In 2006, it found jobs for only 61 people at a cost to the taxpayer of £1,100 each.
The programme persuaded only one in three of those considered candidates for help to go to interviews about the possibility of getting a job. Only three in 100 joined the scheme and began looking for work.

Opposisjonen mener at rapporten er bekymringsfull, og at problemet er skapt av en velferdsstat som behandler folk som hjelpeløse ofre:

The Conservatives last night attacked the «worrying» figures, which were released by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Welfare expert Patricia Morgan said: «These people cannot work because they have incapacitated themselves.

«The problem is the state treats them as helpless victims. The welfare state was created with a moral view which would have been these people should not be paid for being self-indulgent.»

Daily Mail: Britain’s benefits generation: State handouts now a ‘way of life for six million’

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