Labour re-announced their proposals for a ‘compulsory job guarantee’ today, along with their plans for funding it. I’ll ignore the funding proposals because they are just playing the nonsense ‘how will you pay for it’ game, but there were some extra details on how the programme will work in practice. It had previously been said that it would only be a one year programme, but now Labour say 5 years. Not all the details are in, but there are enough now to do a compare and contrast with Labour’s plans and what the real thing would look like. By real thing I of course mean the job guarantee as envisaged by MMTers. Apologies for the formatting of this table, but I’m crap at html!
|Labour’s Compulsory Job Guarantee||MMT Job Guarantee|
|Eligibility||18-24 year olds claiming JSA for over 1 year; Aged 25+ on JSA for over 2 years||Anyone willing and able to work|
|Compulsory?||Yes, possibility of having benefits sanctioned if refuse job||No|
|Choice of which type of work?||Unclear. Some element of choice likely||Yes. People would be offered work suitable to their skills and interests|
|Jobs where?||Private and non-profit sectors||Non-profit only|
|Pay||Current minimum wage||Living wage|
|Hours||25 hours per week||Flexible depending on circumstances. Full time and part time options|
|Duration||6 months||Indefinite – until the individual finds a regular job|
|Training included||Yes, but £500 cost cap||Yes|
|What type of work?||Unclear. If like Future Jobs Fund, could be a wide range||Very broad range|
To summarise then, I like the fact that Labour are acknowledging a need to create jobs, but dislike pretty much everything else about their plans. The pay’s too low, the hours too short, the private sector are involved (to what extent is still unclear), 6 months isn’t long enough, there are unnecessarily threatening undertones (sanctions!, compulsory!) and so on. It’s a start though I suppose.