Wednesday, December 10, 2008

1834 and all that

The passing of the New Poor Law Amendment Act did more to sour the hearts of the labouring population, than did the privations consequent on all the actual poverty of the land. Rightly, or wrongly, may be a subject of discussion, but the fact is undeniable, that the labourers of England believed that the new poor law was a law to punish poverty; and the effects of that belief were, to sap the loyalty of the working men, to make them dislike the country of their birth, to brood over their wrongs, to cherish feelings of revenge, and to hate the rich of the land.

Samuel Kydd - shoemaker in the 1830's writing in1857.
James Purnell has announced his new welfare reform white paper. The Tories describe the proposals as "almost identical" to their own.
Unveiling the plans in the Commons, Purnell said that most people on incapacity benefit would be required to attend job interviews and the unemployed would be expected to do four weeks' full-time activity after a year out of work. Pilot schemes would require them to work full time for their benefits after two years.
(Surely some mistake here, if they are working full-time aren't they wages not benefits and why aren't they going to be paid the minimum wage?)

Come back less eligibility, all is forgiven.

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