IS THE RIGHT SHOOTING ITS SELF IN THE FOOT? They support benefit sanctions while they are employed but oppose them after an experience of unemployment

9 January 2018

IS THE RIGHT SHOOTING ITS SELF IN THE FOOT? 

Flavia Fossati, of the University of Lausanne, has researched public support for "demanding" active labour market policies (ALMP), as opposed to "enabling" ALMP taking into account national legacies. She draws the distinction between;

(a) the demanding legacy, which attributes individual responsibility to the jobless, curtails the duration and generosity of benefits and puts pressure on the unemployed, as in the UK, and the

(b) the enabling human capital based legacy, whose aim is primarily to match skills to the market with appropriate training and to avoid marginalisation of the unemployed, as in Denmark and Switzerland.

She finds that, while opposition to the demanding approach is strongest from the left wing of politics, unemployed right wing supporters are more strongly opposed to the demanding approach than employed right wing supporters.

She speculates that if unemployment offsets right wing ideological preferences lastingly then the popularity of demanding ALMPs should suffer in the long run particularly in those countries where youth and the middle classes are experience an increasing risk of unemployment.

Her research and speculation raises the question "Is the right shooting its self in the foot?"

Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

"Who wants demanding active labour market policies public attitudes towards policies that put pressure on the unemployed ​Published by the Journal of Social Policy. ​

AFTERTHOUGHT

The ALMP is thrust by national governments into the local context. Here in UK, in addition to an unreasonably demanding ALMP, we also suffer under zero hours contracts, council tax charged and enforced against inadequate Universal Credit, high rents of a housing crisis, housing benefit cuts, other debts & the inevitable and consequent mental stress and other illnesses. The context of the ALMP is far worse here in UK than in Europe.

 

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