A Return to the Workhouse?

I was asked just this question today by one of the commenters on my blog, and a similar comment was made on the article Jayne cites by Johnny Void. I really think this is a distinct possibility. Under the workhouse system, inmates were made to do humiliating, soul-destroying work like picking oakum to caulk ship’s timbers. This is a government that loves workfare and is seeking to expand it at every turn. I honestly don’t think we should be surprised if the next move is to demand that the claimants in hostels perform voluntary work there for their benefits. If they are not already required to do. In that case, those hostels will indeed have been transformed into a new workhouse system.


Almost a year ago I wrote about a report on residential training provision, and remarked that the proposals therein, called to mind a Dickensian view of the Workhouse.

Today I read two articles discussing changes to Jobseekers Allowance, due to come into force next month for Homeless people; according to Inside HousingUnder the new rules, Job Centre Plus advisors will be given the discretionary power to exempt rough sleepers and those in supported accommodation from looking for work“, this will however be subject to “claimants will have to prove they are taking reasonable action to find accommodation“.  The writer appears to view these new amendments as a positive move, offering quotes from Homeless Link and St Mungo’s Broadway, both announcing these changes as, the Government recognising the extra barriers Homeless people experience when seeking work and acting upon them.

The second post from Johnny Void was…

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