The coalition government has unveiled plans to encourage the unemployed to find work, claiming that earning money in a job is “quite rewarding, actually”, and that welfare claimants “would benefit from giving work a go”.
Ahead of his speech later today, Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith revealed the extent of his radical shake-up of the UK’s “broken” welfare system, insisting that Britain needed “workers, not shirkers”, whilst unveiling the department’s compelling new soundbyte: “Jobs are fun – you should get one.”
Mr. Duncan Smith told reporters: “Britain needs to get out of its wheelchair and get back to work, the lazy bastard. It won’t be getting any sympathy from me, that’s for sure, and it will thank me in the long run for being honest. I mean, why on earth would anyone want to be on benefits when they could be working? Jobs are fantastically rewarding – especially the well-paid ones – and I can’t imagine why no-one would want to get one.”
In response to critics of Mr. Duncan Smith’s hard line approach, who accuse the MP of being out-of-touch with the lives of Britain’s welfare dependents, Mr. Duncan Smith said: “I myself have been unemployed, so I know whereof I speak. In fact, in the late 70s I found myself living on an estate outside Edinburgh, struggling to adjust to civilian life after leaving the Royal Scots guards. Although we had 200 acres of grounds, there was very little to do, so I decided I needed to get a job. Luckily, my father knew the chairman of General Electric, so I wasn’t out of work for too long. In fact, during my 6-weeks’ unemployment, it didn’t once cross my mind to claim benefits. I saw it as a sign of weakness and it definitely had something of a stigma attached to it among my peer group. Plus, my parents had set up a trust fund, so I was able to chip off that as much as I needed day-to-day.”
Mr. Duncan Smith added that he “thoroughly enjoyed” his time at General Electric and that it had set him “in good stead” for the rigours of the latter part of his working life as MP of Chingford & Woodford Green: “I loved my directorship at GE, but the time had come to move on and once Norman Tebbit retired I saw this as an opportunity to make it in politics, which was something I always wanted to do. I certainly didn’t think of joining the dole queue along with 3 million others at the time, as I’m not the sort of person who can live off £40 a week and sleep in all day. Instead, I filled in an application and was eventually selected as the Conservative candidate for C&W – an area I’d aspired to live in for several years. I knew I couldn’t afford to mope around, as I had a family to support and it was my job to provide for them – luckily, my Dad knew a couple of bigwigs in Tory HQ, so I was pretty much home and hosed come the election. I’ve not looked back since…”