Labour ministry: Just one meal a day for inactive unemployed

The Ministry of Labour wants to introduce an almost Thatcherite system on the unemployed, which will target those people who are not ‘getting on their bike’ enough to find a job.

Overcrowded unemployment office

Labour ministry state secretary, Lucia Nicholsonova, announced the news on Friday that the ministry wants to set the level of unemployment benefits according to how hard people are trying to find a job and if they take part in community service work.

Those who are not interested in doing the community work will only receive the minimum sustenance benefit, which Nicholsonova referred to as the ‘solidarity’ part of benefits. She pointed out that the current system does not motivate certain people even to look for a job, as they are just as well off as families in the same position that work on a low wage.

Such a claim may not be entirely true, though, as the example used by the ministry talks about families with five or more children at school, something that is not so common these days. Furthermore, according to figures quoted by TASR newswire, benefits for such a family come to around EUR 212 a month, whereas the minimum gross wage at present is EUR 317.

The ‘solidarity’ benefit is to be set according to the most essential requirement, which means just one warm meal a day, according to Nicholsonova. All the unemployed will be entitled to this minimum benefit, while only those who can prove they are actively seeking work or who take part in community service will be granted the rest of the benefits.

The changes to the benefits system should be dealt with by the government in August, but the latest plans are already meeting with opposition from the other bench in parliament. Tackling the issue of unemployed is a tough call in every country, and finding the right balance is never easy, but the latest plan could have some pretty harsh backlashes in the end.

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