The Government, will today announce a scheme whereby if a company takes on someone who has been unemployed for six months or more, JobCentres will be able to give a £2500 “golden hello” to that employer.
Last November, in his pre-budget speech, Chancellor Darling set aside £1billion of cash to assist businesses in the economic downturn. This latest “Golden Hello” initiative will eat up £400million of that fund.
But the strange thing is that, of the nearly three million unemployed in the country, there are 262,000 who have been out of work for six months or more. If this incentive works and they all find work, the cost of “Golden Hellos” will run to £655million – nearly 75% more than the Government has allocated.
If the scheme is so compelling, why hasn’t it been fully funded? And since the Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell has also announced that he will be keeping open twenty five Job Centres previously earmarked for closure, and taking on 4000 extra staff, why don’t they offer those positions to long-term unemployed, who would have a much better understanding of what it’s like not to have a job?
Just doesn’t sound thought through to me…