Friday, June 05, 2009

Purnell on the dole

Why testing the Welfare Reform on him is a good idea.

As of last night, James Purnell is without a job. As he made himself "voluntarily unemployed", chances are he won't be eligible for Jobseekers Allowance for up to 26 weeks.

But here are several reasons why the former Work and Pensions Secretary shouldn't worry.

First off, in his drawer there's still the £247 he got from the generous British taxpayer when he claimed for 3,000 fridge magnets. Also, according to some reports, Labour's former rising star "submitted rent claims of up to £2,020 each month – yet bank records prove that he paid only £910 every month". As he did that for 17 months on the trot, the dough he saved should cushion him nicely throughout this looming jobless period.

When the money runs out, however, Purnell will have to get his arse into gear. That may pose a problem or two as, like former minister Peter Kilfoyle pointed out, Purnell "has never done a proper job in his life", hopping from Blairite research units to parliamentary safe seats.

So he'd better remember that "a life on benefits is not an option" and that, "if [he doesn't] live up to expectation[s] then of course [he] can lose the benefits". Purnell will have to make a "fair contribution" for support, because "getting tough with benefit cheats is an important step" and "there should be no free-riding".

Purnell should also beware that the government will look into what he "can do", and "not what [he] can't". At three months and six months, he will "intensify his job search and have to comply with a 'back to work' action plan", which will include "mandatory full-time work programmes and other approaches such as daily signing".

And there's no being picky, Purnell. Work is work, so even if gum-scraping or weeding are the allocated task, you'll have to get on with it and do it. Cos remember what you said when you were at the DWP? "The longer a person is out of work the harder we will work for them".

Also, Jimmy, don't you talk bollocks at the interview or else the DWPs ‘lie detector’ trial will be unleashed and they may even want to question why you needed all those tacky fridge magnets in the first place.

But if you don't fancy all that humiliation, James, you can also join your mate and welfare reform adviser David Freud and defect to the Tories. You can bet it: you'd feel at home.


asquith said...
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asquith said...
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QT said...

Isn't he still an MP?

Patrick Gray said...

If he is then not for long as Labour will be lucky if they manage 10 seats at the next elections.
Purnell should be amongst the axed.

Madam Miaow said...

How about a fly-on-the-wall TV show following the freshly ousted Purnell as he attempts to survive on the dole?

Or will he walk straight into some company directorship not a million miles away from his former ministerial brief as so many of these creeps do? (Alan Milburn springs to mind.