Duncan Smith’s plan to get millions of people back into work by changing the benefits system is bold – but he has his work cut out if he wants to break the current culture that exists in this country.The challenge will be getting the message across to the people exploiting the system. Maybe Duncan Smith should get a slot on Trisha or Jeremy Kyle’s show! In many cases, it is less financially rewarding for people to give up their benefits and go out to work. Duncan Smith needs to be harsh and cut allowances dramatically to encourage people to find work. But it’s about more than the cash; it’s also about the comfort blanket that surrounds those on benefits, which has created an expectation of hand-outs spanning several generations of families. Put it this way, if a bloke works hard all of his life then, chances are, his children will follow suit. If, instead, he sits at home on his backside all day playing video games, then what hope have his kids got? This cycle has got to be broken and now is the time for change. In my eyes, no work should mean no benefits. If people are capable of work, then that’s what they should be doing. If there is no work available, then they should take part in community projects or apprenticeship schemes. The best thing I ever did was a plumbing apprenticeship at the age of 15 and since then I have never been out of work. Incentivising entrepreneurs to use these people in their businesses would have a positive knock-on effect on the economy and the rest of the country. This is the way forward to reform Britain’s lazy culture. I was also encouraged to hear Duncan Smith’s plans to remove the statutory retirement age. Anyone who knows anything about me and my business will know I love employing older workers. In fact, 20 per cent of my workforce is over 55. The steady hand they bring to the working environment is undeniable, as is their ability to pass on skills and knowledge to other members of the team.
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