"I was recently reading about some people who are currently unemployed and in receipt of more benefit than many full-time workers earn for a full-time job.
Now given the parlous state of the economy and the lack of work which pays above the minimum-wage level, I don't blame anyone who finds themselves unemployed through no fault of their own. However, I do blame the Government past and present for allowing any able-bodied person to receive unemployment benefit without being required to do some community work in return for at least three days labour in every five-day working week.
Fifty years ago, I arrived in Toronto, Canada in the bleak of winter. I was amazed to see how many men there were clearing the snow off the roads and highways during a time of high snow drifts in temperatures of minus 20 degrees. I later learned that over half of the workers were those who were claiming unemployment benefit and who were giving their time in repayment of government benefits; not voluntarily I would add, but nevertheless ungrudgingly! These benefit claimants worked alongside and among the regular government salaried road-maintenance workers and all wore the same indistinguishable uniforms. At the time, the Canadian Government argued that, 'Nobody of able-bodied means gets anything in return for doing nothing!' I also recall that the Canadian philosophy of the time believed that maintaining the work ethos of a man enabled one to maintain self-respect.
What a marvellous idea! I reckon that we could do with a dose of that rationale in our country today; don't you? 'Hey mate, don't drop your litter round here. It's not a circus! Get it bagged!'" William Forde: April 24th, 2014.