I know, it’s not a cure all, but it does serve as a means to chip away at the welfare state mentality. It’s a necessary move, no matter how small, in delivering a message, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Proposals to introduce a work requirement for people in receipt of social benefits have been developed by Antti Parpo, head of the city of Rauma’s social and health services, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
The declared goal is to make it easier for unemployed people to participate in society.
“Activity pays off better than passivity,” says Parpo.
The work requirement could in some cases amount to just a few hours each day, but the principle is that people should be required to work if they receive benefits. If welfare clients refuse to participate, however, they could face sanctions. A 20-30 percent cut in the labour market allowance would equate to a 140-210 euro drop in monthly income.
The proposal is to be fleshed out over the autumn, with legislative changes, funding and manpower required to make the proposed system a reality.
“It is a question of will,” says Parpo. “If we want, this will succeed, if we don’t, then it could get kicked into the long grass.”