Brits to Jobless: Volunteer or Lose Benefits

Goal: 'End the habit of worklessness'
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Nov 7, 2010 6:13 AM CST
In this Oct. 5, 2010 file photo, unemployed workers fill out applications during a job fair in Rockford, Ill.   (AP Photo/Jim Prisching, file)

(Newser) – Unemployed Britons may have to volunteer full-time for a month in order to keep their benefits. The plan, to be unveiled this week, is part of a massive overhaul of the country's $300 billion welfare program, notes the Guardian. The goal, says a government source, is to "end the habit of worklessness." "This is all about getting them back into a working routine which, in turn, makes them a much more appealing prospect."

Some 5 million people in the UK are currently claiming unemployment benefits, with 1.4 million claiming for 9 out of the last 10 years, notes the Telegraph. The country has the highest rate of jobless households in the EU. The plan is opposed by some charity groups who worry the new plans may push people into poverty. (Click here to read about a US charity that paid a UK addicts to get a vasectomy.)

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