etc // scared of commies

Single parents soothed into jobs with massages on the taxpayer

There's dumb, and then there's this kind of dumb.

The government is paying for unemployed single parents to have massages, beauty treatments and shopping sprees to “boost their confidence” and encourage them to attend job centre appointments.

The treats, part of a programme named Big Brother after the television show, include £30 to spend on a day out, as well as lunch and childcare.

The scheme is being offered in the northeast, Greater Manchester and Hereford and Worcester. It is open to single parents over 18 who have been unemployed or on disability benefit for six months; 1,000 women and some men are believed to have taken it up.

A brochure describes it as a “free two-week scheme that will boost your self-esteem and supercharge your confidence”. Organisers said it would be “nice” if participants found work, but this was not vital.

A man from Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, whose teenage daughter works at a salon involved in the scheme, said: “She was baffled when she was told these women were getting treatment for nothing. They had their make-up done, they had facials, they had their nails filed and some even had their ears pierced.

“My daughter doesn’t get a penny from the government and will earn less than these single mothers get in benefits. What message does this send out?”

How about a message of, "let's go get knocked up and suck on the government teat"?

News of Big Brother, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the European Union, follows last week’s announcement by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown of a programme to push benefits claimants into work.

Big Brother’s name was chosen not just because of the programme, but also because it was designed to offer the support a brother would offer a younger sister. The programme is said to have hit its target of getting 40% of clients in the Manchester area into jobs. In the northeast, the aim is to persuade parents to “engage” with job centres and an 88% success rate is being claimed.

Steve Munzer, head of marketing at the training consultants Inspire 2 Independence, which runs the programme on a contract with the DWP, said: “Some of these women really lack confidence. They are taken shopping to buy interview clothes, treated to a stress-relieving massage and sometimes a facial. If you can help them to feel better about themselves, then it can’t be bad. It’s nice if they find work but success is not necessarily judged on that.”

WTF is wrong with people?
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They've realized they created a cushy couch instead of a "safety net" and now they are too embarrassed to admit it. So they hope to get people to go back to work before anyone notices...using the same kind of silly ideas.

If you had a child that refused to do their chores, would you reward them with a day at a theme park? Heck no, you'd spank them and ground them.
I work with unemployed young people every day and the reality is that many, mnay of them lack self confidence. This is often seen as not going for interviews arranged. We are currently looking at new programmes with new ways of working with them, One of the things I want to see incorporated is something similar to image consultancy plus using drama to increase people's confidence. Imagine you've been told you are rubbish in school, perhaps you have parents who constantly put you down, you have never engaged in activities which give you confidence about yourself... now go to this job interview and sell yourself! I imagine there are people who are hard core unemployed and who don't want jobs but others just need imaginative support, advice and guidance.
Like I said below, those people need counseling more than they need a facial and pierced ears. And it's still, IMO, not a job for the government. But at least it's not my taxes ;)
"let's go get knocked up and suck on the government teat"?


Yes every young girl dreams of getting pregnant and living off of £80 a week to support herself her child!

Sounds awesome!! I wouldn't be able to live on that for just me never mind with a kid.


Well that raises an interesting point -- do you think that the government should give single moms enough money to support themselves and their child?

I ask because I'm curious ;)
This is a hard question because of the 2 kinds of single mother I know (knew, one isn't single now)

SH had a partner they had a son, then he killed himself. She put him in daycare, went to college struggled financially and emotionally for years but now she is a social worker helping other families going thru problems. She went through a lot and I was very proud of her.

SJ had a partner, they had a few kids then he decided that he would rather take drugs all day rather than work and support them. She went onto benefits and was very happy to take money from him and his family without declaring it (thats ilegal and the only way she did manage to live off the little amount of money) and had no plans to ever better herself or do anything positive for her kids. (she has a husband now who pays for everything)

SH would have taken any financial support/incentives and put them to good use SJ would have taken them for the sake of taking them and then not looked for work/done a course.

Then there’s the talk show mums who have 10 + kids and stay on state benefits pretty much all their lives!

I've heard it suggested that single mums should only get benefits till the first child is 5 (school starting age) and then if they do not enter work they should get a reduced rate. And I think there should be a limit on how many children you can claim for, Anyone who has 8 children and thinks that the tax payer should support them is taking the piss!

So yes I do think that single mothers should be given money/support in the early years to help them get back on their feet and into education/work. The job centre have always given money to the unemployed (parents or not) to get interview clothes and a haircut when needed, that’s not new, it's not just lone parents either anyone can walk into the job centre and have an advisor basically hold their hand till they have a job, give them interview tips things like that.

There need to be changes to help people like SH who truly don’t have anybody to fall back on and are trying to get to a better place and there needs to be more protection against the talk show mums and peeps like SJ who do have other money and support.

Oh and the idiots on drugs spending their benefit money on smack instead of their children? They should be taken out back and shot in the face.
Sigh. Where can I sign up? I've plenty of confidence but I've never had a massage/facial. And I haven't had "new" clothes in a decade, unless you mean "new from the secondhand store."

Honestly, if someone has massive self-esteem issues, a facial and a new dress will not cure that. Sounds like someone in Merry Old England took "Pretty Woman" a little bit too literally.

Honestly, if someone has massive self-esteem issues, a facial and a new dress will not cure that.

Exactly what I was thinking. It would make more sense for them to invest the money in some counseling.

Now that I think about it, I've never had a facial either!