'Work for your benefits' plan to be launched

LONG-TERM benefit claimants who are fit to work will be forced into compulsory unpaid jobs as part of a radical new States initiative.

Social Security, which is launching the mandatory scheme this year, warned that anyone who fails to comply without good cause would face a reduction or suspension of their benefit payments.

The department is also seeking to change legislation to extend the scheme to other islanders in receipt of payments, such as people recovering from long-term sickness.

Social Security minister Allister Langlois said the new placements would be unwaged, but the claimant’s benefits would remain in place throughout.

Deputy Langlois stressed that people who participated fully in the Job Centre and met the department’s requirements, would not necessarily be expected to take a placement.

It was aimed particularly at people who have remained unemployed for at least six months or where re-engagement with the workplace was considered a priority, he said.

Comments for: "'Work for your benefits' plan to be launched"


Glad they are doing something about this, but as the old saying goes "I'll believe it when I see it"


I hope that this philosophy will also be applied to all States members!

Laurie Queripel

RP (and a few others who have posted similar comments)

I tried to resist responding to your post(s) but I can't!

Just to qualify the comments that follow, I am not complaining, please be assured of that.

I worked for over 25 years, self employed, within the construction industry. More often than not, I did more than the typical 40 hour week - that is still the case in my new job.

I have spent a large chunk of the weekend reading, scrutinising a large pack of papers in preparation for meetings in the coming week. I am working my way through the Billet for the January States meeting. I have a constant churn of constituency cases, all of which provoke phone calls, letters, emails, meetings etc.

I believe that part of my job is to hold the States to account (ask questions. put forward policy ideas and so on), hence the origins of this article.

If one is serious about standing for election it entails probably spending at least a thousand pounds of ones own money, walking miles a day for about a fortnight, knocking on thousands of doors and having intense conversations with hundreds of Parishioners. Generally speaking, people who intend to do nothing do not pursue this course.

I accept that everyone is entitled to their opinion.

In any case,very best wishes to All for 2014.


An excellent plan, but why are they saying that the work will be unpaid, people will still be in receipt of their benefits and would also be contributing to the island, a win win situation as far as I see it.

As long as there is provision to still be able to seek alternative employment elsewhere, time off for interviews etc then no one can have any complaints with being made to earn their benefits.

Blondie Brown

One question - what is this work? All very well and good to have headlines like this, but what about the practicalities.

The UK government do it all the time. Announce a headline but fail to think about how something will be implemented.


Yep, whos going to get the free labour? Or will they be paying?

Praise the lord

At last a common sense policy from the States. There is a huge amount of possible jobs to be undertaken (tidying up cliff paths, clearing leaves from payments, beach clean ups etc) and there's no reason why benefits claimants shouldn't be asked to help with these tasks, all of which are very worthwhile to the community.

Island Wide Voting

Allister Langlois for CM and Laurie Queripel for DCM for asking the questions

Work suggestions? Kidnap Yvonne Burford and Barry Brehaut and hold them in-cognito until about May or June

Ginny mac

Welldone to the states at last they are doing something that makes perfect sense. Thank you (:


I fail to see what is so revolutionary about this scheme when the CEPS (Community and Environment Project Scheme) tried to achieve the same aims. The only difference would be if the scope of the works was to encompass more 'public' schemes or those involving work of benefit to individuals or other States Departments.

As Blondie says, lets see some details on the practicalities of making this work before getting too excited.

Ted Drillot Legend

Is he referring to states members?

Grumpy Old Guern

How the rich like to put the poor in their place!

Praise the lord

Hardly the "rich" GOG, more like those who pay their way through hard work and begrudge subsidising those who don't.

Herbert Roth

I agree with most of the comments on here. At last a sound policy from the States that could be a win win for all involved (including us tax payers). And it is not unwaged, it just means people will be asked to actually do something for the money they are given. I look forward to hearing how it is to be implemented - perhaps the Gsy Press could write a series of articles about it, documenting the scheme's progress to success (or failure)?

are but yes a

They have the same problem in the uk with the 650 members in parliament.

Project Proteus

I'm with you on that note. How the better off like to feel as though they're bettering themselves, whilst kicking the less well off further down the ladder.



Out the rest, or you'll be carrying the can!

This appears to be payback. For what?

Only the chosen few will have the answers!

There will never be any though.


Project Proteus

But this is detracting from my goal, as well as the solution, though?



Think of the bigger picture.


Project Proteus

We all have to be in it to win it!


At no fault of my own I lost my job 3 month ago and I am now 49 years old, I have applied for over 70 jobs and heard back from 3 applications, I have worked all of my adult life and never claimed a days sickness from the states, paid my taxes and never received a rebate, if I am chosen for this scheme I will contribute £141 work per week and not a penny's worth more. Maybe all states members should be forced to live on £141 per week for a while before being asked to consider this plan.

I want to work and I am bored without employment, I would consider any job for a reasonable wage but to force people to work for £20.80 per day is disgusting.

For all you folk who have commented, saying it's about time and so on, remember your comments if you are ever put in this situation.



Vinnie, I feel your pain, but fact is there is a persistent group of able bodied non workers who've scrounged off the benny for years, people who you may well have complained about yourself, and at last it's been acknowledged that something has to be done about them....

oh, and on the positive side, at least you won't be bored any more.

Brilliant idea. Best I've heard coming from a politician in YEARS.

Bring it on.



I want to thank you for demonstrating long term unemployment does not necessarily equal laziness or reluctance to work.

We now have the highest unemployment levels since the 90s. [Inserts party line of how its still good compared to other jurisdictions]. We have had many business relocate or close down here over time and naturally this increases the numbers of looking for work.

I think it's important that no-one taking part of the scheme should be judged by others. It shouldn't be about that. It should be about removing the stigma surrounding a long term employed person instead of reinforcing it. This can be an incredibly positive project where people give back to the community that supports them whilst they go through rough personal times.

For some people it will be about getting back confidence in their ability to work. For the long term employed mental barriers are a hurdle as they may feel they are not good enough to carry out certain jobs and the awful process of applying for jobs and not hearing back perversely acts as evidence of their sentiments.

Some people also do not have a strong employment record due to age or other reasons. A potential employer wants evidence a person can and will work regularly and this scheme will prove it.

The scheme will also help demonstrate an individual has transferable skills that can be of benefit to an employer. It gives them a port of call for a reference and it can gives them a chance to maintain their skills or grow them as they enter work placements that are outside of what they are usually involved in.

For some people this scheme will even provide social interaction which will help them feel part of the community and not isolated.

I do not know your personal position or what you have done in the past but I hope you are being fully supported in finding work by the States. I hope they have talked about the possibility of retraining for you if that suits your circumstances or maybe even encouraged you in becoming your own boss in a field you are passionate about. If you have the time to respond I would love to hear about how the experience has been for you and what you have been offered in the way of help. We need to know what we can better and what is there that works well.

I hope you find work soon but if in three more months time nothing comes up it looks like you will be part of the scheme. You will be most likely be paired with a third sector or community based organisation. With a long time in employment you have a lot to offer these placements who could do with your expertise and work ethic. You could do some real good rewarding work for the community and the teams you will be potentially working with.


While I might agree that living with the daily adversity of insufficient income, inadequate housing, seeing yourself and children exploited and excluded by society and then forced to do mind numbing work, is character building stuff. However to suggest it is good for a persons self esteem is one rightwing delusion too many. Pay a living wage or it is simply exploitation no matter how you try to spin it.


How on earth is making someone contribute in return for their benefits exploitation?! They don't have to accept the benefits if they don't want them. I'd be delighted if they didn't...



Using Vinnie's example above were he required to provide labour at £12 per hour for 12 hours, he probably would not feel too exploited. However to expect him to provide labour for 35 or 40 hours for his £141 at below minimum wage is gross exploitation of his unfortunate circumstance.



I have no idea how to respond to that. I've looked at the merits of the scheme not where I think it sits on the political compass or where others percieve it to sit on the compass. Also this is about having someone who is long term unemployed work - not exploiting their children or providing them with inadequate housing. That's not related.

You can dismiss the benefits it will provide all your like but it doesn't change the fact that this is a positive scheme for many people if viewed the right way. The benefits I have mentioned do exist and users of schemes elsewhere do verify this is the case.

Other people have had completely different life expereinces. Have you considered how daunting and intimidating work can be for people who have been out the labour market for a long time due to having children/health reasons etc? Have you ever spoken to them about their view points?

I'm completely ok with what I have said. If I were in these shoes I would make the most of it and to be frank if I had been unemployed for six months I don't see what it would hurt. The welfare system is there as a safety net. There is a social contract underlying that and I don't think it hurts to do some community work in return.

To infer it as mind numbing work when Vinnie is likely matched to a charity or community project is somewhat incorrect in my view as well. These organisations usually have small personnel numbers and the jobs are usually varied to make up for this.



You have looked at the scheme from where you sit on the political compass, don't dismiss my opinions as being less factual than yours simply because they are different. I suspect that you are the one who has had the very different life experiences than those that you would inflict this scheme on. However denial is the first step on the road to enlightenment.

One question in your opinion is Vinnie entitled to expect a proper return for his efforts or not?

Laurie Queripel

Hi Vince

I have great sympathy with the points you make.

Unfortunately the Press didn't have enough room to include all my comments in response to the answers I received from SSD.

I pointed out that I wasn't looking to promulgate the stereotype of people lying in bed looking for work, in all probability there are few doing that. However, even just a few is too many.

I look forward to seeing the details of the departments mandatory work scheme but I agree with you, people should not be exploited.

When I put forward the idea of reintroducing the Relief Scheme I imagined it would work along the lines of the CEPS initiative but provide employment, albeit relatively short term, for larger numbers.

One only has to look around to see that there is so much that could be done. Green and small lanes do not get the attention they once did. Across the Island, including the Town area, there are weeds/grass growing in walls, though cracks in pavements/roads/kerbs potentially undermining the integrity of important infrastructure. Undertaking these tasks would not only improve the look of neglect that is becoming apparent but possibly help to avoid more costly maintenance bills in the future.

As I pointed out in the article, when I was made redundant in the early 1980s I was pleased to be assigned Relief Work as it kept me in 'work trim' as it were. Even for the most willing and best intended of us, it's very easy to get out of the routine and quite hard to get back into it. Soon after I was back into the building industry and eventually became self employed.

I think restoring the Scheme would be a win win: 1/ For those who are fit to work but unfortunate enough to find themselves out of work. 2/ It would render a genuine service to the Guernsey community and yes, provide the taxpayer/contributor with a return.

Alfie Marsh Superstar

Well theres plenty of greenhouses to pull down, just like the good old days on states relief.

Island Wide Voting


Yes pulling down greenhouse eyesores is a good one,although the owner should contribute towards the costs involved

Beach cleaning,cliff path clearing,pothole filling,re-setting leaning cemetery headstones,re-pointing sea defences,clearing piers of seaweed,elderly /vulnerable person visits,traffic light and traffic signs 'clearers' (re overgrown shrubbery)and anything else which benefits the general community rather than an individual person or business would be difficult to argue against

I. Le Page

Is this instead of or in addition to the C.E.P.S. scheme?I went on the C.E.P.S. scheme and was glad to get paid minimum wage because my benefits had run out and I was not eligible to get any more.If you get low or no benefits and are unemployed you should be paid minimum rate for the hours you work on this new scheme!

The North Plantation Drinkers Association

LONG-TERM benefit claimants who are fit to work will be forced into compulsory unpaid jobs, they can start with the deputies they should be setting a good example for others to follow.


I would be amazed if this happens. A few would be happy to work, most will be unwilling and cost more in supervision than the value of their work. How long before somebody says this kind of labour denies their 'human rights' or some other EU nonsense? Probably costing us a fortune in legal costs and fines in the process. 'Another Guernsey Shambles' coming up I think.

K Marx

Have to agree with Beanjar. It makes a good headline and taps into the frustrations so many hard working individuals feel about the layabouts who simply will not seek employment or pay their share, but implementing such a scheme is likely to prove impossible. People who are determined not to work can't be made to work.


K Marx

They can if their benefits will be withheld if they refuse.


Not really,KM, the moment they have to move their lazy butts they will be struck down with incurable (and invisible) back pain. At which point they will return to bed and have their dole raised to invalidity benefit or some such nonsense.

guern abroad

And as soon as they lift that butt from the sofa or bed they will lose the invalidity benefit as therefore able to work.

So unles they want to lie down all day then what a waste but that is their choice but at least it wont be having a good time and getting money for nothing which is acheiveable now.

For those with mental health challenges lets get them proper support and help.

Oh Dear

Perhaps there should be some sort of incentive set up. Doctors have no reason to care. They're in well paying jobs and will get paid for the consultation. If something was set up that enabled doctors to reap some sort of a reward perhaps they'd be more inclined to be more thorough when checking someone over for aches and pains.

The only problem is of course, even in those who do have genuine back problems, the cause is not always visible.

I think Guern Abroad has it spot on.


Great news!! I'd like to nominate my lazy brother as the first candidate.

Hes 37, and never worked in his life, gets free doctors, free dentists, wodges of cash each week, free accommodation, and recently fathered a lovely child by an unemployed mother!!

I think its about time he started to contribute towards society being a drain on it!!

£5 bet says he finds a doctor to say hes 'not suitable' to get off his arse and do something productive!!

Maybe im a pessimist, but after 20 years of my social contributions being used to keep my drunk brother in beer, maybe i'm a little biased!!!

Shall we wait and see?? I wont hold my breath!!

Hope it does happen.


vinnie well said im in a similar situation.


If done correctly this has potential to be a good idea.

1. The work done must be of benefit to the taxpayer.

2. The participants should be given the opportunity to learn new skills if feasible.

The horror show that is the UK's DWP is not the answer:

a. This cannot be viewed as cheap labour to replace SWD employees.

b. Farming out free labour to private enterprise is unacceptable.


I bet clause b has already fallen, so much for that good idea.



"prevents workers from being forced to work under duress"


No-one is forcing anyone to do anything.

are but yes a

They could get them out looking for the 2.6 million and offer a reward to the one who finds it.


I'm with cobo , I know someone who is physically fit but has been claiming benefits for 25 years , yes 25 years , I think before this policy is bought in they need to look at there obviously useless benefit fraud investigation teams , also questioning the gp,s that sign these wastes of air off


100% agree with Cobo!! the moment they would have to work they would be at the doctor, with bad back!! but that's not that good anymore, there is a new kid on the block, called depression, that's the one they use now, and lets face it the doctors don't care they get paid no matter what!! then they just have as many kids as they can .

Alfie Marsh Superstar

Just make them all deputies they would do a better job.


There are people who are desperate to find employment who through no fault of their own but due to business changes have found themselves unemployed.

The states should either help them find employment in their kind of trade or encourage them to be retrained through COFE.

Those that do not want to work then their benefits should be stopped or reduced to a level where they will have to work to bring their benefits up.

There are the unemployable who will never work due to reasons outside their control but can be accessed through closer contacts with the right authority[states].

Relief work was essential during the mid 1980s when mass unemployment was due to the slump in horticulture and building industry.

Work was untaken and superviced by states social for teams for cliff paths,coarse clearing and some parich cleaning.

Lets not downgrade the unemployed for reasons of getting them to work outside of their normal occupation but encourage local firms to pop into the offices of Wheadon House and at the same time discourage cheap imported labour and use some of these spaces for a stop gap until sutable employment comes their way.

Yes i do not want to see the unemployed sign on and then go away unhappy with no job prospects but i like them to have the opportunity to show willingness of taking on a job that they can be trained to do or go to a job training centre to learn another trade if the oppotunity is there.

The minimum wage must be better than unemployment benefits has it gets you out of the house and takes away the boredom and also takes away the laziness mode.

I am sure supermarkets can use more local labour thus reducing its imported labour force.

Jerry Jihad

The States appear to be exclusively employing imported labour to clean The Public Toilets nowadays, could local unemployed persons do this ?


They could, but that would entail doing a days work which the workdodgers are allergic to. You would think that a States department tough enough to demand that people on the dole do unpaid work would start by not issuing work permits to outsiders until these jobs were taken by local unemployed. It just goes to show that this latest 'radical initiative' is just more empty hot air.


The States isn't employing imported labour to clean the public toilets. The contract for this went to a local company, AFM. Who AFM employs is nothing to do with the States.

However, I do agree with your point that unemployed people could do this but I'm guessing nothing could be done until the contract with AFM expires.


How can it be cost effective to employ someone to do a job that you have a work force that could do for you ie States Works and if they needed extra staff at any time like now cleaning the coast roads, they call in the unemployed via the Social and if they do not turn up no benefit for that week.


And who obligingly dishes out the work permits for AFM? Step forward our 'We're getting tough' States. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Oh Dear

So we have 400+ unemployed and how many guest workers? Of those 400+ some are only unemployed for a short while and need the money in order to live until they find a new job. About 100+ are incapable of working as they're disabled (mentally/physically). The rest which I'd guess at being 150+ are the lazy ones who cannot be bothered.

Even if the three hundred or so (who are capable of working) had jobs there would still be a lot of holes to fill. Your beef with guest workers is ridiculous. If they were not doing these jobs, who would be? Unless forced our dole scroungers won't do it.

Let's say John is working in finance and has been for 30 years. He's managed to get quite far up the employment ladder. But oh no, the business isn't doing as well as it once was. Poor old John, he's been made redundant. What's John going to do next? Wake up at 6:00 to clean some public lavatoires for a pittance?

Do you understand why so many of them are very picky about where they work? Do you understand why we need foreign workers? Until you're in the same situation you'll never understand.

I know people who have been looking for jobs for two or three years. They have still not found anything because the current job market is targeted at a certain age group. Companies don't want young workers as they're often immature and will require training. They don't want people close to retirement age as it means they'll have to start the recruitment process all over again. They prefer people who fall somewhere in between the two afformentioned age groups. It's virtually impossible for those two age groups to get a job in what is very much an employer's market.

cyril serbant

If there is work that needs doing then pay people a wage to do it. Target the long term unemployed then get people employed and off benefits. No problem with giving people the choice of work or lose your benefits but forcing people to work for benefits just keeps them in the system and makes the system more burecratic and expensive.


‘Work for your benefits’ is an excellent idea and the sooner it starts the better. In addition, why not 'offer' our guests at the Guernsey prison some work instead of allowing them to play on their playstations all day long!


Sorry, but why is everyone obsessed with this myth that prisoners have PlayStations? Have you been inside? Do you have any proof?

Locals First

Some Inmates DO get Playstations with "good behaviour" I have heard this straight from a Horses Mouth who spent just over a year in Prison over here!

Oh Dear

I have no problem with playstations or televisions in prison. I do think that the prisoner should at least pay 3/4 of the cost though.

like a kid

i would seriously challenge this in law - sounds like cheap, exploitative labour to me. but a very good populist 'vote for me' plan - how shall we make our society more equal and just? i know! force the most powerless group in the land to work for £20 a day cleaning toilets; meanwhile tax the very, very,very powerful land, property and rent barons, and the hundreds of international finance johns nothing for the use of good time guernsey, with its premier league tax avoidance scams available for local and outsider alike.


Good but lets ensure a liveable minimum wage of £10 per hour.

Cor demmie la

Having suffered a industrial accident and had both knees replaced as well as other problems and now waiting for yet another orthopaedic procedure I am very concerned at this proposal. Having paid my social insurance all my working life, now when I need that "Insurance" that I've paid for I'm going to be expected to work for less than the minimum wage to get the benefits that I have paid for; because when I'm considered to be fit for work at the age of 58 it is very unlikely that any employer is going to be interested in me. After I initial accident and recovery the states offered me retraining, yes I said. They generously imported a chap from Jersey to train me and 3 other chaps to use a lawn mower (I kid you not). I was the only one to pass that training. I think I'm entitled to be concerned.


Cor demmie la.

Maybe you will get a job mowing all day during the growing season now you have a certificate of competence to prove to the unemployed there is work out there if you want it.


Why can't you work behind a till at a shop?

like a kid

why can't you tax the hundreds of easy- street rich, lording it all over this island, more equitably? many have not done one day of socially worthwhile work, using inheritance and well-oiled finance and public service jobs to end up with several pensions and 2,3 or 4 properties rented out to struggling young families. they use the on-the-door-step tax avoidance reptiles to maximise their private wealth, taxed at a pittance. then they want the local operating theatre risk-free clean when they need emergency surgery. how much does the cleaner get paid? this plan will make poor people poorer and increasingly marginalised. this will mirror the global trend and guernsey should be ashamed.


Unemployment benefit - should mean currently unemployed however looking for work ( not a lifestyle choice not to work and live off the state.

My understanding is there are approx 500 individuals unemployed looking for work currently regsitered. ( be interesting to know what % of these are 18-25 years old)?

Seems somewhat ironic that in an island with a population of around 70,000 people, tha there are such a large number of non locals working in the service industries ( restaurants, bars, hotels, clubs, shops, petrol stations ( and i might add doing a very good job) - but considering these people have virtually no rights to "decent" housing etc - is there any excuse that a great % of the 500 or so locals unemployed are not taking these positions?

Dave Jones


There are thousands of jobs in the hospitality sector as well as retail and our public services and the official figure of the unemployed is 425 it fluctuates very slightly from month to month.

I would say about 100 of those will never work again due to various long term illnesses and sevear disabilities, so the numbers are very small given our economy. Who would fill all these jobs if we did not allow people in to work?

I think SSD are right to introduce these kinds of workfare schemes and if it helps people get back into the habit of a working routine and eventually a full time job then that is no bad thing in my view.


Just an observation, if 25% unemployed will never work again due to illness or severe disability why are they on the unemployment register rather than sickness? Could it be that the reality is that our caring sharing States can deny them a few quid a week as that benefit is lower? Perhaps we ought ask how much SS spend on independent medical reviews and how this actually equates numbers wise, against legitimate signing offs by the local doctors and specialists. This whole proposal for fake, cheap non jobs is a politically driven expedient so our right wing politicians can bray in the GEP that jobless figures are down.

Locals First

About time. The states should also apply "Benefit for first child only" too to stop women getting pregnant again and again (funnily enough when their other kids reach school age), so the don't have to work. And before someone starts on about how hard it is to look after kids blah blah blah, A lot of these Single mothers (single with child by their own choice so they DON'T have to work), get looked after by their grandparents so the "mothers" can "have a break" .....What nearly every day and weekends? so they can get drunk and party with more men... Pffftttt!

Island Wide Voting

Locals First

Can't disagree with your basic sentiments but deliberately having a baby for the sake of a£15.90 per week child allowance seems a bit drastic.Perhaps there are other benefits involved such as housing etc?

I presume that the 'gentlemen' who do their bit in this arrangement are always ruthlessly hunted down for maintenance payments?

All local benefit rates are listed here ...



Excellent idea. As a society we need to change the "Money for nothing" attitude some people seem to have

I believe that work relief should offered to all unemployed from the day they first sign on.

BUT it should be set at a high rate then unemployment benefits.. Say 24hrs work per week @ £6.50.

The selected work should be a benefit to the local Parish that person live in or to the Island as a whole.

like a kid

the poor law rules, ok!! 6.50 per hour? why thank you sir, thank you, thank you. i'll be on my way now sir. (doffs cap and genuflects in appreciation until pre-existing spinal vertebral degeneration is exacerbated and even cap-doffing is impossible.) beagle langlois has none of it, sings thus;

"won't ask for more when he knows what's in store, there's a dark, thin winding stairway without any banister, which we'll throw him down and feed him the cockroaches served in a canister". (fight the power!)


Very bizarre un constructive waffle.

But my point is in my experience there are a lot of older people who have a life time of experiences, skills and knowledge who are going to have long term problems finding employment. But still have a great deal to offer to society. And would rather be doing something to keep them selves busy rather then nothing other then standing in line queuing up every week to ask for there money. And being a wasted resource.

There are also a lot of younger people that would benefit from being in a working routine, working on and assisting projects in there local Parish giving something back to their local communities. That could teach them new skill, Also gaining new experiences.

I've not suggested slavery. Or sending them out to work in paddy fields.

What I'm supporting is the idea of utilising some of these vast ranges of skill and knowledge of these people in to work related projects that would be a benefit their local communities / parish.

But I believe they should be rewarded a better level then un employment befits

But not as high as you'd earnings in the public domain, It should be some where in between.

However there is always going to be some that want money for nothing. Who will come up with every excuse under the sun not to be involved. Working exceedingly hard to find reasons get out of it.

But I'm sure there are many that would want to be known as valued members of a "Parish work team" doing working to supporting parish / charities / OAP's and other project that are a benefit to their local communities.

Rather then being known as "sponges, laid abouts or social parasites" ?.


Locals First one million% right !!


@ Dave Jones.

Thanks for your comments and I do take on board what you say however if,

"about 100 of those will never work again due to various long term illnesses and sevear disabilities" is the case then these 100 or so should be entitled to full benefits ( that is concept of a welfare state) bu they should not be deemed unemployed available to work. I think it needs a new definition. I would also stress these people are the ones I an I suspect most others want to see being helped out long term.

What about the ones who are ( say 21 year old) never worked no interest in working and claim full state benefit? These ones should be made to work around 30-40 hours every week ( cleaning the beaches, cutting back hedges, sweeping the roads) for the benefits they receive.


It seems that all this vituperation aimed at the benefit scroungers can refer only to an unknown fraction of, in total, between 300 and 400 claimants. We may be discussing fewer than a 100 benefit receivers regarded as "playing the system" by the good self righteous people of Guernsey. Any workfare scheme is likely to cost more than it's worth and will hurt the deserving as well as those it is calculated to punish.

People like Laurie Queripel and others who, like him, took part in the States relief scheme of the 1980s when the unemployed total exceeded 1000 did not appreciate being regarded as members of the scrounging classes. The unemployed then, as now, had paid their States insurance contributions and expected to receive compensation when the need arose.

Why do we so rarely hear about the tax fraudsters? I believe the loss to the revenue by tax evasion is many times the loss through benefit fraud.

Island Wide Voting


Taking your lower figure of 300 claimants, at £144 per week basic unemployment benefit,not counting any add ons the real diehards can wangle,amounts to a tidy £43,200 a week ... £2,246,400 a year

There will be many genuine deserving claimants of course but did you really mean to say

'will hurt the deserving as well as those it is calculated to punish.'




Where have you been, the SS has never grasped the "carrot and stick" concept, only the stick. The SS will throw money at an employer to take a long term benefit claim off their books, but make it financially attractive to the claimant to take poor pay/conditions, no chance. This is your right wing in action looking after the haves and kicking the have nots, you ought have that warm self satisfied glow within.

Island Wide Voting


You ask where have I been?

Simple answer really... working my butt off for the last 53 years to fend for myself and my family

The closest I've ever been to Edward Wheadon House was when I had to wade through the crowds when I mistakenly decided to hand deliver my Social Insurance quarterly payment.I soon learned to trust Bollie Smiley with that task

Meanwhile back at the situations vacant pages of the GEP ....


Oh, I forgot the SS are tight lipped about that one, maybe if the same deals were available to those in need there might be less of them. What do you think about that Laurie Q?

Laurie Queripel

Hi zab

I don't view it in terms of left or right, I would proffer that such things are a distraction.

I come from what might be termed as a working class background (is it still p.c. to use that term?!). My Father was a shop steward, I support the principles of fair pay and fair conditions. He was also a special constable, he believed in public service and giving back when and where he could.

This is about (in regard to a return of the Relief Scheme) providing people who are unfortunate enough to be unemployed but who are fit to work with the opportunity to do so and the community benefiting from their efforts as a result.

I think that is a balanced (hence neither left or right) and constructive proposition. As far as I am concerned it is not about stigmatisation, there is no ulterior motive or sinister agenda.

Laurie Queripel

I also agree with O Dears comments. By all means lets try to provide people with tasks to fit their skill sets - very sensible.

Laurie Queripel

Hi Ted

Just want to assure you that personally I am not practising vituperation but rather just trying to be part of the solution.

I agree with your tax evasion comments, on a global scale the bailout of banks with public money also comes to mind.

I think all abuse of the public purse needs to be taken seriously whether it be fraud or evasion.


Target the wasters, not the those who are genuinely unemployed. We've all been unemployed through no fault of our at sometime in our lives. This kind of policy looks more like populist politics than a genuine attempt to solve the problem.


Pete, I understand your sentiments about being genuinely unemployed rather than living off benefits because you choose to but surely the scheme must apply to all who have been unemployed (but are fit to be gainfully employed) beyond a certain time frame (say 6 months).

Anyone, whether genuinely unemployed or otherwise should benefit from the scheme through maintaining or instilling a work ethic and routine.

Oh Dear

Perhaps a wise decision would be to see if these workers can do a job that fits their skill set. For example someone with computer qualifications could work in an office. Someone who wants to do manual labour could go with States works etc. I'm sure there are no shortage of jobs in each sector and there will probably be something to suit a very wide variety of people.

This was those who are unemployed, through no fault of their own won't have to do a mind numbing task that they don't enjoy. There must be a certain blow to the dignity of some of these people as they stand outside with a group of people who clearly have no intention of working.


Why do I get the impression that more than a few contributors to this thread are long term unemployment beneficiaries? What employed person would whinge about some, I stress the "some", of the unemployed getting kicked out of bed/off the sofa/away from their computer in order to undertake some meaningful task for the money we, thats us, the taxpqyers of Guernsey, give them each week. As a suggestion to help the young ladies with babies Social Security could establish a large creche, train up some of the unemployed young ladies as child-minders and then the remainder of the young ladies could go out to work leaving their babies in the creche. Social Security have already stated the requirement would be targeted rather than a shotgun approach so the genuine cases will be left alone. Read the last two paragraphs in the news item at the head of this thread. Clearer? Bring it on Social Security, time to put way the kid gloves and bring out the Marigolds (other working gloves are available)



I for one don't understand where as a society the idea has come from that we should pay poeple to do nothing ?.

If you look back at our local histroy. The Val Des Terres was built in the 1920/30's (as a work releif project) to create work for the local unemployed at the time. So the authorities at the time paid the unemployed to something.. A win win situation. Everybody benifited.

But less then a hundred years later the our authorities seem to want to give money to poeple to do nothing ????.. and ask for nothing in exchange.

My question is: How and why did this change come about ?.

Island Wide Voting

Over to you Matt



what you appear not to understand is that society ought be prepared to pay the going rate to all of its constituents, not short change some who are less fortunate than you. No one is arguing that the unemployed ought not have gainful employment simply that their circumstance is not an excuse to exploit their labour.


Possibly TIG would like to employ one of the jobless as a consultant to inform them that the new system is far inferior than the previous one demonstrating that rebranding and change for the sake of it not always desired or progress. Irrespective of the hype.

Island Wide Voting

zab for CM

This new format is awful. A pig's ear attempt to fix something that wasn't broke

Where is my Avatar????

I shall be posting later as Dave Jones, Yvonne Burford, rosie, PBFalla, Gavin St Pier et al now that all sorts of mischief can be made by discarding Avatars

One out of ten because I'm in a good mood!


Completely agree with you IWV - hating the new format!

Dull, dull dull!!!


Agree 100% what a pigs ear, bet PG will have something to say about progress!

Ava Tar


I agree. I would really like my avatar returned as soon as possible!

Terry Langlois

Well, the TIG forum users will be united in agreement on one thing - this new format is abysmal, and not just for stylistic reasons.

No avatars, inviting hijacking of user names.

No ability to link direct to a comment appearing on the "Your Shout" page, you have to go to the article first.

Text takes up far too much room on the page, making it less user friendly (yes, I know that I can reset my computer, but that will affect the sizing of otrher sites)

I wonder whether they have intentionally made it less user friendly, to discourage some of the more animated and prolonged discussions that occur these days.


I feel that it correct that the Social Security on our behalf. Should support the un employed, while they are re training, in education or medically un fit for work.

However. I have an issues with them just giving money out to people that are fit and expecting nothing in return.

I feel long term un employment benefit should be scrapped and that Social Security should offer those that are fit and health the means to earn their wages each week in the form of a day or days manual work. and that should be at a higher leave of pay then they would receive on un employment benefit.

Don't hand out money.. But give people the means to go out and support them selves.

My question was:

Where does the idea come from that it's correct to give fit able bodied people money in the form of benefits and expect nothing in return ?.

How did this come about ?.



I feel that it correct that the Social Security on our behalf. Should support the un employed, while they are re training, in education or medically un fit for work.

However. I have an issues with them just giving money out to people that are fit and expecting nothing in return.

I feel long term un employment benefit should be scrapped and that Social Security should offer those that are fit and health the means to earn their wages each week in the form of a day or days manual work. and that should be at a higher leave of pay then they would receive on un employment benefit.

Don't hand out money.. But give people the means to go out and support them selves.

My question was:

Where does the idea come from that it's correct to give fit able bodied people money in the form of benefits and expect nothing in return ?.

How did this come about ?.


Many on this thread seem to have difficulty in understanding the principle of insurance.

Unemployment "benefit" is not something for nothing. Premiums have been paid year after year by the insured parties who are entitled to claim when the circumstances arise that the insurance is intended to cover. (That's how it came about, melc).

If fraudulent claims are being made, they should be dealt with without the imposition of penalties (and heaping of opprobrium) on all the claimants.



Thanks you Ted.

I didn't realize that it was an insurance policy that we pay 10% of our income in to.

But if that's the case shouldn't the policy be limit by the amount you've paid in ?. Those who have worked for 20 years should have a greater claim then those who have not ?.


Presumably when your house burns down or you have an expensive motoring accident you will accept a lower payout than me if you have paid premiums for fewer years than me?

Herbert Roth

I believe this scheme will be aimed at 'long-term' unemployed initially, which I think means over 6 months. Certainly, there is a difference between the person that loses their job after 20 years of solid work and making their social insurance payments, compared to the person that has never held down a steady job for any reasonable length of time. My suggestion would be that you should be entitled to dole money relative to the amount of payments you have made down the years, after which you have the chance to a 'State job' under this new scheme. It should not be considered 'unpaid' work, nor should you be expected to work for a few pounds an hour. Instead, people should be paid minimum wage level up to the current sum they would otherwise receive on the 'dole'. If they're considered a good worker then they might qualify for more hours to enable them to earn more, a reward system that will benefit those that wish to help themselves.

We need to put an end to the 'benefit society' that will cripple future generations should it be allowed to continue.

Island Wide Voting

Twenty five full and part time States jobs advertised in Saturday's Press ( 11/1/14) including one for a Commercial Manager for the Harbour and Airport.Has the Empire building started?