The diseased British welfare system
'£500-a-week? I can earn more on benefits!', unemployed driver tells stunned haulage boss
A haulage boss was left stunned after an unemployed driver rejected the offer of a job paying more than £500 a week so he could remain on benefits.
Graham Poole, the managing director of a 23-wagon fleet in Rochdale, offered the job to the man who had been out of work for 18 months only to be told told it was not enough to have him come off government handouts. The man turned the job down claiming he could get more money on benefits by 'sitting around at home'.
Furious Mr Poole said: 'What is wrong with this country. I was offering him more than £500 a week before tax. 'It is no wonder that so many people are out of work when others are allowed to blatantly refuse to work because their benefits are higher
'When he came along for the interview, he seemed like the right person for the job, and that is why he was offered it. 'But what annoyed me most was the way in which he rejected it by saying he could get more on benefits by sitting at home.'
Mr Poole's job offer to the man as a haulage driver included a basic weekly amount of £427.50 weekly plus up to £81 in tax free expenses. He said: 'I am sure people in Rochdale would love to know that a person is still able to go along to the local job centre, look for a job, find a job, then go for an interview for the job with all the relevant qualifications, then turn down the position saying "it would not be financially viable".
'This is not the first time this has happened. 'I believe that someone who refuses a job should have their benefits stopped automatically and they should be made to take whatever jobs are available irrespective of what the wages are.'
A spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses said: 'With unemployment so high and full-time jobs so hard to come by, there is clearly too much dependency on the benefits system if people can turn down well paid, full-time work. 'The FSB welcomes coalition government proposals to extend the time that benefits can be cut for people who turn down a full-time position from six months to three years. 'We believe that through this, people will be able to get back into the workplace and that it will get Britain working again.'
Emma Boon, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'This case shows how desperately the welfare system in this country needs to be reformed as there are currently people trapped on benefits. 'Taxpayers will be angry that they are going out to work, while others are getting just as much money without taking a job.
'The government needs to make it pay for people to go out and work. 'People should be better off if they have a job than if they stay at home on benefits.
'In addition it is simply unsustainable to have a situation where those on jobseekers' allowance are allowed to turn down suitable employment.'
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).