Work and employment policy
DOI link for Work and employment policy
Work and employment policy book
This view was reiterated, more starkly, by the then welfare reform minister, Jim Murphy, in a speech in March 2007, when he declared that ‘Work is the only way out of poverty . . . the beneﬁt system will never pay of itself [enough to lift people out of poverty] and I don’t think it should’, a comment which caused consternation in the academic social policy community and poverty lobby (Timmins, 2007d). His remarks about beneﬁts were interpreted by critics as a departure from what had been understood to be traditional Labour Party policy. Whether this is the case or not, Murphy’s, and the Labour government’s, views about the importance of work are not peculiar to British welfare policy-makers; they are generally accepted in the European Union and more generally amongst members of the OECD group of countries, where the commitment has in recent years shifted decisively in the direction of what are called labour market ‘activation’ policies – roughly speaking, getting unemployed people off welfare and into work (Finn, 2003: 114; Bailey, 2006: 163).