Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeDemocracy in DecayDolan’s Digest: We can’t have a workforce that refuses to work

Dolan’s Digest: We can’t have a workforce that refuses to work


THE UK economy remains on its knees, and day after day you see reports that don’t just make slightly grim reading but should fill the public with dread for the state we find ourselves in. Is unemployment on the rise still? Yes. Are wages falling again? Yes.

While it is easy to lament the lack of entrepreneurial spirit, the news that over a fifth of adults in the UK are deemed not to be seeking work is a far darker reality.

It means that more than 9million people from all parts of this once-great nation are neither in work nor actively looking for work.

Myriad factors are at play here – the country is sick, and the failing NHS isn’t the answer, overpriced and useless degrees are setting up students for a lifetime of repayments and low-paid jobs and we are becoming increasingly lazy as a nation.

It also comes back to something that many, including myself, were trying to stop at the time – covid lockdown restrictions. As the pandemic progressed and it became abundantly clear that the vast majority of the population were going to be fine in the face of the virus, the Government decided to plunge businesses into restrictions which anyone could see would be damaging.

Businesses, hospitality venues, building sites, you name it, the Government unilaterally stopped them from operating overnight with no consultation and no discussion. Fewer businesses led to fewer jobs, and fewer jobs led to fewer opportunities to prosper.

It also led to a generation of working adults who had become accustomed to the life of the furlough scheme: they ended up with no desire and no ambition to work and would instead rather rely on state handouts.

Nine million people are off work and not looking for it, with many citing ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’. These aren’t mental illnesses – they are part of life, and an essential part at that. We need to stop enabling this – it does people no good and certainly not the country.

Feel stressed at work? No worries, head to the doctor, get some pills, signed off for a couple of weeks and before you know it 20 years has passed you by in a haze of mindless ‘entertainment’ and drug-induced apathy. This is not the solution.

How do we resolve this grave situation? Well, firstly we must disincentivise unemployment. At present, it is too easy to rely on welfare state payments to enjoy an easy and comfortable life without contributing to the economy and society, while hoovering up the tax payments of hard-working Brits.

A fundamental reform of our education system should focus on preparing young people for the workplace rather than forcing them into overpriced degrees which do not reflect the demands of working in a business.

Similarly, successive governments have pressed on for far too long with overfunding a health system that clearly does not work. It is time to stop ploughing money into the NHS and look in a different direction.

Our economic decline has been coming for some time. Successive governments have failed to prioritise policy which would encourage work and entrepreneurship. Indeed, when the Truss government tried to cut tax and spending, they were widely maligned by the mainstream media and the establishment for doing so.

The situation we face could perhaps lead to a generational change in policy and politics. We cannot continue to progress as a nation with a workforce that is refusing to work.

It is time for another Thatcherite revolution, focusing on the benefits of capitalism, privatisation and a return to the notion that if you work hard for a living, you will be able to prosper.

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Simon Dolan
Simon Dolan
Simon Dolan is a British Entrepreneur.

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